Here's the audio portion of your course. The written portion is below.
Create A Blog For Your Therapy Practice
So you want to write a blog for your therapy practice. Great idea.
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.
In this mini course, I’ll talk about some of the issues and obstacles that come up for therapist bloggers, and some ways to get through them.
Part 1: Finding topics
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?
Now start compiling your list of great topics.
Part 2: Finding your blogging voice
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.
Part 3: Work through mindset issues (stop freaking out and start writing)
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.
Before you go, commit to one action you'll take to get yourself writing.
If you need support around the strategy around your blog, let's talk. Apply for a free 20-minute consultation with me. I've helped many therapists start the kinds of blogs that lead to great clients.