Talk therapy has a branding problem.
Why a branding problem?
A brand is all of the associations, emotions, expectations and mental models that exist in the hearts and minds of individuals. How’s the talk therapy brand doing these days? Not good! Most people don’t even know what psychoanalytic psychotherapy is, and when they do, their connotations tend to be negative. Perceived as antiquated, never-ending, and only for the privileged, it finds itself squeezed out of the public conversation of how to help those who are suffering.
Yet we know, in a profound way, that this isn’t true.
If we want therapies of depth, insight, and relationship to remain valued by and available to generations to come, we need to fix our branding problem!
To take on this challenge, PsiAN has put together a team of marketing and branding experts, with decades of experience in marketing, research and advertising. This team has been working hard, using the tools and strategies that corporate America employs every day, but this time in the service of talk therapy. The team has also partnered with graduate students from Northwestern’s Medill School of Integrated Marketing Communications to assist in the market research and analysis needed to re-brand talk therapies.
Our goals are:
- Increased awareness of these therapies among multiple audiences
- Improved and enhanced understanding of what these therapies are, dispelling biases, myths, and misconceptions
- Improvement in the perceived value of talk therapy for long-term mental health (value and effectiveness, from treatment and cost perspectives)
- Increased motivation for more people to choose or recommend therapies of depth, insight and relationship as a form of treatment and help for problems in living
What sets our project apart? Its focus on the public. Its use of professional market research. Its application of proven tools and strategies that America’s best marketers use. Its team of experts drawn from the fields of branding, marketing, advertising, and therapy.
Never before has there been a study of this kind on the public’s perceptions of psychotherapy.
Phase 1: Qualitative Interviews: In-depth, One-on-One, Face-to-Face
Qualitative interviews enable us to listen to what the public thinks and feels about behavioral and psychoanalytic therapies. Our interview subjects are diverse in age, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. We are ensuring that our samples are representative of current and future clients of talk therapy, as well as those populations often most in need of our services.
Using insights from the interviews, the team will tailor messages directly to the public’s current perceptions of talk therapy. These compelling and relevant messages will create greater awareness, clearer understanding and a deeper appreciation of what longer-term psychotherapy has to offer. Speaking in a language that is accessible and compelling to the public ensures that our marketing efforts will be effective, meaningful, and truly resonant.
Phase 2: Quantitative Survey
The second phase of our project will test quantitatively the messages and hypotheses generated through the previous iterative waves of qualitative research. We will assess reactions to specific language, messages and strategies about how and what to convey to audiences. This will be conducted in conjunction with a marketing research firm. Again, we will define our large sample of subjects by key demographic variables to ensure national representation across gender, education level, race/ethnicity, age and geography.
Finally, we will determine the most effective channels for communicating with the public. For example, we will see whether social media, print sources, webpages, community outreach, etc. are the most useful ways to reach people.
We cannot do this alone. We need your help to support the partnership with Northwestern, and hire a market research firm to execute the quantitative survey.
Please support our rebranding effort by donating here. If every person reading this donated the equivalent of the fee from just one therapy hour (or as generously as you can), we’d be on our way!
Why do we need your help? PsiAN charges you nothing for membership and, as an all-volunteer organization, we do all of our work and advocacy pro bono. We are coming to you now to support this important project, which will benefit all of us, in many ways, for many years to come.
Thank you so much for helping our communities grow stronger and healthier, both for current and future generations!