Choosing a Specialty Part 2: Benefits of Specialized Training

The main issues that lead individuals to seek therapy are anxiety, depression, substance abuse and marital/relationship problems. You have to find a way to avoid eliminating these groups. If you are considering a private practice and don’t think you can treat these four issues, then you need to do some continuing education immediately. Find some books, do a search online for a CEU in whichever area you are lacking and sign up! These do not have to be expensive or lengthy commitments. You can go to a discount book store and find a book on couples and relationships for under $10. There are a great number of CEUs you can access online immediately for under $30.

A potential client wants to know that you know what you’re doing and that you have specific ways to treat their issue. In short, your ad needs to say:

1) This is who I am.

2) This is what I am trained to do.

3) This is what I can do to help you.

You should be specific as far as what type of therapy you are trained in. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectic Behavior Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, or a specific couples counseling method for example. Potential clients want to believe that you are well educated and an expert in your field.

It’s a fact that money is a concern for most people. Multiple studies cite that more than 50% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. When they engage in therapy, clients may be concerned about how long this will take because the real question is ‘how much will this cost me? Will you keep stringing them along just to pay for your vacation home in the Caribbean?’ (clients have no idea how much money we make). It’s a good idea to focus on specific strategies and theories you will use to help them. 

However, you have to be careful not to use too many clinical terms because potential clients don’t know what they mean. If you are using a clinical term, you should be specific as to why you included it. For example, “I utilize Dialectic Behavior Therapy to treat individuals who struggle with overwhelming emotion and chaotic relationships.” Don’t use a clinical term without explaining its purpose.