Psychobabble You Need To Stop Using On Your Therapist Website

Your website needs to be written in the language that your website visitors are already using to describe their pains, their desires, and the journeys they wish to take.

This means that language like, “two-factor phenomenological formulation of post-traumatic stress”  or even like , “psychophysiological assessments” is the type of language that you need to stop using in your marketing materials.

It is psychobabble, and it needs to be stopped.

If you fear that you’re using psychobabble on your therapist website, this post will help. I’ve scoured the internet reading through actual marketing copy for therapy and counseling services to develop a list of psychobabble that you can stop using.  Directory listings, websites, and other written therapist marketing copy where included in this casual research in order to develop this list.

And how did I decide if something was psychobabble or just normal people language? Basically through my own personal filter. I’m a 33 year old who is well educated and well traveled and when I encountered words that made me have to stop and think or words that I didn’t even know what they meant, they where added to the list.

Psychobabble to Stop Using On Your Therapist Website

  • Attachments
    • Helping people form more secure attachments.
  • Behavioral Health
    • Improve your behavioral health
  • Body awareness
    • Facilitate change with body awareness
  • Client-centered
    • I engage with my clients in a client-centered way
  • Cognitive
    • Therapy will help you with your cognitive health.
  • Compassion
    • Increase compassion in your relationships.
  • Contemporary psychoanalytic
    • I draw from contemporary psychoanalytic perspectives
  • Coping Skills
    • Coping skills will empower you.
  • Dynamic
    • The dynamic process of psychotherapy can bring you back
  • Eclectic
    • I have an eclectic approach
  • Existential
    • I have the ability to focus on the existential.
  • Intake
    • Come in for your intake!
  • Integration
    • We will work on integration.
  • Integrative
    • I take an integrative approach to therapy
  • Integrity
    • I will help you live a life of integrity
  • Interactions
    • Our early interactions are affected by an inability to have our needs met
  • Intervention
    • Cognitive intervention that brings about change
  • Intrinsic Motivation
    • We will build on your intrinsic motivation
  • Life Transition
    • Therapy can help if you are going through a life transition.
  • Outcomes
    • We work with you on achieving your positive outcomes
  • Neurobiological perspectives
    • Operating from an orientation drawing on neurobiological perspectives
  • Psychodynamic
    • My approach to therapy is psychodynamic
  • Relational
    • I would describe my therapy approach as relational
  • Residual Deficits
    • Helping people navigate life when challenged by residual deficits
  • Resilience
    • When you need to build resilience.
  • The Self
    • To make positive changes we can take a deep exploration of the self
  • Self
    • Are you beginning to separate from parts of self
  • Self-compassion
    • Start with self-compassion
  • Self-discovery
    • There is a connection between self-discovery and success
  • Solution-focused
    • I practice solution-focused therapy
  • Standards of Care
    • The standards of care are put out by EMDRIA
  • Treatment Orientation
    • My treatment orientation is eclectic

But These Are Words Everyone Knows!

Sure, maybe your website visitor will “get it” with some of these words when they really think about it.

But the thing with good marketing is that it doesn’t make people think. Good marketing is not a puzzle that needs figuring out or a Friday night of trivial pursuit.

Good marketing connects by being where the clients are, communicating in language they already know, use, and feel.

If you are surprised that your favorite words or phrases are on this list, you are invited to take a challenge. Each of the words above have an example sentence of how the word might be used in therapy marketing copy.

Take the sentence and try to write a dialogue between your client and their best friend. Pretend they are meeting for drinks on a Friday night, talking on the phone, sitting and watching their kids playing at the park, whatever. Create a situation in which your client would naturally be with their friends.

Then fit the sentence into a natural conversation they would be having. Can you do it? If so, maybe in your particular case, it’s a word or phrase that you should use in your marketing copy.

The Difference Between Marketing Language and What Your Clients Need To Know

You need to market with language that is the language your clients speak themselves. This doesn’t mean that mentioning your “existential” tendencies or your “psychodynamic” approaches is forbidden.

It just means you must consider the context in which you use these words. You can include psychobabble on your directory listings and on your website’s about page in areas that are dedicated to speaking about your experience. These are the places where the rare client that is in fact seeking a particular specific approach can find out if you have that training.

But for marketing purposes, you should avoid using this type of language.

Your marketing should emphasize the *benefits and outcomes* of what you do, not what you do.

Like you wouldn’t want to have “My relational approach to cognitive health will help you build resilience through life transitions” plastered across the front of a brochure. Whereas something that uses the language your clients actually use would be more effective. Maybe something like, “Break Ups Are Hard In Mid Life, Therapy Can Help You Feel Better”

Put Yourself In Your Client’s Mind And Heart

Ultimately, what you say depends on where you are saying it. If you are trying to communicate with a certain audience, you’ll want to make sure you are using language that audience will understand.

When considering language on your website, ask:

  1. Would your website visitor pick up the phone and use this language when describing their pains or desires to their best friend?
  2. What would your clients say to you about themselves during that first consult call and first session?
  3. Would a squirrel be able to understand this? Will this stand the test of ever shorter and shorter attention spans?

When it comes to those seeking therapy services,the more you can speak to them with language that they actually use the more likely they are to feel seen and heard.

Not being able to understand you makes people feel stupid and like they are failing. Feeling good around you and around your site is a necessary ingredient of them reaching out.

So try putting yourself in your client’s mind and heart and speaking with their language. What are they suffering with? What are their hopes and dreams? How can you be there for them?

One last hint: they aren’t feeling like they need to get an overarching integrative perspective on the biological and psychological constituents of their post-traumatic stress through psychosomatic processes. Trust me, they just aren’t.

What do you think? Have you been using psychobabble on your website? Are there words on the list that you’ll need to edit off of your website? Feel free to reach out anytime or tweet us.

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About Kat Love

Hi, I'm Kat! I'm the founder and lead designer here at Empathysites. Therapists helped me heal from childhood sexual abuse so now I help therapists with creating their websites. I write on topics like website design, strategy, and turning website visitors into clients. Reach out anytime if you'd like to say hi. PS. my pronouns are they/them/their. Thanks.