Recently I’ve been noticing something troubling, a bit of a trend that I’ve actually been wanting to address for a really long time. It’s been going on now for a couple of years, or at least impacting me in my life in a way that I think I want to address it. I think it impacts our mindset. It impacts how we live in this world, how we show up in this world, and how we show up as clinicians in the lives of our clients.

Now, what happened? What kind of put this on my radar? So, my company, we make a lot of content for social media, my YouTube channel, things like that. And there’s a wonderful woman who works for me. Her name is Helen, and she’s kind of director of the things that we do. And Helen had this idea that we would make a video to help encourage people to follow me on Instagram. So I was like, “Sure, that sounds great.” And it was literally like a 20 second video where I said, “Hi, my name is Elliott Connie. I’m a world leading psychotherapist and I make content that I want to inspire you. Head on over to my Instagram if you want to stay inspired and engage in content.” That was literally the video. It was just that.

And almost daily, I get people questioning why I would refer to myself as a world leading psychotherapist. Almost daily, I get people questioning whether or not I have the credentials to say that, whether I am a licensed psychotherapist or not. People say really horrible things almost daily.

And I’ve been thinking about that for a really long time. I’ve actually never addressed this publicly in this way until now. And I think I want to say two things about it.

Number one, why do we show up online usually and make statements about people with the intention to disturb them? Online!? Because we would never say these things in front of somebody’s face like that. No one’s ever said these things to me in my face. But they say it online, and I don’t understand why, ’cause it really impacts ‘YOU’. When ‘you’ make these statements, with the intention of disturbing somebody’s peace and disturbing somebody’s life, it’s actually disrupting ‘your’ peace and ‘your’ life.

The best thing you can do to feel good about yourself is to engage with people, and help them feel good about themselves. So I don’t understand why ‘we’ are so motivated to try to drag people down.

And the other thing about that is, I’m so proud of where I am right now, and not because I’ve accomplished these things, not because I’ve earned the right to refer to myself as a world leading psychotherapist. My work is known all over the world. No one in the history of Solution Focused Brief Therapy has introduced more people to Solution Focused Brief Therapy. I have the largest following. I’ve published many books.

I’m actually proud of myself because I’m not depressed anymore. I’m not struggling with mental health issues, anxiety, and dark thoughts, and all those things that were such a part of my life in my youth, when I was dealing with a father that was really angry and abusive.

I think ‘you’ have to stop judging people because you don’t know how hard they worked to get to where they got. We’ve gotta stop removing people’s ability to claim their progress and their greatness.

And one of the reasons why I think this is important for us as clinicians is number one, you can’t just show up like a jerk on social media and then show up like an angel in your clinical sessions. You can’t be judgmental of people claiming their progress and being proud of themselves on social media or online, and then expect to be able to do that in your clinical sessions.

Judgmentalness is a habit. And if you are out in the world practicing that habit, then it’s going to leak into your clinical work where your actual job is to help people highlight their strengths, resources, talent, and progress.

I have no idea why that simple statement would trigger people to such a great degree that it has. I really have no clue. I didn’t even think about it the day I made the video. To me, it’s just a simple statement of fact. I’m someone who has influenced psychotherapists in the Solution Focused Approach around the world. That is literally a statement of fact. That’s not me bragging. That’s not me showing off. I was just stating a fact. I’m a world leading psychotherapist, which is why people should listen to me when I talk about psychotherapeutic things and should not listen to me if I’m talking about other things.

I’m not a chef, I’m not a auto mechanic, I’m not a movie creator. I’m an architect. These are not areas I can speak to, in any way of confident expertise, but psychotherapy I can. And I earned the right to do that by getting the degree, getting my license, practicing for nearly 20 years, writing the books, traveling around the world. I’ve been to over 30 countries. I’ve taught Solution Focused Brief Therapy on every continent. I’m responsible for Solution Focused Brief Therapy being exposed to millions of people, giving some podcasts I’ve done. Some interviews I’ve done. Some TV spots I’ve done. And I’m doing more.

This trend is bigger than me. Social media has become such a negative place where people literally show up with the intention of disturbing people. And they’re clinicians, the people commenting on these comments are professional mental health experts. They’re clinicians. And if ‘you’ think ‘you’ can just do that online and then walk into ‘your’ clinical space and be a healer, that’s not how it works. ‘You’ have to have congruence.

Carl Rogers wrote about this years ago. In order for you to be an effective clinician and an effective human, you have to have congruence. And I’m disappointed in what I see my colleagues and peers doing. And we need to do better. We need to do better for one another, and we need to do better so that we can show up at our very best.

We need to be able to celebrate accomplishments of other people. And again, I’m not talking about like the tangible stuff. I mean the, the healing journey that people have been on. It has been an amazing amount of work for me to get to a place where my thoughts about myself are not negative. Where my thoughts about myself are not dark.

It has been a journey of healing just so I can say and think things positively about myself. And now when I do, people have the audacity to chastise me and criticize me and attack me online. Never would someone say that in your face personally. But online it’s become this crazy place where we feel free to judge, criticize and intentionally disturb people’s peace, intentionally disturb people’s lives.

So this video really, I wanna call you to be kind. If anyone can lead the charge of kindness online, it should be the community of psychotherapists. And I think all of us would acknowledge that we do need to do something about the way the online space is being used now.

Let’s be leaders of the kindness movement in that space. Let’s start with how we treat one another. I’m certainly not the only one. I just thought it was appropriate to make this video because I promise you it’s impacting the way that you show up and see your clients. And I know that that’s not your intention. I don’t think these people are bad people, but I do think they’ve lost their way a bit, and I think we should do better.

So listen, I love you guys, and for all of you who support me, and help me to achieve these things and, and follow me, and engage with my content, I love y’all. And I’ll continue making content to support you back. And to all of you who have, who have done things and said comments from a negative attacking place to try to disturb my peace, I’m not gonna let you have that. You can’t do that. I’m gonna keep living my life, and I’m gonna keep smiling, and enjoying this ride, because I’m having such an amazing time, and I can’t believe life looks like this.

I hope ‘you’ heal from whatever caused ‘you’ harm to make ‘you’ show up and talk that way. I hope ‘you’ heal from whatever is damaging ‘you’ that makes ‘you’ want to cause harm to other people. And I hope ‘you’ do better.