All About Uncommon Practices

We want to let you know why we started this business and what it stands for. This page is about why Uncommon Practices exists and how we can help you reach your private practice goals. Uncommon Practices was founded in 2005 by Joe Bavonese, PhD and Mel Restum, PhD. Sadly, Dr. Restum died in 2020.

We are committed
to doing everything we can
to help you succeed
in creating your Ideal Practice.

If you’re like us – and most clinicians – you learned little or nothing about business or marketing in graduate school. In contrast to the confidence you probably feel about your clinical skills, you may feel inadequate or uncomfortable in knowing what to do or how to proceed in promoting, marketing and growing your practice. Or you may know what to do, but just really dislike doing it.

We’ve also found that today there are a number of factors making it harder for psychotherapists in private practice to succeed than ever before. We are all dealing with things such as:

  • Managed care
  • The rise of free non professional help
  • The rise of the coaching industry
  • The increased use of antidepressants to address mental health issues
  • The rise in alternative therapies such as bodywork, yoga, Pilates, herbs, vitamins etc. to deal with emotional concerns
  • The ubiquity of the Internet, offering tons of information and advice only a click away

We took an uncommon approach to dealing with these challenges, studying with very successful, nationally-renowned small business marketing consultants, who were NOT psychotherapists (see Our Story for more details).

The results were remarkable: within four years, we had filled up our practices and had extra referrals we couldn’t handle – enough to allow us to expand to group practices which have generated passive income for us ever since. We’ve created practices that are within the top 1% of all mental health practices, and seen our incomes rise every single year, despite changing economic conditions.

And our practices have even expanded during the recent severe recession – living in Michigan no less, with the highest unemployment rate in the country for most of the past decade.

And the reassuring thing to know is that these business ideas and practices are not rocket science – they’re not conceptually difficult – it’s just that we in the mental health field have just never had training in them. Once you learn them, it’s like the difference between riding up a hill on a bicycle with or without gears – with the gears, you get where you want to go more quickly, and with much less effort. We learned (the hard, expensive way) that working harder only makes you more tired, whereas working smarter makes you more successful.

One bonus from our success is that we’ve also found that the work itself becomes much more rewarding when you don’t have to worry where the referrals are coming from. The original reasons you went into this field – to do stimulating, creative, rewarding work which helps people – comes back to the forefront of your work.

Which leads us to another point: we’re not some armchair therapists who have left the field or are encouraging you to go into coaching. We love doing psychotherapy and believe it is still a vital, necessary service in our world. We still practice psychotherapy and run psychotherapy businesses full time. We know exactly what you’re dealing with – we deal with the same issues every day.

So our Mission is to take the best of what have learned the slow, expensive, hard way – and teach it to private practitioners who have a sincere desire to succeed in private practice. We have great respect for the traditions of psychotherapy and counseling. We believe that they are extremely important, valuable and at times life-changing services that are much needed in our communities.

Our goal with this business is to provide psychotherapists and counselors with the best resources, information, tools, support, guidance and accountability to help you:

  • provide the best service to the greatest numbers of people you desire to serve;
  • create you own Ideal Practice, in whatever terms that may be, including financial, lifestyle, and other factors;
  • master a marketing and business mindset that you can utilize for the rest of your career; and
  • create a balanced, healthy, fulfilling life for yourself.

Furthermore, we are committed to:

  • Using the latest technology available to make access to our information convenient, understandable and stimulating;
  • Making the process of learning, change and growth into a marketing mindset an enjoyable and intellectually stimulating experience; and
  • Sharing all of the latest ideas, trends and practices in marketing and business as they become available.


We are committed
to doing everything we can
to help you succeed
in creating your Ideal Practice.

For more information or to get specific answers to your practice building questions, email us at: