This article was written by Miranda Palmer with zynnyme.com, thank you Miranda for providing CPH and Associates with this article.
Is there a higher standard for which a therapist should be held to when advertising? How can there be justification for the unethical practices that many continually exhibit when it comes to advertising? As a therapist in private practice, advertising with integrity is a standard all should practice. This, as well as the law and a code of ethics should define not only the individuals but, the practice in which you conduct.
It takes a special skilled person to start a healing practice but it takes a strong business strategy to continue the work. Without a steady stream of income, a private practice will fail to be success for the therapist and it’s clients. Many healers underestimate the costs of doing business. The impact of unexpected expenses, training, illness, vacations, taxes, and slow times in their business can add up to cost that are unforeseen for many unprepared therapist. These unexpected expenses and unfortunate events can lead to any human questioning their ethics.
A successful private practice does not make decisions based out of fear or panic. To remain a successful profession providing only the best in for clients, therapists need to take a lesson from business moguls and marketing executives. Successful therapists need a balance between providing the best services, paying bills, and promoting oneself with integrity.
Tips on how to advertise with integrity:
- Never advertise or sell something one doesn’t believe in.
- Never work with someone they don’t believe they can help.
- Refer out to someone better suited to the client if that person is available and accessible.
- Never advertise psychotherapy as “coaching” to circumvent state laws.
The media misrepresents therapy by stereotyping the typical therapy session, as seen in most T.V. shows or movies. They represent therapy sessions as long hours spent lying on a couch blaming mothers, and illicit relationships between clients and therapists. One of the questions you must ask yourself is how you define therapy? Can you paint a clear picture to your potential clients that will help them better understand what you will be doing for them.
Most clients do not know what therapy or psychotherapy sessions are. The first duty one must do to ensure advertising with integrity is to clearly map out what the patient will be apart of. You can’t help someone unless they fully understand what they will be doing. There is a lot of apprehension with patients who have never been through therapy sessions. It’s your job to put them at ease and by dulling the confusion of what psychotherapy really is.