It is often a challenging task to bind together psychotherapy and marketing. The two, at first glance, are not only perceived as two different planets; they feel like two different galaxies.
Furthermore, for those who practice psychoanalytic or psychodynamic psychotherapy—marketing and therapy can even seem like two different universes.
The combination of the fields of marketing and psychotherapy can point to strengths and growing edges in each
In some ways, they are two different universes. For example, psychoanalytic theory suggests that psychotherapists not relay in any concrete way information about who they are and what they offer. This allows the patient or client to project any needed internal dynamics unto their therapist, and work through the feelings and associations that come up during such projections. This example illustrates the challenges that may arise in having social media presence that communicates clearly and concretely the therapist’s values, approach and any insights into what the therapist is passionate about in his or her work.
At the same time, the combination of marketing and psychotherapy can beautifully highlight each field’s strengths and spaces of lack, as well as our own assets and growing edges. For example, if the thought of writing a blog post that exhibits the therapist’s experiences or views on motherhood, holiday season, or pets can feel exposing or vulnerable. And it is. It is also an opportunity to allow oneself become increasingly vulnerable and “out-there,” as a vehicle for personal expansion. It can also introduce much-needed authenticity and thoughtful content into online marketing platforms. These are just some examples of the manners in which joining therapy and marketing practices could elucidate each field’s and each therapist’s highest potential as well as shortcomings.
How can integrating marketing into psychotherapy create new opportunities?
It seems that the very aspects that at first glance make the incorporation of marketing into psychotherapy challenging are the very things that provide an opportunity for growth and expansion.
First, it urges us to thoroughly reflect on our identity as therapists and to focus on the elements of psychotherapy of which we are passionate as well as of the population we can best serve. In other words, although we likely do reflect on these matters regularly—incorporating marketing into our practice compels us to become clear and concrete about our therapeutic approach and our areas of focus.
Secondly, it drives many of us to reach out of our comfort zones, and thereby provide a model for our patients, of whom we essentially ask the same thing. That is to say, for many therapists, the idea of self-marketing or professional involvement in social media seems counter-intuitive and certainly taps into matters of exposure, “sales” or “selling oneself” and so many others. And so, when we do decide to dip our toes in that field, we practice courage, curiosity and trust in the process. Again, all things that we also ask our clients to consider.
Thirdly, it demands that we see our work as a business. That is to say, most of us know it to be true; however, we often become so engrossed in our clients’ pain and in our efforts to facilitate a safe space for them, that we easily forget that we also use this work to pay our bills and to supply us with livelihood for our own goals and life styles.
This workshop is intended to address all of these aspects of marketing; open the floor for any concerns or thoughts about boundaries and frame; and to instruct the participants on concrete ways to market their practice and to focus their services on a specific population or location.
Join us Saturday, September 15th and Sunday, the 16th (from 9am to 1pm) to learn about the essential ways in which our expanding social and online universes require our own expansion of capacities and tools around online and social media presence, identity and communication with current and potential clients.
For more information or to sign up, click here.