This post, Psychotherapy Websites, originally appeared Washington DC Psychologist, Dr. Lynn Friedman’s blog for her Johns Hopkins graduate students

What if you want to build a private practice without ever getting out of your pajamas?

You might consider creating a useful website. How do you do this? Start by choosing a very focused niche. Go to the library and read the seminal work in the area. Then, write 4-5, 300-500 word articles on your niche. These articles should use the knowledge that you have gleaned to answer concerns and anxieties that your readers may have. For example, if your niche area is, “the blues”, answer questions such as, what is depression? Can it be effectively treated? If so, how and by whom? Assuming that you are not an authority in the field, cite the work of the experts. Being knowledgeable about who the experts are and what they say will establish your credibility as someone who is serious about developing and maintaining professional expertise in the area.

Also, provide a series of useful links on your website. Include authoritative sources such as NIH and other credible sources (such as information from the ACA, APA’s, NASW, etc.). You might also link to other clinicians whose websites you find useful.

Include a section called, “About (your name)”. Describe yourself and your credentials. Include a contact phone number and location. If you are not yet accepting patients or clients, say that you provide referrals to qualified professionals in the (your hometown) area. There’s more to be said about providing out-of-town, referrals. I will save that for another day. For now, only offer to make local referrals.

There’s much more to say about generating referrals but tomorrow, I will talk about what to do if the referrals are coming …. and, you are not yet in practice.

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