I can hardly believe it’s been almost a year since my first Psych Central piece, Psychotherapists Unmasked on the Internet, which examined the changing landscape of our field as it relates to therapists having an online presence. There was a paradigm shift occurring, a changing of the guard, from older ideas about how therapists were “supposed” to be presenting themselves — to newer thinking that embraced putting yourself out there (picture and all) on a website with information about you, your philosophy about therapy, articles about specific topics, etc.
I had a number of comments on this piece from therapists trying to find their way in this foreign territory. Marsha Lucas, PhD, said, “It’s a very different experience, walking into the waiting room to meet a new patient, and (a) they already know what I look like, but not the other way around; (b) they already know my educational history and approach to therapy; and (c) they’ve made a choice to see me, rather than (as in the old days) simply being referred by someone else. It’s a different way to start the therapeutic relationship for sure.”
Esther Boykin, MFT, commented, “I am finding that the comfort zone of visibility varies not only by era but by field of study and prior work experience. As someone who has always worked (since graduation) in a private practice setting I see the value of visibility very differently than colleagues who have their professional roots in hospitals and/or agencies.”
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