The saying goes, “the riches are in the niches”
But for many therapists, it can be a long and painful process to find their perfect niche.
Sure, some therapists seem to simply “just know” who they want to help, open up shop, run with it, and stick with it for the entire duration of their practice’s existence.
But for other therapists, it’s not as effortless. For some, it can take a lot of soul searching and some trials and pivoting to discover the niche that clicks.
Consider This: What If Your Niche Is Something You Haven’t Even Considered Yet?
If you are a therapist struggling with finding a niche, there is a chance that you are the type of therapist who needs to be a little bit more creative. Perhaps you need something less like “I help people with depression” and a bit more like, “I help child prodigies with social anxiety.”
Niches can go beyond just a certain broad life challenge. Don’t just focus “trauma,” ask yourself more about the identity of the person who experienced trauma. Where are they from? How old are they? What career do they have? Questions like these can help you clarify.
Here Are Some Unusual Niche Ideas And Why You Should Consider Them
Target: Types Of Work
Many people that are highly involved in their work are also highly involved in day-to-day challenges that that work brings. Yes, there can be a lot of joy in what you do but there can also be a ton of stress.
In many cases, these people wish they could find a therapist that they don’t need to educate about the nature of their work. Knowing that their therapist is already familiar could be what they need to feel that therapy can even help them at all.
- Therapy for Youtubers
- Online content creators like youtubers experience a unique type of stress: high visibility and high pressure to perform and low understanding of how much work it takes. I haven’t seen a therapist specialize in helping youtubers but it would be awesome.
- Therapy for Truckers
- A Trucker Therapist actually exists! “Trucker Therapy allows drivers and their families to address anger, stress, and relationship issues over the phone and video conference so they can stay on the road.” I first heard about this from my friend Clay Cockrell over at the Online Counseling Podcast and it’s brilliant.
- Therapy for Sex Workers
- Sex workers are often stigmatized, shamed, and completely misunderstood. If you have an understanding for those within this field of work, make it known and help them heal.
- Therapy for Activists and Change Makers
- No matter who is in office, there will always be people hitting the streets or working in non-profits trying to make an impact and influence change. If you have an activism streak, it would be a great point of understanding for this unique group.
Target: Privileged Groups
Just because you have privilege, doesn’t mean you don’t face mental health challenges. In many cases, the privileged feel like they don’t have a safe place to discuss what they are truly going through. On a deep level, some feel that they have no “right” to have challenges at all because after all, doesn’t privilege solve everything?
But we all know privilege doesn’t pave the road to perfect emotional wellness. A parent passing away, a hard breakup, or having bi-polar are all examples of events or challenges that do not discriminate.
Speaking directly to these groups can help them feel understood on something that is core to their identity.
- Therapy for Men
- Due to gender norms, men may already feel like therapy isn’t for them. Add recent movements that bring forth the realities of patriarchy and factors combined may not help them get the help they need with life issues they face.
- Therapy for the Super Smart or Gifted
- That kid that is graduating Harvard at 15, and feeling very lonely because of it, may need your help. Being smart is a blessing but can also feel very isolating.
- Therapy for the Wealthy
- My friend Clay Cockrell has had this as a specialization and I couldn’t respect it more. Clay used to work in finance on Wall St., so also has some personal familiarity with the finance world. If you can offer a safe space that does not shame the rich for their wealth.
These are the niches where people feel like they don’t fit into cultural norms. It’s not as simple as loving pumpkin spice when no one else in your community does, it is beyond preference.
Think of these niche groups has having something that is deep in their experience or identity that makes them not fit in.
- Therapy for the Child Free
- Robyn D’Angelo has this as a niche. Did you know that child-free people often face a lot of social pressure to procreate and criticism for not having children? Offering services specifically to the child-free may help them understand you won’t be one of those people that pressures them too.
- Therapy for Single People
- Being single is hard. It’s often not socially acceptable to be single after a certain age and again, there’s a lot of pressure from family and friends to “find the one” and “settle down.” Or the pressure to find someone might be also coming from within. Nicole Hind helps single people (as well as some other cool niches!)
- Therapy for Nerds
- Nerds are starting to get more respect in recent years but it’s still hard to be that “weird” person that loves DDR, especially if you haven’t been able to connect with other nerds and form community with them.
- Therapy for Activists and Change Makers
- There will always be people hitting the streets or working in non-profits trying to make an impact. Those who take on these roles may feel a sense of responsibility for influencing major social and political change which is a heavy responsibility to bear. If you have an activism streak or can relate, it would be a great point of understanding for this group.
- Therapy for Vegans
- Many vegans are often also highly sensitive people and struggle with living in a world that does not respect their choice to not eat, wear, or use animals or their products. It’s a challenge for many vegans to find therapists who “get it” and don’t pressure them to change their ethics or question if they are getting enough protein. If you’re a vegan yourself or vegan friendly, consider making it a niche you help.
Target: Travelers and International Folk
- Therapy for Expats
- Cross cultural and travel-life understanding? Yes please. People that have uprooted themselves from their home country to live in another country often face unique life challenges. This is a great niche for online therapy as in many cases, expats need services in their language and culture that are not available locally.
- Therapy for Digital Nomads
- Some people want to escape that office life and succeed at doing so. Also known as being “location independent” or a “remote worker,” digital nomads face interesting life challenges unique to their lifestyle.
- Therapy for Military Kids and Families
- Military families may uproot and move every few years or face other lifestyle challenges unique to being in the military. Moving a lot can cause a lot of hardship for some kids who will have a difficult time adjusting to new schools and making new friends.
Target: Super Specific Life Events
One of the things that really helps someone choose a therapist is feeling seen before they even meet the therapist. A major way to help someone feel seen is to specifically speak to their unique pain. But is there such a thing as too unique?
While of course you could run the risk of niching down too much with too much specificity, there are some specific life situations or events that do actually happen enough that if a sufferer saw that you helped with it, in that moment of suffering, they would feel so connected.
- Therapy for Actors Who Get A Show Cancelled
- Perhaps this is a bit too specific but I had to add it after watching actress Colleen Ballinger discuss the deep sense of grief she felt after her show being cancelled. Perhaps a higher level niche to also address this specific type of event would be working with actors in general.
- Therapy for Couples and Families Buying, Moving To, or Remodeling A Home
- I’ve actually had multiple therapists share with me how hard buying, moving, or remodeling a home was for them personally and almost every time they share that, they also add, “Wouldn’t it be nice to have emotional support with the process?” And the answer is yes. It would be nice! If you have familiarity with the stress and anxiety of all things home, this could be an interesting niche. Bonus: very easy to network with contractors, realtors, loan agents, and property attorneys.
- Therapy for Siblings Handling Inheritance
- I’ve seen families completely torn apart over issue of inheritance. Is there support for families who have both experienced a loss and are experiencing challenges with handling inheritance-related-issues. I can only imagine how complicated it could get.
Get Creative With Your Niche: Then Try It
If you are struggling to decide on a niche, try getting creative. If one of the above ideas didn’t exactly fit, perhaps take some time to brainstorm some related ideas that have to do with you.
Often, basing a niche off of your own life experience can also give it more meaning to you. If your niche holds personal meaning, it’s easier to have a drive to serve. That drive will be what keeps you motivated on the hard days and makes you beyond joyful on the good days of being in private practice.
If you’re still feeling stuck after a bit of creative thinking: try something. Even if you aren’t feeling 100% about your choice, the only way to get more insight into what niche may be right for you is to put yourself out there.
Action leads to discovery. Thinking leads to being stuck. In many cases, you’ll just want to cut your niche deliberation short and act so you can figure out what might work for you.
Do you already have a niche? Or did one of these ideas inspire? Tweet us and let us know.