Valuing Your Play Therapy Practice: Using What You Know to Brand and Grow

Valuing Your Play Therapy Practice: Using What You Know to Brand and Grow

Karen Taheri (Independent Researcher, USA)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 31
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8226-7.ch002
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Developing, growing, and maintaining a sustainable play therapy training clinic involves creating meaningful contact within the clinic's targeted community. How the play therapist developing the training clinic goes about creating contact within a community reflects that clinic's overall identity or brand. Counselors are often not trained regarding business practices, brand development, or marketing in their graduate programs. This chapter focuses on providing play therapists with information regarding branding a business and tools for promoting that brand in a manner that aids in the development, growth, and maintenance of a play therapy training clinic. Ethical considerations, as well as thought-provoking questions specific for the development and promotion of a play therapy training clinic are included.
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Perspectives vary as to whether or not the utilization of marketing and advertising for promotion of mental health services is beneficial. Though some professionals deem the use of advertising as going against the altruistic core of the counseling profession (Stadler, 1988), others perceive marketing processes as essential components for strengthening community outreach and thus the practitioner’s business. Gilchrist and Stringer (1992) stated, “Counselors in all settings must understand marketing principles and be able to apply them ethically and effectively (p. 5).” Literature surrounding efficacy of incorporating branding and marketing methods into the development of a play therapy training clinic is deficient. Graham (2018) provided insight into developing a play therapy private practice, along with suggestions for identifying and using a mission statement to guide the growth of that clinic. The Association for Play Therapy provides marketing materials (free of charge) and clear definitions of play therapy terms via the association’s website (APT, 2018). Play therapists who communicate with clear, accurate messages regarding services offered are informing the community of existing resources. It is useful for the community to understand what play therapy is, to be aware of the types of play therapy services available to them, as well as to understand the potential impact of such play therapy services. Accurately informed consumers can decipher whether or not those available play therapy services are a good fit for their needs.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Integrated Brand Promotion: The act of utilizing various forms of brand promotion to increase brand awareness.

Mission Statement: The core values of the individual or company succinctly communicated, in three sentences or fewer.

BRAND: The essential identity of an individual or company, particularly the aspects of the identity that individual or company desires to be associated with in others’ minds.

Branding: The act of discovering, or distilling, the essential elements of an individual or company into an easily discernible identity.

Play Therapy: A developmentally sensitive approach to mental health counseling wherein a trained mental health professional accesses the therapeutic powers of play, while remaining grounded within a chosen theoretical orientation, in order to facilitate client growth and development.

Play Therapist: A mental health professional, or professional-in-training, who understands the developmental basis for play therapy, the utility of play therapy for addressing a variety of concerns, and accesses the therapeutic powers of play while working within their chosen theoretical framework for providing play therapy.

Brand Promotion: The act of increasing awareness of a brand.

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