Who Are You?


3 ways to define your niche and clarify your practice

July/August 2007


A colleague walks up to you at a gathering and asks, "So, what do you do?" You reply, "I'm a psychotherapist." Okay. Or, you might reply, "I'm a couples therapist." Better. Or again, you might reply, "I'm a couples therapist specializing in affairs." Even better. Finally, you might say, "I'm a couples therapist and trainer specializing in affairs." Best!

Your first answer might draw the response, "That's interesting." The second, "Oh, I've never done couples work myself." To your third response the person might say, "Hmm, I know a couple that might need your help." And your last answer might draw the reply, "I've been thinking about expanding my practice. When is your next workshop?"

Defining your niche is an essential exercise for everyone, novice or experienced, who intends to market a product or service. Ironically, most of us haven't been encouraged to think through what makes us unique in our profession. Below are three suggestions to keep in mind when considering what's special about you and your services:

1. Reexplore Your Interests and Talents

The key here is to discover what you do best, most easily, and with the greatest satisfaction. Also, what do you do most frequently. Perhaps you're specializing without thinking of yourself as a specialist. Here are some questions and helpful hints to encourage you along the path of self-rediscovery:

- What are your personal interests and experiences? Are you…

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