Shameless Practice Promotion



E. Carol Webster, Ph.D.
Original Copyright © 2013

Psychologists help people do a lot of tough things. But one of the toughest things for them to do for themselves is to promote their practice. This is partly due to the way most mental health professionals are trained and the constant need to exercise self-restraint and minimal self-disclosure. So it’s hard to shift gears once you enter the competitive world of business and realize what’s required to direct referrals to your door. But it’s essential to make this shift, so get over it and learn how to be shameless in promoting yourself and your practice.

  • Talk About Your Practice

Yes, yes I know – “selling yourself” feels tacky but it needs to be done. Prospective patients have a purchase decision to make and they need a reason to select you over Dr. X down the street. Help them decide. Give them something to work with! Talk about your expertise and how you help people feel better, change behavior, and grow. But keep it simple. You’re not talking to other practitioners. And in today’s digital environment, it’s easy to get this message out broadly through your website or social media. Just be very careful to ensure the ethical management of your online presence and communications.

  • Get Out of the Office

You can only do so much from your office. Many people want to get to know you in person. Get out of the office and network! It does no good just to join professional associations and community organizations and get listed in directories with the hopes of receiving referrals. Attend meetings, serve on committees, and enjoy social activities. This will give you plenty of opportunity to meet new people who can refer others to you. And this includes your colleagues. Many practitioners feel that it’s pointless to schmoose with those in their profession because they are competitors. But even the largest practice can’t see everyone, so there’s always potential for referrals.

  • Ask For Referrals

People are busy pursuing their own needs so growing your practice probably isn’t at the top of their list. Bring your need to their attention. Once you let colleagues, friends and family know that you’re accepting new referrals and the type of patients or professional opportunities you’re interested in, you will be pleasantly surprised at how willing they are to become “ambassadors” for you. Open your mouth and ask for their help! And make it easy for them to send people your way. Give them your business cards. Keep them in every jacket pocket, every purse, and in your car so that wherever you go you’re ready to do business. Many practitioners hold onto their cards like they’re the Crown jewels. But give them out! That’s what they’re for.

Your practice can’t promote itself. It’s up to you to do this. Get the word out there. And do so with pride. People have many practitioners to choose from when they need psychological services. Help them understand why their best choice is you!

Also Enjoy These Success Articles

Business Networking

Shameless Self-Promotion


About the Author:

Dr. E. Carol Webster is a clinical psychologist consultant in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
She is author of the book for those dealing with the stress of success ―
Success Management: How to Get to the Top and Keep Your Sanity Once You Get There,

The Fear of Success: Stop It From Stopping You! ―
the book to help you overcome fears that may be holding you back in your life and career
The Private Practice of Clinical Psychology in: Voices of Historical & Contemporary Black American Pioneers
To contact Dr. Webster visit online at or call 954.797.9766.

E. Carol Webster, Ph.D.
Clinical Psychology Consulting
Mailing Address: 7027 West Broward Boulevard, #262  Fort Lauderdale, FL 33317

Reprint Policy: You are welcome to reprint this article for your personal use and to share with friends and associates.
Contact Dr. Webster to obtain permission for any commercial purposes.