Starting a practice
How to market your practice on Psychology Today
Psychology Today is one of the most prominent players in the directory game — and strategically using it as a marketing tool can help you grow your practice.
As a therapist, you probably know how powerful it is to connect with a mental health expert. But the process of searching for a therapist can be pretty overwhelming, especially for potential clients who are struggling with issues like stress, anxiety, and depression.
It benefits your practice to make that process as easy as possible by removing potential barriers for clients seeking help. Marketing your practice is one important way to help people find you — and hopefully, get the help they need.
While marketing involves lots of factors, from your website to social media presence, one helpful practice for all therapists is signing up for a therapy directory profile. These directories do a lot of behind-the-scenes work, like social media and search engine optimization, to connect with potential clients on your behalf.
These days, Psychology Today is one of the most prominent players in the directory game — and strategically using it as a marketing tool can help you grow your practice.
What is Psychology Today? How does it work?
Psychology Today is the most popular therapy directory people use to find a mental health provider. Along with sharing crucial information like your expertise, location, and whether you work with insurance, Psychology Today can make it easier for potential clients to find you.
“The site has invested heavily in SEO and Google Ads, so it’s easy for people to find you when they search online,” says Jenn Fredette, a therapist who works as a marketing consultant.
Your Psychology Today profile also helps people take steps to connect with you if they feel you’re the right fit. You can list your website or contact information, or someone can message you directly through your profile.
How do I create a Psychology Today profile?
Creating a Psychology Today profile is fairly easy — and it should only take 10 or 15 minutes, assuming you have all your content written and available. Once you sign up on the site and implement a payment method, you can personalize your profile with a photo, bio, video, and all the other details that make your page unique. After you create your profile, the site will verify your credentials before publishing it.
How to rank higher on Psychology Today
While any Psychology Today profile is better than none, you can take steps to optimize yours as you build your caseload.
1. Write a great bio
Your biography — displayed at the top of your Psychology Today profile — doesn’t just list your professional background and accomplishments. It also helps people quickly determine whether you could be the right therapist for them. That’s why it’s so important to take time to create yours.
You should definitely include important information like your licensure and areas of specialty, but it’s also important to be specific. Jen recommends focusing your bio with a specific individual in mind: the type of client you most want to help. As you write, think about this person’s pain points and needs.
Remember how you communicate is just as important as what you communicate. Consider the person you want to help most, and adjust your tone of voice to match your therapy approach. Client-centered language can help you show empathy and understanding: Don’t just talk about your qualifications, but also how your skills and approach benefit the client.
2. Include a strong headshot
Your headshot is displayed in Psychology Today’s search results, and on your profile itself. Choosing a strong headshot that conveys warmth and professionalism can go a long way in helping people understand whether you might be the right fit for their mental health needs.
If you don’t already have one, take a headshot — perhaps the same one you use on your website and LinkedIn profile — to include in your Psychology Today profile. You don’t have to break the bank on photos; even a well-done selfie can do the job.
3. List which insurances you accept
Next, the logistics. Before they take the leap, potential clients will want to know how they’ll pay for therapy. Psychology Today allows people to search based on insurance providers, so if you accept insurance, be sure to list the ones you work with on your profile.
4. Make it easy for patients to take the next step with a clear call to action
A call to action helps make it simple for people to take the next step to reach out to you (and ideally, set up an appointment). On Psychology Today, you can list your website, phone number, and email address. Jenn recommends keeping the call to action easy.
On her profile, she encourages people to schedule a free consultation on her website. You can also encourage people to message you directly through Psychology Today. If you have a Headway profile, put it in your bio so clients can easily schedule sessions based on your current availability. (You can find your booking link from your Headway provider portal settings page.)
“People find plenty of ways to talk themselves out of therapy,” Jenn says. “You want to make it as easy as possible for someone to take the next step.”
Keep your response time in mind, too, if growing your practice is a priority. Headway’s Clinician Engagement Lead, Natalia Tague, says that clients are more likely to engage if you respond quickly, but may lose steam or connect with another provider if you wait too long.
“I would suggest responding within 24 hours or less,” says Natalia.
5. Consider adding a video
Posting a video introducing yourself and briefly sharing your therapeutic approach can go a long way in differentiating your profile. First, Jenn says, a video helps people to see you’re a real person and not just words on a screen. As a bonus, she adds, directory sites often promote profiles that have video content on them — so you may end up getting more hits.
6. Include endorsements from other providers
To further set yourself and your profile apart — and help people quickly get an idea that you’re respected in the therapeutic community — you can also add testimonials from colleagues or former supervisors who are familiar with your work. (And don’t forget to return the favor!)
One caveat: Jenn says it’s important to be very clear that the testimonials are from colleagues, just so people don’t think you’re releasing private information from previous clients.
7. Target specific locations
On Psychology Today, people can search for providers based on zip codes. If you’re practicing in-person, Jenn recommends choosing specific zip codes near your therapy practice (you can choose three on Psychology Today).
Practicing therapists have different opinions on how much zip codes matter for optimizing your profile. Jenn says that zip code changes don’t drastically increase client reach for the providers she consults with. On the other hand, Natalia says that strategically choosing zip codes can have a major impact; for example, adding a zip code that covers a large university, if you work with adults.
How much does a Psychology Today listing cost?
Psychology Today is a relatively inexpensive option to market your practice. It costs $29.95 a month to host a profile on the site, and in return, you’ll get connected with clients who may not otherwise find you. Unlike search engines, Psychology Today has lots of filters to help people narrow down their search. Plus, the site has its own HIPAA-compliant psychotherapy platform if you need it.
Is the cost worth it?
Signing up for an online directory can go a long way in marketing your practice to people who might not otherwise find you online. Psychology Today, Jenn says, is typically a reliable way to connect with potential clients.
“If you Google ‘therapist near me,’ Psychology Today is usually the first organic result,” she says. “That’s important, because potential clients may not want to keep scrolling to find a therapist.”
How to cancel your Psychology Today profile
Psychology Today doesn’t involve contracts, so you can cancel your profile at any point. Just email email@example.com, the site’s customer service email, letting them know you’d like to cancel.
Psychology Today alternatives
Psychology Today isn’t the only therapist directory out there. Some are specialized toward clients and therapists of specific identities, while others are more general. Whether you decide the site isn’t for you or you want to diversify your approach, you can also sign up for other directories:
Other directories to consider include:
- Headway: free
- Zocdoc: pricing varies based on location and number of clients that book through Zocdoc
- Mental Health Match: first two months free, $17 a month, and 15% off your next 6 months if you use referral code: headway
- Quartet Health: free
- TherapyDen: free
- Open Path: free
- MyWellbeing: free
- TherapyTribe: first month free, then $30/month
- GoodTherapy: $30/month
- Therapist.com: first three months free
- Clinicians of Color: first month free
- Kink Aware Professionals: free
- Latinx Therapy: $9/month for basic subscription
- LGBTQ Therapy Space: free
- Therapy for Christians: $20/month
- Health in Her HUE: free
Investing in marketing efforts as a therapist can be time-consuming, and it may be a bit of a learning curve. But like any other investment, creating a solid Psychology Today is worth the time and effort — especially if it helps you grow your business and help more people manage their mental health.