Niching Within Your Trauma Therapy Niche

It was about a year ago that I heard someone on a Facebook Live say, “It is no longer enough to say you are a trauma therapist.”  The statement stopped me in my tracks and caused me to think it through.  I had never considered that my niche needed more definition, but as I continued to ponder the statement I determined that I wholeheartedly agreed.

Let’s face it, all therapists are treating trauma and at least need to be trauma-informed.  It is starting to be widely recognized that most mental illnesses have their roots in trauma.  What does this mean for us?  I believe we must do what I like to call niche within a niche.  We must narrow down our focus of treatment to the populations we like to treat to stand out amongst the crowd.  For some, this might be an easy process and for others, it might be a little harder.  I understand the struggle.

Before having that encounter last year, I use to say that I was a trauma therapist.  Now I am very specific about what type of trauma I enjoy treating the most.  When people ask me what I do, I say, “I specialize in working with adult survivors of childhood trauma.”  This not only provides potential clients the clarity they need when choosing to work with me, but it also provides me with clarity as I continue to grow my skill set.  Let’s look at the benefits to niching within in a niche for your consideration.  I have come up with my top three.

Three Benefits of Narrowing Your Niche

Benefit #1: The ability to narrow in on the right types of training, credentials, and certifications becomes a little easier when you narrow your niche.  You can consider what trainings, credentials, and certifications would best meet the needs of the population you treat.  I have consistently heard colleagues state that the amount of training, credentials, and certifications available to treat trauma is sometimes overwhelming for them.  This could be a way to help shorten the list.

Benefit #2: It helps you to speak specifically to your ideal client through your marketing efforts.  It has been said numerous ways when you try to talk to everyone you end up talking to no one.  When you can clearly identify your ideal client and the specific struggles they have it helps you to more easily find one another in a sometimes-noisy world.  I guess one could say it creates a magnetic-like pull.

Benefit #3: You have probably heard me say this before, but I would be amiss if I didn’t mention it again.  Being able to niche within a niche helps you to guard against burnout.  When you are working with client’s that give you life and energy you are less likely to burnout because you enjoy what you do and you feel equipped to do the work.

These are my top three reasons to consider starting to narrow your niche.  Be aware, a more narrowed niche can and will probably change over time, but the better we can get at identifying and communicating our niche within trauma treatment the more likely we are to feel sure about the types of training, certifications, and credentials we want to pursue.   We are also able to attract our ideal client, which can be a protector against burnout.  I hope you will consider narrowing your niche within our niche and experience some, if not all, of these benefits.

Here is a worksheet to help you with narrowing your niche.

Comment below: What is your niche within the trauma treatment niche?

3 Responses

  1. Hey Nina!
    So this is so timely because for the past few weeks I have been praying about finding my niche in counseling/social work field with the population I want to serve. But what if you can’t identity a niche? How do you narrow it down? I’ve tried to think of what clients I have enjoyed working with the most, but I enjoy them all. So how do you determine a niche, when nothing jumps out at you? Do we have to have one, especially as we’re becoming licensed?

  2. Thank you for sharing this Nina!
    I practice complimentary medicine and have also run into the dilemma of marketing my skills for a more specific market within the “trauma” umbrella. At best, I know I would like to work with women but even that does not seems specific enough as we must also consider age, and background in addition to type of trauma.

    1. I found that as I continue to work it became clearer and clearer. The more defined I got the better it became for my ideal client to find me. I wish you the best in your niching journey. Please let me know how I can support as you continue moving forward.

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