Several years ago, I got into an online squabble with a friend who was in grad school, getting her MSW for a future career as a counselor.
The whole thing unfolded in the comments section of my blog and concluded (along with the friendship) when she spluttered that I am “…WEAK! And I MOCK weak people!”
Wow, I thought. Your future clients are in for a treat.
This incident came to mind when a Twitter buddy sent me a note wondering if any research had been done into “potential damage done by therapists who tweet/blog judgmental, hurtful views, jokes…?”
This person, a retired counselor, first noted a former mentee doing it. “I talked to her about it and she thanked me, stopped it.”
But that young counselor was the exception. When my friend noticed a couple of others doing the same, “I gently pointed out to both of them the problems both career wise and client wise with some of their postings (fat put down jokes, sharing very personal info about their own issues, sarcastic misuse of words like crazy and psycho etc) Both ignored me; one posted to mind my own business.
“All of this was done with their full names and locations and accessible to any of their clients with a quick google search,” my friend said.
“I know how hard it is for most clients to trust and how vulnerable they are to being judged,” she continued. “I can just image how crushing it would be for a desperate, suicidal client to read something demeaning/too revealing written by the person they expect to be compassionate, stable and on their side.”
The Internet strikes again.
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