Therapists, TikTok Therapy

Therapists Making More Money Through TikTok Therapy

With the dominance of TikTok growing every day, therapists are finding new traditional ways of growing their client base and making money.

With the dominance of TikTok growing every day, therapists are finding new non-traditional ways of growing their client base and making money.

Full-time therapists once needed to make a weekly quota of 20 to 25 clients (dictated by insurance companies) to make around $100,000 a year. But now, thanks to social media platforms like TikTok, a therapist can become a full- or part-time content creator and make quadruple that amount pushing out short 60-second listicles about dating and mental health, Vox reported.

Therapists like Jeff Guenther, an individual and couples therapist in Portland, Oregon, have resorted to seeing just eight to 10 clients two days a week and filming TikTok content that generates nine to ten times more than $100,000 a year. What once required sitting in the office or seeing clients virtually throughout the week, has transitioned into brand deals, merch, and direct subscriptions with his 2.8 million TikTok followers.

“It’s been an especially good year,” Guenther said when asked if he’s hit the million-dollar mark.

Guenther is making a killing by applying his relationship therapy background to TikTok, where he crafts spoken-word listicles like “5 signs your relationship is going great,” “7 signs to look for when you’re ready for a relationship,” and “3 first date questions that will tell you everything you need to know.”

The social media era of therapists is seeing more licensed professionals perform dances next to eye-catching graphics about having both ADHD and PMDD or lip sync trending songs in a captioned video about identifying a depressed suicidal client. The most successful TikTok therapists sell products that establish themselves as mental health experts, offer digital courses, or promote their books and merchandise.

Dr. Kojo Sarfo has taken his online persona further with his comedy tour, where he asks the audience about their mental health diagnoses. British psychologist and author Dr. Julie Smith has amassed 4.7 million TikTok followers by turning her mental health therapy into 60-second spoken-word listicles where she uses colorful gimmicks to attract viewers who will watch her break down “3 Ways Past Trauma Can Show Up in Your Present” or “5 Signs of a Highly Sensitive Person.”

As easy as TikTok is making it for therapists to make money curating visual content, it does come with its own set of challenges. With anything revolving around social media, public perception is your judge and the comment section can be your best friend or worst enemy.

“It’s exhausting. There’s burnout. It’s a gross place to be,” Guenther says about the algorithm demands, hate comments, and followers who feel like they have direct access to him.

“I want to get out of here because Daddy Algorithm is my boss and I get a performance review every single day based on an algorithm that’s mysterious and doesn’t make any sense.”

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