You’ve been learning and studying for years, and now you’re ready to start working with clients.
You’re excited. You’re scared. You’re ready-but-not-quite.
You’re not sure you know enough to work with complicated cases. You aren’t sure you can do this sustainably and make ends meet.
You’re tempted to put off growing your practice until you’ve taken one more program, read one more book, or finished up that one thing.
I’ve been in practice for a long time as a licensed nutritionist and clinical herbalist, but I still remember how hard it was to take those first steps. I just kept putting one foot in front of the other, and over time my practice grew.
Now I mentor herbalists and nutritionists – especially those interested in reproductive health - who need help navigating tricky cases, getting their practices off the ground, and accumulating the clinical hours necessary for certification or registration.
I offer one-on-one and (soon!) group mentoring, webinars, online courses, and other resources that will help you become an exceptional practitioner.
I remember getting ready to see my first client without supervision in 2004. I had just graduated with an MS in Herbal Medicine from MUIH.
I knew I wanted to focus on reproductive health, so I had dropped off resumes in all the nearby OB/Gyn offices.
I didn’t think any would call me back.
One did. And to my complete shock, after an interview they offered me a position in their office.
My first client was scheduled, and I was freaking out.
What if I didn’t know what to do? What if the client was pregnant!? What if I forgot everything I had learned, picked the wrong herb, or couldn’t answer a question? How was I going to ask this person to pay me?
I saw the client anyway.
She wasn’t pregnant, but she did have a complicated and rare autoimmune condition that I’d never heard of. I didn’t forget everything I’d learned, but I did have to do a lot of research after the visit to get up to speed.
My recommendations weren’t perfect - in retrospect there’s a lot I would have done differently - but they did help.
Over time, the client felt better. Together, we’d made a significant difference in her quality of life. While her condition didn’t totally resolve, she reported feeling like she had more control over her symptoms
She discovered more about what worked for her body and what didn’t. I learned a little bit more about how to be a clinician.
The next client was a little bit easier. I didn’t freak out quite as much, and I just kept taking small steps forward.
Since then, I’ve gone on to work in all kinds of settings: a large fertility clinic, integrative group practices, and supervising student clinics.
Now I am in private practice working exclusively from a distance, online.
Even though I REALLY do not like marketing, I’ve found ways to build my practice and help as many people as I can.
I love sharing ideas about how to build your practice mindfully and without overselling yourself or feeling manipulative.
I’ve gotten more degrees (a doctorate in Clinical Nutrition from MUIH and an MS in Physiology and Biophysics from Georgetown University), become a licensed nutritionist and a professional member of the American Herbalists Guild.
I even have a full-time gig working as a professor at MUIH, where I teach physiology, pathophysiology and mindful eating in the Department of Nutrition and Herbal Medicine.
I applied what I was learning through all of this in my clinical practice. Repeating the process over and over with each client - even when I felt scared or unsure or not good enough - made a difference.
Eventually my practice was full with a waiting list.
I was helping people and learning so much about myself in the process.
After all of this, I was (and still am!) learning something new with each client I worked with and each class I taught.
In late 2012, I decided to scale back my clinical practice after having my second child. I needed a few years off to devote to being with my kids and my job as a faculty member at MUIH.
I started to look for local practitioners who might be willing to take on clients I wouldn’t be able to see, and I was stunned at how few were out there.
I’d supervised and taught hundreds of graduate students over the years, most of whom intended to go into clinical practice.
Where were they?
My search brought to light what I’d suspected for a while – most newly-trained integrative practitioners aren’t thriving out there in the big world.
People were practicing, but it was hard to find them online or via referrals.
Or they had tried to start a practice, but weren’t able to keep it up and wound up with jobs in other fields to make ends meet.
It’s not pretty, but it’s the truth.
These are people who I KNEW were excellent practitioners. They were smart, empathetic, humble, knowledgeable, and motivated. And they were floundering.
This is a big deal, because the world needs these folks. It really does.
Herbalists and nutritionists offer client-centered, earth-friendly healthcare that can change lives. We have something important to offer our clients and our communities.
I started to think about how I could support new clinicians. I remembered what it was like when I first started out. How hard it was to find my confidence, to find new clients, and to find colleagues to support me when I had questions.
I checked in with many new practitioners individually to see where help was needed.
The two biggest requests were help with difficult cases and learning how to create a thriving practice.
And so my mentoring business was born.
Today, I help practitioners build successful and sustainable practices by offering mentoring, continuing education, and a friendly word of encouragement.
I find that two heads are better than one when it comes to thinking through complicated cases or strategizing about the next best steps to move your practice forward.
I know the world needs us, and I know that when we work together we can serve more people and communities.
What can I help you with?
Need some guidance on building your practice, help with a client, or a word of advice about next steps? Here's more information about mentoring for herbalists and nutritionists. I also offer monthly webinars for integrative practitioners and a podcast called “In the Clinic with Camille.”
If you're in need of nutrition or herbal support relating to reproductive health or fertility, come work with me clinically.Just want to stay in touch? Sign up for email updates, and you'll hear about new podcasts, blog posts, and resources for clients (+ occasional discounts on services). Or get in touch if you have a question or request.
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