It is fifteen years since I completed graduate school. Times have changed and so has the counseling profession. Here I sit in 2009, perched on my sofa, laptop in hand, blogging with my ACA colleagues who are miles away in other parts of the country. We bring our collective knowledge to cyberspace and share. In turn, we hope you will share your thoughts and wisdom with us. While we continue to benefit from face-to-face conferences, workshops and retreats, we now have social media and Web 2.0 as a way to bring people together around common interests. Each of us blogging here will likely find our individual voice about topics we are comfortable discussing. And those of you willing to chime in will stretch and grow us in directions we had not anticipated. Still others will read and never comment publically but we will all take what we learn and influence the counseling profession and the community at large.
This first post sets the stage for sharing and learning. And for starters, we will learn the power of a blog within a large professional organization representing the helping professions. We will learn how quickly knowledge can be shared and how ideas can form and change rapidly. Transparency is a popular term now. In government and in work across the globe people are seeking transparency – a way to see and share and be authentic. Blogs are but one way that technology offers transparency. Here and now, talk it, discuss it, blog it, debate it and change it.
As with anything, there are cautionary tales and my guess is we will stumble upon a few right here. We will learn many things about blogs as we blog. How does blogging impact our work and our profession? How can blogging benefit a private practice or promote an agency’s mission? How can blogging be therapeutic? When might blogging be problematic? What happens if my client responds to my blog? And what if I am asked to read my client’s blog?
Oh, the places we will go! And that’s just about blogs!
DeeAnna Merz Nagel is a clinical counselor, teacher, workshop presenter, sat on the ACA Cyber Technology Taskforce, and is co-founder of the Online Therapy Institute.