Due to having a busy few days and the need for some important self care, I did not get the chance to post this week’s ‘Thought Provoking Thursday’ on Thursday. So, yes I’m going to go a little bit wild and post it on a Saturday!! 🙂
What I did do on Thursday was my first ever Facebook live in a Facebook group I am a member of – Get Social with Saz. Sandra (Saz) is a social media guru helping therapists learn about and become more confident in utilising social media to market their private practice. She also runs an online events organisation with her brother John, enabling therapists to get easier access to fantastic online continued professional development opportunities. As you can imagine as a therapist with a disability this is right up my street, allowing me to continue my learning from the comfort of my home.
If you are a therapist you can find out more about what they provide by clicking on the links below:
Get Social with Saz- Social Media For Therapists
I was inspired to do this Facebook live for the following reasons:
The world of health care is continuously evolving, not only in terms of what is being delivered but how it is being delivered, understood and disseminated. Think of how much psychological therapy has changed since the times of Freud and Jung. A much more diverse array of talking therapies exists in the world of mental health. They are also being delivered in so many different innovative ways. You can attend therapy from the comfort of your own home through videoconferencing, instant messaging or email. You can have therapy outside, talk and walk or even run.
The type or types of therapy a particular therapist provides influences the extent to which they remain the blank screen originally emphasised by psychoanalytical theory and practice. What is very much agreed upon regardless of therapeutic background is that therapeutic boundaries are extremely important. Much consideration and reflection is required by therapists when considering what parts of themselves they might from time to time share within the therapeutic relationship.
Outside of this relationship, therapists for the most part used to remain quite anonymous to their client, with most information available being about their professional experience and qualifications. The ongoing evolution of social media and the Internet, and its use by therapists to market their practice, raise awareness, and even at times address political issues, means the therapeutic landscape is in the process of quite a change. Everyone is trying to get a grasp of, including me.
I wanted to open up a conversation with my colleagues around how we can come together to process the ever changing grey areas of the modern world, as people, therapists and in the context of social media.
Sandra was kind enough to give me a platform to do this and lots of interesting discussions were had. I was able to share my own dilemma about being a Clinical Psychologist with a disability/chronic illness, passionate about advocating for people with psychological and physical difficulties, and not wanting to perpetuate the stigma of such difficulties by hiding my own.
I am in the process of reflecting upon how much of my own personal experiences and coping mechanisms to share through my writing and social media presence. Whilst, considering the potential impact (positive and negative) this might have on my therapeutic work.
This led me to today’s Thought Provoking Question. Perhaps one of the important questions that we need to be asking is how all of us as clients and potential clients seeking help for emotional difficulties feel about knowing more about a therapists overall human experience.
My general feeling is that most of us want to see a therapist who we feel is both truly understanding and empathetic towards the grief , pain and suffering that can occur in life, whilst also wanting to feel contained and secure during any emotional exploration we might embark upon.
Inevitably, we will all have different thoughts and feelings about these changing dynamics and I very much look forward to hearing yours.
Would you like to see what comes up on Thought Provoking Thursday each week?
Why not pop along to my Facebook page and give it a quick like to be part of our discussions.
You can check out previous topics by clicking the link below:
One thought on “Thought Provoking Thursday on a Saturday: Learning about your therapist through social media”
Great post, and yes, very thought provoking. I would have loved to see the live chat. Is it still available to watch? I have a small personal blog that I started a few months ago and I explored in supervision the issue of sharing my personal experiences on a platform where there may be potential clients. Although I understand the importance of boundaries I feel that am careful not to share anything that would identify anyone. I blog under my alias as I am careful not to be identified; and I feel that I explore in quite a boundaries, yet ‘I am human too’ way. I also keep posts related to my personal development/learning which others can often relate to; although this maybe somewhat naive of me.
I’m also now wondering if I would be comfortable with potential clients being privy to my personal experiences. On the other hand, it may be the thing that brings clients; particularly if they have experienced something very similar and they feel that you/! would be able to be with them.
I have had the same counsellor for nearly 5 years now and personal stuff comes into the room at times however it’s not the basis of our relationship and the boundaries are very clear.