If you can find your therapy niche, you’ll set yourself up well for marketing your practice! Finding your niche helps with SO many aspects of a successful, sustainable practice.
A while ago I sent out a survey asking folks to tell me what topics you wanted me to focus on if I developed an affordable membership site. A number of people said they could really use some help in finding their niche.
So in this article, I thought I’d offer several routes you can take to help find your therapy niche. Some of these tools may work better for some, while some might work better for others.
Tools To Help Find Your Therapy Niche
If you’re not sure how to find your niche, have a look through these and see if one or two of these tools might help you.
1) Niche-Narrowing Exercise
- The first tool is my original tried and true method. If you haven’t given it a try yet, I’d start there.
- It involves brainstorming all the types of folks you’ve enjoyed working with thus far. Then, after you have a list, try sorting those interests based on themes.
- I won’t do a deep dive into this one here since I already have a whole video about this niche exercise.
2) Process of Elimination
- I love a tip that my friend Roy Kim gave in a video collab we did a couple years ago. He shared that he found his niche through the process of elimination.
- He began his career working with everyone. Then over time he realized he didn’t like working with couples. He continued to eliminate clients that weren’t the best fit for him.
- Eventually he landed on a very highly specialized niche of helping folks recover from sex addiction.
- This process can be a bit longer of a journey to take, but it works. And it allows you permission to take your time and explore as you discover what you truly love.
3) Identify Your Values Wholistically
- Identify your values as a human.
- For a lot of us, myself included, we find our work most rewarding when we allow the greatest amount of our values to manifest in the work that we do.
- This suggestion is especially for folks who feel completely stumped when it comes to their niche and feel they are a complete generalist.
- I suggest zooming out and taking a look at all of your values as a human – not just your professional values. Because they do all overlap.
- You can utilize something like the Life Compass worksheet from Acceptance and Commitment therapy (affiliate link). This helps you identify your values and how important each of those values are to you across several domains of your life.
- Even if you don’t have this handout handy, you can run through all the important arenas of your life from personal to professional to relational and beyond. List out your values and their importance to you.
- Now take a look and notice whether there are any themes across these domains.
- What values seem to pop up over and over regardless of whether it’s personal, professional, spiritual, or otherwise?
- Then, ask yourself: “Are there any folks or contexts I’ve worked with where I really felt like I got to lean into some of those strongest values?”
- Or ask, “Are there arenas I haven’t explored that might allow me to tap a little further into those values?”
4) Phone A Friend
- This is one of those tips that applies in almost any life situation that we feel stuck in.
- If you have a mental block, phone a friend.
- Even better if it’s someone who you’ve had the opportunity to work alongside. Such as a coworker or someone you’ve consulted with.
- Trusted supporters can sometimes be better at noticing what types of work we seem to dread and what really lights us up.
- They can also call out our tendencies to write things off like, “I’d really love to do that kind of work but I don’t think people would want to work with me because [insert self doubts here].”
5) Gamify The Process: This Or That?
- Taking a lesson from Roy Kim, you can use the process of elimination to ask yourself whether you have a preference between “this” or “that.”
- You can grab a post-it, or open the notes app on your phone. Then ask yourself whether you prefer to work with individuals or couples? Kids or adults? Would you prefer to work with mood fluctuations or anxiety? Etc etc etc.
- Let it be an exploratory game to just help you identify preferences and keep a running list of what you prefer.
- Let it get more and more specific as you go along. See if there are any themes or threads that pop up as you explore.
It’s Okay To Change Your Therapy Niche
Don’t let the pressure of finding a niche paralyze you. Think of it as choosing a lane for today. And as you learn more about your passions and interests, you can change lanes down the road.
I also have an article that helps you think through changing your niche, if that is where you find yourself.
But choosing a lane for now will make it so much easier to know who you’re wanting to reach as you build your marketing materials. That way your ideal clients are able to find you and build trust with you.
I hope you found this article helpful as you find your therapy niche.
And until next time, from one therapist to another: I wish you well!
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