Demystifying Private Practice

  • Thursday, December 15, 2022
  • 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
  • Live Event via Zoom


Registration is closed


Program Information:

Title: Demystifying Private Practice

Date: Thursday, December 15, 2022

Live Event: 6-7 pm EST

**This December 15th Special Event, Demystifying Private Practice, will be offering CEU credit to participants during the Live-Only panel discussion. We will be recording the broadcast and provide it through our On-Demand Webinars program, though CEU credit will not be available for on-demand viewings of this event.**

*Your Zoom link will be sent out at  5:30 pm on the day of the event.

Panel Summary:  

This panel discussion is an opportunity for therapists, graduate students and community members to have a timely discussion on the stigma of private practice in the mental health field. In the face of COVID, many professionals have had to make tough decisions regarding safety, well-being, and happiness. Private practice has given many clinicians the agency to make up their own rules and practices and take a step back from the confines of an agency. For students, it's an opportunity to add to their graduate curriculum and increase their understanding of how to establish a successful private practice.

Learning objectives:

1. Panelists will discuss myths and fears associated with the building of a private practice.

2. Participants will gain information on common mistakes in private practice and how to be solution-focused on their path.

3. Participants will learn about laws and regulations when establishing or working in a private practice, understanding specific parameters as Registered Interns as well as Licensed clinicians.

4. Panelists will discuss their private practice journey and share tips and tricks on how they built a successful business.

Panelists Bios:

Alan Zupka, NCC, LMHC is currently a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a National Certified Counselor. Alan holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from the University of Central Florida and a Master of Arts Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Rollins College. Alan is a member of The American Psychological Association (APA), The American Counseling Association (ACA), The Mental Health Counselors of Central Florida (MHCCF), The National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC), National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF), and The Society for Sexual, Affectional, Intersex, and Gender Expansive Identities (SAIGE).

Alan’s professional career spans 40 years after entering private practice. For twenty years, he was a corporate trainer specializing in employee motivation and industry development. He has spent over twenty-five years working voluntarily with individuals who struggle with issues of addiction. Alan worked for five years in a professional capacity at an intensive outpatient and partial hospitalization substance abuse treatment program. And, for the past four years, he has been in private practice as a Telehealth therapist. Alan has been actively supporting the LGBTQ+ community for the past 40 years in Connecticut, New York, and Florida.

Alan regards his counseling philosophy and approach as holistic, addressing individuals’ concerns with their cognition, emotions, societal and physical influences, and spiritual outlooks when treating the whole person. He favors supporting the client in the here-and-now but will refer to their past with the hope to facilitate change for their future.

Alan’s goal is to help an individual identify and focus on their personal goals by raising the individual’s awareness as they discover their personal meaning, growth potentials, and psychological health. He sincerely believes that everyone’s spirituality, race, culture, gender, and sexual orientation must be valued, because all exist as vital components that compose an individual. Consequently, he applies his education, learned life skills, and unconditional positive regard to support the client in effecting their desired change.

Alan works primarily with adults ages 18-80 assisting with:

· Issues affecting the LGBTQ+ community (coming-out, relationships, HIV, abuse, and social factors)

· Mood disorders (anxiety, depression, bipolar, cyclothymia)

· Addiction issues (drug, alcohol, sex, gambling)

· Adjustment disorder (stress, sadness, and hopelessness)

· Career counseling (work-life balance, career transitioning, and career satisfaction)

· Couples counseling (commitment, cooperation, communication, and community)

Anne Wedge-McMillen, Esq., is a Licensed Attorney, post-graduate Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern and advocate. She graduated cum laude from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in English technical writing and minor in criminology. Anne received her Juris Doctorate (JD) from the Florida State University College of Law and has been working as a licensed attorney for 23 years with a background in criminal, delinquency, and dependency law. Anne received her Master of Arts (MA) in clinical mental health counseling from Rollins College and is currently practicing as a mental health psychotherapist under supervision. She is passionate about justice system reform and the creation of trauma-informed court systems. Anne provides legal, mental health, and mitigation consultation services through her corporation McMillen Counseling & Consulting Inc. She is the Legislative Chair for the Mental Health Counselors of Central Florida (MHCCF) and actively participates on the Government Relations Committee to the Florida Mental Health Counselors Association (FMHCA). Anne was the recipient of the FMCHA 2021 Outstanding Community Service Award. She provides mental health counseling in a private practice setting at Stokes Counseling & Consulting in Maitland and is an instructor with the Valencia College Peace and Justice Institute.

Melissa Comeau, Ed.S., LMHC, LMFT, NCC has 15 years experience and training working with individuals, couples and groups from diverse backgrounds to help improve their relationships. She has experience working in college counseling centers where one of the top concerns are relationship issues. She started her career working in community mental health and non-profit agencies where she received training and experience identifying unhealthy and toxic relationships. She has also received advanced training, additional certifications and additional licenses to expand her expertise to be of service to individuals and couples struggling in their relationships. Melissa is a Qualified Supervisor for Mental Health and Marriage and Family Therapy. Melissa is also trained as an Adoption Competent Therapist and the Diversity Chair of the Central Florida Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. Melissa is the founder of Heartfelt Counseling Center providing relationship counseling to individuals and couples.

Cristina Ally, LMHC, RPT, NCC, ACS is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Nationally Certified Counselor, Registered Play Therapist, Qualified Supervisor, and owner of Flourish Counseling in Winter Park, Florida. She is a graduate of Palm Beach Atlantic University and immediately began serving those impacted by trauma, especially sexual trauma. She is trained in Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART), EMDR, and the Reconsolidation of Traumatic Memories (RTM) Protocol. Cristina is passionate about helping clients overcome the trauma that limits their lives. She is currently serving human trafficking victims through The Lifeboat Project Inc. which serves both survivors and families impacted by human trafficking. In her free time, she enjoys eating as a vegetarian, being a fur mama to her Peekapom Apple, and attending art classes as a hobby. 

Summer Katz, LMHC, ACS is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Approved Clinical Supervisor, and has a private practice in Orlando, Florida. Summer obtained her Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees from the University of Central Florida, and has been providing professional counseling services since early 2005. Summer’s wide range of counseling experience is derived from working for organizations - including community counseling, residential rehabilitation, as well as medical affiliations. Summer is known for helping people cope with chronic medical conditions and she prides her work on integrating a relationship-oriented approach, utilizing topics such as cognitive-behavioral guidance, mindfulness concepts, as well as diving deeper into existential principles where beneficial to the client’s experience.

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