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Episode 218 | Incorporating Alternative Services in Your Practice with Shaelene Kite

Shaelene Kite

WITH Shaelene Kite

  • Episode 218 | Incorporating Alternative Services in Your Practice with Shaelene Kite 00:00


Hey Group Practice Listeners! Looking to incorporate alternative services into your group practice? Adding more choices that improve the consumer’s experience and well-being is truly a high advantage thus, it is a smart move.

Joining us today is Shaelene Kite, a DBT-LBC Certified Clinician, Registered Yoga Teacher, Approved Clinical Supervisor, and the owner of DBT of South Jersey. With her extensive experience and expertise, Shaelene will share her perception of adding alternative services to your practice!

Episode Highlights: 

  • What insights can Shaelene share about incorporating a yoga studio into a practice?

  • How can practice owners foster inclusivity in their group practice offerings?

  • In what ways do trauma-informed yoga and bodywork support clients alongside clinical work?

  • What key considerations should group practice owners be aware of when adding alternative services?

  • Where is the reach of Shaelene’s goal for her practice?

To connect with Shaelene Kite:

You can visit her website and podcast at &

Check out her LinkedIn at

Reach her through her email at [email protected] 

Visit and join our Facebook Group at:


This episode is sponsored by TherapyNotes. TherapyNotes is an EHR software that helps behavioral health professionals manage their practice with confidence and efficiency. I use TherapyNotes in my own group practice and love its amazing support team, billing features, and scheduling capabilities. It serves us well as a large group practice owner.

Do you ever wish for a financial therapist who could relieve you from the last few months of bookkeeping, talk you off the edge when you’re running into issues with Quickbooks, or help you work through a profit plan for growth? GreenOak Accounting does just that! GreenOak Accounting is an accounting firm that specializes in working with group practices. Their value goes WAY beyond bookkeeping; they can help you get on track for financial success. Schedule a free consultation by going to


Maureen Werrbach

Hey everyone. Welcome to another episode of the Group Practice Exchange Podcast. Today I have Shalene Kite. For those of you who don’t know her, she is a group practice owner. She’s a registered yoga teacher, she’s a clinical supervisor, and is one of the like, People I think of when I think of D B T therapists in the us.

She also is the owner of Rebel Mente and she has a really great podcast called Tea Talk podcast that I was on that is also very amazing and kind of a space to get really vulnerable. But today we’re gonna be talking about how she’s incorporated. Other services outside of just therapy, specifically adding a yoga studio in her group practice.

So I’m super excited to have you on Shaylene. I know I’m gonna be seeing you literally in like a couple of weeks. I’m so excited. I know. I’m so excited about that. And I have to tell you, I’m so excited to be on the podcast. I was like getting ready this morning and I was like, I remember getting ready for work at my like job.

I didn’t wanna be at planning to have a group practice listening to your podcast. And my group practice is gonna be five years old. Oh my gosh. Is this how long I’ve been doing this podcast? I know. I was thinking of that too, but I was like, I feel like I’ve really made it, which is like silly, but I was like, I’m gonna be on the podcast.

So I’m really excited to be here. It feels like a cool little. And also now makes me think, how have you not been on it before? Like, we’ve seen each other, we’re going literally on a spa weekend in a couple of weeks. Yeah, I know. I’m pumped. But yeah, cuz we have 80,000 ideas and we overfill our schedules and then we’re like, oh yeah, we’ve never done this.

So, yeah, that makes sense to me. So I’m really excited because one something I’ve been talking a lot about When it comes to forecasting the future of mental health, private practices, and all the scary things that are being brought up, and one of the things that I turn to as a likely way to kind of weather the storm of all of the stuff that is gonna be happening and just as a, as a group practice owner is like kind of that whole person support within a group practice, finding ways to not only be supporting them through.

Therapy and, and groups and stuff like that, but like how to support other parts of the being in with clients. Yeah. Because I think that’s one of the ways, there’s a, a bunch of ways that we can kind of weather this stuff, but one of the ways is really that whole person support. And so we’ve had a yoga studio in my group practice.

For years, when I opened my second location, there was just a really large space and we’re like, we’re gonna turn it into like a, cuz we have, um, some dance movement therapists and people who do, uh, we have a couple of trauma-informed yoga therapists, but they’ve been using it really like one-on-one with their clients.

They’ll walk over to that space if they’re with their client. Mm-hmm. Never really focused on it. Really just diversifying our service into the space. Um, and, and using it as the yoga studio do that it is. So I’m really excited to chat about this. Yeah. Because it’s of interest to other people. But also I have questions, which always excite me.

I have interviews with people where I’m like, I am excited to figure, I know. Same. I totally get that. It’s like, one of the reasons I have a podcast is just so I can like talk to other people and ask them questions. So I totally get that. It’s been like a, I’ll say it’s been quite the endeavor. Having it, I mean, it’s always been a part of my.

Bigger vision in clinical services to have a yoga studio and do really whole-person healing. We specialize in T V T. So it’s a very cognitive type of therapy and it works really well. But I think that with a lot of evidence-based practices, it’s really easy to get lost in doing it right and getting stuck in the cognitive piece and forgetting the rest of the person.

And so that part has always been really clear, but getting it off the ground and getting people. Like breathing life into that space. It’s been a journey. So I’m not surprised to hear that it’s been challenging cause it is challenging. Yeah. I’m actually, I was telling you I have to hop off of this to do my masterclass in exchange.

Um, and it’s, funnily enough, it’s called how to like to increase profits and exposure as like an established practice. And one of the things that I, you know, kind of talk on is around diversifying the services outside of just. The couch and then I have all these like asterisks mm-hmm. On every page of like, this is not a quick growth.

Like it’s almost like a whole, right? And so it sounds like that’s what you’re saying too. Yeah. I mean, and especially in our area, and probably in your area as well, there’s like a billion yoga studios like you can find. It’s not a new thing to be a yoga teacher. They’re everywhere. And so, You’re trying to build this up in a market that’s pretty saturated and there’s a lot of different options, and you’re trying to come at it from a niche perspective of bridging yoga and mental health.

But that is so super niche and I think that people forget as people will go to yoga instead of therapy. Sometimes people find, and when I do training for yoga teachers to become more trauma aware, I’ll ask them like, how did you come to yoga? And they’re like, why? I was going through a breakup, or I was going through this really big thing and I didn’t think to go to therapy.

I didn’t wanna go to a therapist. So they went to yoga, and then people will go to therapy. To work through the bodily thing. Like I’m having these symptoms coming up and I know that I’m trying, but then they’re like really terrified to go to yoga. So bridging that gap actually isn’t as easy. Like it makes sense why we would want to, but putting them together isn’t as easy as like, this is such a good idea, I’ll just offer this.

And then people will come in. People don’t realize that it’s not only niche, but it’s like incredibly vulnerable for somebody to put those two things together. And so it’s really not that easy to just say, We’re a mental health place that has a yoga studio inside because people are gonna be like, well, what?

Like what are we gonna do in there? Do you know? Well, you actually bring something up. And I’m not, I never really talk much about myself. Uh, it’s very business related on my podcast, but I’ll say I have a trauma history. And I intellectualize everything. I’m very good at like the brain stuff, and so I’ve been in therapy for my stuff for a really long time.

But one of the things that I’ve always had a difficult time with is the body connection. For if a therapist will say, where do you feel it? I’m like, I feel it. In my brain, I’m thinking about it. I have nobody. I don’t feel it in my stomach. I don’t feel. Yeah. And so it’s always something that we work on, and one of the reasons why, I don’t wanna say I hate yoga, I just don’t like the idea of yoga.

One of my best friends has a yoga studio and she’s always trying to get me in, and I’m just like, it’s boring. And for me, I think it’s like the surface-level response to like, mm-hmm. I, I’m sitting there doing it, my brain is like, Wanting to not shut off. And I’m also like, this is weird, you know? And so I would be like a perfect client for trying to figure out how you bridge, like working through trauma from the therapy perspective.

And I know, especially for me, like if I could connect to the body better, I’m sure my own work would go so much further and it’s like impossible. So, I totally get what you’re saying. Yeah. So many different things. So I used to run at the community agency I used to work at,. I was working in a women’s trauma program and it was kind of like what I’m telling group practice owners not to do.

And it was fine cause I wasn’t a group practice owner, but like at this agency, that’s what I was doing. I was like, I’m gonna get trained to be a yoga teacher and then I’m gonna. Run yoga for the people who have gone through trauma and that’s gonna be so great. And so I got trained. So number one is like there’s a bunch of different styles of yoga.

Yeah. Just like there are a bunch of different styles of therapy. So clients are gonna go look for therapy and they don’t necessarily know what they need because why would they know what they need? People are gonna go to yoga and they don’t know what door they’re entering. And so I got trained in power Vinyasa yoga, and then I tried to teach it to people who were.

Highly traumatized, depressed, suicidal, and all kinds of things were happening. Like I would be running the class and I would be looking forward, like my back towards everyone, cuz that’s how they taught me to teach. And it was just like the rapid, quick style. And I would look behind me and everyone’s like falling out, like not literally falling out, but like they’re not keeping up, which is not very empowering.

Not want them to return back. So they’re just like, all of these things that were happening, you know like I was. Always taught to do like hands-on assists and being a therapist in a trauma program, I wasn’t just gonna go in and do that, but like, there were still times where I would like, you know, maybe like put my hand on there, on their back or something like that.

There were just all of these like lessons where these, first of all, these two things don’t just go together easily. Yep. But then later, you know, fast forward, I learn all of the stuff. I go through a lot of deep training to put these two things together and I had a client who. Was back at the trauma center and then later came to see someone at D B T of South Jersey and she said, Shelene, are you gonna be offering stuff?

Like, I heard you’re gonna put a yoga studio in and I said, yeah, it’s coming. And she was like, you know, I just, I know I really need something because in my mind I can tell myself like, it’s okay, but my body is not getting that. Yeah. So when you think about somebody going to yoga, it’s like you’re doing poses to, let’s say like, Open your body warrior poses, you know, standing up, opening your arms like this is very vulnerable and exposing.

And so for someone who’s gone through trauma and is used to walking around small with their arms crossed around them, even just opening their arms up is like a vulnerable thing. And so there are just so many ways that that stuff gets missed that people don’t really think about. Yeah, I mean, some of this was.

As a therapist, you would think like, I can imagine some of these difficulties in trying to merge yoga, which is such a vulnerable thing in with therapy or in a therapy space where you’re having clients that have these issues, but you don’t realize like how many extra steps you have to take. And I know you mentioned the one thing so many, which I know is like a lot of.

Instructors will, and this is a person who knows nothing about yoga talking right now, but like will wanna adjust you or like move you a little bit. Yeah. One of the things I learned from when I went to my friend Kelly’s yoga studio because I was like, I am an anti toucher, like I don’t like people hugging me.

Mm-hmm. Probably. Mm-hmm. A response. And she has these cards that you can flip one way or the other that say like, yes. Just or no, like, I don’t know what it says, but essentially like, don’t touch me Basical. Basically, my consent is based. Yeah. So this is like a newer thing, thankfully, that I would say has been, Especially since Covid like signaling me, signal me and let me know.

But unfortunately, there’s a lot of like, I think like as therapists, we look at things through this lens and we can get really zeroed in and think like, why don’t other people know this? But like even within yoga, which. Yoga as a separate entity from therapy is meant to enhance your life, provide wellness, and help you heal.

But there are a lot of harmful principles in the way that yoga is taught that, you know, I could talk for a long time about all of that, but like mis therapy. Yeah, exactly. You just have to have the, you have to have the lens. And I think it’s interesting as a group practice owner, because even that, like you could come into your running your business the same way where it’s like, Well, what is Maureen doing?

Like what’s the percentage you pay your clinicians? Okay, that’s what I’m gonna pay my clinicians without having the entire picture. Well, that makes financial, like there’s a whole, there are all of these steps that went into her plan and as opposed to, why am I doing therapy in this way? Why am I running this yoga class in this way?

Why am I running my business this way? Whatever it is. Like you have to zoom out and take all of those pieces into account first because you could cause harm if not to somebody else, to yourself, to your business, you know? Yeah, so you, and when we started this, you were talking about how it has definitely been an endeavor.

So for those that are, you know, maybe in a space where they have a physical space that they could turn into a, a studio, or they’re wanting to incorporate it for whatever reason, we’re gonna make the assumption that the listeners who are interested and thinking about this, they’ve already figured out whether it aligns with their values, their mission, all that stuff.

Right? So we’re gonna bypass all that, ’cause that’s all important. What are some of the things, the lessons that you’ve learned, or? Pieces of information that you felt like if someone else had done this already, like if I could have talked to them Yeah. And figured this out, it would’ve helped. Like what are some of these things?

Yeah. Well, you mentioned treating it like a whole other business. I think as an entrepreneur it’s easy to come up with a business idea and then just think that it’s gonna happen really quickly. Like even my podcast, like it wasn’t until like six months in, I was like, this is like a whole other. This is like a part-time job, Shailene.

It’s taking a lot of time. So I think you have to treat it like that as cuz you’re starting from scratch so you’re not, you might have some clients who are gonna be interested, but you probably don’t. Like, I have a whole following for that part of your business. So you really have to treat it like you’re building up a whole new leg for the table that’s holding up whatever you’re.

Model is, I would say, for us. So the next thing I would say then is like, be willing to pivot and stick with it because you’re gonna try things and they’re not gonna work. And then it would be really easy to get discouraged and be like, okay, well we’re just gonna, I’m gonna convert that space into offices cuz I could fit at least like two to three offices in the space that my studio’s in.

But. I’m committed to it. It’s something that’s really important to me, so I’m not changing it. Our space, we do use it for groups, but I’ve been very adamant that like this is a yoga space first, I think in a lot of agencies previously it was, you know, they’re not building yoga studios at partial programs.

They’re giving you a big conference room. They’re pushing the chairs out of the way. You’re pulling a mat out of a cabinet. So like, my space looks like a yoga studio primary, and we have groups in it if we need to have groups in it. And that’s probably how we’ll keep it because I want the space to feel like one where people are there with that intention.

Um, so I think like it’s really important to pick it, know it’s gonna take a while, stick with it, be ready to pivot. And then I would say like right now what we’re learning when we got the space, um, built out it. Was like right before I went on maternity leave, so I was kind of like doing things and then went on maternity leave and I was like, all right, I’ll just like left this coast, and then I’ll come back and then I’ll really put effort into it.

Well, I came back in January of 2020 and then everything went down. So it really like screwed up everything that I thought. And again, I had this space built in 2019, so that really sucked. But coming back into it now in a post covid world, We’re just starting really slow and trying to be really intentional.

So we’re right now like our target for the year is just to have one offer in that space per month that is not a clinical service. So that could be a yoga class, it could be a yoga workshop, it could be something that’s based on reiki. We’re having someone teach. Clients how to use tarot cards to find their intuition.

Like we’re just trying to lean into the WOOWOO stuff. Yeah. To, to find other ways to help people heal that they wouldn’t normally find. Yeah. I love, um, what you said here, which is you made your goal be to offer one thing per month. For now. And I think a lot of people, especially entrepreneurs who are established group practice owners, they’ve already figured out that they like the entrepreneurial space.

Mm-hmm. They have success in growing group practice and it can be really easy to like wanna like to dive in and like just go really far and expect to make profits right away. And then get discouraged, like you said. And so I love that being able to really get, go slow with it. In some ways, I have found similar cuz we have corporate wellness programs in my group practice, and we have a few other alternative services that my practice offers that aren’t therapy based.

And I remember I was really because I like to come up with ideas and then I could just move forward pretty quickly. But what I realized was, When I started each of these things, I gave myself one year of no profit. And I said I don’t expect it because I have to, like, for the corporate wellness program, I have to build out the technology.

I have to come up with the, yeah, like how are we, like what is the goal of this? Like what are the solutions that we’re gonna offer? And so like all that takes time and effort to grow. And so I was like year one, my expectation is nothing. Income wise and it’s gonna cost me. Um, and we also said that we were gonna do, once it got built, we were gonna do three of them for free to like bigger places that then we can use for.

One of ours was Lurry Children’s Hospital. It was our first one, and it’s a great name. They were like, we would love to do this. And they’ve since expanded. Pay us now to do it in their other pro, in their other parts of the hospital. But we started with their er. Mm-hmm. And what was nice was it was free and they said, yep, uh, we’ll pilot this and see like we are the first.

And we’re able to use their logo on our website as one of the places that have used it. And obviously, that has a trickle-down effect. Later. We had this expectation of no profit in year one and then break even in year two. And now since then, We have profit goals. Nobody, I don’t think to expect, they’re gonna make nothing immediately, but I think that’s what the grace of like, Not being disappointed, um, because I had set that tone to begin with.

And similar to you, it sounds like just saying one a month, that’s what we’re starting with. Doesn’t mean it’s gonna be like that forever, I think is great. Yeah. And not changing your mind too quickly either, because, in the beginning, I started really strong, like we had more teachers and we had like six offers a week.

We went through two different platforms. You know, I think a lot of people are familiar with Mind-body. We ended up on Mind, body, mind body’s very expensive. So it was like, We were trying a bunch of different things, but we never gave enough time to see what really works. And yoga, having yoga once a month is not profitable.

I mean, like yoga teachers. Separately outside of therapy, you don’t get paid a lot of money to do it, so it is gonna take a while. But I think the bigger picture for us again, is like really having a place where people can experience whole-person healing. We know D B T is really great and does really great work and we know that our trauma services are helping people move, but there are still gonna be places where people get stuck and feel like.

Something’s just missing. And so, you know, a couple of weeks ago we had someone come in and do a reiki class called Hips and Healing. And it was like basically like a big emotional release. And I had friends who attended and they told me after like, I don’t know what it was about that, but that was, there was something in that that was just so special for me and I really hope you offer it again.

And like that’s what I’m looking for. Yeah. So the other thing I would say too is like to look to people in her community who are, maybe they’re not doing exactly this work. So the person who did that, she’s known in our area for this specific workshop, she’s a yoga teacher, she’s a reiki master. She’s not a therapist, but I can see the potential for the crossover there.

Yep. So I reach out to those people and I’d say, I’d really love to have you here because they already have somewhat of a following. They’re really confident in their offer. Whereas when therapists are coming up with this. For the first time, they’re a little bit more hesitant and they’re not as confident in their marketing strategy.

We’re here. She’s like, yep, this is what I do. This is what you need. And so it’s really easy to take that and just put it out there and then have those events fill up. And so hopefully that will we’ll gain traction in year one. To have it be a much more fluid and profitable operation in the subsequent years.

I think it’s like working smarter, not harder by mm-hmm. Uh, partnering with people that are doing the work already in some capacity might have a following, and there’s like this cross benefit of them if they’re doing this yoga in your space, they’re getting the exposure of like, The people in your A different crowd.

Yeah. Yes. Um, who, who she might not otherwise get tapped into and vice versa. And it’s one of the things we do a lot of is partnerships. A little bit different from what you’re doing, but similar in the vibe of it, which is we do these partnerships because it’s, uh, a very simple way of increasing our exposure to people who might not.

Otherwise see us and then vice versa, the people we partner with, they are also then getting that exposure in like kind of that mental health space. So yeah, it’s a win. So what is your goal? You said right now it’s to do one a month to give like an idea, and I don’t know if you’ve already gotten there yet, but your goal, for now, is to do one a month.

It’s nice. It’s like. Something that if you’re focused on it, is, should not be terribly difficult. Right. So you can feel the success of it. What is your plan for the next three years-ish? You’re obviously likely gonna move from one a month to something else. Yeah, it’s a good question. I mean, like right now we’ve had a really good success rate.

Um, so we’re only in like, uh, we set that year’s goal Yep. At the beginning of the, the end of the first quarter of the year or something like that. But, Everything we’ve offered so far as Mac has sold out, so that’s really great. Um, and we have things in the queue for, you know, I think up through like August.

I have a meeting actually after this today with the yoga teacher on my staff who’s gonna be kind of like heading this off to come up with more concrete goals for her to take it over. So I’m not the one who’s yes, trying to fail because then it’s just like solely a bandwidth issue like it will suffer because I don’t have the time to do it.

And. If I could do it, yeah, maybe it would be great, but it’s not relevant because I don’t so So you’re a business owner in the next three? Yeah. I mean, I think like within the next three years, it’s like, I don’t know, I have to sit down and look at like, what do I want this to be in terms of like a revenue source or how many people served, things like that.

But the bigger thing for me is like, We’re hitting more like we’re touching more people. So we’re providing this other service to more people. We’re getting more people in those rooms. Um, and it’s something that is like a well-oiled machine. So, you know, we offer a lot of groups just naturally being a DB two practice.

I want. Yoga to stem, like is strongly in comparison to the clinical groups that we offer without having to work so hard. So, but year three, my efforts will have paid off. Yeah, I think three years is a good amount of time. Uh, I, I bet you people who are listening are assuming holy shit, that’s a really long time.

But I think three years is, yeah, me as someone who has an established business. And the same with you, setting a three-year goal to get. To a well-oiled machine is much more realistic than what I think people are thinking, which is like by the end of the year, I’ll have it all figured out. It is, and it’s important for people to hear.

This three-year mark is like from the year that I said, we’re gonna be intentional about this and spend time in it, the space has been there longer than that. Yeah. And the idea has been there longer than that, but just the idea itself, like it’s easy to set the goal. I’m gonna have a yoga studio and I’m gonna.

Have these services and I’m gonna do this, that, and the other. But the action behind it is what takes work. So, Three years past the time where I’m actually doing things Yes, intentionally in an organized and strategic way. I love that. Um, I know we’re at the end here, so I know you support group practice owners and you’ve got a lot of things that you do.

So if you can tell people how they can reach you for those things if they’re interested, that would be great. Yeah, check me out on the Tea Talk podcast. They are stories about healing in any way, shape, or form, therapists and, um, non-therapists alike. And you can catch me on Instagram at rebels. I do speaking training, um, a lot of D B T training, and yes, group practice owner consulting.

I have a program with Katie May and we run a program to help group practice owners have a system to run their practice as a business called Stabilize and Scale. And you can find all of that. On Mente and signing up for my emails through there. Awesome. Well, I appreciate you coming out and, uh, finally we can check this off of our list of things that we’ve done.

Yes. Done together. Thanks so much for having me. It was great. Thanks for listening to the Group Practice Exchange podcast. Like what you heard. Give us five stars on whatever platform you’re listening from. Need extra support. Join the Exchange, a membership community just for group practice owners with monthly office hours, live webinars, and a library of training ready for you to dive into.

Visit See you next week.

Thanks For Listening

Thanks for listening to the group practice exchange podcast. Like what you heard? Give us five stars on whatever platform you’re listening from. Need extra suppor? Join The Exchange, a membership community just for group practice owners with monthly office hours, live webinars, and a library of trainings ready for you to dive into visit www dot members dot the group practice exchange dot com forward slash exchange. See you next week.


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Meet your host


Maureen Werrbach is a psychotherapist, group practice owner and group practice coach. Learn more about her coaching services here:


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