The first mental health professional that I ever saw effectively using videos on her website was Pam Dyson, LPC, RPT. Since that initial sighting, other therapists have also caught my attention on videos but none are as prolific and effective as Pam’s.When I started getting an influx of requests for info about the use of videos for marketing purposes, I asked Pam if she would write a guest post sharing how she got started using videos and she graciously agreed!
(If you are interested in writing a guest post, check out the guidelines here.)
First Impressions Count
As a therapist in private practice I recognize the importance of making a good first impression on a potential client. As a child play therapist that impression begins with the parents.
The majority of parents who contact me to schedule a consultation find me via my web site. By the time they call they’ve spent time perusing my site and learning more about me and the services I offer. One of the things I consistently hear them say is that they watched the video tour below of my office and feel I am someone they and their child would feel comfortable working with.
Building a Therapeutic Alliance from the Start
Once I’ve met with parents for a consultation and they’re ready to schedule an appointment for their child I encourage them to share my video tour with their child prior to their first play therapy session. Children are very visual and the video tour helps them understand what to expect when they come to my office and meet me for the first time.I’ve also found that it alleviates some of the anxiety they may feel. They’re rarely reluctant to leave the waiting room and go with me to the play room. It gives me the opportunity to begin establishing a therapeutic alliance with the child before they ever step foot in my office. It’s not uncommon to have a child enter the play therapy room for the first time and say, “I know what I want to play with. I saw this on my computer!”
I could have hired a video crew to film and produce my office tour but it was not something that fit into my budget. Instead, I used a simple Flip Video Camera. The quality is great and it’s easy to use. Uploading the videos to my web site is not complicated. Unfortunately the Flip is no longer being produced but there are a variety of video cameras on the market that are affordably priced under a hundred dollars. You could also use a smart phone that has a video function.
It recently came to my attention that I didn’t include the restroom on my video. When you work with children the location of the restroom is very important. I’m planning on remaking my video office tour this spring and it will include the location of the restroom. One benefit of not using a professional videographer is that you can remake your video whenever you feel the need rather than when it fits into your budget.
Pam Dyson is a child development expert, parenting coach, licensed professional counselor and registered play therapist in Ballwin, Missouri. She specializes in helping parents find practical solutions to child behavior problems. Her website is http://www.PamDyson.com.