Authenticity matters… But it really matters when you are a therapist, especially a trauma therapist. Think about it, a trauma therapist holds your emotions, personal story and heart in their hands, helping to encourage and inspire you to find the courage to rewrite your story or start a new chapter. Authenticity inspires trust and belief in the therapist’s abilities and compassion for the struggles you are facing.
Now, we all have a family member, friend, colleague, neighbor or member of our community that has either met with a therapist or needed to see a therapist. What are the common traits we seem to look for? A warm smile, friendly and compassionate demeanor, success in helping others with the same issues, someone that listens without judgment? Can these qualities be present in the absence of authenticity? Why not?
Last week I was browsing therapist profiles on psychologytoday.com to see how my colleagues are promoting and/or marketing their services. Without a personal referral, finding the right therapist can be a challenge. How do you know it will be a good fit? Do they seem friendly? Are they focused on talking about their credentials or do they want to share with you their clinical experience and services they offer.
I really love my profile pic for several reasons. I am smiling and tossing a ball in the air, I am playing. A truly authentic picture, it captures my individuality and uniqueness and reinforces my role as play therapist. Yes, many marketing experts have told me to exchange it for a more “professional” picture. Yet, play therapy is about being in the moment and embracing your uniqueness.
May you embrace your individuality and be true to yourself. Take care!