Our Next Steps: Two Practices Becoming One

We’re beginning 2024 with some big news! This year will mark the complete brand merger of our two partner practices, Chicago Mindful Psychotherapy and Andersonville Psychology, finally combining the two businesses under one group practice – with a brand-new name.

 

Chicago Mindful Psychotherapy (CMP) was founded in 2008 by Georgia Jones with a focus on providing psychotherapy based on and guided by mindfulness. In 2017, I founded Andersonville Psychology with the goal of increasing access to evidence-based, trauma-informed, and LGBTQ+ affirmative mental healthcare. Andersonville Psychology acquired Chicago Mindful Psychotherapy in January 2020, and at the time, our small business consisted of three full-time staff clinicians, two students, and a part-time administrative assistant. In early-2020, CMP had seven therapists, one student, and a part-time office manager. Four years later, our combined group practice currently has 18 staff clinicians, two students, and a full-time Director of Operations.

 

Behind the scenes, we merged some of our logistical and clinical operations after the initial acquisition. Clinicians and students from both practices began meeting weekly and engaging in training and consultation. We shared office spaces, and the same person handled our billing. Our intake department connected clients to services at both practices, including offering internal referrals for group therapy and psychological testing services. All the while, we maintained two practice names as we tried to answer some questions for ourselves.

 

One question was whether we would continue focusing on different populations, and different therapeutic concerns. As it turns out, the focus of our work has blended quite a bit. Many of the clinicians we hired and the students we trained had interests and experience with mindfulness, trauma, and LGBTQ+ communities, which made them an excellent fit for either practice. 

 

Another question was how the pandemic would shape our professions and what would make the most sense once things were a little more predictable. Added to that was how much bandwidth we had to complete a merger. As we’ve approached a new normal, it has become increasingly clear that a shared identity will be beneficial and that our team now has the tools we need to make that change.

 

We began quietly working on a new shared identity for our practice late last year. On January 1st, more of our behind-the-scenes processes for the business officially changed with the merger. That work is still in progress, but we can now announce that we will become Andersonville Mindfulness & Psychology in the next few months. We’ll have a new logo and updated website to go with it, too.

 

There are many intended benefits of these changes. Among them is reducing our operating costs because there are still some redundant products and services that we pay for. This change will allow us to continue enhancing our employees’ pay and benefits while expanding our ability to offer reduced-fee services to clients. In 2023, about 22% of the approximately 12,000 therapy sessions we provided were done so at a reduced rate. We aim to increase the number of clients we serve each year. And with these changes we will also increase the proportion of underserved clients who need help accessing mental health services. 

 

For most of our clients, your experience may remain the same. If you come to our office, you will soon see the new name and logo reflected in our signage and brand marketing. You may also notice our new business name on your insurance documents, listed with your appointment reminders, or on your credit card transactions. However, the same team will work behind the scenes, and your clinician will stay the same. Our entire team will get new email addresses, but our old ones will still work, too.  A very small number of clients whom the merger will more strongly impact had already been informed of the changes coming in 2024, and we’ve been working with them directly to make things as smooth as possible. 

 

We have always been, and will always be, a work in progress. We appreciate everyone who is a part of our community. That goes for our staff and students, our clients, and all of our newsletter recipients. Thank you for the support you have offered our practice so far, and thank you for joining us for the next chapter!