Rebranding Psychotherapy

Thursday, November 29, 2012

When Lori Gottlieb started her psychotherapy practice last year, she thought she’d have a steady stream of clients. Instead, she discovered that many of her colleagues are now marketing their services and re-branding them as life coaching or providing remote therapy in an effort to attract more clients and stay in business. She talks about whether psychotherapy has an image problem in her article, “What Brand Is Your Therapist?” which appeared in the November 23 issue of the New York Times Magazine.


Lori Gottlieb

Comments [12]

tony from Meridale

Meta Freudian slip at 1:30

Are people a-Freud of entering into a treatment that will take a long time?

Nov. 30 2012 04:40 PM
Jf from Ny

Therapists, dentists, and the like are more interested in creating an economy for themselves than fixing problems.

Nov. 29 2012 02:02 PM

RE: Psych drugs efficacy

Robert Whitaker's book is an interesting read:

Nov. 29 2012 01:13 PM
AM from TriBeCa

Wnyc therapy branding 

Gottlieb's sellout to the lowest common denominator of dynamics and customers will get her what she deserves: a client demographic as lacking in depth, reflectiveness, and vision as herself. Leave the real therapy to workers with some attainment and experience. Sad though that she's given up on actual therapeutic work at the outset of her career (see Inquisigal below) without delving any deeper into the practice or her own issues.

Nov. 29 2012 01:10 PM

anonyme ~

Back at'cha.

Nov. 29 2012 01:02 PM

Not sayin' other forms of therapy with a bright, ethical, empathetic therapist isn't a good thing.

Hey, how about the inherent conflict of interest that shrinks have. Here they are, helping you to get "better" and at the same time, do not want to see their source of income walk out the door all "cured".

I have seen MANY unethical examples.

Nov. 29 2012 01:00 PM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

Therapy and drugs serve different purposes, but if drugs are used, they should be used in tandem with therapy. However, as anyone who's ever had a problem should well know, talking it over with someone - even a friend - makes a HUGE difference.

Because we don't have the kind of health care coverage that pays for long term therapy, it's hard to get the kind of therapy we need, but it is sometimes well worth paying for out of pocket as the help one gets more than pays for itself in the long run.

I do know that therapists have a tough time financially because people can't afford to pay and insurance doesn't cover it all, but advertising like a roofer or a fast food chain seems somehow undignified.

Nov. 29 2012 12:56 PM

Amen, dboy!!

Nov. 29 2012 12:54 PM

Long term therapy is BS next to so many mind-body models which require far more patient participation and self-responsibility - for example talk therapy does nothing for PTSD except maybe re-traumatize. (Using mind body modalities like EFT and TAT don't require a therapist, really, though the atention and support of a qualified practitioner is a big help from time to time.)

Long term talk therapy and understanding the whys keeps it all nicely in one's head! Good riddance! Lotta power tripping along the entire spectrum. In AA they say "Analysis-paralysis." (There's another great thing - group work!)

Nov. 29 2012 12:51 PM
foodaggro from Brooklyn

A lot of these "life coaches" are utter quacks looking to capitalize on desperate people. Many happen to simply be empathic and talented in connecting with people by offering common sense and a soothing voice.

Nov. 29 2012 12:51 PM


Freudian psychotherapy is complete poppycock.

Nov. 29 2012 12:47 PM
Inquisigal from Brooklyn

I read Ms. Gottlieb's piece with interest in last weekend's Times Magazine. What struck me the most about the piece - besides the discomfort Gottlieb felt with many of her fellow therapist's marketing solutions - was that she didn't take into consideration her immediate situation - which was: she had just completed her schooling and opened up an office.

I actually wanted to write to Ms. Gottlieb and say - don't sell out on your values and ideas in regards to therapy and how you want to present yourself and interact with clients - it'll be ok! You just opened your business, it's going to take time to build a client base whether or not you employ these "branding" marketing tactics. Many of us who are self-employed - acupuncturists, massage therapists, creative people, chefs, etc - have to start very slowly, with a small amount of work, before word of mouth and reputation, and yes - our marketing efforts - kick in. In time, your practice will grow in a way that is comfortable for you, and represents the kind of clients and work you want to do.

Let the Denver "therapist" waste all her time blogging about movies and text-therapizing while you stick your your guns and engage in meaningful, smart, deep therapy.

Nov. 29 2012 12:13 PM

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