Cyber-Savvy Therapy: Social Networking of Grieving Youth


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Cheryl Edwards and Daxon Edwards present on how young adults express their grief online and how counselors and businesses should create a presence for themselves on Facebook with Fan Pages or Groups.

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  • Video is from 2009. Stats have changed, but it shows you the radical change that’s going on. Social media is here to stay. As counselors and grief professionals, it’s important to know the normalization going on for those under 35, but also how it’s changing the older generations.
  • Potsie, Richie, Fonzi and closest 100 million Friends Part mall, movie theater, concert, slumber party MySpace has 100 million=larger thaqn total population CA, TX, NY
  • Cyber-Savvy Therapy: Social Networking of Grieving Youth

    1. 1. Cyber-Savvy Therapy: Social Networking of Grieving Youth Cheryl Edwards, M.S., L.P.C., C.T. Daxon D. Edwards, M.B.A., eCommerce
    2. 2. How You Can Use Social Networks Daxon Edwards, MBA, eCommerce
    3. 3. Quick Review Hundreds of Social Networks
    4. 4. Social Media Revolution Video We included a video at this point. You can view the video on YouTube. http:// =sIFYPQjYhv8
    5. 5. The Largest Website in the World Over 400 Million People
    6. 6. 103 Million (30%) &
    7. 7. Facebook Demographics (pt. 1) <ul><li>56% are U.S. Females (of the 103 million) </li></ul><ul><li>13-17: 10% </li></ul><ul><li>18-24: 25% </li></ul><ul><li>25-34: 25% </li></ul><ul><li>35-54: 29% </li></ul><ul><li>55+: 10% (grew 922% since 2008) </li></ul><ul><li>*All stats are for the U.S. </li></ul><ul><li>Source: iStrategy Labs (Corbet, 2010) </li></ul>
    8. 8. Facebook Demographics (pt. 2) <ul><li>Largest Cities: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>New York (3%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Los Angeles (2%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Chicago (2%) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>More affluent population vs. MySpace </li></ul><ul><li>*All stats are U.S. </li></ul><ul><li>(Corbett, 2010; Miller, 2007) </li></ul>
    9. 9. Facebook Behavior (pt 1) <ul><li>Each Day: </li></ul><ul><li>50% log on </li></ul><ul><li>35 million have something new to say in their “status” </li></ul><ul><li>Each Week: </li></ul><ul><li>5 billion pieces of content shared / week (e.g. links, blog posts, photo albums, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Each Month: </li></ul><ul><li>3 billion photos uploaded </li></ul><ul><li>3.5 million events </li></ul><ul><li>Source: Facebook, 2010 </li></ul>
    10. 10. Facebook Behavior (pt 2) <ul><li>The average person: </li></ul><ul><li>130 friends </li></ul><ul><li>Invites 8 people to be their friend each month </li></ul><ul><li>Spends 55 minutes per day on Facebook </li></ul><ul><li>Invited to 3.5 events per month </li></ul><ul><li>Member of 13 “groups” </li></ul><ul><li>Source: Facebook, 2010 </li></ul>
    11. 11. Why Social? (pt 1) <ul><li>Staying in touch </li></ul><ul><li>Meeting new friends (with common interests) </li></ul><ul><li>Meeting old friends (from previous schools) </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook stalking  </li></ul><ul><li>Scoping out people before dates </li></ul><ul><li>(Larsen 2007) </li></ul>
    12. 12. Why Social? (pt 2) <ul><li>Receiving comments and messages from friends </li></ul><ul><li>Encouraging one another </li></ul><ul><li>Showcasing what they are proud of </li></ul><ul><li>Promoting causes they support </li></ul><ul><li>Constructing their identities </li></ul><ul><li>(Larsen 2007) </li></ul>
    13. 13. Where is My Place?
    14. 14. Working Man <ul><li>Working man </li></ul><ul><li>College graduate </li></ul><ul><li>Wife </li></ul><ul><li>Child </li></ul><ul><li>Rugby & football </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook user </li></ul><ul><li>Doesn’t know a counselor </li></ul><ul><li>Wife in a comma for two months… </li></ul>
    15. 15. Working Man <ul><li>- Reach Him? - </li></ul>
    16. 16. Groups vs. Fan Pages VS.
    17. 17. Fan Pages, What? <ul><li>Meant for individuals, businesses, products….i.e. things. </li></ul><ul><li>Accessible to those not on Facebook. </li></ul><ul><li>Features similar to personal profiles. </li></ul><ul><li>Content is typically provided by the entity the Page is for and people interact with it. The page is not maintained by a “group” but a set of people directly affliated with the entity. </li></ul><ul><li>A person becomes a “fan”, not a “member”. </li></ul>
    18. 18. Fan Pages: Advantages <ul><li>Admin’s personal profile does not show in “fans” list </li></ul>
    19. 19. Fan Page Grief Example <ul><li>Wall </li></ul><ul><li>Info (Your company Info) </li></ul><ul><li>Photos </li></ul>
    20. 20. Fan Page Grief Example <ul><li>Wall </li></ul><ul><li>Info (Your company Info) </li></ul><ul><li>Photos/Images </li></ul><ul><li>Discussion/Forum </li></ul><ul><li>Applications </li></ul><ul><li>Articles/Blog </li></ul><ul><li>Videos </li></ul><ul><li>Fans </li></ul><ul><li>Fan Comments </li></ul>
    21. 21. Fan Pages: Advantages <ul><li>Display content on any site </li></ul>
    22. 22. Fan Pages: Disadvantages <ul><li>Searches: Keywords Only in Title </li></ul>
    23. 23. Groups <ul><li>Usually around a cause, purpose, organization, or intangible concept </li></ul><ul><li>Everyone participates in a group to provide content around the cause </li></ul><ul><li>“Join” a group and become a “member” </li></ul>
    24. 24. Groups: Advantages <ul><li>Personalized invitations </li></ul><ul><li>Keywords in descriptions are searched </li></ul><ul><li>Privacy settings (public vs. private) </li></ul>
    25. 25. Groups: Disadvantages <ul><li>Your personal profile is listed as the “admin” for the group </li></ul><ul><li>Not as many features available as Pages </li></ul><ul><li>Can’t serve up the content via a widget on your own site </li></ul>
    26. 26. How’s The Competition? <ul><li>Search Pages and Groups by keywords </li></ul>
    27. 27. What Do I Put On My Page? <ul><li>Funny </li></ul><ul><li>Meaningful </li></ul><ul><li>Informative </li></ul><ul><li>Use examples of versions with high member counts and low </li></ul><ul><li>Quotes </li></ul><ul><li>One-sentence words of wisdom </li></ul><ul><li>Easily digestible content </li></ul><ul><li>Types: Comics (, videos (YouTube), articles/links </li></ul><ul><li>Do not include: boring, clinical, highly educated </li></ul><ul><li>Get permission where you can </li></ul>
    28. 28. Good to Great <ul><li>Ask why you want a page </li></ul><ul><li>Choose a title and description that uses keywords </li></ul><ul><li>Clarify/establish voice/personality </li></ul><ul><li>Relational – the page isn’t for you </li></ul><ul><li>Use humor/light hearted </li></ul><ul><li>Provide Solutions </li></ul><ul><li>Update the page often (once per week) </li></ul><ul><li>Talking directly to them (i.e. “you”) and use “we” </li></ul><ul><li>Include contact information in the “information” area </li></ul>
    29. 29. Ways Youth Grieve using Social Networks
    30. 30. Grief Expressed On Facebook
    31. 31. Grief Expressed On Facebook <ul><li>Messages to the deceased </li></ul><ul><li>Post photos </li></ul><ul><li>Share music and videos </li></ul><ul><li>Respond to each other </li></ul><ul><li>Talk about old times </li></ul><ul><li>Share links and events </li></ul>
    32. 32. Utilize the Use of Social Networks in Therapeutic Settings
    33. 33. Professional Opportunities <ul><li>Psychiatrists are starting to tout the therapeutic power of blogging and many incorporate it into patient treatment (Bennett, 2008) </li></ul><ul><li>Mascari and Webber presented at the 2008 ACA annual conference stating counselors “ must keep pace with the world by embracing technology….” </li></ul><ul><li>“… professionals providing services to bereaved adolescents would be wise to recognize the roles that the internet and other forms of technology may have in their process of coping with loss ” (Sofka, C.J. 2009) </li></ul>
    34. 34. Let’s Investigate <ul><li>Using social networks as an </li></ul><ul><li>Information and support resource </li></ul><ul><li>Intervention tool </li></ul>
    35. 35. Assisting Clients With Information <ul><li>Discuss posting to the deceased person’s Social Network site </li></ul><ul><li>Recording memories of the person </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Facebook memorializes profiles to serve as historical page </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Connecting with others going through similar pain-normalize </li></ul><ul><li>Dialogue and joining with others to overcome their aloneness </li></ul>
    36. 36. Within 6 hours Over 1000 posts
    37. 37. Postings <ul><li>“ I won’t stop thinking about you..ever!” </li></ul><ul><li>“ There are so many moments in my day that I want to share with you” </li></ul><ul><li>“ L.B. say Hi to my dad and tell him I love him so much” </li></ul><ul><li>“ There will be a prayer service tonight @ Christ the King Church at 6 for all of us friends..” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Your dad said thanks to me for coming tonight..I said thank you too—what was wrong with me??” </li></ul>
    38. 38. Social Networking Sites as an Intervention Tool <ul><li>Using the client’s MySpace/Facebook in the session: </li></ul><ul><li>Explore the profile as a reflective exercise between their public profile and actual perception of self </li></ul><ul><li>Explore the posted notes </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss recent social interactions online and how these are affecting the client </li></ul>
    39. 39. Social Networking Sites as an Intervention Tool <ul><li>Using the client’s MySpace/Facebook in the session: </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss the role of friendships online versus offline </li></ul><ul><li>Explore how their layout, quotes, and other aspects express the client’s personality and individuality </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss safety and potential high risk behaviors online </li></ul><ul><li>Reflect with the client about friends’ comments and messages – normalizing grief feelings </li></ul>
    40. 40. Professional Facebook
    41. 41. Counselors on Facebook <ul><li>Last year 150 names listed </li></ul><ul><li>This year over 500 names listed </li></ul><ul><li>Personally: “Fan Page” –not “group”-- “word of mouth”—”Pass it on”—Ease to access </li></ul><ul><li>Continually monitoring it and expanding and experimenting </li></ul><ul><li>Contact with my board – have members as a “fan” </li></ul>
    42. 42. Where To Begin <ul><li>Be aware of “your” licensed ethical guidelines </li></ul><ul><li>Gather information about your online choices for reaching new clients </li></ul><ul><li>Become knowledgeable of both your state and national regulations </li></ul><ul><li>Increase communication tools that are quickly changing the way we conduct counseling </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>K. Derrig-Palumbo and Z.Foojan (2005) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    43. 43. Professional Profiles <ul><li>Research shows students like it if their counselors, teachers and professors have MySpace or Facebook profiles (Shipp, Adria (2009) BUT. . . </li></ul><ul><li>Do not come across as “too chummy” or try to be “cool” on your profiles </li></ul><ul><li>Do not include personal information, phone numbers, addresses or information about family members or counselor’s private life </li></ul><ul><li>Only include information that would be disclosed in a person-to-person session </li></ul>
    44. 44. Professional Content <ul><li>-- Benign photos (nothing suggestive, but something more personal than a professional head shot) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Favorite quotes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Favorite books or movies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A description of counseling services provided </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be genuine, warm and friendly BUT with a feeling of boundaries and professionalism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>BALANCE accessibility with proper information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Jane Webber (2008) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    45. 45. Examine ethical consideration of the online social networking world
    46. 46. Counselor Ethical Consideration <ul><li>Exercise appropriate caution </li></ul><ul><li>Follow ethical steps when establishing competence </li></ul><ul><li>Social Networking is not used for counseling – only as an educational tool </li></ul><ul><li>Continue “due diligence” in monitoring your site </li></ul><ul><li>Make the client’s welfare a priority </li></ul><ul><li>Do not post to the client’s site—you are not a “friend” </li></ul><ul><li>Keep trust and good faith by honoring the fidelity of the counselor-client relationship </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(Gamino,L.A. and Ritter, R. H. 2009) </li></ul></ul>
    47. 47. Underage Parental Agreement <ul><li>Discuss with the parent/guardian the purpose of using MySpace/Facebook as an intervention. </li></ul>
    48. 48. Professional Challenges <ul><li>Never solicit a connection to client social network. A connection severely jeopardizes client confidentiality and should never be initiated by the therapist. </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss with the client his/her reasons for requesting a connection. Is the client using the counseling relationship as a friendship? Does he or she want to be a  bigger part of your life? Addressing motivations could be good in the  therapy process. </li></ul><ul><li>Address the risks and benefits. Clients may underestimate the potential for negative emotions they might feel being in  your network. Also, address client expectations—what purpose does the client believe the  online connection will serve? </li></ul><ul><li>Clean up your profile. Minimize the risk of blurring professional-personal boundaries by making your account  less personal. </li></ul><ul><li>Centore, Anthony, J., (2008) </li></ul>
    49. 49. What We Hope You Have Experienced <ul><li>An appreciation for the social networks of grieving youth </li></ul><ul><li>A expanded set of social network tools to use in therapeutic settings </li></ul><ul><li>Considerations for innovative professional ways to connect with grieving youth </li></ul><ul><li>Continued ethical consideration of the online social networking world </li></ul>
    50. 50. Contact Information for Presenters <ul><li>Cheryl Edwards, M.S., L.P.C., C.T. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Preferred Counseling, P.A. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>P.O.Box #3 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fort Smith, AR 72902 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ph: 479-709-9880 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fax: 479-709-9887 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Email: [email_address] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blog: </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Daxon D. Edwards, M.B.A., eCommerce </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Email: [email_address] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Company: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Twitter: @ daxonedwards </li></ul></ul>
    51. 51. Handout: Good to Great <ul><li>Lock Down Your Voice : Write down the characteristics about the “personality” you will use when posting content. Consistency is vital toward helping people join and be attracted to your initiative. </li></ul><ul><li>Make It High : Your social network page cannot be a secondary site for you and return the results you are looking for. The page must be at equal, if not primary, online priority for you. </li></ul><ul><li>Make It Relative : It’s very rare to have people who are willing to become a fan or join a group around a business. Instead create one or more page or groups within a social network around specific topics. Then mention your practice in an information/about page. </li></ul><ul><li>Make It Relational : If your page is not specifically about your business, then remember that you are starting a COMMUNITY, not a business webpage. People will easily draw around a cause or enriching content before they will draw around a businesses. When you post, use terms like “you” and “we” and “us”. You are just like them—normal people finding good things to say. </li></ul><ul><li>Reach Out and Touch : If your page is about your business, remember that a social network page is the beginning of a relationship. Everything you post is like meeting someone at lunch or a social function. Speak to them. Don’t just be another library on the web. If they post something, interact with them with a simple thanks or add your own input. Just remember to talk like an educated equal instead of an authority. You can talk like an authority on your own site. </li></ul>
    52. 52. Handout: Content <ul><li>Make It Light : Humor and entertainment are the most effective way to get people interested in your practice/message and take on the voluntary role as your online salesmen. Examples: videos with entertaining personalities, comic strips, funny and/or meaningful stories. </li></ul><ul><li>Lack-Luster : It’s often hard to find good content. As a fall-back, you can post boring content. But do that rarely—once every three or four posts. Too much will turn people away. </li></ul><ul><li>Quality with Ease : Get content from other counselors or professors (be sure to ask for permission), public domain content from Wikipedia, hire someone to add “fun” to your information when you need to. Fun content can be fond on YouTube,, or search the web with Google. </li></ul><ul><li>Consideration : Remember that even though your page is on Facebook, you should still at least let the owner of the content know you are using is and always provide a link back to their site as a sign of good faith. </li></ul>
    53. 53. Handout: Frequency <ul><li>Quick Read : Ideally, update your social network page about once a week with quality content that is short and to the point. However, it’s usually okay to go as long as two weeks before updating. You want to sit at the sweet spot of not inundating them with messaging while still popping up every once-in-a-while. </li></ul><ul><li>It’s Not You : Remember information you provide through the page probably isn’t as important to them as it is to you. </li></ul><ul><li>Contacting : In most social networks, there is really only two ways your “fans” will hear from you: (1) when you add new content and (2) if you email all your fans. They will forget about you when you aren’t updating. </li></ul><ul><li>Relationship : At the least, like a friendship, realize that the less you interact the relationship will decline. </li></ul>
    54. 54. Handout: Technology & Communication <ul><li>Be open to learning about technology from students or continuing education programs </li></ul><ul><li>Buy and use technology even if you’re uncomfortable and need to ask a child how to use it </li></ul><ul><li>Instant messaging and Internet video chats are something you need to be capable of doing </li></ul><ul><li>Develop a set of technology competencies that you can achieve with specific deadlines to avoid digital procrastination </li></ul><ul><li>Refer back to your Code of Ethics (Same rules both online and offline) </li></ul><ul><li>Open a business Facebook account and post information for counselees: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Never solicit a connection. A connection severely jeopardizes client confidentiality and should never be initiated by the therapist. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep the profile professional. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Minimize the risk of blurring professional-personal boundaries by keeping your account fun but professional. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do not come across as “too chummy” or try to be “cool” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Only include information that would be disclosed in a person-to-person session—beware of the ethical slippery slope. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Recognize there will be new technological devices continually changing clients thinking and use of social networking </li></ul><ul><li>Be open and flexible to these changes </li></ul><ul><li>(Mascari, B. and Webber, J. 2008; Centore, A.J. 2008) </li></ul>
    55. 55. Handout: Social Networks in Therapy <ul><li>Explore the profile as a reflective exercise into congruence between public profile and actual perception of self c </li></ul><ul><li>Explore blogs and/or posted notes c </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss recent social interactions online and how these are affecting the client c </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss the role of friendships online versus offline c </li></ul><ul><li>Explore how the layout, quotes, and other aspects express the client’s personality c </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss safety and high risk behaviors online c </li></ul><ul><li>Respond to friends’ comments and messages–working through online conflicts </li></ul><ul><li>(Webber, J. 2008) </li></ul>
    56. 56. Additional Facebook Links <ul><li>Create a Fan Page: http:// </li></ul><ul><li>Create a Group: http:// </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook Fan Page Widgets: http:// -widgets/ </li></ul>
    57. 57. References <ul><li>Assimon, J. (2010). Parents and Friends use Facebook to Cope With the Loss of Their Loved Ones. JerkMagazine. Retrieved April 6, 2010, from: </li></ul><ul><li>American Counseling Association: Ethics code titled, The Appropriateness of On-Line Counseling. </li></ul><ul><li>Bennett, J. (2008). My shrink Says…Blog!, Newsweek 42 13. </li></ul><ul><li>Centore, Anthony, J., Ph.D (2008) October. Online Social Networking (i.e., “Facebooking”) with Therapy Clients. Retrieved April 1, 2010 from : http:// /counseling/online-social-networking . </li></ul><ul><li>Derrig-Palumbo, K. and Foojan, Z. (2005). Online Therapy: A Therapist’s Guide to Expanding Your Practice. New York, NY: W.W. Norton and Co. Inc. </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook Advertising. (2010). Facebook Advertising . Retrieved April 6, 2010, </li></ul><ul><li>from: </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook Press Room Statistics. (2010). Facebook Statistics . Retrieved April 6, 2010, from: </li></ul><ul><li>Gamino, L. and Ritter, R. H. (2009). Ethical Practice in Grief Counseling. New York city, NY: Springer Publishing Company. </li></ul><ul><li>Jones, G. and Stokes, A. (2009). Online Counseling: a handbook for practitioners. Palgrave Macmillan. </li></ul><ul><li>Larsen, M.C. PhD. Candidate. (2007). Understanding Social Networking: On Young People’s Construction and Co-construction of Identity Online. Department of Communication and Psychology Aalborg University. Retrieved April 6, 2010, from: </li></ul>
    58. 58. References <ul><li>. </li></ul><ul><li>Mascari, B. and Webber J. (2008) Keeping up with the Facebook and Myspace Generation: What Counselors Can Do. Vistas 2008 Online. Retrieved March 29, 2010, from: </li></ul><ul><li>Miller, C. C. (2007). Class War: MySpace Vs. Facebook. Forbes Online. Retrieved April 6, 2010, from: </li></ul><ul><li>Press Room: Statistics. Retrieved April 6, 2010 from http:// . </li></ul><ul><li>Qualman, Eric (2009) “Social Media Revolution” retrieved April 1, 2010 from http:// =sIFYPQjYhv8 </li></ul><ul><li>Sofka, C. (2009). Adolescents, Technology, and the Internet: Coping With Loss in the Digital World. Adolescent Encounters with Death, Bereavement, and Coping. New York, NY. Springer Publishing. </li></ul><ul><li>Top 20 Sites & Engines. Retrieved April 8, 2010, from: </li></ul><ul><li>Weber, Jane (2008) Plugged in, turned on and wired up, Counseling Today, 51 38. </li></ul><ul><li>Pictures of various Facebook profiles from </li></ul>