Ethics in Marketing
Well here is today’s effort and regular readers of my musing will recognise that this is the prelude to yet another rant regarding professional marketing within our profession. I am seeing a growth in practitioners and trainers using words like “Best”, “Award Winning (without clarification as to where the awards are from)” and other such grand statements of ability and quality.
For the better part of 30 years, I have been arguing that it is necessary for those of us in the psychotherapy, but principally in the hypnotherapeutic professions need to be in a position to be able to market our services effectively, but not bring the profession into question with P.T. Barnumesque claims which are uncorroborated and frankly nothing more than the opinion of the marketer (eg practitioner)
You never would see a surgeon, psychologist or psychiatrist market their services by saying they are the best in their respective fields. Neither would you see them calling themselves leaders in their field, in actuality leadership is something others say about a person rather than a person using this to promote themselves. It is tacky and aims services at the lowest common denominator.
Are there ways to determine the skills of a practitioner? Well yes and no. Qualifications are often seen as a benchmark to competency and to some extent they are. However, I have known people with excellent credentials that I would not want to work with if I were a client as they lack the humanity I believe is necessary to good clinical practice. Does experience determine skill? Well again, yes and no. Chances are if you have been around for a while it could be considered that you know what you are doing. However, this could be limited to a very narrow view of clinical work. For example, if you spent 20 years working mainly with smoking cessation, that does not make you an expert in working with anxiety.
I know that for some I may be sounding more and more like a grumpy old man, but I want to see our profession thrive as a profession. The notion of the showboater is outdated, if we are to enjoy our rightful place amongst the family of professions, we need, as a whole to start acting like a profession and recognise that the way we individually market ourselves has an impact on all of us.