Are you part of the MAYA group or not? If you don’t know, than you are not in the group. MAYA stands for “Most Advanced Yet Acceptable”. It is a term in branding and marketing that helps businesses to think differently about how they build their brand and products.
Author and branding guru Marty Neumeier in his book The Brand Gap: How to Bridge the Distance Between Business Strategy and Design (which is awesome and I highly recommend it) discusses how The Beatles are a great example of MAYA. He says, “They began in the early 1960s with songs that were commonly acceptable, then raised the bar of innovation one record at a time. By the end of the decade, they had taken their audience on a wild ride from the commonplace to the sublime, and in the process created the anthems for a cultural revolution.”
So often in counseling, therapy, and private practices were discuss “best practices” and what is working in our field. Those are absolutely wonderful questions to ask, they are needed, and help to spread good, quality information to better help our clients.
What we forget is that many of the revolutionary changes in our field came from people that were doing MAYA. Freud, Skinner, and Gottman all started with ideas that pushed the boundaries of counseling. At times they made people feel uncomfortable and other times they connected.
When we each evaluate our counseling private practice, we need to explore what our brand is doing to be MAYA? What are we doing to explore new regions of counseling? In this last year I have launched “Dinner and a Counseling Session” and my “Supervision Conference”. I have learned a lot and they have not been embraced as much as I had hoped. But within that process, I am getting free marketing and exposure to help the image of Mental Wellness Counseling.
It’s easy to get stuck in the rut of private practice counseling. We keep doing what is working and that helps a brand stay on message. But imagine if Apple stopped innovating and pushing the limits. What is your MAYA movement?
Joseph R. Sanok, MA, LLP, LPC, NCC is a counselor and the owner with Mental Wellness Counseling. He continues to see how we all need advice and guidance to grow our counseling private practice.
Photo from Creative Commons, thank you Tim Yates