For those familiar with Groucho Marx’ famous line “I don’t want to belong to any club that would accept me as one of its members”, in my case the opposite has happened. I got booted out of 2 therapy Facebook groups within the last 2 years, groups I enjoyed being a member of. Why go public with this? I am far from a thin-skinned teenager who would feel hurt, unpopular etc. I am much more like a 67-year-old thick skinned warrior from the Bronx. But the real reason I got booted from the groups is troubling, and points to disturbing trends in our industry.
Our field is becoming inundated with coaches, business advisors, mentors, many offering a variety of cascading offerings from discovery calls, classes, courses, retreats, products. It may start with a “free” class but like Alice in Wonderland, you may end up in a funnel of expensive classes that, from many reports, over promise and under deliver. Many a therapist has lamented to me – Why is everyone trying to sell me something and why is everyone trying to make money off of me?
From my vantage point, it looks like many of these self-claimed coaches, are trying to make money off of you rather than help you make money. Their recommendation are affiliate links, very similar to a kickback. The various offerings are starting to feel like infomercials on late night TV, “but wait there’s more?” combined with a sales pitch that only the most gullible should believe – Is a course really worth $5000 and then discounted to the “reasonable” price of $2500??? Do most therapists actually fall for that??
The 2 FB groups I was rejected are both the first level group of a Funnel for the admins of the group. The group is free, just about all therapists can join and gradually, if the funnel is working a percentage of therapists go from the unpaid group to a paid group to a highly engaged member.
One of the rules of the groups is that there is no self-promotion (unless you are the owner/admin, and then of course you have to self-promote so you can get therapists to move onto the paid level.) This is beginning to feel like a modern-day pyramid scheme. Why was I booted? Because in two instances, (one in response to a post about the legal ramifications of multi disciplinary practices, and the other a question about IC versus employees, ) I mentioned I was extremely well versed on the topics and could consult with them because the answer was well beyond a FB post.
My work in the therapy industry is not done, and I am committed to making sure the next generation of therapy practice owners are knowledgeable, informed and are set up in business with sound legal foundations and a game plan for long term value and success. I promise if I make a recommendation or suggestion to any therapist, it is not because I receive any financial interest, but because it is in your best interest not mine. And I thank each and every one of you who recommend me; there is no better validation that I am providing a needed service. We all lose when conversations become a lure for a therapist rather than a vehicle to disseminate information. It always feels affirming to tap into the energy of sharing information; we all become better people and therapists in the process.