Deciding on a name is one of the first things almost every therapist wants to do when starting a private practice. After all, there’s a lot at stake with your name — it’s typically the first impression your practice makes on people.
A well-chosen therapy practice name can convey professionalism or expertise. It can even hint at your approach toward treatment, or how your style or experience sets you apart from other mental health professionals. An effective name can set the tone for your practice’s identity, attract new therapy clients, and help you establish a strong online presence.
If you’re like most therapists, you’ll put serious thought into naming your private practice — and if you’re stuck, the information here might help. Keep reading to learn how to name your private practice something that will really resonate with people…and to learn what not to do.
5 Tips for Naming Your Private Practice
Your practice name should echo your mission and purpose as a therapist. You want to choose a name that embodies the core values you’ll represent in your practice. For example, you may promote empathy, empowerment, personal growth, or resilience in your practice philosophy — so using these words in your practice name could be powerful. Knowing how to name your therapy practice isn’t difficult. You just need a few tips and guidelines.
1. Gather ideas and inspiration
The first step in choosing your practice name is getting ideas and inspiration. Brainstorming possible names is a great exercise that can give you a large pool of names to choose from.
Not sure how to start? Ask yourself questions like:
- What words evoke feelings of healing?
- What words or phrases do I love?
- How can I encapsulate my approach in one word?
- What values do I bring to this practice?
- What are my guiding philosophies?
Remember, choosing the right name for your practice is crucial and will be used for many aspects of your business. This is especially true when it comes to marketing for therapists.
2. Keep it professional
Finding the right balance between authenticity and brand recognition is essential, but you also want to keep your therapy practice name professional. Remember that the name you choose will be potential clients’ first impression of your practice or services. Attracting and retaining a worthy clientele is easier if you have a professional name.
3. Incorporate your specialty
If you have a therapy niche or specialization, try to incorporate that into the name of your practice.
For example, if you have extensive experience in psychological testing, you might decide on a name like “Bayside Psychological Testing Center.” If your niche is in trauma therapy, your practice name could be something like “Trauma Recovery Center.”
“Sharing your experience, specialty, or particular population you serve can help you attract the type of client you want. Keeping in mind that you may have more than one specialty or work with different populations, share what makes it special for you to work with them.”– Talkspace therapist Cynthia Catchings, LCSW-S, LCSWC
You can also incorporate the types of therapy you specialize in. For example, a name with the phrase “Holistic Therapy” might be good if you’re a holistic provider. One caveat here is that you should be careful not to limit yourself by making your name so specialized that people assume you don’t offer other services or therapies.
4. Consider optimizing your name for online visibility
In the digital age we live in today, optimizing your name for online visibility is critical to expanding your reach and building your practice. Be sure to consider therapist SEO opportunities when choosing a name. You might be able to incorporate high search volume, low competition keywords into your name to increase your online presence.
Keywords are the words or phrases people type into Google (or another browser) when searching for a product or service online. For example, somebody seeking therapy for anxiety might type in “therapists who treat anxiety near me” or “anxiety relief.” Having a web-friendly title can give you an advantage over the competition and help you grow your private practice online.
5. Ask for feedback
Take advantage of any feedback you solicit during your brainstorming sessions. Ask friends, family, and colleagues what they think about the names you’re considering.
Common Mistakes When Naming a Therapy Practice
The name you decide on is integral to establishing your identity as a practice. Avoid the following pitfalls when naming your private practice.
Using your personal name
Although it might feel like you’re adding a personal touch by using your name for your practice, there are some drawbacks to consider here.
One thing to keep in mind is if you plan on expanding or selling in the future, a personal moniker can actually work against you.
Highly complex terminology might seem sophisticated, but it could potentially hinder brand recognition or alienate some clients. If clients can’t remember your name, or if they can’t pronounce it, your name could work against you.
If you’re unsure about a word or phrase, use these tips:
- Test out potential names by saying them out loud several times.
- Get feedback from diverse people, especially people from different cultural backgrounds, to gauge understanding.
Overly trendy names
Trendy terms or phrases might be good at the moment and initially attract attention, but like any trend, they probably lack staying power over time. Instead, choose timeless terms or phrases so your brand remains relevant even after a trend fades, which is almost certain to happen.
This one should go without saying, but it’s important to mention how imperative it is for mental healthcare professionals to demonstrate cultural sensitivity. When selecting your private practice’s name, be mindful of words that may have negative connotations across cultures, even if unintentional.
“Cultural competence begins with self-knowledge, so being aware of how the name of your practice may attract or discourage people from calling you has to be one of your priorities. Focus on your services and population, then add pleasant or positive words.”– Talkspace therapist Cynthia Catchings, LCSW-S, LCSWC
Rushing your decision
One of the best tips for how to name your therapy practice is to go slow.
The name you select for your private practice is not something you want to rush into. Not taking your time as you walk through the naming process, or not doing proper research can lead to problems, including the potential for trademark infringement, inadvertent use of culturally offensive words or phrases, or adopting a name that’s difficult or unavailable to use digitally. Take your time and do proper research before you decide on a name.
Registering Your Private Practice Name
Once you finally decide on your name, you’re not quite done. The journey to establishing your private practice goes beyond just choosing the name. You must take several steps now, like checking if the name is available, ensuring it’s legally registered, and purchasing a domain name that works.
- Determining availability: Check if other practices — especially local ones — exist with a similar or exact name as the one you’re thinking of using. You should also search the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s database for full due diligence. If, by chance, another business is already operating under the name that you want to use, you may want to consider alternative options to avoid confusion or legal action down the road.
- Legally register your business name: The next step is registering your practice with local and state authorities. Registration helps protect you against future disputes over business ownership.
- Purchase a matching domain name: Securing a matching or complementary domain name can significantly boost your online visibility, expanding your reach and ability to help new therapy clients.
Naming a therapy practice can be quite a process. With careful research and some creativity, you can find a memorable name that expresses your practice’s uniqueness and speaks to people wherever they are on their mental health journey.
Finding a meaningful and effective private practice name gets you one step closer to your goal, and if you’re looking to incorporate online therapy as a service you offer, consider becoming a Talkspace therapist.
Talkspace is a comprehensive online platform designed specifically for therapists wanting a flexible, secure, and convenient way to offer online therapy to patients. Talkspace offers resources you need to start your practice, like paid onboarding training, one-on-one calls with experienced Talkspace providers, free Learning Communities, and more. Plus, once you’re all set up, you’ll gain all of the benefits of having a private practice without all of the headaches of running one. We help you submit insurance claims, check patient eligibility, and cover some of the main costs of having a private practice.
Learn more about becoming a Talkspace provider today.
- USPTO Office of Public Affairs (OPA). “United States Patent and Trademark Office.” United States Patent and Trademark Office – An Agency of the Department of Commerce, August 18, 2023. https://www.uspto.gov/.