Psychologically Healthy Workplace Program, psychologists connect via social media

As psychologists increasingly plug in to social networking, the Psychologically Healthy Workplace Program is utilizing social media to launch new and creative avenues for employers and psychologists to connect and share information

By Corporate Relations and Business Strategy Staff

June 30, 2009 — The Psychologically Healthy Workplace Program (PHWP) has utilized social media to launch three new ways for employers and the psychologists who work with them to connect and share information about creating healthy, high-performing organizations.

The LinkedIn group for the Psychologically Healthy Workplace Program brings together employers and the psychologists who work with them to network, share ideas and help create healthy, productive work environments. Click here to join.

The program's Facebook page posts the latest issue of the Good Company e-newsletter, as well as links to the PHWA blog and new research. Become a fan here.

PHWP's "tweets" short updates and links on Twitter at PHWP_online. David Ballard, PsyD, MBA, American Psychological Association Practice Organization assistant executive director, corporate relations and business strategy, posts on Twitter about business, psychology, technology, health and productivity. He can be followed here.

PHWP is part of a growing wave of "tweeters," "Facebook fans" and others who find it vital to stay "LinkedIn," as demonstrated in this excerpt from the most recent issue of Good Practice magazine:

Thirty-five percent of adults online have a profile on a social networking site. That figure is up from 8 percent in 2005. And members of younger generations aren't the only ones joining the groundswell. For example, Pauline Wallin, PhD, a clinical psychologist in independent practice and life/executive coach in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, has accounts on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. "I love the possibilities for both public education and marketing of psychological services on the Internet," she says.

Since you don't know by which online channel someone will find your practice, it is important to connect all the places where you appear on the Web. In the basic information of any networking site, it's a good idea to include the information that will lead contacts to your Web presence - Consider including your Web site address, blog and links to your listings in online directory lists or referral services. Tracy Ochester, PsyD, of Leawood, Kansas, says that even just updating her social networking sites from time to time "gives me more visibility -makes me more searchable -on the Web."

And even if psychologists choose not to utilize any of the social networking vehicles, it still makes sense to understand how they work. Valerie Shebroe, PhD, an independent practitioner in East Lansing, Michigan, says she's just taking her first wobbly steps when it comes to networking online. But she believes it's important to keep up with those future psychologists who are running headlong into the virtual world. "Whether we participate or not, we mid- and late-career psychologists involved in training or supervision need to be prepared to help our students think through the clinical, ethical and legal issues involved in social networking," says Shebroe.

To learn more about how psychologists are finding increasing opportunities for practice building, marketing, education and socializing by social networking, read "Plugging in To Social Networks" in the Spring/Summer 2009 edition of Good Practice magazine.