Business - Understanding Your Value and Marketing It - Do You Have a Specialization?

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Therapists need to develop competency in a niche so that they can market in a very clear and targeted manner and provide the best services possible. This article identifies a number of factors that will help you to assess and define your niche.

1. Your training and experience - Competency refers to your ability to provide good, ethical services for your client. You develop this through specific training and experience. Sometimes a psychologist decides to change or add to their competency and, in order to do this, need to have a plan that will do this. It may include study, internship, supervision or a combination of these. How comfortable would you be if you were scheduled for brain surgery and found out that the person who would be operating was a pediatrician? Competency is a professional obligation and an ethical practice that results in confidence and expertise which both professional and client can value.

2. Professional activities - Psychologists usually develop private practice that focussed on Assessment, Treatment or a combination of these.

There are over 2000 psychometric tests which might be used for assessment in various combinations by those we are testing for such things as IQ, aptitude, personality, mental illnesses, or ability. Formal assessment usually involves interviewing the client, testing, obtaining collateral information and writing an assessment report with treatment recommendations.

Psychologists who provide treatment services also show competency in one or more of a number of areas such as clinical, counselling, forensic, educational, health, industrial, forensics. This type of practice usually involves an initial intake appointment, review of reports and other information, appointments to set goals with the client and introduce interventions, ongoing assessment and referral for other services. There are numerous reasons for the treatment to end but the hope is that this occurs because the client has shown improvement.

You may also be involved in a wide range of other professional activities such as a consultant, educator, researcher or speaker.

3. Client Age - Psychologists often choose to work with a specific population such as children and youth, adolescents, adults or seniors.

4. Client Types - A client may consist of one person who wants individual work, couples, families, groups, organizations or communities. You will need to be careful that you know exactly is you client in order to provide ethical service.

5. Therapy Settings - Most of your work may be completed in our own office, the office of another professional, a school, jail, hospital, research lab but at times you might be quite surprised about where you will be required to provide services.

6. Referral Source - Your practice may be one that only takes referrals from a specific source such as the Court system, Employee Assistance Programs, physicians, Insurance companies, schools, or the general public.

You see, the possibilities for developing your niche are almost unlimited. This allows you the opportunity to create a practice that will match your passion with the opportunities available to you. It is very important that you create a practice that will lead to day after day of wonderful work adventures.


Dr. Linda Hancock, the author of “Life is An Adventure…every step of the way” and “Open for Business Success” is a Registered Psychologist who has a private practice in Medicine Hat. She can be reached at 403-529-6877 or through email office@drlindahancock.com


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