Since moving to a new area I have been working on networking as a therapist with fellow therapists that I jive well with. I’ve been prioritizing connecting with colleagues as a strategy both to market my practice, and quite frankly, to make new friends since I moved.
As I have shared more about moving my practice, I have had many folks ask: how do you find therapists you like??
I wanted to share some tools for how to network and find therapists you really get along with, as well as some examples of how I’ve done so since moving.
How To Notice Friendship Cues While Networking
1) ID Characteristics You Like
- If you have them, consider your existing therapist friends that you connect well with. What is it about them or your relationship that you’re drawn to?
- Reflect on who your closest friends are. What characteristics do they have that makes them a good friend?
2) ID Characteristics You Don’t Like
- Think of therapists you actively want to avoid. What is it about them that you don’t like? This can be an illuminating question to ponder.
Using these questions you can start to get a sense of some themes of what characteristics you are drawn towards, and what things you are not looking for in a therapist colleague.
3) ID Early Cues of Characteristics
- Once you have a sense of what you are looking for, you can start to think about cues that might tip you off that you might align well with that person.
- For example, I tend to be drawn towards people who are their authentic self and allow me to be the same. Some cues for this can include how somebody dresses, how they talk about themselves, if they speak in “normal people talk” rather than in overly “therapist-y talk”.
- Often cues can be picked up early on in getting to know someone before heavily investing in getting to know that person.
How To Find Therapists To Network With
1) Cast A Large Net
- Connect with lots of therapists. Keep those cues, mentioned above, in mind.
- A few places to find therapists
- Facebook groups- It’s okay to be a lurker and see who you like just from reading posts and comments
- Local association chapters – mixer groups, etc.
- Interacting with current or past coworkers
- Reach out to people in your cohort that you graduated with
2) Slide Into DM’s
- If you find a therapist you like online, reach out to them!
- It could even be a cold call/email
- Be sure to emphasize the ways you see your interests overlapping and name why you hope to connect. When you’re clear about where your interest comes from, you might be surprised by how many people respond!
3) Don’t Force A Friendship
- Don’t keep scheduling and connecting with folks you don’t jive well with!
- This will just create a context for burnout and is probably why most therapists say they hate networking.
- I would hate it too if I had to pretend to be friends with every therapist I met!
My Networking Experience
There are a lot of different ways to connect with other therapist colleagues, but I want to share some examples from my own recent experience since moving to new area.
Reconnecting With Acquaintances
- Since I had lived in San Diego a decade ago, I did know some therapists already. I sent texts and Facebook messages to friends, acquaintances, former classmates and coworkers.
- I didn’t ask everyone to hang out because that would be too overwhelming. I picked two or three people who I knew I wanted to see and asked them to hang out.
- For everybody else, I just said hello! And let them know I was back in town.
- If you’re not in the midst of a move like me then you can just say “hi” and find a memory or touch point to acknowledge, or just send a message to say you hope they are well!
Joined local Facebook Groups
- I also joined several local Facebook groups.
- Anyone who seemed cool I’d send a message through Facebook messenger and chat.
- Not all of these amount to much; most are just pleasant small talk. But in some cases, new friendships develop.
Social Media Posting
- I posted to social media that I’m back!
- A simple post acknowledging you’re opening or growing your business will also help your existing networks find you too.
- I also said yes to a few more generic therapist networking meetups.
- This isn’t a predominant component of my networking strategy, but saying yes to a mixer here or there does create opportunities to cast a wider net and meet people outside of one or two degrees of separation
You don’t have to follow this as an exact roadmap to find fellow therapists that you get along with.
And you don’t even have to use networking as a marketing tool. But I know this profession can be quite isolating. And I’d argue we need each other’s support even more than the average profession. So it’s important you feel like you have at least a few like-minded folks in your corner cheering you on. If you don’t have that already, hopefully you find these tips helpful.
More Networking Advice?
If you found this article and are looking for even more networking tips, I have a video with even more info on how networking can be a helpful tool in marketing your practice.
Or maybe you are seeking ideas on how to fill your current practice? I share some thoughts in this video on how other therapists fill their practices.
And until next time, from one therapist to another: I wish you well!
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