What if people think I’m claiming to be Bessel van der Kolk and other bio writing anxieties

It’s hard to find a therapist  these days that doesn’t have an online web profile. Many clients now seek out their own therapist, rather than relying on a doctors recommendation. 

This means having a bio or profile that works for you is important. Especially if you are new to private practice and wanting to attract clients. But also if you are more established and wanting to attract in more of the type of clients you want to work with.

This also fits with two of the key themes I mentor therapists on: niching and claiming your expert. To niche, you need to have a bio that reflects the niche. To claim your expert, you need to have a bio that tells people what your special knowledge and skills are.

There is a lot I could say about bios and how to improve them, many I see are very dry and interchangeable with that of others. But today I want to talk about claiming expertise.

As the title of this post suggests, talking about expertise in a bio makes some therapists nervous. Saying I work well with this or my special interest is x or I have expertise in….sets of a range of fears in therapists.

What if people think I’m claiming I’m as good as x insert world expert here x?

What if other therapists judge me? “Who does she think she is?”

What if I get a client referral that’s out of my league?

And so they may leave their bio as is. Staying safe. But also small.

Waiting for the market to shape their expertise. Many clinicians say “my niche found me” and not all of them are thrilled about it.

While I would never endorse someone faking knowledge and skills, the majority of therapists do have skills and expertise that define them. Shaped by practicums, employment experience, personal histories and interests there will be some things you know more about or care more about than other therapists.

It’s not bending the truth or exaggerating.

It’s about highlighting what is already true instead of hiding it.

Claim your expert before it claims you. 

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