Carmen McGuinness Treats Young Adults With Learning Developmental Disabilities
Dr. Carmen McGuinness is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She works with children with disabilities and their parents, as well as with individuals and couples with relationship challenges. In addition to her work with families, Dr. McGuinness also taught master’s of psychology students for several years. Dr. McGuinness is the author of two psychological romance novels. Unintended Consequences will be available on Amazon and Retrograde is set to release in early October.
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
I’ve owned and operated clinics and schools since I was 28 years old. My segue to working with adults with relationship challenges arose out of my work with families.
Tell us about your business.
My primary focus today is treating young adults with learning developmental disabilities who are headed to university, entering the dating scene, and beginning their careers.
I have a master’s degree in health psychology/behavioral medicine, a doctorate in special education and I am a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. I’m trained in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, which along with an attachment focus, is my primary approach to treatment.
Where is your business based?
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
Many years of education and the willingness to respond to the needs of my client base.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
Most of my clients find me through Psychology Today, an online search engine for those seeking a therapist.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
My biggest challenge is finding enough hours in the day to accomplish everything that I want to do. In addition to seeing clients, I enjoy writing for various internet and print media, and I write psychological romances.
How did you overcome these challenges?
I work well into the night to accomplish all that I want to. Right now, it is 9:40pm as I address these important questions. I also found that I had to prioritize my workload. In December of 2016, I taught my last university course. I miss teaching adults, but I realized when I started writing romance that there are only so many hours in a day, and I needed all the time I could get to write my books.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
I’ve always been motivated. Motivation runs in my veins. I always have new ideas and find that once I start one of them, it’s easy to stay the course. Getting started is the first step in motivation. Once you have started, you have what behavior analysts call ‘behavioral momentum’. The rest is easier.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors
I don’t! I don’t really think in terms of competition. I grew up in the furniture business, and as my father used to say, “There’s a bum for every chair.”
What is the best advice you have received recently?
When I was making the transition from academic writing to fiction, a friend who is also a writer told me to, “Get stared, and keep writing.”
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Take a piece of what you want to do, and just start doing it. Have faith and imagination. The rest will fall into place.
Don’t forget to relax! Find something that takes you away from the hubbub. For me it’s music and art. Whether painting or viewing an art show, drumming on my bongo on my terrace or attending a concert. I love the arts! Find something you love, and do it lovingly when you’re not working.
What are your favorite business tools/resources and why?
I love the internet! But that’s an obvious one. I have been using texting more creatively in my practice. And taking photos of many places and scenes that provide material for my books. If I can’t imagine a character, I just pull up a picture of someone I don’t even know but snapped in the grocery store… and describe him.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
Inner Bonding, by Margeret Paul, PhD.
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
I am always looking for post-doctorate training classes. For the last year, I’ve been expanding my knowledge of attachment theory and how our early relationship with our parents impacts our current relationship with our partners. In September, I will travel to Rome for one such training. And this particular conference is a scene in my book Retrograde, a psychological romance releasing in early October.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
- Finish Retrograde by writing 1,600 words per day for the next ten days, re-writes the following week, then off to the editor. Woosh!
- Market both Unintended Consequences and Retrograde through networking and writing for the media.
- Help as many clients as time allows to negotiate challenging relationships.
- Wait for my next story to find me.
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.