Lori Gottlieb (NY Times) writes about difficulties developing and maintaining a psychotherapy practice in an age of branding, coaching and marketing gimmicks.
One day right before Christmas, I got a call from a man in his early 30s about coming in for therapy. He explained that he wanted to figure out whether to marry his girlfriend, and he hoped we could “resolve this” quickly because Valentine’s Day was coming up and he knew he either had to produce a ring or she’d bail. I explained that I could help him with clarity but couldn’t guarantee his timeline. The day before our appointment, he called again and told me he found a relationship coach to help sort things out. She gave him a four-session-package guarantee.
There’s not a lot I can do when this happens, primarily because therapists, governed by a board, can’t make outcome claims the way coaches can. One popular parenting coach, for instance, posted this on her site: “You will feel empowered and at peace. Handling the day-to-day struggles will be a breeze. You will be able to rest assured, knowing that you have provided your kids with the foundation they so desperately need in order to be successful in all areas of their future.”
Earlier today, this was the most emailed story in the Times.