Today we’re going to talk about How to Start Finding Your Niche
Why is this important for you?
A niche allows you to…
- Curate a caseload tailored to your strengths and passion
- Create a direct path between you and those with specified needs
- Explore opportunities for additional income streams – writing, speaking, consulting etc.
In short, it’s good for clients and for you.
Full disclosure: I’m still exploring what my therapeutic niche might be. I’ve found a writing niche but therapeutically I still see a wide variety of clients (though I do have some hunches which I’ll talk about later).
So, I asked my Therapist-Twitter family for some advice about how you might go about this. Let’s explore some of the responses.
Let it find you
I see this process as a sort of unearthing. You bring your own strengths and passions and story to the work you do as a therapist, but often that’s buried under self-doubt, uncertainty, and anxiousness.
As you see more clients you might notice your true self emerging with some clients compared to others. For example, I’m noticing myself feel more at home with young adults experiencing loss. Part of that work feels more natural to me, and I feel my true self showing up easier with them.
Creating a niche
Part of finding a niche is learning about it, exploring it, embodying it. What do you find yourself getting lost in? What could you spend hours learning about and exploring?
If you find yourself feeling motivated to go beyond learning to creating (i.e. writing, speaking, filming videos), follow that thread.
This is how I found my writing niche. From my own burnout I felt a desire building to write about my experience and share what I’m learning to help others going through something similar.
It’s energizing. And it’s a joy to create.
You might be surprised
I’ve heard this same sentiment from many others.
“I never imagined I’d be working with _____.”
“I was scared to work with _____ until I had to, then I fell in love with the work.”
I’m surprised how much I enjoy working with teens how just don’t want to talk. Turns out I thrive in awkward silences. Who would have thought?
So, at first, don’t count anything out and try it all. It’ll be uncomfortable and scary at times, but if you don’t try, you’ll never know.
This is helpful for both finding and weeding out what your niche might be.
There are some clients that push you to your limits and you find it more difficult to be empathic with them. It’s ok to limit these and it may be an indication that they are not your niche.
On the other hand, there will be clients that you feel endless and abounding empathy for, even after years of difficult sessions.
Often this comes from your own experience where you’ve felt and gone through precisely what they have. At each stage you’re tracking them. You know the ins and outs, the frustrations and breakthroughs, and it lights you up to get to walk with them through this.
Looking for examples?
If you’re curious what other therapists’ niches are, peruse the thread below. You might even ask them about their experience getting to where they are.
Well, that’s all for today.
Until next time,