The New Visionaries: The New Visionaries

By Wylie, Mary Sykes | Family Therapy Networker, September/October 1995 | Go to article overview

The New Visionaries: The New Visionaries


Wylie, Mary Sykes, Family Therapy Networker


SEVEN THERAPISTS SIT AROUND THE DININGroom table of a house in suburban Maryland one blistering hot Saturday morning in July. All seasoned professionals with an average of 15 years' experience each, they've been meeting together two Saturdays a month now for over a year, but their conversation isn't remotely about difficult cases or a promising new clinical technique or a great workshop someone just attended. Instead, the discussion ranges over lawyers and legal liability, advertising brochures and corporate logos, data bases and form letters, niche marketing and high-tech, multi-feature phone systems. Unhappy about their experience with managed care companies the intrusive micromanagement of their work, rigid time limits, endless paperwork and the struggle to get reimbursed they have decided, like thousands of other therapists in America, to pool their talents and find a way to do together what is increasingly hard to do independently: practice their profession with a reasonable degree of freedom, autonomy and integrity and still make a living.

So far, each individual in the group has already ponied up a fair amount of cash to pay for expert advice from a creative consultant and several lawyers; much more will be required for advertising and administrative costs, not to mention the heavy indirect expense in volunteer time required to establish any new entrepreneurial venture. The members have also gone through several cycles of euphoric highs and depressive lows. At first, just commiserating with each other around their shared fear and loathing of managed care was a wonderfully satisfying bonding experience, but the pleasures of what one member calls the "bitching sessions" soon began to pall. "We were like a bunch of adolescents having temper tantrums," says Maryland therapist Deany Laliotis. "Righteous indignation about managed care brought us together, and it was fine for a while, but righteous indignation wasn't going to keep us together or get us anywhere." The group brought in a marketing expert who told them it was good to know what they were against, but imperative to know what they were for what were they trying to do, what sort of professional identity did they envision for themselves, how did they plan to announce their corporate existence to the public?

"That stopped us dead in our tracks," says Laliotis, "and we went month after month trying to decide what kind of practice, what kind of group identity we wanted to have and who we were going to be, now that we had decided we couldn't just be anti-managed care." Did they want to be a loose referral network? A shared marketing entity? A more closely integrated corporation organized around a few specialties? How large should the group be twenty members? Thirty? Fifty? Unable to come to any settled conclusions, bogged down by uncertainty and internal disagreement, always on the verge of disbanding, they temporarily tabled the identity question to focus on organizational structure. Then began the Era of the Lawyers, as three different law firms were hired, seriatim, to give them the freshman course in Forming Corporations 101. Unfortunately, learning about the Byzantine complexities of corporate law, multitudinous ways they could be sued and bank-breaking liability they were taking on individually by casting their fate with each other sent them farther into a downward spiral of insecurity and paranoia. "Look around the room," Laliotis remembers one

lawyer saying grimly, "and make sure you can sleep with everybody here ."After another lawyer said he wanted $8,000 to draw up limited liability papers for them, which they weren't even sure they wanted, the members decided, says Maryland therapist Carol Heil, "that we'd better stop letting the lawyers organize us, go back to figuring out what kind of practice we wanted to be and then tell the lawyers to make it happen."

The group is only just now standing tentatively on the brink of going public, revealing to the world their embryonic creation of collective selfhood a tiny, still rather nebulous, not-yet-incorporated entity they have named The Healing Alternative.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The New Visionaries: The New Visionaries
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.