I’m so excited I can use that word, “normalizing”!!! One of the biggest reasons I’m passionate about websites and all my experiences on message boards, reading websites and blogs, and Facebook, is because these places are often ways to NORMALIZE what you’re feeling.
Whenever I play “marriage saver” on a message board, I’m sometimes shocked to find my reply to a post is a saving reply. It makes their fears, fights, pressures dissipate a bit, because I have normalized it. As you all know, the moment you go from feeling like you’re in the invisible cage of hell to being part of a broader world, a huge weight immediately lifts off your shoulders.
So one of the tasks I think all therapists and educators should feel when writing website content is thinking about how your writing, by itself, without someone having to call you or read your book for “the magical answer”, can normalize a problem, fear, or issue.
Sometimes all someone is looking for when seeking a therapist is someone who seems to GET THEIR PROBLEM! If you are able to articulate that all married couples deal with money, for example, then that potential client is immediately going to feel less stupid calling you with marriage and money issues.
But the trick here is not what I often see – a bullet point list of all the issues a therapist deals with. The trick is how to articulate those problems within the context of REAL PROBLEMS. So instead of saying depression, could you talk about how hard it is for one spouse to even get out of bed, and how guilty that person feels when they don’t want to enjoy a nice spring day, or go on vacation, or doesn’t want to be around their children? And can you talk about how the spouse without depression can feel trapped by the depression and often questions the sincerity of their spouse? Or talk about the guilt a spouse might feel that it’s sometimes happier when depressed spouse DOES STAY IN BED because they’re one less “kid to babysit.”
That’s just an example of normalizing, content-building (which is so important to your website), and hey, maybe even “selling” yourself without having to use fancy sales techniques, “free newsletter” offers, or whatever else you may not really want to do as a more introverted, or less “sales oriented” therapist or educator.