How should you approach the clergy for therapy? What is something important you need to keep in mind when discussing therapy with clergy? How can you market to clergy?
In this podcast episode, Whitney Owens speaks with Jenn Fredette on how to get clergy into counseling.
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Meet Jenn Fredette
Jenn is a relational, psychodynamic oriented, attachment-based loving, Jungian concept adoring, and existential thinking psychotherapist based in the DC Metro area. In addition to her clinical work, Jenn partners with psychotherapists who want to market with depth, not just offer quick solutions to get people in the door.
In This Podcast
- How to approach clergy with counseling
- How to market to meet the needs of the clergy in your community
- Jenn’s advice to Christian counselors
How to approach clergy with counseling
I think in a lot of ways it depends on who you are when you’re talking to clergy … one of the things I know [from] just knowing clergy is there’s often a very clear outward persona and outward piece of who they are and how they show up in the world, and it’s pretty rare for them to let that piece down which makes therapy particularly threatening for them. (Jenn Fredette)
A lot of therapy requires you to get down into what lies under the surface, and doing internal work often leads to a shift in the external person, in their thoughts, beliefs, and habits.
To someone who is closely tied to how they are perceived and who work hard to show up in the world the way they want to be, going to therapy can be scary, because to them it is a threat to breaking down that persona that they have created to exist within that space in the church.
On the other hand, sometimes clergy want to be met with a more masculine presence that is familiar to them. This does not mean you need to be male, but it means that you can meet them with more authority instead of only focusing on the soothing part.
Sometimes I think that it what clergy need is somebody they know can stand toe to toe with them and really challenge them. (Jenn Fredette)
How to market to meet the needs of the clergy in your community
The two main aspects of marketing to the clergy are:
- Showing up authentically without being tightly married to your persona,
- Connecting with empathy and “speaking their language”, providing them the space to understand that you can connect with where they come from and accept them.
Why is it when we do our marketing do we feel like we have to be something else to bring people in because the good work happens when we choose to be vulnerable and authentic with others, and so that’s going to happen in our marketing. (Whitney Owens)
- Get rid of the jargon and speak authentically and speak maybe even irreverently.
- Think about what their core needs might be.
- Have your own spirituality settled so that you two can be on par with each other and can push back and support to one another.
Jenn’s advice to Christian counselors
You really have permission to show up authentically as yourself. Do the deeper work with people, but know that even Jesus showed up cranky sometimes. You really can show up as human while you work to incorporate the Divine into your own being.
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Meet Whitney Owens
Whitney is a licensed professional counselor and owns a growing group practice in Savannah, Georgia. Along with a wealth of experience managing a practice, she also has an extensive history working in a variety of clinical and religious settings, allowing her to specialize in consulting for faith-based practices and those wanting to connect with religious organizations.
Knowing the pains and difficulties surrounding building a private practice, she started this podcast to help clinicians start, grow, and scale a faith-based practice. She has learned how to start and grow a successful practice that adheres to her own faith and values. And as a private practice consultant, she has helped many clinicians do the same.
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Faith in Practice is part of the Practice of the Practice Podcast Network, a network of podcasts that are changing the world. To hear other podcasts like Empowered and Unapologetic, Bomb Mom, Imperfect Thriving, Marketing a Practice or Beta Male Revolution, go to practiceofthepractice.com/network.