Can there be too much?
Too much support?
Too much information?
Too many people trying to help?
Too many groups and options?
Years ago we were reliant on our initial training and the support we got from the tutor. Then we had to roll up our sleeves, get practicing, learn and improve over time. If you were working in a salon you got encouragement, feedback and motivation from other therapists around you but if you were working for yourself it could sometimes be lonely and disheartening. You wouldn’t be the only one who was ready to throw the tweezers away once or twice along the way!
In contrast, nowadays we have endless options to get support, tutorials and feedback. This in itself is great and offers huge potential. If you join social media and participate in groups, post pictures or ask questions you can reach further than just your trainer or local support via fellow therapists.
On YouTube, you can also get tutorials and see how others work or what other treatments or methods could be available.
That is great news, isn’t it?
So what could be bad about it?
Well, as always you have to take things with a pinch of salt.
It is only natural to take everything as gospel when you are starting with a new treatment and there is so much to learn and to take in.
BUT, be critical and don’t believe-everything!
There are a few pitfalls to watch out for:
#1 Not everyone posting online is an “expert”
You will find many self-made tutors online and those who have just been practicing without the fundamental training or knowledge so not all you see is best practice and/or safe for you and your clients.
#2 Reinventing the wheel?
There are only so many ways you can do a treatment and if it has not been done before or you see rather strange methods appearing online, question WHY it hasn’t been done like this before. Could it pose a risk to you or your client? Does it go against anything that you have learned? Is there an actual advantage of doing it this way?
#3 What products are used?
Not all products are legal everywhere. Different countries or regions have different legislation and rules so you need to take care and consider if those products or practices comply with your local rules and regulations. The internet and forums often have members from around the world and buying products from abroad has its risks and also cost involved (import fees, duties, taxes and of course the obligation to comply with legislation by obtaining safety assessments and registration of said products which may or may not be allowed in your country)
Also, check your insurance as other products or methods might conflict with your policy cover.
#4 Most support groups thrive to be friendly and supportive.
However, there are different types of groups so be keep an eye on the rules to make sure you know who your fellow members are. Some groups are open to anyone which means it can be consumers and self-taught therapists whilst other groups are professionals only which means they are (or should be) fully trained therapists in the subject of the group.
Even in a group of qualified therapists, you will find conflicting information, controversial subjects and methods that cause huge disagreement which can be due to personal opinion but also the training, experience and skill of those therapists. You will find therapists who have been doing a particular treatment for many years and thus are very experienced opposed to those who have maybe just trained and want to give advice straight away.
Likewise, experience isn’t everything as things change so quickly and some methods and products are now outdated or have been replaced by a fresher approach.
#5 Can it be too much?
Can there be too much of a good thing? Yes, in some cases it can be very confusing if you ask 10 people and you get 10 different views, 10 different product recommendations or comments of what you should or should not do.
By all means, read it and consider the options. Try and work out what will be best for you, your clients and your business, after all, it is your livelihood and you need to find out what works for you.
In a nutshell, groups, forums and tutorials are fantastic, and they can be supportive (from a professional point of view but also a personal one) as you can get back up, encouragement and also reassurance. Learn how to read them and use them wisely. Don’t compromise on safety for you or your client and take things with a pinch of salt and you can learn a lot.
Join in with a bit of chat or giggles but don’t take things too personally as things can easily be misunderstood (remember different countries and mentalities) as things that are perfectly acceptable for you might feel like an insult to someone else.
If the shoe is on the other foot and you are the therapist trying to help others be kind and try and remember how it was to first start. Some find it harder to learn than others and some might find it difficult to take constructive criticism and not to take it personally.
It is extremely easy to misunderstand each other especially if you have never met, you are not in the same area or country and you don’t speak the same language.
Try and help with subjects you are confident in and 100% know what you are talking about. Helping others with hearsay or rumors can cause more confusion through misleading information.
All in all though, if you have the time to help others it is fantastic and it is people like you who we need online to build strong support.