Social Media for Counsellors and Psychotherapists
I have run several social media workshops for different district associations of Counsellors and Psychotherapists. Each time I knew the challenge would be to convince attendees that social media doesn't conflict with the therapy dynamic.
Fortunately there are some Pyschotherapists who are already active on social media and they have obviously wrestled with this challenge and solved it. Not least of these is Dr Keely Kolmes who under @drkkolmes has 86.3k followers on Twitter!
This is what she -and many others - believe that Pyschotherapists and Counsellors can get out of social media:
- Making new professional contacts
- Raising your profile
- Growing relationships
- Watching your competitors
- Getting good helpful content to share
- Sharing latest news
- Keeping up with continual professional development
- Keeping up with the sector overall
In summary she says “I see one’s professional online identity – so long as the interactions are professional and not personal – as a form of community outreach. I have compared it to working in a college counselling centre and then visiting a class (to provide information or make a presentation) that your student may be a student in”
Other comments I have seen include this one:
“I consider it a way for me to see another side of my client, and also, for clients to see a different side of me. Because a therapist isn’t sharing her own difficulties in session, sometimes a client can sort of idealise a therapist as a perfect person. Twitter can make them see that they’re just living their lives.”
Even so, depending on how they practice, some therapists make a policy of never following back their clients and some ensure their private social media accounts are locked down using their privacy settings so that side of their life remains entirely separate.
And the view of those attending the workshop? Some were happy to take the plunge straight away, others agreed that social media was not the no go area they feared and were prepared to work out ways of getting out there without compromising their professional integrity.
What are your thoughts? Is this something you’ve successfully resolved or is it an area that’s been of concern? Hope this blog post has helped!
If you'd like to see a more detailed article about Dr Keely Kolmes’ thought process in terms of social media and some most helpful do’s and don'ts you can find it here
And you might also be interested in one of my previous posts - Pinterest for Coaches, Mentors and Trainers
I hope you've found this helpful.