Psychologists come in all stripes, from the clinical psychologists we all know from movies and TV to the industrial and environmental psychologists who help design spaces and workplaces to be friendly and open, not closed and hostile. And every psychologist has a reputation to manage, whether they realize it or not. Here's why psychologist reputation management is crucial to your career as a mental health professional
Psychologist Image Management Helps Address The Stigma Surrounding Mental Health And Psychology
Even though we all have issues, and increasingly mental health is becoming part of the national dialogue, there's still a stigma surrounding mental illness. We're expected to just grin and bear it, or view not being able to shoulder an emotional load, no matter how crushing it may be, as a sign of weakness in our minds or our character. Careful management of your reputation as a psychologist can help potential clients who need your help reach out to you, by emphasizing, for example, the areas you've studied in, or problems you've helped to treat and mitigate.
Other forms of psychology struggle with the perception that they're not scientists so much as mind-controlling magicians who can make you buy products or cluck like a chicken; with psychologist image management, you can address flawed perceptions like this.
Psychologist Reputation Management Promotes And Differentiates Your Services
Other kinds of psychologists find reputation management useful because it can help them find clients. A clinical psychologist and a consumer psychologist have entirely different client bases, but a clinical psychologist might, for example, receive references from the local hospital, or be part of a medical insurance network. Other kinds of psychologists don't have those resources; reputation management helps promote word-of-mouth, and in turn helps them find clients, sometimes in unexpected places.
Psychologist Image Management Allows You To Address Angry Clients
The truth is that misconceptions around mental illness and the various forms of psychology can lead to difficulties with clients. And it can be difficult to interact with those clients in a professional setting; ethics and legal obligations preclude revealing the personal circumstances behind that angry review on the Internet, and violating patient trust won't solve the problem. Reputation management allows you to spot, and quietly address, these problems so that you can do both what's right for your client and what's fair for you.
Accusations Can Wreck Your Career
It's not hard to find examples of child or school psychologists dealing with accusations of client abuse. Reputation management can help you stop false accusations before they start, for both the safety of your client and yourself.
It Helps Clients Open Up
In truth, part of the reason so many struggle with psychology and psychologists is that they have to share things they may have hidden for years with a person they may not feel they know very well. By working on your psychologist reputation strategy, especially online, you can help potential clients get a sense of you as both a person and a professional. Reputation management may not seem like part of an effective practice at first, but in the long run, many psychologists will find it absolutely crucial to their practice.