125: Utilizing Digital Media and Clinical Skills to Ethically Market Your Practice
Robert Pate, Psy.D.
California Baptist University
8432 Magnolia Ave.
Riverside, CA 92504
Most graduate clinical/counseling training programs do a poor job of preparing clinicians to actually get clients in the door. How can you use your skills to help a hurting public if the public does not know where you are, how to connect with you, and whether counseling, specifically with you, is the right option for their situation? And what if your schedule is overflowing but with the wrong clients? Clients who come for a few sessions, decide it is not a good fit, and simply stop calling. Or perhaps they persist, but something is missing in your connection, and they are not making progress. This can lead to constantly conducting intakes, only to replace that new client with another one every few weeks. Many clinicians and counselors strongly dislike the process of marketing because they “got into the field to help people, not to be a salesperson.” Marketing does not have to feel this way and, if it does, you are probably doing it wrong! In this workshop, participants will learn and practice several ways of attracting potential clients, including how to utilize their clinical skills and digital tools to make meaningful connections and begin building the therapeutic relationship before they ever receive the first call or e-mail from a client (Slijepčević et al., 2020). Participants will combine clinical skills, technology, and an understanding of the 2021 consumer mindset to attract those who desperately need their counsel and are already a good fit for their services and clinical approach (Poddar & Agarwal, 2019). This can cut down on no-shows, cancellations, and early terminations and reduce the need to “sell” clients on services once they call for an initial consultation (Werbar et al., 2019). This clinical marketing approach allows the clinician to feel good about the necessary work of marketing and get busy doing therapy with clients who are more likely to actually see the work through to completion.
• Identify the benefits of digital “value-added” services from licensed mental health professionals in helping clients analyze whether clinical/counseling services are appropriate for them
• Identify and apply the ethics and applications of using video marketing to attract clients who will most benefit from services and create less therapist burnout
• Demonstrate personal authenticity with appropriate boundaries in online professional presence across multiple platforms