The 1 CEU Benefits Progression Model: How Our Clients Spend Their Money

Kathleen Mills of

This Week's Poll

I thought this week I'd introduce something I'm calling, The Benefits Progression Model. Phillip and I were having a discussion about the strategy behind how our clients spend their money with us and it occurred to me that some of us may be missing out on appointment traffic from a lack of a full understanding of this topic.

So What Is The Benefits Progression Model?

The Benefits Progression Model is a graphic illustration of four different demographic points about the clientele that make up your market base. It outlines the various clientele groupings, their probable income levels, the benefits they likely have access to, and the methods they have available to pay for your services. Its purpose is to give you a visual platform upon which you can ponder the best ways to serve your clients as far as how they access your services.

In fact, we recorded the information-rich conversation for the benefit of your continuing education. If you'd like to hear the entire supporting logic behind The Benefits Progression Model simply acquire the course which is also listed to the right of this post.

You'll get an hour CE credit for your efforts, you'll learn how to stop losing clientele you probably didn't even know you were losing, and will forever be the smartest counselor on your block.

Why Is This Even Important?

At the root of this discussion is the ever-present argument about self-pay only vs any model in which you take other forms of payment. I want to explore how our clients are thinking about paying for your services. Then, if you choose to operate your practice using a self-pay only model then at least you do so from an informed position; aware of the business risks involved.

The conversation is important because none of us want to lose business for reasons happening in the clients' mind, of which we weren't even aware. Learn everything you can about how they want to (fill in the blank: pay for your services) then if you want to consciously decline those options, at least you know why they're going elsewhere.

The Main Business Driver

Clients should be able to pay for things in any legal, socially accepted manner of their choosing, and this applies to any business.

The list of things included in "socially accepted" changes. 80 years ago credit cards didn't exist. You take those now, right? 50 years ago HSA cards didn't exist. 30 years ago EAP's didn't exist. Not quite fully accepted across the business spectrum yet (or understood!) is digital currency (think BitCoin and its ilk). I would imagine in another year or two digital currency will be largely accepted in American business. Will you take that if your clients want to pay that way?


That's a quick peek at The Benefits Progression Model and its' driving factors. It's your business and you have the freedom to operate it in any manner of your choosing as long as it's legal! But, I think that if you choose not to at least fully research and understand the manner in which your local market chooses to consume your services, you're doing a huge disservice to the community you serve.

Just think about it.

Plan Smart. Be Safe. Serve Others.

Kathleen Mills, LPC-S, CEAP

Benefits Progression Model | PracticeMentors

Got An Opinion?

These posts are my beliefs based on my a) 32 years of practice as a mental health provider and b) my own research. Whether you agree or disagree, please feel free to leave your civil, constructive comments below. I try very hard to back up my liberty-based statements with my own experience and/or verifiable facts and I would ask you to do the same. You do not need to be logged in to leave a comment.

About Kathleen Mills

Kathleen Mills is a fire-breathing, 30+ year veteran of the counseling world. A tireless warrior for the profession, her goal with is to bullet-proof the counseling profession so that what happened to her doesn't happen to you!

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