Therapists are using TikTok as a platform to increase their income through online therapy.

As TikTok's popularity rises, therapists are exploring unconventional methods to attract clients and increase income.

May 20th 2024.

Therapists are using TikTok as a platform to increase their income through online therapy.
As TikTok continues to dominate the social media landscape, therapists are discovering new and unconventional methods to expand their client base and increase their income. Gone are the days of needing to see 20 to 25 clients a week in order to make a decent living as a full-time therapist. Thanks to platforms like TikTok, therapists can now become content creators and potentially earn four times their previous salary by sharing bite-sized videos about dating and mental health, as reported by Vox.

One therapist who has found success in this new realm is Jeff Guenther, an individual and couples therapist based in Portland, Oregon. Instead of filling his schedule with clients, Guenther now sees only eight to 10 clients over the course of two days, freeing up time for him to create TikTok content. With 2.8 million followers, Guenther has been able to generate a substantial income through brand deals, merchandise sales, and direct subscriptions.

When asked if he has reached the million-dollar mark, Guenther happily confirms, "It's been an especially good year." By utilizing his background in relationship therapy, Guenther creates spoken-word listicles on TikTok, such as "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."

But Guenther is not the only therapist finding success on TikTok. The rise of social media has given licensed professionals a platform to showcase their expertise in creative and engaging ways. From dancing alongside graphics to discussing topics like ADHD and PMDD, to lip-syncing popular songs while providing information on identifying and helping clients with depression and suicidal thoughts, these therapists are using TikTok to connect with a wider audience and promote their products, courses, and books.

For Dr. Kojo Sarfo, a British psychologist and comedian, TikTok has even led to a comedy tour where he asks the audience about their own mental health diagnoses. And Dr. Julie Smith, a psychologist and author, has gained a massive following of 4.7 million by using colorful and attention-grabbing gimmicks in her spoken-word listicles, such as "3 Ways Past Trauma Can Show Up in Your Present" and "5 Signs of a Highly Sensitive Person."

While TikTok may seem like an easy way for therapists to make money through visual content, it also comes with its own set of challenges. As with any social media platform, public perception and comments can make or break a therapist's success. Guenther admits, "It's exhausting. There's burnout. It's a gross place to be." He explains the demands of the algorithm, the negative comments, and the sense of constant scrutiny from followers.

"I want to get out of here because Daddy Algorithm is my boss," Guenther continues, "and I get a performance review every single day based on an algorithm that's mysterious and doesn't make any sense." Despite the challenges, therapists on TikTok are still pushing forward, using their platform to break stigmas, educate, and connect with a wider audience. As the saying goes, with great power comes great responsibility, and for these therapists, the power of TikTok is being used to promote mental health awareness and support.

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