I’m currently taking a course with my mentor, Joan Brooks, on marketing. It was something of a struggle for me to begin it, I’ll admit, and I’m finding myself dragging my feet, too, in getting the homework assignments done. Let’s face it: marketing just isn’t all that sexy. It’s not the thing that we go into business for when we’re trying to help people. And if you’re a bleeding-heart like me, you probably find most things to do with advertising and marketing highly suspicious – maybe even evil.
So yeah, it’s a hurdle.
Yet I’m highly aware that this work that I do, as subtle, as beautiful, as healing as it is, isn’t known by a lot of people. Because the use of touch in psychotherapy has been taboo for so long, Rubenfeld Synergy Method has been kept largely underground: a small community, its knowledge spread by oral tradition. Ilana joked repeatedly, when she was visiting our training, about her lawyers telling her to “call it a Method,” rather than a “therapy” or anything that could potentially get her into trouble. The long and storied history of therapists taking advantage of their patients – a problem that continues to this day – has made the entire profession skittish about using touch at all in relationships where mental and emotional health are involved. It is only now, and slowly, that touch is being re-examined as a crucial tool for healing trauma.
Even as RSM is being built up as a brand, though – as we’re getting the word out and making it better known – it’s still a tough sell. Part of the reason for this is because when people are seeking help, they basically want to know one thing: How can you help me?
Many of us have gotten so caught up in describing what we do that we’ve forgotten to tell people – specific people – how it can help them. And the answer to that question is different, depending on who the practitioner is, and whom the practitioner is talking to.
As part of this course, I’m in the midst of identifying the clients I’ve enjoyed working with most and feel that I’ve helped the most, seeing the things that they have in common, and shaping my message so that the clients I like best – and the ones who will benefit most by seeing me – can find me. It’s a process, but I’m beginning to see patterns emerge.
Namely, the people I seem most suited to working with are – shocker, here, I know – performing artists (singers, actors, dancers, etc.) and what I’m currently referring to as sexual outlaws: queer folk, kinksters, polyamorous people, and others who are dealing with gender and sexuality issues. Based on this, new marketing language is slowly emerging.
How about you? If you were looking for help from a body psychotherapist*, what would you hope they could do for you? What are the problems that keep you up at night?
(*Not actually a psychotherapist.)