Dr. Jonice Webb is a clinical psychologist and writer living in Lexington, Massachusetts. She’s one of the few psychologists whose focus is on helping those who have suffered emotional neglect in childhood. In this interview, Jonice talks about building her private practice, blogging weekly at Psych Central, writing books, and leading online courses.
[2:18] Jonice says she is one of the few therapists who specialize in emotional abuse. A lack of focus by therapists on emotional abuse is partially why she was drawn to the niche.
[3:06] Jonice explains how the subtle forms of emotional neglect in childhood follow an individual into adulthood.
[3:38] Jonice wanted to be a psychologist since her childhood. She’s fascinated by the human mind.
[4:18] Jonice grew up on a farm in Oklahoma in an area where there were no psychologists that she was exposed to. Her favorite TV show was the Bob Newhart Show. She loved the show and realized she wanted to be a therapist.
[5:30] Jonice has been a practicing therapist for almost 20 years, in several settings. For the last 10 years she’s been in private practice. With these clients she noticed a commonality: many people who said they had good childhoods were still blaming themselves, and they were angry. She realized all these people grew up with parents who did not answer their emotional needs.
[7:20] Jonice explains that when parents ask questions of their children, noticing their emotional needs, it sends the message that the emotions are real and they matter.
[8:30] In 2012 Jonice wrote a book, Running on Empty. She started doing more writing, speaking, and interviews around emotional neglect at that time. She writes a weekly guest blog on Psych Central—sometimes thousands of people read her blog every week. An online program developed out of the blog, aimed at treating childhood emotional neglect. She’s cut back her practice because the online program is doing so well.
[10:20] Jonice talks more about her online program. It’s a series of modules with homework assignments. She leads a recorded group Q&A call every other week, along with other supports for participants.
[11:40] The program has a start date for marketing reasons—to bring everyone in at once—and because Jonice wants people to begin the course when they’re ready to work. Once you join you can be a member for life.
[12:58] Jonice says her Psych Central blog sends people to her newsletter, which has 16,000 subscribers. She uses the newsletter to inform people about her online program and other courses of treatment.
[14:25] Jonice talks about working with a marketer. She says there’s a synergy that happens between psychology and marketing that makes both modalities stronger.
[17:08] Jonice speaks to writing her book. She doesn’t make a lot of money from it, but that wasn’t the point in writing it. She wanted to get her message out and that’s been rewarding.
[19:25] Jonice is working on a second book right now. She uses Facebook and Twitter to reach wider audiences.
[20:17] Private practice, blogging, book sales, and the online course are Jonice’s main income sources. She’s going to start public speaking soon and teaching a course for therapists.
[21:11] Jonice only sees patients Monday through Wednesday. The rest of the workweek she works on writing and social media marketing. Jonice says her brain is never really turned off from work ideas.
[23:21] Jonice talks more about her two books. Her first book is a combination of exploration, information, and recovery practices. The second is about dealing with emotional neglect in recovery and how it impacts adult relationships.
[28:52] At this point most people are coming to Jonice’s practice because they identified with her book or her blog.
[30:00] Jonice connects emotional neglect to life problems on her blog . Emotional neglect is a root cause of depression, relationship problems, and other issues.
[31:20] The first thing Jonice did to form an online presence was blog for an all women’s website, Bella Online. This got her into the writing mode. Her advice to new therapists is to find a way to make a presence online. It’s how you will reach a lot of people.
[32:35] Jonice was afraid to put herself out on the Internet initially. She had to overcome her fears.
Dr. Jonice Webb has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, and has been licensed to practice since 1991. She is the author of the self-help book, Running on Empty: Overcome Your Childhood Emotional Neglect. She has been interviewed about Childhood Emotional Neglect on NPR and over 30 radio shows across the United States and Canada.
Dr. Webb created and runs the popular Fuel Up For Life Childhood Emotional Neglect Recovery Program online. She writes a weekly blog on the Childhood Emotional Neglect Page on PsychCentral.com, and is currently writing her second book about Childhood Emotional Neglect.
Dr. Webb runs a busy private practice in the Boston area where she specializes in treating Emotional Neglect in individuals, couples and families.
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