You’re starting out in private practice and it’s time to determine who you are going to work with. You are going to get a lot of advice about creating a niche. It’s actually really good advice and something you need to heed when it is given to you.
Creating a niche is one of the ingredients to starting and establishing a successful private practice, whether you take insurance or you are only private pay. The more you are known for something, the more people will think of you specifically when they have a potential referral for you.
Here are the top three recommendations for you to consider when creating a niche.
1. Look at the need of your area
- It’s important to consider your location and your reach. If you decide to specialize in online counseling with people who are home bound, your reach is going to be farther and less location dependent. Take a look at the area that you live in and what types of people live there. Consider the problems they face and some of the reasons they might reach out for therapy. Talk to people in your area that you practice in, especially if you don’t live in the area, about the population. You can also use insights from Facebook to let you know information about the people who live in a particular area. Population needs are going to look different whether you are in an urban, suburban or rural area. If your city doesn’t have a lot of Fortune 500 companies headquartered there, niching to Fortune 500 CEO’s might not bring you as much business as you want.
2. Consider your training
- If you want to do specialized work, chances are you are going to need to have additional training outside of your master’s or doctorate degree. If you work with couple’s, you’ll want to get trained in Gottman or EFT. If you work with children, you may want to get trained in Play therapy. If you work with trauma clients, you can consider doing EMDR training. If you already have specialized trainings, you can look for your niche based on your trainings.
3. Identify your passions
- You’re going to need to go to the office and work on a daily basis with your clients. What types of clients energize you? Who are you most excited to work with? Which of your clients, in the past, have you felt most gratified working with? Supervision groups and Mastermind groups are a good place to talk about the types of clients you have worked with and which work has been most meaningful to you.
There’s a famous saying “The Riches are in the Niches”. The saying speaks volumes to the importance of niching.
Amanda Patterson, LMHC, CAP , Mental Health Counselor of the Year by the Florida Mental Health Counseling Association, decided to become a therapist while attending Nova Southeastern University. She saw the need to help people achieve the life they wanted to live, while creating a life of her own. She completed her master’s in Mental Health Counseling and started a career in the juvenile justice arena. Amanda has been a therapist for ten years and has a private practice in Pembroke Pines, Florida, specializing in depression, anxiety, relationship issues, and substance abuse in teenagers and young adults. Amanda is a believer in holistic treatment and she practices veganism, meditation and yoga in her life. Find out more about her practice here.