The Ellie Blog

Mental health tips and insights

How Ellie Mental Health Fills the Gaps for Therapists, Clients, and Franchise Owners

In the pursuit of a new business idea, it’s common to find yourself at a crossroads: you’re looking for something that makes money, but you want something that really speaks to your community’s needs too. It can be difficult to find a franchise business that addresses both.

That’s where Ellie Mental Health fills the gap for business owners.

Similarly, most therapists believe there are two options when it comes to employment after graduate school: a large healthcare system or small private practice. Of course, they both have their pros and cons, but when I was a new therapist, it felt like I was constantly weighing my options and making trade-offs, like low compensation for comprehensive benefits. Or needing to work full time remote in order to have flexibility in my schedule.

I asked myself “but why do I have to choose?” and that is the same question that Erin Pash, LMFT had asked herself when she started Ellie Mental Health eight years ago. It has been her mission to fill the gaps in mental health care for clients and therapists, which now fills the gaps in the franchise community as well. 

How Ellie Mental Health is Different Than Other Clinic Settings

Here are some aspects that were important to me when I was searching for a job as a clinician, and where Ellie checked the boxes.

1. Small, locally owned clinics

Being a therapist on your own is tough. I wanted to work at a clinic with a strong sense of community and where I could build relationships with my colleagues. A supportive environment where therapists feel more connected to their colleagues and leads to better teamwork and collaboration. Clients benefit greatly when their therapist can consult on certain topics and learn from others.

Ellie could have expanded by corporately owning all their clinics, but Erin knew that what makes these clinics thrive and succeed is having passionate community members behind the scenes.

"To find a company that offers a small, group practice feel with the benefits of a larger company is rare" -  Miranda Barker, LICSW

2. The larger franchise system that handles the insurance credentialling, billing and marketing

I did not go into the mental health field to own my own business; I went into the field to help clients heal and thrive. I do my best work as a therapist when I can focus on them, not the stressors of navigating insurance claims or running social media ads.

3. Benefits, including healthcare, PTO, free CEUs, and supervision

Before coming to Ellie, I was spending thousands of dollars per year on supervision and continuing education credits, all required by my licensing board. To find a company that offers a small, group practice feel with the benefits of a larger company is rare.

4. Flexibility in my schedule

This is important to me as a parent. Flexibility was not something I could find easily in large health systems or at a community health program. While I could have found flexibility in online therapy platforms, I knew that the compensation and client care was not prioritized. 

5. Unlimited growth potential and ways to diversify your career.

Ellie clinics provide opportunities for professional growth and advancement. Therapists have opportunities to take on leadership roles (did I mention the CEO is a clinician?!). On the flipside when I looked at small private practices, there were not opportunities for growth or to diversify my day-to-day through supervision or content creation.

Ellie is the Best of Both Worlds

Overall, I have found that by working for Ellie—a locally-owned mental health clinic with a larger franchise system behind it—I do not need to sacrifice flexibility for poor compensation and I can find the best of both worlds with opportunities for close collaboration and personal growth.

As you are exploring franchise opportunities, I encourage you to ask yourself about the options you’re weighing and the trade-offs that you might be making in your mind. Are you looking for something that is a viable business option or that serves your community in a meaningful way? You might ask the same question that I did: “but why do I have to choose?” With Ellie, we don’t think you have to.   

So, if you’re looking for a business opportunity with heart and purpose, look no further!

About the author

Miranda Barker headshot

Miranda Barker, MSW, LICSW

Director of Content and Production

Miranda specializes in working with people who have been touched by adoption or foster care (birth parents, adoptees, kids in foster care, etc). She enjoys working with people of all ages. Prior to joining Ellie, Miranda spent several years in the non-profit adoption field and then as a child protection investigator and case… Read more