Writing A Blog For Your Therapy Practice, Part 3 (Mindset Issues!)

I’ve been posting about writing a therapy blog for the past few weeks, addressing the most common concerns that come up. In part 1, I discussed what to write about. Most bloggers deal with panic as they face a blank page at some point. I shared some tools for idea generation and ways to store those topics so you don’t forget them. In part 2 I talked about finding your voice as a therapy blogger, and I encouraged you to experiment and think through some key questions. Today I’ll write about mindset problems that come up for therapist bloggers.

Your mindset will mess with you at some point when you’re writing a regular therapy blog. Here are some of the sabotaging thoughts that make appearances for many of the therapist bloggers I work with:

“No one wants to hear what I have to say.”

“I am an imposter or a fraud.”

“This has been said before.”

Here are some ways to respond to those negative thoughts. Think of them as hacks for getting through them and holding on to your sanity.

Sabotaging thought: “No one wants to hear what I have to say.”

Response: Your therapy blog is a lot like your therapy practice. It’s not for everyone. Your work is for a particular group of people who really need YOU, who are in pain or who are hoping for a particular outcome and are turning to you to guide them or facilitate that process. Those people want and need to hear what you have to say. Many of them are hungry for it. Your intended blog readers are the people who might want to work with you, but first would like to read your blog. Some of them will read one article, and some will read your articles for months before they are ready to call you.

You are writing this blog to help the right people find you. You’re NOT writing this blog so that you become the next internet sensation. Your blogging is not meant to create a huge following. It’s meant to express your message in your unique voice, and your ideal clients do want to hear that.

Sabotaging thought: “I’m a fraud.”

Response: You’re honest in your blog. You are in fact a therapist. You help people. You’re not claiming to have invented this field or the methods you use. You should also know that imposter syndrome comes up because you’re doing something new and stretching yourself.  Try to make friends with it, because every time you do something brave and wonderful, that imposter syndrome will show up at the door. Eventually “I’m a fraud” won’t show up as often when you blog… but it will show up again when you stretch in a new direction.

Sabotaging thought: “This has been said before.”

Response: In your therapy practice, you don’t put pressure on yourself to come up with something completely new in every session (at least I hope you don’t!) It’s very rarely possible to come up with something completely new anymore. All of the information you’re offering is available in other places. Your readers aren’t looking for brand new information as much as they want your perspective on the topic. For example, your ideal client has already heard that using meditation helps with anxiety, but when she reads YOUR article about meditation, she may feel for the first time that she’d like to give it a try. Perhaps your sense of humor or the examples in your article help her feel a new sense of hope.

Here’s an extra tip: You can’t maintain a blog without support, and you don’t have to. Some ways to get support are to talk to other therapist bloggers, work with a business coach, or set up a relationship with an accountability buddy.

If you’re ready to build a unique therapy practice, apply for a free 20-minute phone consultation now.



Writing A Blog For Your Therapy Practice, Part 2 (Finding Your Voice)

Find Your Tone Of Voice As A Therapist Blogger

What’s the right voice or tone to write your therapy blog in?

As you write your blog week after week, you’ll find your unique voice. There really isn’t one right tone for a therapy blog. Some bloggers use a casual and conversational voice, and some are more formal. Some bloggers write about their own personal struggles and feelings, while others stay away from that realm. Some bloggers refer to research, while others stick to anecdotes. The only rule is that you can’t please everyone, and the more you try to, the worse your blog will be. 

Think of some non-fiction writers you enjoy reading, especially in your field.

To figure out what voice you’d like to write with, think about what blogs and writers you like best. You aren’t going to copy their style, but you might notice an overall tone that appeals to you. Are you a big fan of Anne Lammot's essays? Brene Brown? Irvin Yalom? or maybe bell hooks? Notice what you most enjoy about your favorite writers. 

 Think about what kind of therapist you are, and go with that. 

 Your writing voice will be similar in some ways to your voice as a therapist. If you never use self-disclosure in the therapy room, you probably shouldn’t use it in your blogging either. If you tend to use humor in sessions, let that come out in your writing. If you have a calming presence with clients, you can write with a more soothing style. 

Always write TO someone. 

When you write to a particular person, your writing will be more engaging and less vague. As you write each blog article, imagine you’re writing an email or letter to a particular person. Pretend they have asked you a question, and you're writing this article as a response. For example, when you’re writing about depression, imagine you’re writing directly to a person struggling with depression and looking for a therapist. You might even start your first draft by writing, “Dear…” and then you can edit that beginning out later. 

Don’t stop writing. 

The more you write, the more you will discover YOUR voice.

Ready to build an innovative and profitable therapy practice? Apply for a free 20-minute phone consultation with me. 


Writing A Blog For Your Therapy Practice, Part 1

What Should You Write About?

So you want to write a blog for your therapy practice. Great idea.

If you’re on the fence about it, here’s my article about deciding whether blogging is right for you.

Blogging regularly can improve your SEO and help potential clients get to know you. It’s a great, authentic tool for building your practice.

The problem is, you’re having trouble getting started or staying with it. I feel you. Even if you’re totally inspired by your work, there are weeks when you feel like writing, and there are weeks when you don’t. You find yourself avoiding or dreading the task of writing. You’re not alone. Many therapists start blogging and then peter out, and others intend to blog, but never start.

 Over the next few weeks, I’ll talk about some of the issues and obstacles that come up for therapist bloggers, and some ways to get through them.

One issue that comes up for almost every therapist blogger at some point is the feeling that you’ve got nothing to write about. This is probably not true. You’ve likely got a lot to write about, but you’re not aware of what it is in some moments.  Almost every time I talk to a therapist I’m working with, I blurt out: “that’s an article you have to write.” I often offer up a title for this article I want them to write. You can learn to start doing that for yourself too.

You need to maintain a list of topic ideas. Keep this on your phone or in a place where you can add to it at any time.

Here are some questions to get those ideas flowing. In the answers, you’ll find some potential topics for your blog.

  • What are the problems your clients came in wanting to talk about today?
  •  How do you think about each issue your clients are working on? (For example, what are some of the ways you think about depression, break ups, or racism)?
  • What trainings have you been engaged in recently? What are your thoughts about what you’re learning? What new tools will you use most with your clients?
  • What clinical issues have you been talking to colleagues about recently?
  • What are you reading right now?
  • What drives you crazy that you see other therapists doing?
  • What do you believe about how therapy works?
  • In your particular practice, what kinds of outcomes are most important to your clients?
  • When potential clients call you, what do they say they want to work on? What else do you believe they really need to work on?
  • What’s happening with your own personal growth right now?
  • Who are some of the most influential people, past or present, in your corner of the therapy world? What do you find most useful about their work?

 So now you’ve thought up some topic ideas. In the next blog, I’ll talk about how to find your tone, or voice, as a blogger.

 If you’re ready to build a bold and innovative therapy practice, apply for a free 20-minute phone consultation now.  

10 Tips To Get Motivated To Write

You know writing is important to building your therapy practice. You need to write and rewrite your website copy so that it speaks directly to your ideal clients and helps them understand how you can help. Writing articles can help establish your expert status, improve your search engine optimization, and most importantly let your potential clients understand how you think and how you are different from other therapists.

It’s hard to get motivated to write, even if you like writing. As I sit here right now, I’m aware of how much I felt pulled to procrastinate a few minutes ago. I wanted to take out the recycling, check my email, look at the blogs I like to read, maybe even start my taxes. One of the hardest things about writing is getting started. In fact I’m feeling better already now that I’ve started. 

I’m going to share what has worked for a lot of therapists I’ve worked with. As you look through these tips, notice that some of them are mutually exclusive. That’s because different tactics work for different writers. Many of these tips pretty much work for every therapist. 

Create a deadline.

Many of us need to create somewhat arbitrary deadlines. Maybe this comes from our school training. When your writing will be “due,” you do what it takes to get it done. I have a weekly deadline. With few exceptions, I publish a blog post (one for each business actually) every week.

Write at a particular time every week.

When you have a routine, there’s less planning to do. You get into a habit or writing at that particular time and you don’t schedule anything else that could tempt you away from the task. You also don’t have to worry about writing at any other time

Keep a list of possible topics or titles.

If you have to come up with things to write about, start storing them up. Keep a list somewhere handy, probably on your phone, so that you can write down topics as they occur to you. I recently pulled over my car and parked for a minute because an idea had struck me.

Write nonsense to warm up.

If you’re ready to start but nothing is coming out, get your mind and fingers working by free-associating for a few minutes. You can toss that writing later.

Have an accountability group or partner or coach.

You’re not alone in your struggle to write. When you are accountable to someone, you know you’re going to have to report what you’ve done or haven’t done. You can also lean on the support of that group or person. When you think your ideas are stupid or that no one cares what you have to say, your accountability person or people can remind you of the value of your writing.

Have a writing spot.

I’ve got a spot. Right here in my kitchen. One of my colleagues has a beautiful spot where she lights a candle before she starts writing. I rarely sit in my spot when I’m not writing, so I transition into writing as I set up there. If you choose to have a dedicated writing spot, make sure there are fewer distractions there, such as bills to pay or piles of paper to sort.

Write at a café. 

Maybe you need to get out of your house to write. Perhaps treating yourself to a cup of something is motivation to write. If you choose this option, I suggest not leaving until you’ve done a significant chunk of writing.

Write to the right people.

You might get self-conscious and find it’s difficult to get the words out because your inner critic is too harsh. You’re writing as a therapist, so you’re only writing to your ideal potential clients, the people who need your help the most. Think about those people and the pain they are in or the hope they have to feel better. Block out everyone else

Remember that it’s really no big deal.

Do you fear that your writing is not clever enough, or that you’re going to say something that’s been said before? It really is no big deal. You do not need to create new or earth shattering ideas every time you write. You only have to be honest, share your voice, your message, and some information you think will be helpful.

Don’t try to perfect your writing.

If you’re writing copy for your website, you can go in and edit any time. If you’re writing blog articles, don’t spend too much time making them perfect. Once your post is good enough, your time will be better spent on the other marketing activities in your marketing plan.

Writing is just one part of a good practice building strategy. Is it time to create a great strategy that fits your strengths? Is it time to build your practice in a big way? Apply for a free consultation now. I’ve got group and individual programs to help you meet and perhaps surpass your goals.