Remember when psychology and mental health treatment were taboo, something to be hidden? While this old-fashioned dogma has been slowly changing over the years, some still view participation in psychology and behavioral health services as something that should stay in the closet. But, a Boston-based psychology and behavioral health practice thinks otherwise. Commonwealth Psychology Associates (CPA) recently launched a Facebook page to provide friends in the community and across the country with state of the art facts and information about various behavioral health problems, relevant evidence-based treatments and how to find help.
Our main purpose for setting up the Facebook page was to bring psychology and behavioral health out of the closet and into the mainstream of society - and what better way to do that than to be part of a premier social networking venue, said Dr. Andrea Piatt, CEO and founder of Commonwealth Psychology Associates.
Indeed, most people feel comfortable telling friends, family and even co-workers that they have a dental appointment or even a medical appointment, yet few are willing to say they are leaving work to see their psychologist. “We believe this is related to lingering fear of being judged or evaluated negatively by others who might think someone must have serious problems if they need to see a “shrink,” said Dr. Piatt. “We felt a responsibility to counter these outdated beliefs by educating the public about just how truly commonplace counseling, psychotherapy and other behavioral health services are. I think people would be surprised to know how many of their friends, family members and co-workers participate in some form of behavioral health treatment,” she added.
But, Dr. Piatt found that not all behavioral health providers felt comfortable with the idea of having a Facebook page. “I was surprised by some of the ambivalence and uncertainty expressed by other behavioral health providers in the community,” Dr. Piatt said.
Some providers believe that psychotherapy is so private and personal that clients might view having a Facebook page negatively. “While this perspective is not judgmental about participation in services, it inadvertently contributes to the idea that the very common struggles many people experience, such as depression, anxiety and stress related problems, still need to remain hidden, out of sight,” said Dr. Piatt. And, she added, “This has not been our experience so far. Many people have “Liked” our page and we already have hundreds of fans.”
The entire article can be found here.
The Facebook page can be found here.