Loving ourselves through the process of owning our story is the bravest thing we'll ever do.
- Brene Brown
It is an incredible act of courage for most of our clients to attend their first therapy session. Being vulnerable with a complete stranger is such an incredible risk for any of us.
How do you help clients engage in that courageous act? Most therapists will tell you we "create a safe container"- but what does that actually mean?
In my practice the safe container starts with clear expectations and boundaries. Often we wait until an initial session to cover these with a new client. But what if we started sooner by offering this kind of clarity on our sites?
Creating a safe container online
Your online presence, website, and social media are some of the best free tools you can use to create your client's experience and manage expectations before you ever meet. You can and should use your site as a resource to inform clients about the counseling process, procedures, and confidentiality.
Invite new clients
Most clients consider therapy for a long time before ever contacting a counselor. Your website is available for these clients 24 hours a day to answer questions about the therapeutic process and let them know what to expect.
How clear are your online expectations?
What do your new clients need to know before starting psychotherapy?
Start by making a list of all the questions new clients ask in first sessions and what prospective clients ask before starting their work with you.
Their questions are a great indicator you could make this information clearer and/or more available in your private practice website copy.
Use your list of client questions to re-work your services and about pages. You can also create a FAQ (frequently asked questions) page for your counseling website based on these.
They are also a great resource for blog post inspiration. Use these client questions to write blogs about your work and share resources your clients may find useful.
I look forward to hearing how these simple reflection tools help your practice grow. Please post your success stories on the private Authentic Marketing for Therapists Facebook group.
And of course, don't hesitate to contact me for coaching if you want help implementing this kind of authenticity online.
Remember, a tiny website tweak can make a huge difference in your therapy client's experience on your site.
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Gina Senarighi is a business coach for therapists, social media strategist, and author. With careful planning and strategic marketing, in under one year she lead three thriving therapy practices.
Gina has quickly become a trusted voice on authenticity in marketing as an author, teacher, and guest expert on local and national media.
Due to her successes in therapy business she's been coaching other therapists to grow their counseling practices with ease and integrity.