I saw the adoption therapist on Twitter last night so I gave her a shout out and link to my blogentry that I did (without her knowing about, earlier yesterday.) She replies that in fact it’s the opposite of what you would expect. By branding herself, she is more attractive to more types of clients. I’m awaiting her reply (I’ll edit this post when I learn more.)
One thing swirling around lately with my father’s projects, including the Marriage Friendly Therapist website, is this idea that therapy, as compared to coaching, or many other forms of help, is a “cool” profession. Therapists are trained to remove all emotion and be neutral to the point ofbeing almost inhuman. “Hey, unhappy in your marriage? Then leave, who cares?” But as soon as you get “uncool”, you rattle fellow therapists but you become warm and engaging to prospective clients!
I had my first experience being in a room with all therapists and being the only one crying. A therapist was discussing losing his wife of many decades and it was so SAD! I’m an empathy crier, so whether someone else is crying or not, the waterworks start. It was almost funny how everyone else, while very sad and full of empathy, had been “untrained” to be too emotional. I know your actions as a therapist can derail a client, or create all sorts of emotional problems (client starts wanting to comfort therapist, etc). But it’s this idea that a therapist needs to be cool, calm, collected, have no real joie de vive for risk of being unprofessional.
I believe branding is calling back emotion, while being witness to your own passion and interests as a human being and professional.
Marketing is all about emotion. Therapy is all about a therapist containing their own emotion. No wonder there are problems.