Providing psychological therapy in private practice is not quite the same as working in the rest of the business world. We need to be aware of advertising ourselves ethically due to the nature of counselling itself. I don’t mean to say that every other business is not being ethical. It’s simply that in the world of psychology we are working with respect for people’s difficult emotions and situations in life. We must be sensitive to this while letting people know that we are here, trading, available and providing a service for which we have trained and gained experience. Our message is “help is at hand”.
To earn trust we must show our integrity with everything we say publicly and privately. Since we deal in confidentiality, for example, we must be super careful about how we speak both in private and publicly. We should always be professionally appropriate and take care to provide a professional and trustworthy service in all that we do. Having said that, we can show our own personality, character and humanity. Us counsellors and psychotherapists do have a sense of humour and we do vary in opinions amoung ourselves as do many other professions. While this is now reading like a lecture in morality, my intention is to raise awareness for the ordinary person who is choosing a counsellor, as well as to contribute to reducing stigma around attending counselling.
In social media, it’s not cool to misjudge people or condemn inappropriately. (Not that I’d want to.) I must take care to be authentically open minded. So blogging is a wonderfully developmental activity as it means I review my attitudes in all that I write.
Perhaps you might think I am not being genuine. Am I too considered? Surely someone like that would be hiding their real opinion of the client and putting on a false front? Well that’s where our training kicks in. If we’re not genuine, our Person-centred therapy will not work well-enough for the benefit of the client. Well the conversation just won’t be therapeutically attuned to the client if the counsellor is not really fully appreciating them.
A Facebook Page provides a good shop front for the prospective client to browse and get a sense of the organisation or trader. Mine works like a scrap book of many things which interest me as a counsellor in Leeds, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom. I often reach out to connect with other businesses, enterprises, charities, counsellors as well as making myself known to potential clients. However, one doesn’t have to be a client to ‘like’ the page. All it takes is simply to be interested in supporting social concerns and helping people.