Create a Killer Psychology Today Profile That Gets You Noticed​

 April 21, 2024 by Tetra Prime Consulting, Aaron Garner

They’ve convinced you; you’ve chatted with other private practice professionals, researched the benefits, and realized just one great referral and the thing practically pays for itself – you’re joining Psychology Today.

Then, you get to the profile section and realize you have no idea where to start.

What do I say? How do I say it? You know you’ve got to stand out, but where do you even begin?

The answers to these questions are simpler than you think. The key is getting out of your head and into the minds of your clientsWhat are they looking for? What convinces them? What do they need to know?



“In my twenty plus years of practice, I have realized that what we value as clinicians is not necessarily the same thing as what those who are considering our services value.” – Dr. Julie Hanks, Licensed Therapist and Business Consultant  

Dr. Julie Hanks, LCSW and business consultant contributed a quick yet insightful guest post to Psych Central Professionals entitled 3 Things Potential Clients Really Want To Know. In it, she suggests prospective  clients are really looking for affirmative answers to the following questions:

Do I like you?

Can I trust you?

How can you help me?

The same can be said for your Psychology Today profile. With online directories especially, you are competing with dozens (maybe even hundreds) of other professionals in your area. Creating a profile that addresses these questions will help you cut through the noise and connect with quality clients that can benefit most from your expertise. Read on for our tips on creating a killer profile compiled with these questions in mind.



Your approachability starts with a winning photo and attention-grabbing opening sentence.

When your profile pops up on Psychology Today’s search results, you’re sandwiched between a dozen other professionals listed in your area. Until a potential client clicks on your profile, all they can see is your name, photo, professional title, contact info, and the first sentence of your summary.

Your client’s eyes are even more selective – they tend to glaze over the other stuff and focus only on two things: your photo and the first sentence of your summary. That’s it. That’s not a lot to go on and certainly not a comprehensive portrait of your services. But that’s ok, you’ll get to that when you have their attention. The key is getting them to click on your profile in the first place, and that all comes down to enticing an affirmative answer to the first question – Do I Like You?.



More and more research is being done on the science behind a likable profile photo. Findings suggest that when it comes to picking a winning photo of ourselves, we’re not the best ones to judge. For an online directory (where your photo is half the reason a client might click on your profile), it’s vital to get the picture right.

Instead of wasting time with research, likability apps (yeah those exist), and endless selfies – set aside a little time for a professional photo. The right photographer will work with your needs and marry your personality with professionalism. They’ll construct a background, composition, and overall layout that gives you a clear, clean, and professional image. In most cases, if you want your profile to stand out to potential clients, a professional portrait is always the best option. 



Take a look at these “first sentences” from a few Psychology Today profiles:

“Let me pour you a cup of tea or coffee, and let’s talk.”

“Hi, I can’t wait to hear from you!”

“How can I help you?”

“Anxiety can make us feel stuck, but there is hope.”


“You deserve to live a life that leaves you excited to wake up every morning.”

“As the parent of a struggling teen, you often find yourself wondering what you can do to help them feel better.”

“My ideal patient is focused upon personal growth and healing.”

“I believe one of the bravest things you can do is begin to understand your own story.”

These unique opening sentences have one thing in common: they begin with the client in mind. Not only do they consider how someone browsing Psychology Today might be feeling, but they go a step further and address what is is that someone wants to hear. It can be tempting to start off with your years of experience and specialties, but see if you can craft a sentence that immediately engages the individual on the other side of the screen.

Depending on your counseling style, this could be a sentence that validates experience (“As the parent of a struggling teen, you often find yourself wondering what you can do to help them feel better.”), provides an open, kind approach (“Let me pour you a cup of tea or coffee, and let’s talk.”), or provides an immediate sense of hope (“My ideal patient is focused upon personal growth and healing.”).

There’s also an infusion of personality behind each unique sentence. Compare these two for example:


“You deserve to live a life that leaves you excited to wake up every morning.”

They say the exact same thing, but it’s obvious these counseling styles cater to completely different client personalities. Take a moment to craft a sentence in your voice – you are more likely to attract clients that match your counseling style with this simple tweak.



Ok, they like you. Your professional photo and unique opening sentence stood out from the Psychology Today crowd, and they’ve clicked on your profile – now what?

Continue building trust with client-first language. 

Strive to write a profile summary that is 80% addressing the client and 20% about you, or dedicating the first two paragraphs to your client and their experience.

Here is an example from the Psychology Today profile of Dr. Robert A. Pate who shared his profile updates via his YouTube channel.


Notice that the first two paragraphs keep the client at the center of the conversation. He doesn’t include his experience until the end, and he takes care to avoid clinical jargon.

Another technique Dr. Pate uses is using the second paragraph to create a dream scenario.

In the first paragraph, he addresses how clients might be feeling in the moment (lack of understanding, intimidated, emotional pain), but in the second paragraph, he paints a picture of what their life could be like with his help (free of emotional pain, able to deal with life’s problems, find purpose in all areas of life). This technique is not about false promises, but illustrating the sense of hope you know you can give.

Clear, jargon-free, client-first language that emphasizes validation and hope will inspire a sense of trust – all before potential clients read your final paragraph.



We made it! This is the part where you finally get to shine. Answering How Can You Help Me? is the 20% of your profile where you address your counseling style, strategies, years of experience, and certifications that help make their “dream scenario” a reality. Some things to keep in mind are:

  • Keep the language simple and jargon-free as much as possible.
  • Don’t be afraid to address the details of your counseling style and who you are prepared to work with. Some avoid these details so as not to appear exclusive, however, your Psychology Today profile is not about engaging every client, it’s about engaging the right clients for you. This of course is a win/win for both parties.

You can dedicate your third paragraph to answering these questions (similar to Dr. Pate’s example), or you can pepper this information throughout your summary. Remember, there’s no need to focus too much on you in the summary section – the profile provides plenty of space for listing skills, specialties, certification, and other clinical details. The goal of the summary section is to convince the client to reach out to you, and to do that you have to cater to them. If you focus on addressing the three questions above, you’ll be well on your way to creating a killer Psychology Today profile that gets results.