Therapists want potential clients to appreciate how consultations with them can help them deal with their problems. As a therapist, promoting your practice is clearly not the same as marketing a lipstick or beer brand, but the same rules apply to a certain extent: how can you make yourself stand out in a crowded market? 

One of the most valuable tools you have at your disposal is your photograph.

Clients looking for a therapist on or any other therapist directory will be presented with a range of therapists' names and pictures in a long list, which will have been gathered together according to filters or postcode. In the very first instance, and for a variety of reasons, potential clients will be drawn to some of them over others, and will read about what they offer first. Clients may very well go onto to contact them, without ever even considering those whose pictures were not as clear, appealing, well-lit — or maybe there were even some who didn’t have pictures at all.

Over the years we have been running it has become clear to us that pictures are very important when it comes to therapist marketing. Therapists who do well, being contacted in good numbers, consistently, have good pictures. It really is as simple as that. So we wanted to share some of our top tips to making sure you have a photograph that best represents you and your therapy practice. 

What makes a good therapist profile photo?

Professional quality if possible …

The best pictures are taken by professional photographers. They can offer different backgrounds, flattering lighting, and they usually know all the best tricks for angles. They will also give you a variety of images, so you can decide between looking serious or cheerful, or change pictures with the seasons.

But selfies don't have to be discounted!

A lot of phones have a great quality camera, so if you have some skill at taking pictures with your phone, take dozens of snaps and then rigorously edit till you have found one that is clear and well-framed. You can, of course, also ask someone to photograph you. We wouldn't recommend, however, taking them from your computer; the quality is often not as high, and expressions can be a little more self-conscious.

Things to aim for: 

  • you should be the focus of the picture - avoid overly busy backgrounds
  • your face should take up 50% of the shot, unless you have gone for a seated full body shot. And if you have, make sure that everything in the shot is well-placed and reflects well on you
  • your appearance should be reassuring and professional, your clothing well thought-out and unfussy. Ask yourself, is this the way I want potential clients to see me? 
  • make sure you are well lit, with the light coming from behind the camera, not shining into the camera from behind you 
  • if you want to show yourself in your consulting room, frame the picture carefully, so it’s not filled with shadows and distractions such as plugs

How do you know if you have got a good picture?

The simplest way is to look at the other therapists who come up when you search in your area. Look at the first 10 or so and ask yourself: honestly, would I want to know more about myself if I came upon this picture? If the answer is no, then it might well be time to get snapping! 

We hope this is helpful to you, and do get in touch with us if you'd like us to take a look over your profile.