Jeanne Kolker – Insight Counseling and Wellness

The Covid pandemic has pretty much passed, but the fallout is far from over.  During the pandemic it has been reported that depression increased from 11% to close to 40%, from April 2020 – April 2021.  Statistics like that are mind boggling, though they also offer an opportunity to help people.
Jeanne Kolker is the owner of Insight Counseling and Wellness. She has been in business doing well for years.  Once the pandemic hit, the hockey stick of business growth came out.  This happened despite the challenges her business faced, including offering help suddenly over a screen and camera vs. in-person, the challenging rule changes from insurance companies, the concerns of her clients as they each adapted differently to something we were all trying to navigate.  The ever calm Jeanne took it in stride, helping all of those that her and her team were able to.
Listen as Jeanne shares with us some of her wisdom about how she and her team are helping people work through some emotional challenges and what she sees for the future of this necessary industry.
Visit Jeanne at:
Authentic Business Adventures Podcast

You have found Authentic Business Adventures,

the business program that brings you
the struggle stories and triumphant

successes of business owners across the land.

We are locally underwritten by the Bank

of Sun Prairie. My name is James Kademan,
entrepreneur, author,

speaker, and helpful coach to small
business owners across the country.

And today we are welcoming/preparing

to learn from
Jeanne Kolker, the owner,

founder, super awesome person, I suppose,
at Insight Counseling and Wellness.

And today we’re talking specifically

to Jeanne about business as well as all
the changes that have happened

in her industry
over the course of that crazy pandemic.

So, Jeanne, how are you doing today?

Well, I’m doing pretty well.

Thanks, James, and thanks for having me.

It’s great to talk about this stuff.

Anytime I can have a platform to talk

about and to normalize mental
health care, I am all over it.


So let’s start Insight
Counseling and Wellness.

Let’s say January

2020, just to give people foundation,
how many therapists did you have?

That’s a great question.

Just ball-park.

So I would say we were probably

in the teens at that point,
probably somewhere in the 12 to 15 range.

And now today we’re talking January 23.

Yes, a lot more.

So in the 20s for sure.

So our business
is unique in the mental health

clinic world that we have a couple
of different parts of our business.

We have our mental health therapists.

We also have case managers who work for a
county program and then we also have

more of a holistic wellness side with
yoga therapists and body centered folks.

So as a whole, Insight has grown from
2020, and I didn’t even look this up,

but it was probably maxed at 20 people,
and now we’re double that.

So we have doubled in the last.
Couple of years.

Over the course of a couple of years.

And was that the trajectory that you were
on? Let’s say 2018 to 2020?

No, I had no idea
that this was going to happen.

I started Insight, just me
just trying to figure it out.

And a couple of other therapists that I
coaxed along and

brought them on because it’s a really
hard thing to do on your own.

To just…
Oh, I bet.

To provide mental health care is a very

challenging, fatiguing,
high burnout field.

And then to try to do it yourself

and figure it out just out of my
master’s program, I needed help.

So I had a few people and there was

probably five of us, a group
of five that really started it.

in one room, just trying to figure it out.

And this was in the days when

if you’re going to do therapy,
you had to have a room.

Back in the day.

Back in the day, actually had
to have real estate for people.

So we were sharing and then

we’d add a room the next year, we’d expand
our lease the next year, that sort of stuff.

And when the pandemic hit, we were
planning a new building to move into.

And at that point, there was only so many

people that I could
hire that we could have providing

services because
we needed to have a room with a door

that would close where you could
do psychotherapy.

We had planned this

new building that we were working with
a landlord and an architect on.

It had, there was a threshold.

We could only have so many people

because there’s only so many
rooms with doors in a clinic.

Then January 2020, February,
March, the world changed.

A little bit.

Yeah, a little bit.

One of the only bright sides is that

there’s less need now for all those
rooms with doors to do therapy.

Not because the volume of clients is going

down, but because
telehealth is now a thing.


if we get in our time machine and go back
to March 2020, I have a lot of emails that

I can go back and read
and get re-triggered.

But it was very uncertain.

Telehealth had existed.

Telemedicine doctors had been doing this,

but it was definitely the exception
rather than the rule.

And insurance
companies were not forthcoming about what

they would pay, whether they would
pay for it, if they would cover it.

And we’re looking And we take Medicaid.

We’re a DHS certified clinic through
the state government.

We get Medicaid money from the federal,
the state, the county level.

You know how it is to try to in to figure
out what government is going to do next.

So it was just like…

And they don’t know.
No, they didn’t.

And it was just a lot of pivoting,
like, can we do this?

Obviously, our clients come first.

So for those first couple of weeks when I

was telling people to stay
home, triage, see if…

Do you need to call your clients?

Do you need to do phone sessions?

We might not get paid for them.
Who cares?

Make sure everybody’s okay.
All right.

Solve the problem.

Yes, exactly.

Make sure they know we’re
still here for them.

We’re going through this, too.

But it’s so interesting, the timing.

The universe was really on our side
with this because in January of 2020,

we finally modernized and moved
to electronic health records.

Before that, we were just pen and paper.
We just had our medical paper.

January of 2020?

That was lucky.

It was lucky.

We moved everybody into electronic health
records, did all the training,

and my staff was amazing in learning
and teaching and how to to do that.

And we got everybody on board in February.

So we had a big learning curve.

We’re just figuring this out.

And then all of a sudden, we have
to learn how to do telehealth, too.

Not knowing if we’re going to get paid,
not knowing how to do it.

But again, we have to think about what
do our clients need?

So we figured it out.

It was an interesting transition
to go from in person to telehealth.

I bet.

It’s interesting.

I guess there’s a million
different facets, right?

But there’s the technological,

what do we use as software
or platform for telehealth?

There’s also the, hey,
I can see you from the neck up now,

where before I used to see
your whole body language.

A lot of the small talk instead of,
hey, how’s your day going?

It’s like, Oh, is your mic on?


I guess the client, you have to make sure

that they have equipment,
laptop, tablet, phone, whatever.

And I imagine you have to make sure…

I don’t know if you ever had to deal
with black screens instead of.

Just like, Oh, absolutely.



All that on top of just the challenge
of helping people in general.

Yes. i did before that.

And we are, like I said,
high burnout field.

It’s a really challenging
work environment when we’re in person.

But we were going through the
fear of the pandemic, too.

I mean, we’re an anxious bunch.

We therapists, we really are.

And it was a scary time.

So we’re trying to manage our
own experience while also…

Because what am I going to say?
Oh, it’s going to be okay.

Well, you never say that, first of all,

because You never know if
it’s going to be okay.


Did not feel like it was going to be okay
in March 2020.

No, it felt like the world was ending.
Yeah, it did.

Or at least, yeah, appending, I guess.

So let’s start with the technical side,
the software platform, whatever.

Did you say, hey, we’re jumping
on Zoom just like half the world did?

Or was there a specific therapist?

I don’t know if they got involved or.
Anything like that.

Well, of course, it has to get involved.

Yeah. i mean, it’s a little bit in the
weeds, but I can tell you more about it.

So we switched to this electronic health
records, which is just a web based…

It’s called Simple Practice.
It’s a lot of therapists use it.

It’s made for mental health clinics.

And it’s where we keep all of our records.

It’s HIPAA compliant,
and it has a telehealth feature.

Oh, it does?
Oh, yeah.

Holy lucky.
I know.

We hadn’t activated it because
I was like, 10 bucks a month.

Why would I do that?

Then suddenly I’m like,
activate, activate.

So we had to learn how to do it.

But then I also had to get Zoom
for a lot of my staff, too.

Like I said, the case management,
they don’t use electronic health records

because they’re not
providing psychotherapy.

But they had meet with their clients.

They had to do meetings
with their clients and providers.

So yes, I’m trying to get Zoom.

Trying to get customer
service from Zoom at that point.

Oh, it didn’t exist.
It was a real challenge.

Yeah, I remember an email I got back

from a customer service rep,
and they were like, I’m not sure if you’re

aware, but we’re in the middle of a global
pandemic, so wait times are a lot longer.

I was like, Oh, I’m not aware.
Oh, there are months.

I wasn’t aware of that.
And it wasn’t that I needed…

Yeah, right.
The only thing I…

Yeah, right?
The only thing I needed was

the business associate agreement to make
sure that it was HIPAA compliant.

I just kept
hammering that out to make sure I had

that because
I was not going to risk our status

with Medicaid by using something
that was not HIPAA compliant.

So I had to get all that stuff in place.

It’s like with owning a business,

you have to learn an entirely new thing,
I don’t know, every few months.


Zoom was interesting that time
because I feel like it was just this

seed of the pants company with the ping
pong tables and whatever junk like that.

And all of a sudden they actually
had to work and they’re just like.

Whoa, customers.

We didn’t expect customers.

No ping pong, get to work.

And look at us, we’re on Zoom right now.

We’re still using Zoom.

Yeah, here we are.

I still have 40 licenses for Zoom.

And on top of having the electronic health

records telehealth, just because
this is how we communicate now.

There’s a much bigger
movement now to be in person.

A lot of people are really craving that.
Oh, my gosh.

It’s been good.
A thousand times over.

But some people got really
used to telehealth.

I imagine there’s a convenience to it.

This is pure speculation.

So you tell me if I’m totally wrong.

But I would imagine there are some people

that feel safer
from a telehealth therapist.


You and I, James, right now, I’m sitting
in my house with a cat on my lap.

This is very regulating for me.

we don’t talk about my trauma today,

but if we were digging into some stuff,
this would be very regulating for me.

I’d feel really safe and protected here.

That has been the experience
for a lot of people.

It also seems to me like it would numb…

Numb is the wrong word.

It would regulate
some of the communication.

I think of being at a live concert
versus watching a concert on TV.

Watching on TV is cool,
but being at a concert is way cooler.


And for some people, they need
that interpersonal connection.

They need to be in person.

We have a couple of therapists at Insight

who I’d say 75 % of their
folks come in person.

Because they.

Just feel more

connected said
that there’s more of a therapeutic

alliance, that they can
be more vulnerable in that space.

Because think about what
the home life can be.

And this was a big challenge
at the beginning of the pandemic

because not everybody has a safe
place with a sweet cat on their lap.

All right.
So coming to therapy is an escape almost.

It is.

Or maybe it’s not safe if there was

an environment where
there was domestic violence.

There could be an inability to
talk honestly, to even be in therapy.

Hey, abusive spouse, settle down.

I’m in therapy.
Probably doesn’t go so well.


And so that was a really scary
part of the pandemic.

But also on the lighter side,
it was everybody was stuck home with their

kids, so that they’d get
interrupted every three minutes.

Dogs are barking in the background.

did so many sessions with people in their

cars just sitting in their driveway
trying to get some privacy.

Because that was what they had for
a safe place or private quiet space.

Yes, obviously they were not driving

around their parked,
but that bundled up in the winter,

I’ve done lots of those sessions because
that’s where people could get privacy.

So there’s just so much to consider
when you think about telehealth.

Was there ever a technical challenge
with people that just weren’t?

I mean, I just imagine my dad, who’s
a older gentleman,

when we meet on Zoom with him,
that’s every time it’s an event.

Every time.
You’re on mute.

I can’t hear you.

Click the link.

It’s every time.

I can imagine in if there’s some anxiety

because they’re going
to therapy or whatever.

And the one roadblock is whatever

technical challenge that they have,
whether it’s self inflicted or not.


And so there’s those more
funny anecdotes around that.

But then there’s also
an issue of access too.

Not everybody has a smartphone.

Not everybody who we treat
is able to download the forms,

the consent forms, sign them and send them
back because they don’t have a laptop.

We had to really work to overcome barriers
to access for some of our people.


Was that something like you had to hire
someone on, or did you have somebody

on your staff that just figured it out,
or how did you work that?

Well, we were all pretty much in charge

of our own caseload, so we would
look at and see.

We’d be able to communicate.

We always, well, we have an answering
service that can do some calling for us.

We email a lot with our clients
and just communicate that way and make

sure that we’re able to meet
them where they are.

And sometimes phone sessions were
the way that we reached people.

And that was something
that Medicaid had to approve.

And that was another big issue.

And typically phone sessions were
not approved until the pandemic.

So there was a temporary waiver

and variance and all sorts of fun
stuff that I got to learn about.


in this time since then, I do think access
to psychotherapy has definitely improved.

All right.
Well, that’s good.

That’s very good.

Tell me about the timeline from the time
that the government, whichever government,

I guess, said, hey, funny story,
no more in person stuff,

to the time that Medicaid, as an example,
said, Hey, this is the way around that.

It was probably two,
three weeks to a month where we were.

Oh, it was?

I was calling all my therapist friends

because networking, you have
a lot of people in your network.

And we’d share, here’s an email you can

send to the governor,
to your Alder person.

And so we were really advocating

to make sure that telehealth was
approved and included.

And it did end up that it was…

That we were able to go back and bill

for those sessions where we weren’t
sure we didn’t know if we’d be able to.

But there was a few weeks of just real
uncertainty there.

I didn’t know if the business
was going to…

Who knew?
We didn’t know.

We didn’t know.
We didn’t know.

I can definitely remember talking
a few of our clients off the ledge.

And in the end, I guess I
felt I don’t know.

It’s interesting because it was very

interesting to see how different
people reacted very differently

to the same information or just like,
Hey, this is what’s happening.

How do you react?

It’s the whole it’s not the facts,
it’s the reaction to the facts.

And some people are just
like, B oard the doors.

And other people are like, Ain’t no thing.

This will be done tomorrow.

And figuring out

just different entrepreneurs,
how they were treating their business,

how different people treated their
employees good or bad,

how, I guess, the people, I guess,
talking about leaders and followers,

seeing who was
doing what they could to take charge

of their little part of the world
and lead their crew and others are just

what I would consider
cowering in fear, I guess.

Or maybe it wasn’t even fear.

Cowering in uncertainty,

I think, where they’re just like,
I’m just going to be in the fetal position

in the corner and wait till somebody
tells me it’s safe to come out.

I can understand that reaction totally.

And it’s a life threat, first of all.

And then it’s your livelihood.

It can just get you in that frozen state
of, Okay, no, I guess it’s all over.

Maybe it’s all over.

Well, you’ve had me on before,

and I talked about how
our offices caught fire in 2018.

We had this big fire event when telehealth

didn’t exist and I thought,
well, this is it.

I don’t know how we’re going to do.
All right.

Well, we had a good run
a couple of years, right?

And then we just got back,
got our groove back in 2019.

I was feeling so good.

And then the pandemic hit,
and I was like, are you kidding me?

You really have to believe in the mission.

And I’d love to say, well,
just trust the universe.

No, you had to really make some quick
decisions and be really thoughtful.


Didn’t have a crystal ball,
but I had to pretend that I did.

Fortune favors the bold, right?
Yeah, exactly.

You’re not.
Going to failure the.

Cowards, right?

And that’s one of the things that we
ended up hiring a lot of people because

I no longer needed to buy them an office
chair and a couch and all that stuff.

Oh, so the financial investment of a,
I want to say tech, of a therapist.

Sorry, that’s my old world. Well,

the therapist wasn’t as extreme as it was
when they were remote.

I wasn’t as worried about
finding a place for them.

I mean, of course, I’m still paying rent

at all my offices throughout this whole
thing, and none of our expenses,

the only thing is I
didn’t buy as much toilet.

Snacks and water for people.

So there’s a few good things.

But I made sure people had
the technology they needed.

Who needs air pods?
Who needs a webcam?

We took care of all that stuff, but

really, people could stay
home and see clients.

I remember the webcam shortage.

I just remembered that when I was having

to send webcams to agents
and I was $80 for a webcam?

That was 20 a month ago.

I know.

Do you remember how
much it cost to just buy wipes?

Like, Clorox wipes, too.

I could not get my hands on them.

I think I paid $200
once for two containers of wipes.

Oh, my gosh.
Because I still had

somebody coming into the office to do
some work, and boy, that was a wild time.

Oh, my gosh.

I forgot about that.

It’s funny, you mentioned
the word triggers.

Yeah, absolutely.

Forget about that.

So you got the people, the therapist,
all that stuff remote figured out.

Everything’s hunky dory.

You got clients.

I guess, did you end up losing any clients

just out of either fear or they didn’t
know what to do or anything like that?

Very few.
I mean, there were a couple of people

who said, I’ll wait till
we can be back in person.

It was a couple of years.

I don’t know if they ever
came back, honestly.

But no, we definitely saw an uptick
in people seeking services.

All right.

So So tell me about that,

because that is still one of those things
that I can understand

to a point, but I have
a hard time wrapping my head around it.

Around the need for a therapist?

Around the uptick because it was like…

Like a psycho uptick.


I guess maybe that’s
the wrong word to use.

I was about to call you out, but you did.
It yourself.

James, come on.
I got.

A little heart attack.

Full sensitivity, yes.

Honestly, it normalized
anxiety, depression, mood disorders,

and we were all experiencing this
unseen threat.

Our nervous systems
were all on high alert.

We couldn’t see what was happening.

We did not feel cared
for by our government.

I hope I can speak for other people.

It was chaos.

It really did feel apocalyptic in my mind.

Now we’re anxious about this.
We’re depressed.

We’re at home.

What do we do to cope?

Well, we start drinking, using drugs,
coping with food, video game.

We turn to our soothing things, which can
also be addictive and damaging things.

It worse.

Yeah, makes it worse.

And then our relationship suffer.

We’re stuck at home
with our kids, our family.

Maybe then things start to…

Things that we’ve been able to just

limp along and get by suddenly the
volume is turned way up

on some of the dysfunction
that’s happening in our lives.

So I think that had a lot
to do with the uptick.

And then there was just a lot
more talk about mental health.

And I think that, and again,

maybe it’s just because of who I
follow on Instagram

and that stuff that I see people talking
about it a lot more, that normalized it.

More people were willing to reach out.

Before, was it taboo?

Or what do you mean normalized?

Well, there’s still a mental
health stigma, unfortunately.

I think it’s much better than it was in

2018, 2019 because we have
gone through this thing.

We witnessed collective trauma.

We saw what it looked like on TV.

Luckily, it was just on TV.

You saw bodies stacked up in refrigerated

trucks because the morgues could not
hold them because of the COVID pandemic.

So we saw that on TV.

That’s vicarious
trauma that we’re experiencing while we’re

still experiencing that threat
before we had vaccines.

And then you consider the folks
on the front lines, so nurses, doctors,

EMTs, police officers, restaurant workers,
grocery store workers, who were constantly

in the in that space of
potentially getting sick.

And then those in the hospitals
and clinics who were actually having

to watch people die without their family

and folks in nursing homes and assisted
living with their families locked out.

They couldn’t see them for a year.

I mean, the trauma is truly
immeasurable what we went through.

And I think
that it’ll be so interesting to see

studies in the next few years on
what this did to us as a society.

Oh, the follow up.

It’s interesting you
mentioned the hospital thing.

My dad, during that time, had a stroke,

and so he’s in the hospital,
and he can only have one visitor a day.

And my sister was
essentially taken care of.

So she’s in the hospital, so we drive up.

We can’t be in the hospital.

So we go, he’s on the first floor room.

So we go and find his window and we’re

talking on the phone
with him on speaker phone.

And the hospital has some little guard
come out and be like, he can’t be here.


Well, you won’t let us be inside.


So e’re going to hang out.

Call the police on.

For real.

But it’s one of those, really, dude,
this is your big problem.

So it was interesting.

That had to be hard.

Yeah, it was just an interesting like,
This is dumb.

This is so dumb.

Because there wasn’t an alternative

that hospitals or clinics put in place
to say like, hey, you can’t be in person

with this person that’s having
a rough time in the hospital.

Instead of that, you can do X.

Hanging out outside the window
clearly was not an option.

Which is so strange because I know
a lot of places did allow that.

Maybe, I don’t know,
hospitals may have had.

Different protocols.
Who knows?


It was the mall cop
that I had to deal with.

So whatever. I’m sure he’s
got problems of his own.

Yes, I’m sure he does.

It was just an interesting
thing because I can only imagine…

That was a short lived stint at my dad’s

in the hospital, but I can imagine
you got a wife giving birth or something

like that, or other things that are
what I would consider to be higher level

where it would normally be like,
Yeah, I got to be by their side.

And someone to tell you that you

can’t, it’s got to be
very challenging to accept.

Extremely challenging to accept.

And we saw a big uptick
in need for services.

And I’ve heard that story
times 10, with much higher stakes.

Yeah, I imagine.

So then that’s a trauma that
people need to work through.

I mean, if you just shove that down,

it’s going to find a way out at some
point, the pain of what we went through.

And of course, it was very individual,

but also there was something, too, about
like, Well, we’re all experiencing this.

So again, that’s another way that it’s

like, Well, this is normal to feel
pain, depression, anxiety.

And it’s also a good thing
to talk about that with somebody.

Yeah, it’s interesting because even

on the podcast, I remember, I
don’t know, let’s call it

July, maybe August
22, where I’m like, Don’t say

pandemic, don’t mention COVID,
don’t mention any of that.

It’s in the past.

Move on with your life.

And it’s very difficult to do that because
it altered business along with people

in such a way that you
couldn’t not talk about it.

But it’s like, I don’t want to…

Don’t say the word pivot, just
move the tab answer on that.

That was the word of 2020, right?

It should have been pivoting.

And we’re still dealing with it.

That’s the thing that we talk about all

the time is we went through
the whole vaccine thing, too.

Do we know our employees are all expected

to be vaccinated, but is that something
now that we continue to…

Is that the line that we hold?

What does fully vaccinated mean?

We do groups, we have yoga classes.

Do we let people in there
who are unvaccinated?

We’re still
talking about how to manage that.


All right.
Because I imagine there’s people on both

sides, whether vaccine or no vaccine or
6 feet or whatever.

I don’t know.
Not mask, all this insert challenge here.


And the guidelines haven’t exactly
been crystal clear, as you know.

I don’t know if they ever were.

And that’s where you and I as business

owners, then have to make
difficult decisions about that.

And ultimately, it’s about
protecting the greater good for us because

we are a mental health clinic and we serve
vulnerable populations.

For our groups and yoga classes,
vaccines are required.

That’s something that we went
back and forth on

because we have to think about also not
denying services to people, too.

Again, that’s where
telehealth can come in.

Does there where you offer vaccinated
yoga and non vaccinated yoga?

No, our yoga studio is…

If you want to come to class, it is Vax
only, and we’re still holding to that.

But we do one on one with people.

If maybe group isn’t accessible to

somebody who is not vaccinated,
we don’t deny them services.

We continue to serve just maybe
via telehealth or individually.

But then again, I’ve got a staff of 38,
some people, and sometimes they say,

I don’t want to be in a room with somebody
who’s not vaccinated or not mask.

Then I have to have that conversation

as an employer
because you want to make sure that people

are feeling that their
health is being protected.

Speaking of employees, I imagine
just clients, you have employees

that are going to fit somewhere on that
spectrum, whether they’re mask, no mask,

vaccine, no vaccine, whatever, in person
versus tele, I’m only remote or whatever.

So I imagine you had adapt
to some of that or…

Oh, for sure.
I mean, adapt over cater.

Good word choice.

Yes, good word choice.

Yes, we do.

And it is very individual, of course.

When the vaccines were offered,

we scrambled
to get them, of course,

because we really wanted
to make sure that we were protected

for ourselves, of course,
but also for our clients.

And there’s so much

unknown and misunderstanding
and misinformation.

I don’t have to tell
you about any of this.

It is one of those things where

it’s so hard to just have like,
here’s a hard and fast policy,

here’s what we’re doing because there’s
so many shades of gray so often.

So we do work with people individually.

We give our staff a lot of attention.

I feel.


Make sure that they are feeling like
it’s a safe and good work environment.

I want to ask you, I guess just speaking

of work environments broadly,
when people you come to your,

I guess, clients, and I don’t know if you
necessarily know this or not,

since you have so many therapists,
but maybe it’s an industry thing.

When people come and they’re like, Hey,

I have some challenges
that I’m dealing with.

Recently, over the past few years
with the pandemic and stuff like that,

how much or what percentage, I guess,
from your perception, would be considered

directly pandemic versus
work during the pandemic related?

Because I see a lot of places, even
Disney, Disney’s like, Hey, come on back.

Apple, come on back.

Google, Facebook, Twitter,
they’re all like, hey, come on back.

We have ping pong tables or Mickey,
whatever it is they’re after.

There’s a.
Reason that they’re saying come on back.

And I imagine it has to do

with productivity
because they don’t want to buy more toilet

paper than they need to, I suppose,
or disinfecting wipes or whatever.

So they’re not like, Hey,
we need to increase that top line.

So I imagine some people
are anxious about that.

They’ve been living or hanging out
at home doing their job or punching in.

Maybe not doing their job.

Not my staff, James.

My staff is all Well, highly professional.

Yeah, all of us, 100 %, 110 some days.

Well, it is.

Again, it goes back
to serving our clients.

So we want to make sure that everybody

has some availability
to see people in person.

That means coming to one of our offices.

Unless there is

a certain person who has really
demonstrated that they work super well

from remote and that’s how their clients
want to be seen and that’s how they want

to work, then we would
make that exception.

But across the board, we want to…

Everybody has some clients that want to be

seen in person, so we
want to have them in.

Again, it does feel good

to be in person with your teammates,
too, with your colleagues.

There’s so much, and I’ve just been
noticing this in the last few weeks.

I’ve been in the office a bunch,
and I like the people at Insight.

That’s good, right?
I do.

I know.
I truly like them.

I don’t get as much work done because I’m

just chatting them up and, Hey,
can I ask you this question?

Or, Can we talk about this person?

So there’s just that exchange of ideas

and energy that you cannot
replicate via Zoom.

Totally fair.

A thousand times over.

It’s like there’s an energy between people

that does not necessarily
flow through a camera.

And like you were saying,

how do you read somebody’s body language
when you’re doing psychotherapy with them?

And that’s something that we really

struggled with was like,
how do we do body centered therapy?

We do body therapy.
It’s like we do the eye movement

therapy, EMDR, we do yoga therapy,
we do sensory motor therapy,

which is just really all about
your nervous system and your body.

And it took us a while to figure that out.

It was not just organic, oh,
this works perfect via Zoom.

So fluid.


And we really have gotten good at it,

but there’s just no substitute
for being in person with somebody.

All right.

Speaking of which, it may be
twisting that knife a little bit.

Have you ever had to give therapy or have
your clients or your employees, sorry,

had to give therapy to a black screen
where the client just either refused

or couldn’t get their camera to work
or something?


Absolutely have done that.
And again, it’s a challenge.

It’s basically like a phone session.

It is so hard because you
can’t read expressions.

At least like this is
synchronous in real time.

You can see the faces that I’m
making when we’re doing Zoom.

You can see if I’m upset or if I
had a reaction.

When you’re on the phone,
it’s like, I don’t know.

I can tell they’re eating chips and
that’s about it.

And it’s hard.

It’s really hard to do that.

It’s definitely not the preferred way.

My wife’s a teacher,
and when she’s teaching class over Zoom,

she would show me and there’d be
30 black boxes.

I’m like, Come on.

How is that okay?

How is there not just a mandatory
camera thing?


The school district was just
like, Everyone’s a delicate flower.

We don’t want to force
them to do anything.

And there were times that my wife would
ask a question and zero response.

So that these people
signed on, walked away.


Now they’re all playing video
games, making a snack, whatever.

There’s going to be this wave
of people that are so dumb.

That have not had the opportunity
to get as much education as.

They should.

They’re just missing a few years.

So you’re just like, oh,
you’re pandemic kid.

Got it.

Again, it’ll be really interesting to see.

It’s so hard to do telehealth
with kiddos if you ask me.

Oh, I bet.
I bet.

Because you’re just going to sit still.
I’ve been hung up on.

At least if you’re in my office,

I got a few tricks I can keep
people engaged.

But when you’re doing telehealth,
it’s a challenge.

So as far as percentage is ballpark,

is more of it still telehealth or is it
50 50 or is it moving towards in person?

It’s still the majority is telehealth.
It is?

Yeah, I’d say 60 40 at this point.


So we’re getting there.

And again, people have been slow
to to come out and to be in person.

And a lot of it is that,
like you said, the ease.

I can do therapy on my lunch break.

I don’t have to leave work and find
parking and drive across town.

I can
do telehealth when I’m in my car waiting

for my kid’s soccer game
to get out or whatever it is.

So it really has, for working folks,

for parents, it has made it much more
accessible to be able to get therapy.

But some people are

wanting that in person connection, and we
are doing our best to meet those needs.

All right.
Yeah, it’s a challenge.

It’s been just it’s been slow.

All right, fair.

Was it Medicare, Medicaid?

Has the way they pay out telehealth,
has that changed?

It hasn’t.

Now, that’s always been this thing hanging
over us is what’s going to happen?

Suddenly, all the insurance companies,

they were just like, yes,
we approve telehealth.

Here’s the modifier you
have to use for billing.

Okay, that took us a while
to figure out, but we got it.

And the thread has always been has been,

they’ll probably pay less for telehealth

because the theory is there’s no overhead,
yada yada yada, which is not true.

We still have to have an office
for people who want to be seen in person.

We still have to pay for the
telehealth platform.

Right, the licenses.


And our headphones and our speakers
and our webcam, all that stuff.

So far, there hasn’t been a big mandate
or edict that the payment is different.

All right.

There hasn’t been that, hey,
in two weeks, no more telehealth.

Or whatever.
Oh, gosh.

That has been my fear from the beginning.

But how do you put that genie
back in the bottle?

Once it’s been released,
we see that this works.

It’s improved access.

And honestly,
the need is just even so much greater.

Our screeners, our waitlist has…

It’s been very intense.

There’s a lot of people calling for

services, and
a lot of people want telehealth.

So I.
Don’t think that there’s any going back.

You’ve had to add therapists
over the past couple of years?

Is it tough to find?

It is.

I was going to say I’m picky,
but that feels like a judgment.

There’s nothing wrong with being picky.

What a good employee.

That’s okay to have a high bar.

Yes, we do have a high bar.

It’s crucial that people
really fit in with our team.

Our mission is service.

We want to serve people.

That’s why we are a private practice.

We take take all these
commercial insurances, but we also serve

Medicaid consumers, folks in this county
program who may have limited access.

We try to pride ourselves on
serving as many people as we can.

And the staff, the team,
we’re all on the same page.

That has to be the right fit.

In the last six months, I have been
looking and interviewing a lot of people.

And if they don’t
light my soul on fire, then next.

All right.

So I just interviewed someone
that has a massage therapy clinic.

And when she hires someone,
one of the things, after they jump through

some hoops and they pass those,
she gets massage from them.


In the case of this,
do you end up having you

or one of your crew go through a therapy
session with a new potential therapist?

That sounds so cringy.
No, we don’t.

I’m asking.

I don’t even know how you
could possibly answer.

Well, Well, I’ve heard
other hiring processes where people have

to demonstrate a skill
or something like that.

For us, it’s really…

I can pretty much tell

right away when I see somebody,
when I meet somebody,

there’s so much of just the interpersonal
presence that is crucial.

We do a lot of our interviews via
telehealth just because it is.

I was.
Just going to ask.

All right. It’s convenient.

We’ve done some in person in the last
year, but just with schedules,

I could squeeze somebody
in between a couple of sessions.

So do they show up on screen
and are they framed appropriately?

Do they look open, welcoming?

Are they able to make eye contact,
have a lot of expressions to their face?

Are they curious?
Do they ask good questions?

And then, of course,

we always ask about cultural
humility, ethics, organizational skills,

documentation, because a lot of our
job is just busy work paperwork.

That’s crucial, very crucial

to stay compliant with our licensure
and all of our certifications.

But we need people who can write notes
on deadline and communicate really well.

And you can tell that.

I feel like you can really tell

that in their email communication and
in their presence in their interviews.

You mentioned cultural humility,

and I wasn’t sure if there’s
a comma between those two.


Can you tell me about that?

Cultural humility?
For sure.

And that’s a lifelong process for us as
human services providers.

So this is

our ability to recognize that we’re going
to be serving people who are not like us.


So can we recognize
our own implicit biases?

I am a white cisgendered female
with privilege.

I have had access to education,
and I need to be able to acknowledge that

and be aware of it as I’m serving
people who don’t look like me.

All right.

I imagine when we talk about differences

between people, that’s a
never ending list.

We’re constantly growing.

We serve a lot of LGBTQ community,
and that acronym changes.

Oh, my gosh.

So much.

So much.

I just had a conversation
with someone that…

Oh, my gosh.
How did it go?

I should remember this, so I apologize.

But it was something like somebody came

out of the closet, whatever, and they
said they were X, whatever it was.

I don’t know the nomenclature.

And a circle of their friends got mad

at them because they used
the wrong nomenclature.

And it was just one of those,
like, oh, my gosh.

I think people are just
getting mad to get mad.

Well, it’s always evolving.

And that’s where we have to…

I I don’t expect myself to always know,

but I have to be curious to find out
if that makes sense.

So that’s what cultural humility is.

Tell me about this
humility portion, though.

I guess that’s the…
Well, culturally

humble, so just being very humble
in the experience so

that I’m not perpetuating
white supremacy and patriarchy.

Didn’t think you’d get
into that today, did you?


It’s so funny that you say that.

Maybe we’ll go down a road
that’s not ideal for me.

I’m just a white man.

But it’s one of those,

my wife and I have this conversation
probably more than we should.

But to me, I’m like, Why does it matter?

Is it relevant for the specific
thing that we’re talking about?

It’s interesting because
back when interest rates got dirt low,

we refinance our house
and there’s a question on there about

rates on the little form
you fill up for the bank.

I’m like, Okay, from my perspective,

there’s no reason for that question
to even be on that form.

No reason.

Because you could argue like, Hey,
we want to look at stats

and just make sure that everyone’s
getting a fair shake.

But if I was, I don’t know,

insert minority here, I would feel like,
Why are you asking that question?

And as a white guy, I was like,
Why are you asking that question?

I want to be like, unknown
or something like that.

It’s just a weird like, That’s not
relevant at all to refinancing a house.

It shouldn’t be relevant.

And also, you are speaking from a place

of privilege because you’re a homeowner,
you have resources to refinance a house.

So that’s where the humility comes in is

to really just checking
that, especially when you’re

as a business owner, considering that,
yes, with the services I provide as

a therapist, but also with
staff and the team.

I want to make sure I’m not surrounding

myself with just a bunch
of people who look just like me.

Got it.

Yes, the question

is frustrating in those situations,
but I do think socially we’re still there

because when we do background checks,
I’m sure you do that.

We always have to check a box.

It’s like, yes, we’re gathering data.

What are we doing with that data?
Great question.

Not sure.

Well, it’s what you can do with it
versus what you want to do with it.

I guess as far as that goes.

I want to ask my employees when I’m hiring
them if they’ll show up to work,

or if they have anything that would
prevent them to show up to work.

But there’s a lot of ways to ask
that question that you can’t ask.

Of course.

I want to just be like, Are you a mess?

Or do you feel like you’re just…

Yeah, that’s not a great question to ask.

When I feel like I probably could have
made some better hires in the past.

That’s really what it is.
I don’t know.


Yeah, that could
be a whole other podcast, too.

It’s making good hires.

Oh, my gosh.

It’s crucial.

And remotely,

especially, I imagine when you mentioned
interviewing remotely, which is,

I totally understand,
but I imagine that’s a challenge.

I suppose we’re talking with a therapist

client when it’s employer versus
potential employee versus wrong word.

I don’t know what to say there, but you’re
not seeing the whole body language.

You’re seeing a very
small window into their world

and trying to make a judgment on like,
is this a good hire or not?


And then you rely on reference checks
and resume and all that stuff.

And it is, luckily,

Madison is a pretty small town and
people tend to come to Insight because

they know somebody else who works
there and likes it.

Oh, nice.

Oh, so you get referrals for employees?

Oh, that’s awesome.

That’s incredible.

Yeah, it is pretty great.

And that’s how I like it.

You’ve done the whole Indeed thing where

you put it out there and you
roll the dice.

And we’ve gotten a couple of good
hires on Indeed, I will say.

I’m very blessed.

Overall, I’d say I’ve done well.

I wouldn’t call it the cheapest
thing in the world.

But it.
Has taken me.

A lot.
Of time. little bit.

I bet.

Well, we have Indeed has their tests,

which is one of the reasons
that I like Indeed.

So we have a customer service test

as an example of one of the very low
barriers to entry to get an interview.

And we have, I would say, easily

75 % of the people that apply
and take that test fail that test.

Not that they got a B.

I mean, they got a D or lower.

And the customer service questions
are something…

I took it just to make sure, hey,
what I’m asking people to do, can I do?

And the questions are like,
you work at a retail store,

you’re at the front counter, somebody
walks in the store, what do you do?

A, B, C, or D, right?

Do you run to the back room and hide?

Do you keep looking at your phone?

Do you ask how their day is going
or do you ask if you can help them?

How’s your day going?

Help them and get out
from behind your desk.

It’s one of those, it’s pretty obvious
what the answer that they want, right?

It doesn’t feel like a real.

Tricky test.
People are failing it.

I want to take it now.

Well, I’ll post an ad.

For you.
Yeah, exactly.

I’ll apply.

Yeah, it’s interesting because then from
my point of view, I’m like, Oh, my God.

I feel like the number of people
because we get a lot of applicants.

The number of people applying,
is that a good test of society as a whole,

or is that this chunk of society
that’s looking for a job right now?

There’s millions of jobs out there
and maybe 10 people looking for work.

It’s interesting because I know

why you’re looking for a job because
you are so bad at customer service.

You’ve lost a few jobs.

People are like, No way, we’ll live

without another employee over hiring
you and risking whatever fallout.

You’ll have.
Well, yeah, that’s what you learn, right?

It really boils down to making good hires
to prevent headaches in the future.

So let’s talk about growth.

We don’t have a ton of time left,
but let’s talk about growth.

I don’t want to go too far in the future.

Let’s say two, three years.

Do you expect to double again?
Oh, no.

No, not at all.

I cannot manage that.

I think probably I’d like to say
we’ll cap at 45 people eventually.

We’re not quite there

because the need is so great that we’ve
just seen an uptick in people calling.

And we have a lot of people on our
waitlist and we are working diligently

to get them services because I want my
community to get the help they need.

I want my community to be
healthy and balanced.

So I think we’ll grow a little bit,
but we have a new building

on the east side that’s just been
a wonderful new home for us.

And that feels really good.

I really like it.

Everything’s new and shiny
and happy and great.

Well, I mean, I loved our old offices.

They had tons of character, but the roof
would leak and the whole fire thing.

That’s the one.


That was a tinder box.

They’re wonderful old buildings
with tons of character.

And I actually do miss that a lot.

And I miss the folks
that were in those buildings.

But onward and upward,

we’ve got a nice new space and we have
a new clinic in Verona

in a very old house actually that we’ve
been renovating to turn into a clinic.


So we want to get that really

bolstered and we’ve actually just
made a couple of hires for there.

Very cool.
Being able to serve that community is

really exciting and to reach
people on the West Side.

But again, we see people really
all over the state now with telehealth.

All right.
So we’d have to keep…

Obviously, we’re all licensed
in Wisconsin, so we have to continue.

To just see people.

I was just going to ask what
the limitation there is.

There’s a limitation.

There sure are.

Our client has to be
in the state of Wisconsin.

Got it.
If we’re only licensed in this state,

which most of us are,
we’re just licensed here.

All right.
Well, cool.

Yeah, it’s exciting.

We’ve got a little yoga studio we’re

hoping to grow too, and that’s just
a compliment to the therapies.

We’re doing aerial yoga,
which is a very unique thing.

Real strange.

It’s like a hammock.

So you’re in a hammock at your lake house.

James, I’m sure you’ve
got one of those, right?

I do.
If you’re in a hammock,

it’s hooked to the ceiling, and we do yoga
with that as a prop, as a tool to support.

It’s not circus arts.

It’s very much yoga based.

And we have that at our East Side Clinic,

and we’re building it and really excited
about it and just having a lot of fun with it


When does that open?
It has been open.

We opened in the fall.
Oh, wow.


We got classes, we have classes every weekday.

The aerial yoga stuff?

Well, we have aerial twice a week,
and then we just have other mat classes.

I teach just regular mat classes,
restorative, gentle, flow, that sort of stuff.

It’s open to anybody.

You don’t have to be a client of Insight.

You can come and take yoga classes.

So that’s part of that integrated

clinic philosophy that we have
that it’s not just about…

Sometimes you can’t just
talk about your feelings.

Sometimes you have
to actually be in your body.

You got to be in your body,
have a relationship with it.

And we offer that as that compliment.

Very cool.

So before we close here,
is there anything…

I guess if you were to
just tell the world something to help them

out in this facet, I guess, is there any
advice, quote, super awesome magical

Jeanne-isms that you
would send to the world?

Well, it’s pretty cheesy,
but it’s really all about getting

to know yourself
and being comfortable with yourself.

And I’m not saying be yourself,
but doing the work

of introspection, I think if you can
spend some time, whether it’s

exercising, doing yoga, being with family,
playing your instrument,

whatever outlet you feel where you feel
a sense of wholeness, do more of that.

Do more of that.

Get off the Facebooks and
really engage in your life.

And I know that sounds really
cheesy and simplistic, but that.

It’s usually the best
advice, though, right?

Yeah, I feel people are missing that.

People are anxious.

They’re reading the news constantly.

They’re comparing themselves to others

on social media, and we’re losing
that connection with self.

And the more that you can do that for

some people, maybe it’s not
journaling or meditating.

For some of us, that really works well.

Like I said, maybe it’s playing your
guitar in your basement, whatever it is.

Just do more of that.
I like it.

Love it.

Thanks, Jeanne.

I appreciate you being on the show.
Thanks, James.

This has been great.
This is cool.

Can you tell us where people can find you,
both your offices, office location

as well as website or just
a way to get a hold of you?

So we’re at

and we have our maps to our offices

there and screening forms
and all that good stuff.

We’re located on the East Side
at 1943 Winnebago.

It’s a brand new building.

And then our Verona

branch office is at 324 South Main Street,
right next to Miller’s and the bike path

there in Verona,
if you’re familiar with it.

Big old Victorian house.

Now our little therapy home.

So on Winnebago,
that’s a brand new building?


Yeah, right across from the bank.

It’s surrounded by some older stuff there.

We basically just moved around the corner.

I carried lamps and furniture
and boxes of books around the corner.

People would just stop and stare,
like, what is that person doing?

But we moved around the corner
and it’s been wonderful.

It’s like Steve Martin
from the Jerk, right?

All I need is this chair.

That’s funny.

Thank you, Jeanne.

Thanks, James.
This has been

Authentic Business Adventures,
the business program that brings you

the struggle stories
and triumphant successes.

Struggle stories, triumphant successes.

Business owners across the land.

We’re locally underwritten
by the Bank of Sun Prairie.

I still just imagining you just walking
down the sidewalk with a chair and a lamp.

Just screw you guys I’m going home.

If you’re listening to this on the web,
if you could do us a huge favor,

give it the big old thumbs up, subscribe,
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and let us know how has that pandemic
treated you, good or bad?

Whatever, it’s all good.

My name is James Kademan
and Authentic Business Adventures is

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And of course, The Bold Business Book,

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available wherever fine books are sold.

We’d like to thank you,
our wonderful listeners,

as well as our guest, Jeanne Kolker, the
owner of Insight Counseling and Wellness.

And, Jeanne, can you tell us
your website one more time?

Yes, it’s


That couldn’t be any easier.

No, I-N-S-I-G-H-T.

Past episodes can be found
morning, noon, and night.

The podcast link found

Thank you for listening.

We will see you next week.

I want you to stay awesome and if you
do nothing else, enjoy your business.



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