I read an interesting story the other day about starfish. I took from the story that there may be 100 starfish beached but one person can return several of these to the water and save their lives. This metaphor seemed a good fit for mental health professionals who make a difference for the clients they engage with which may only be a small number of people who have mental health needs.
In this blog, we reflect on how clients and counsellors in private practice might find each other.
Let's first think on a client's journey to Counselling:
Many clients may try several counsellors before finding one that enables their personal development and healing. They may attend many counsellors and gain something special from each of them. We are all unique. There are barriers to accessing counselling, for example fear of being labelled as a crazy person or being judged, pushed too hard or misunderstood by the therapist.
So how about the counsellor journey to clients:
How do counsellors communicate what they can offer to potential clients? Generally speaking, counsellors are likely to have finite case loads. Sometimes the therapy work can continue for long periods of time limiting new referrals for weeks or months. Many counsellors may also have established referral sources, strong community networks and differing demands on their time.
Creating a bridge for potential clients to view potential counsellors:
Following a hunch that marketing could assist counsellors to communicate their professional identity, I engaged Brandsitters, a digital marketing agency to work with me to develop the Kindred Centre brand. It was a lovely process and the brand helped to express the uniqueness of individuals and the work they may engage therapists to assist with.
We developed www.KindredCentre.nz to assist counsellors to be found by clients.
We wanted to be practical and so we explained a little about counselling, we included a FAQs section and a blog section where we can comment, discuss, reflect and entertain as counsellors.
What can an online profile include?
We wanted the website to benefit profile holders with online visibility and also to be discreet. We reasoned that offering a Kindred Centre Email enabled connection with potential clients. Profile holders can promote their professional identity/practice and interact with the community. Potential clients can view a counsellor’s profile, link to their professional membership association profile, email the therapist directly or get in touch via the contacts page. Kindred Centre has then done its job and the client therapy continues through the individual counsellor’s practice which can be aided by their Kindred Centre subscription.
The website went live in November of 2021 and Helen Bowler joined us in March of 2022. Helen has a speciality in Equine Assisted Therapy. I’m Monique, founder and profile holder. I am aTelehealth counsellor and Clinical Supervisor.
Finally after 6 months, I can now reflect on the benefits.
Website enquiries have developed into new clients. The brand and website enable professional online communication and marketing and we continue to develop our profile through Linked In and with the development of marketing connections. Profile holders are a part of the Kindred Centre and we enable a collegial and supportive environment.
We welcome expressions of interest from therapists wanting to develop their unique online profile on the Kindred Centre advertising and marketing platform.
For further enquiries, please contact MoniqueD@kindredcentre.nz, or email@example.com