I hear two main things about niche constantly.
I need clients! A niche will limit me.
Everyone said I needed a niche. I wish I'd listened sooner.
No one is paying me to convince you to find a niche. Promise. I'm not saying it to do you in out of some savage fantasy.
I'm suggesting it because it works.
The truth is, when I see a Psychology Today profile that looks like this...
... I think, "There is no one that is an expert in all these areas, so this person clearly doesn't know what they are good at."
In school, we learn a bunch of theories, and are then sent to agencies to be generalists. The problem is, in private practice people are paying you to be an expert. We go to Costco for a wide variety of cheaper stuff. We go to West Elm for a nice dining set that's going to last for the next twenty years and match your current decor.
If you want to be the Costco of therapy that is 100% fine. It will, however, be hard to do on your own in private practice. Group practices are set up for this and spend a ton of time and money making sure they show up on google searches so that they can collect a wide variety of clients.
If you want to fill up your client load and you are on your own, you'll need a different strategy. When I get a call from a client I cannot take, I want to know in five seconds which therapists I can send this person to. The way that you can stand out in my mind is if I know quickly what you do and how you do it.
For example, just yesterday I got a call from a client looking for someone to help them with processing their mother's death. This isn't something that everyone does. You might have once read a book about grief, and maybe you even remember some ideas of how to handle it in therapy. I don't want to send my client to someone who has not worked with grief much.
Instead, check out this one...
This therapist is very clear on how he works. He is skilled in CBT and focuses his trainings in that way. He does not tackle every topic in the book. He is most skilled at seven areas. Looking at this I have a much better idea that this therapist is skilled in his form of therapy approach, I know what a client will get in working with him, and I have a clear idea of what problems to send.
A niche makes it easier for your colleague to fill your practice. So if your goal is more clients, niche is the way to show people what you do, and pull them in.
For more on niche, you can check out my video and worksheet here.