Ethical Concerns

Benefits Of Blogging For Your Private Therapy Practice

I recently had a delightful chat with Australian counselor and consultant Clinton Powers via Skype about my evolution as a blogger. We talked about the many benefits of blogging as a marketing strategy, unexpected benefits that I've experienced through blogging, how to find your blogging voice, and how to address ethical concerns. I hope you enjoy the interview. Below, I've summarize the main points of our lively discussion.

What are the benefits of blogging as a practice marketing strategy?

  • Grow your practice by making it easier for clients to find you
  • Build your brand online
  • Fresh content improves SEO for your practice website
  • Establishes you as a credible expert in your field
  • Online networking with other mental health professionals
  • Positive impact on readers all over the world

What are your tips for developing your blogging voice?

  • Start where you are
  • Reject perfectionistic tendencies
  • Remember that you can edit
  • Re-purpose previously written content (papers, presentations, other media interviews)
  • Read and model after other therapists blogs

Where do you find inspiration for blog post topics?

  • Share your philosophical background
  • Write about themes you're seeing in therapy
  • Write about related news and current events
  • Summarize new research and add your take on it
  • Share other experts' content, including videos

How do you make time to write?

  • Write about the things that energize you and sound fun
  • Schedule time to blog once a week

How do you avoid ethical concerns?

  • Don't share client information
  • Don't share personal information

This interview first appeared on

Who's Afraid Of Online Counseling?

Eleven years ago I ventured briefly into the world of providing online counseling services. It was short-lived because there was not enough interest from potential clients in online counseling. At the time, there was a sense that online interventions would revolutionize counseling, and that it might even become a preferred method of treatment for many. While online counseling, also known as telemental health, and e-therapy, hasn't "taken over" the field of therapy in the past decade, electronic delivery methods have steadily grown.

According to APA’s Center for Workforce Studies, the use of videoconferencing jumped from 2 to 10 percent between the years 2000 - 2008, and the use of email for service delivery tripled during that same time frame.

The ethical concerns and uncertainties surrounding online counseling haven't changed much in the past decade. Is it really confidential? What problems are appropriate to treat online? Can you treat clients across state lines? What ages are appropriate to treat?

Professional guidelines and state laws still don't clearly outline what's appropriate and what's not when it comes to working with clients online which brings up a lot of anxiety for therapists, including me.

In spite of the questions that linger, my clinic is venturing into the world of online therapy this month. There is enough evidence of it's effectiveness, new secure delivery platforms, and enough client interest to offer online services.

Here's how my colleagues and I are managing our own anxiety about offering online counseling:

1) Pre-screening clients for appropriateness of online counseling prior to initial session.

2) Online counseling training for my therapists who are interested in offering online counseling.

3) Signed consent form by client acknowledging risks and benefits of online service delivery.

4) Working online with clients in our state.

5) Selecting a secure, easy-to-use online counseling platform. (We decided to go with CounSol)

If you're afraid of online counseling, here are a few resources that might help you get the courage to try offering services online:

Do you provide online counseling services? Why are why not? I want to hear about your experiences!