Choosing Your Niche

By Allison Puryear, LCSW, CEDS on May 16, 2023

A lot of people I’ve worked with feel some anxiety around choosing their niche, and I believe this stems from some false pretense that you are stuck with the niche you choose forever.

You can absolutely change your niche later on, so take a deep breath.

It’s kind of like asking college freshmen to choose a major based on what they want to do for the rest of their lives. Choosing one allows you to get where you want to go, but there are so many of us whose majors have nothing to do with our current careers. 

If there’s a niche you know you want to move toward, but don’t have the training or experience you need to confidently proclaim that as your niche, consider adjacent niches while you’re getting the training you need. For example, if you want to be an eating disorder therapist but want more support in that first, you could work with anxiety, trauma, or perfectionism now. Sometimes a therapist will have a hard time committing to a niche because they have a hard time committing to most things. If this is a pattern in your life, acknowledge it and remind yourself over and over that you are not stuck with this niche. I wouldn’t recommend changing niches every few months or anything like that, but I’d give it an honest go at least.

The biggest con of switching niches is mainly that there is work involved. You’ll need to rewrite most of your website copy and online listings. You may need to change the images. You may need to change your logo. You’ll also want to get in touch with your typical referral sources and let them know you’re shifting your client population. You may also need to find new referral sources based on that niche. I know that sounds like a lot of work, but the truth is that once you’ve built a practice based on one niche, you’ll have figured out what works for you, and it’s much easier to do it a second time around with a different niche. 

Ultimately, I want you to build a practice that makes you excited to go to work in the morning; a practice that makes you glad you chose this field. We grow and we change as people, and for many of us that means we’re likely to change our niches as our interests, lives, and circumstances change. So, I want you to choose the niche that lights you up the most right now, the one you do excellent work with. Then later, if and when you’re lit up by a different clinical issue, take your time to plan the transition and then take action. 

* The content of this post is intended to serve as general advice and information. It is not to be taken as legal advice and may not account for all rules and regulations in every jurisdiction. For legal advice, please contact an attorney.


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