I’ve been sick, exhausted, travel weary lately. I know I’m at the bottom of the barrel when things that normally excite me feel stressful, overwhelming, and impossible. One of those tasks? Blogging! I’m a blog addict. I love to write. And yet fatigue kicked me down…down, down enough for me to truly empathize with all the therapists (my husband included) who have so many questions, issues, uncertainty about WHY to write (separate issues include WHAT to write or WHERE to write.) Even this blog has taken me longer than normal.
Wisdom that leaves your head or private client conversations into the broader world may really help someone. Ideally that person becomes your client, but seriously, there is only one of you and what, 5 billion people now on the planet? How cool to potentially have a real impact on another human being.
Search engines love content. And search engines bring you effortless attention, as compared to the attention you get from word of mouth, direct advertising, speaking, or purposefully trying to GET attention
Journalists love content. The more you write the more you may be convincing a journalist to contact you for a story.
Clients need content to be convinced of therapy, and therapy with YOU. I would argue unlike other health care professionals where, even if the doctor isn’t great, you’re just in the room for 15 minutes and done, therapy is a deeply personal, ongoing relationship. For you to convince someone of doing therapy with you requires writing more than just a “welcome to my website” and a short bio that discusses nothing but boring details about YOU.
The world is hungry for words. Media, when you think about it, is simply filling air or pages with content. And a lot of media folks have a lot of space to fill, every day. Many good therapists end up becoming therapy experts on magazines, websites, radio shows. You’re way more likely to be contacted if you have shown these media folks that you have a lot to say.
Make new friends. I know, this sounds weird, right? But yes, when you write and someone likes what you say, they may strike up a friendship and that may lead to personal or professional gain. I have a growing list of amazing Twitter therapist friends and some of them I specifically “fell in like with” because of how they wrote. And lots of cool professional things are coming of these friendships (mutual support, idea generation, swapping ideas, appearing on each others stuff, cross-marketing each other.)
Dare I say, it’s your professional obligation? Just stay with me for a minute. You had a community and family raise you, tax dollars went to help fund your graduate program (if it was a public school, and even private schools get tax write offs for being non-profits.) Your faculty worked hard to train and educate you. And a licensing board approved you to help others. There really ought to be a bigger professional standard than “do the minimal work to fill your client load.” Writing is just ONE of many ways you can do more to help the world, especially when it’s free content to the public.
I recognize this blog post won’t likely get you unstuck, but perhaps you had a new “oh!” moment when considering the WHY behind writing.
For therapists reading this, why do you write? Do you have a specific goal for yourself? Any cool stories that have come from your writing? Comment below!
Elizabeth Doherty Thomas
Latest posts by Elizabeth Doherty Thomas (see all)
- Therapy Marketing: Part 2: What It Is - February 9, 2011
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- Anatomy of a therapy blog post - February 5, 2011