Picking a counseling practice name

Starting a private practice in counseling? Here's some help Picking the right Private Practice Name!

Picking a counseling practice names can be overwhelming! If you’ve decided to start your own private practice, it can seem like a huge decision, one which is both emotional and has big repercussions for your future. While you are getting ready with all the planning and deciding on multiple aspects of your new therapy business, the first question you will ask yourself – what do I name my practice?

You probably have decided on the name already or you’re completely unsure – It’s all good.  The name of your practice will have a big impact on your therapy business so it’s only fair that you take out ample time to think it through. Just make sure you move forward with confidence, choose well…and actually have a great time doing so.

Let’s begin with 3 main types of practice names which can help you start the process of how you would like to name your therapy business.

The Three Main Categories of Private Practice Names

1. Location-Based Private Practice Names

These names are usually a combination of your town/city + counseling/therapy or your specialty. For example, Georgetown Marriage Counseling Center. There are many counseling practice names that use this strategy successfully! 
But have a think – do you anticipate growing your practice and expanding into new locations? If yes, maybe naming your therapy business after a specific location might not be the right path to take. Remember, the cost of renaming your business can be substantial. Consider a long-term plan and decide on your practice name accordingly.

therapist listing counseling practice names

2. Personality-Based Therapy Business Names

Often therapists choose a name matching the personality of their specialty or even their clients’ intentions. For instance, Aspire Counseling or Evergreen Therapy. If the name ties to your central values and therapeutic approach, it’s a great idea to use a metaphor.

3. Name-Based Therapy Practice Names

girls discussing

This is when a therapist or a counselor names their practice after themselves like McGill Counseling. Many counseling practice names take this approach – but take the time to think it through! Before you decide on this, ask yourself a few key questions. Does it tell your potential client about your practice? Is it worth the marketing spend and the effort it will require before you become synonymous with your specialty? What if you want to sell your practice or add a partner? Yes, your name is your brand but always, think long-term and make the decision accordingly.

Once you have decided the kind of name you would like to use, do some more practical research to ensure you’re on the right path. Not only will it help you build an initial list, but it’ll also act as a part of your initial marketing strategy to get the word out. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind while creating your list:

Brainstorming Private Practice Names

  1. Counseling practice names need to be easy to communicate and remember. Make sure it’s an easy name. Brainstorm and write down all the potential names.
  2. Keep it professional. It’s paramount to building trust.
  3. Don’t just think offline. Your potential clients are mostly looking for your expert services online. Every word used for search on the internet is called a keyword and each search term is called a keyword phrase. You can hence look at incorporating your specialty into your practice name. Spend some time online to land on a professional keyword specific practice name.
  4. Make sure you google any potential names. In case it’s an extremely common name or already use in your area, you have ample time to pick another name from your list.
  5. Register your domain as soon as you have made your decision. Make sure you have a few options to choose from in case any of the domains are already taken. An infographic below will show you in just 6 easy steps on how to get your domain name.
  6. Say it out loud. (No, it’s not silly….maybe just a tad bit.)
  7. Discuss it with your friends and family.
  8. Do a poll on Instagram or Facebook (this is actually one of the best practices used by start-ups). Feedback is important.

Think TRU - Topical, Representative and Unique

1. Topical

Are you a hypnotherapist, a relationship counsellor or do your work specifically with children up to a certain age?Counseling practice names are a great way to communicate what is unique about your private practice right away to potential clients. If you choose the name that defines your practice, it will ensure you reach out to people who are specifically looking for your services to find your online. 

therapist brainstorming counseling practice names

2. Representative keywords

Including a term like “therapist,” “psychiatrist,” “counselling” or similar words is good for SEO as including a keyword can possibly have positive impact on how your website shows up on the search results. A strategic therapy business name can really boost your website’s SEO if you include keywords in your name that potential clients will likely be searching for when looking for a therapist. Also, these terms help in reassuring and defining your practice your prospective clients.

3. Uniqueness

Your therapy business name is the first thing people will see. Keep the name professional yet memorable but always simple. Remember, first impressions count. Visualize what your potential and existing clients should think and feel when they hear or see the name of your private practice, both online and offline.

The Importance of Picking a Private Practice Name that Works Online

girls using computer

You may have noticed the emphasis on online in the points above. Considering a large part of your potential clientele (over 85%) will be searching for you on the web, one of the most key considerations in naming your business should be the availability of the domain name you have to purchase. I cannot stress enough on the importance of reserving your domain name as soon as you have made your decision. You want to make sure you get your desired domain name before anyone else does. Reserving your domain name is fairly simple and not too expensive (less than $25). The infographic below shows a step-by-step process of checking for a domain name at www.namecheap.com

infographic on purchasing domain name for private practice

Choosing your therapy business name is an important first decision in starting your private practice. Stay TRU to yourself and make sure your private practice name:

    • stands the test of time
    • effectively showcases your value proposition
    • sets your apart
    • is relevantly marketed
    • helps your potential clients find you
    • creates an impact on your community

Spend quality time doing so and truly enjoy the process! Picking a counseling practice names is a decision that will have an impact on you for a long time to come – pick wisely! If you have tried the above techniques and are still having trouble or in case you are short on time and have the required budgets, you can even look at hiring a professional agency or a naming service. They will do all the research, work with you on the overall creative aspect of naming your therapy practice and would also be able to handle all the technical aspects of setting up your domain name.

Once you’re all ready and registered, do let me know in the comments. I would love to hear about your experience.

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Hi! I’m Sarah. 

 I help counselors and therapists  have a bigger impact on the world through better client connection. I do this by creating beautiful visuals and strategically designed websites.

Sarah Gershone web designer