Sport Consulting in Mainstream Media: Is All Publicity Good Publicity?

Ashley Coker-Cranney, West Virginia University, USA

Theme: Professional issues and ethics (AASP-related)

Poster Number: 66

Program ID: POS-1

Presentation: October 3, 2013 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Room: Napoleon


On June 29, 2011, USA Network aired the pilot episode for its newest original series, "Necessary Roughness." Each episode follows Dr. Danielle “Dani” Santino, a psychotherapist working with the New York Hawks as she consults with various athletes, politicians, and entertainers (NBCUniversal, 2011). Although the series raises mainstream awareness of sport psychology, it leaves the professional audience wondering “Is all publicity good publicity?” As the story goes with dramatized accounts of any facet of human nature, certain liberties must be taken to ensure adequate ratings. Therefore, this presentation will focus on issues pertaining to ethical concerns of sport psychology professionals, as they are depicted in the show, as well as their relationship to the current AASP Code of Ethics. Issues including dual roles, romantic relationships, confidentiality, competence, and others presented in the television series will be discussed to define context for the discussion. Finally, this presentation will conclude with implications of Necessary Roughness on the field of sport psychology as a whole. For instance, how might the consulting landscape change if we, as practitioners, did not have to shout from the rooftops, “We exist!” On the other hand, is the price of visibility and potential increase in client interest worth the risk of a misinformed public? Whether you have seen the show or read the listservs—or are new to the discussion—this presentation is a combination of ethics and professional concerns that will, at the very least, raise awareness of the state of our field with the introduction of a dramatized account of practical sport psychology, laying the groundwork for future projects related to the use of mainstream media to promote the field of sport psychology.

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