By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA
“The road to licensure just got a whole lot easier,” Motivo says on its webpage.
For Rachel McCrickard, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Chattanooga start-up, it is a path that she knows very well. The Marriage and Family Therapist had to have 200 face-to-face sessions with a licensed professional before she could sit for her own licensure test.
“Once you graduate, you have to be under clinical supervision for two to five years,” the Chattanooga native says. “It (having the 200 sessions) is a big burden on mental health professionals.”
During a recent interview, McCrickard explained to us just how challenging it is to meet that threshold.
“Almost all mental health professional pursuing licensure is driving somewhere after work hours to meet with a licensed professional to discuss their challenges and get advice,” she said. It’s unpaid time plus an unreimbursed expense.
“There had to be a better way,” McCrickard thought, and she found a model in the work of WeCounsel, another Chattanooga start-up that uses teleconferencing, much like taking an online course from a college.
“Our main draw is convenience,” she says. “Doing these hours online is a no brainer.”
So, how does it work?
Motivo recruits licensed professionals who provide the clinical supervision through a live, HIPAA-compliant (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) video platform. It’s a self-pay revenue model. Clients search the start-up’s directory to find a supervisor that best fits their needs. Once selected, the client and prospective supervisor are introduced through a free 15-minute video meeting. If everyone is pleased, the client gains access to the Motivo platform for follow-up sessions.
“We currently have 60 clinical supervisors licensed in 19 different states,” McCrickard says. That’s important because every state has slightly different rules for licensure. In Tennessee, those seeking licensure have to meet the 200 hours of clinical supervision and also have 3,000 hours of client experience.
Motivo can serve those seeking licensure as social workers, professional counselors, marriage and family therapists, and certified addiction counselors.
“The number of people going into these fields is growing by 20 percent annually,” McCrickard says. “There are between 300,000 and 500,000 in the pipeline for licensure.”
The licensed Marriage and Family Therapist turned Entrepreneur participated in CO.LAB’s “CO.STARTERS” and Accelerator programs in 2017, then its most recent cohort.
McCrickard says Motivo has raised $75,000 in investment capital thus far.
“We’re a first mover in this space,” she says proudly. “There is no other platform. We want to be known as the premier provider of clinical supervision.”