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Dr. Colleen Reichmann on Social Media & Mental Health


Dr. Colleen Reichmann on Social Media & Mental Health

Dr. Colleen Reichmann, a clinical psychologist with a group practice, shares her experience growing her Instagram and blog. Today’s interview includes tips for ethical and responsible social media posting and staying true to yourself and your message.

Who is Dr. Colleen Reichmann?

Dr. Collen Reichmann is a clinical psychologist with a group practice, Wildflower Therapy, located in Philadelphia, that specializes in helping individuals with eating disorders and body image issues. She also helps individuals suffering from depression, anxiety, and maternal mental health concerns.

Dr. Colleen Reichmann shares that she struggled with an eating disorder when she was younger, which gave her a strong passion and desire to help others. 

Currently, she lives outside of Philadelphia with her two children, husband, and two Goldendoodles.

Her Start on Social Media

In 2016, Dr. Colleen Reichmann started her Instagram account before she began working at a college counseling center. She was missing psychology work in her life and decided to start an account to help others online. 

“So, I had all these ideas, but there weren’t a lot of therapists at the time doing it. So, I was really worried that it wasn’t ethical or how was I going to make it? I didn’t know. I was just worried. I didn’t have many guidelines, so I was obsessively looking over my ethics code and then just kind of dipped my toe into it.”

She notes that she started with affirmation content and then expanded into body image, health at every size, maternal health, and eating disorder content. 

Dr. Colleen Reichmann shares, “The typical people that follow me on social media… I would say it started out as high school and college students, and then I believe it’s shifted over time. Now, it seems like the bulk of it is between 25 and 35, like 99% women.”

Viral Content

When asked about her viral content, Dr. Colleen Reichmann explained that she has had several viral Instagram reels. A notable one was her joking about her past self and her perfectionist habits. 

A more recent example is a post about the movie Encanto. She commented on how many young children loved Louisa, a character with a body larger than what is often featured in movies. 

She shares that the post said, “Guess kids are also sick of the whole idea that all women on film need to be super thin and fragile, and that one was a little controversial, but it was also kind of a bigger post.”

Typically, Dr. Reichmann shares posts that are mostly graphics and text, which she notes worked great at first. However, she notes that recently video has taken off more. However, she still enjoys doing graphics, so she continues to post these primarily. 

The Key to Success on Instagram

Dr. Reichmann shares that the biggest key to success on Instagram is “For me what’s been helpful is just staying true to what I want to say and trying to be genuine and authentic and reminding myself [that] this will find the people it needs to find.”

She explains that it’s okay if people unfollow her because she wants to speak to her niche and not get burnout from posting content that isn’t fun or authentic to her.

Ethical Social Media Posting

At the beginning of her social media journey, Dr. Reichmann noted that she was unsure what was ethical to post about regarding mental health and psychology online. 

Today, she shares the following advice for other doctors and psychologists looking to share online, “I would say, just know your boundaries really well before you start. There’s really no hard and fast rule… There’s no really hard and fast ethical guidelines yet, so you need to know for yourself what feels right.”

She gives the following examples to consider when thinking about your boundaries: 

  • Are you okay with current clients following you?
  • Are you okay with people messaging you for advice?

The Wildflower Therapy Blog

Dr. Reichmann shares that she built her website in 2016, but she has only recently started working with SEO consultants to improve her website’s ranking and searchability. 

One change she is making is changing subheadings to ensure that they have searchable terms within them. 

She notes, “I do think the weekly blogging is important and making sure that there’s just weekly content coming out.”

Her most read post is about a Netflix movie called To The Bone, which is a movie focused on a young woman with anorexia. 

Dr. Reichmann shares, “I did a post breaking down a psychologist’s perspective on To The Bone, and I wrote out here’s the good, here’s the bad, here’s the overall takeaway, really critiquing it heavily.”

Brand Collabs

Dr. Reichmann notes that she hasn’t done many brand collaborations out of ethical concerns. 

“I just really worry about being more harmful than helpful if I collaborate with too many things that I don’t really align with, so I’ve only thus far agreed to one collaboration.”

The one collaboration she has done is with a CBT phone app that allows individuals to track their depressive or anxious thoughts. Following this, a mental health robot on the app would give users tips and tricks for reframing their thinking. 

In the future, she is looking at some maternity-related brand collaborations. 

Creator Challenges

Dr. Reichmann shares that her biggest challenge with social media is adhering to the algorithm for growth. 

“I noticed when I got really caught up in the algorithm and likes and numbers of followers, it was soul-sucking, and I personally can’t live that way… and if that means my account doesn’t continue to grow and blow up, then I have to learn to be okay with that.”

She notes that the performative aspect of social media is the hardest part for her, especially when apps reward creators for responding and posting on the app constantly. 

Final Thoughts

Dr. Reichmann shares that her practice recently went back to its original name, Wildflower Therapy, which she is excited about because this theme is even more inclusive. 

She notes that her practice is accepting new patients if anyone in Pennsylvania is looking for virtual or in-person therapy. 

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Amy DeYoung is a freelance blog post writer covering influencer marketing and business topics. As the daughter of two business owners, she's been fascinated by all things business from a young age, which led her to graduate from college with a bachelor's degree in business. When she's not typing away, she spends her time reading nonfiction books and mystery novels, baking scrumptious desserts, and playing with her dog.

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