In our little Psychology Today editing Facebook group, Nick Fuller of iTherapy & Shire Digital pointed out that potential clients may wish to know straight away whether we have capacity and experience with online therapy.
If you do, this is amazing. Go ahead and add a line to your profile letting people know. If you have not done any training, but would like to expand to online therapy, there are so many resources for this! Amber Lyda offers an incredibly thorough group coaching programme called Step By Step and you will find her in Online Therapists Group on Facebook. She does free mini trainings and facebook lives and is a great teacher and support to many of us.
If you have started doing some online work but still feel it is the poor cousin of in-person therapy, some experiential training may benefit you rather than self study. I will be launching my first experiential collaborative group programme so sign up to the waiting list if you are interested. The idea is that participants practice together and give feedback, just like an in-person training course, so that you can feel confident and prepared. We will cover technical, ethical, legal, theoretical and emotional aspects of moving to online therapy.
Back to the PT wording. As much as I love my PT profile wording and how it has brought me so many perfect matches in the last year, it was due for a freshen up.
Psychology Today has a new section called “Covid-19 Statement” accessible from the Edit Profile section, where we can write 140 characters about the way we are adapting our practices in the wake of Covid-19. This can include office details, working hours, whether you work online or via telephone…
As this is brand new, I have not experimented or had much time to consider what is the best approach here. I took a pragmatic, if a little effusive, writing style here as I felt the aim was to help a potential client feel comfortable.
“I offer therapy via secure video conferencing (Zoom) and telephone. They are both excellent, effective mediums that I love working with.”
I played around with a few ideas but when I read them out, this seemed like something I would say.
New PT personal statement (Covid-19)
I also think it may be a good time to update our wordings. To show understanding, empathy, and that we are available, mentioning or referring to recent events may help clients to connect.
These are the suggestions I have collected as I wrote and edited my own:
My New Paragraph 1
“If you are quietly distressed, uncomfortable or even defiant in the face of the new challenges we experience with Covid-19, finding a private space to take your concerns where you can focus on your own needs exclusively can be a relief.
While many people are indoors, working from home or nervous to commune with others, online therapy can provide a haven and connection.
The virus may be a catalyst to seeking therapy or there may be other aspects of your life you would like to take time to develop and address, such as your approach to romantic relationships, conflict at work or how you treat yourself.”
Analysis of my new Paragraph 1
I have avoided words like outbreak, spread, pandemic, illness, anxiety, panic…
They are expressive words, accurate and applicable to many, but it is important to keep in mind the clients who like to work with me.
How do they speak? How are they dealing with things? What do they need to hear?
In my case, the clients I do my best work with (sometimes referred to as an “ideal client”) may be distressed by the sudden changes in their lives. They are committed to their inner growth and seeking refuge and space for themselves whilst they outwardly support others.