I learned the hard way that blogging and making video content is not just about sharing knowledge or information. It’s also about providing a window into your soul. Are you passionate about what you teach? Did it transform you into an interesting person? But why should it matter if you are teaching a subject that is interesting by itself? Well, Lin & Huang confirm my own experience that “the charisma of a teacher has an obviously positive influence on students’ interest… no matter what that interest is” (2016). Blogging allows an opportunity for your true character to shine through and while you can shield yourself with the wall of text, the video leaves you nowhere to hide. I realized how important it is to have such a window into someone’s soul when I was looking for a psychoanalyst. A few of them had short articles or abandoned blogs on their websites, but none of them had any video content. It’s not surprising, counsellors and psychotherapists, regardless of school of thought, are taught to reveal as little as possible about themselves. The main reason is that therapy is client-focused, the therapist stays in the background and for the most part, steps forward when summoned by the client. Once in a while, the therapist shines a light at something that the client can learn about. It is considered beneficial to remain hidden from the client at that moment because people often perceive therapists as different from an average person, perhaps less flawed or more enlightened. The cloak of darkness keeps up the necessary illusion. And it is necessary because how do you learn from someone who, let’s say, picks their nose, how do you receive healing from someone who fights with their kids, how do trust someone who betrayed their spouse, how do you share your secrets with someone who’s bored to death by them?
Revealing yourself, whether in the session or through blogging or video on your website, often conflicts with the nature of the profession and yet as a client I was searching for a window into their soul. I was anxious, I wanted to know, will I like that person? Is it a good match? Is it someone I can trust? Can I learn anything from them about myself? Are they able to help me? As I am about to start my own private practice as a counsellor, I’d like to break this tradition and get actively into blogging and provide lots of video content. Hopefully, it will answer the same questions others will have about me. I might pay a price that I will not like. It might cost me many potential clients, but maybe it’s best to lose someone who looks into my soul and does not see what they are looking for.
Lin, S., & Huang, Y. (2016). Examining charisma in relation to students’ interest in learning. Active Learning in Higher Education, 17(2), 139-151. doi:10.1177/1469787416637481