Whether by training or by nature, psychotherapists and other professionals in private practice are often at a loss when it comes to writing a personal biography for their website's About page. Some have taken the blank slate posture of avoiding-personal-disclosures-like-the-plague to heart. Others simply aren't comfortable talking about themselves.
Either way, the consequence of not providing a little bit of personal info about yourself is that potential clients have a more difficult time relating to you. That difficulty is a barrier to getting an initial impression that they can trust you, be safe with you, and have the sense that you will understand them.
That barrier is a major impediment to motivating people to call for an appointment. And it's easy to fix.
I've been teaching 3 styles of content for an About page for a number of years. Those styles are:
The Personal Story
Telling a bit of your personal story helps the website visitor connect with you. It begins the process of generating the know you / like you / trust you factor that is the subtext for the decision to hire you versus your colleague down the street.
The key in disclosing personal information is to only offer what is relevant to the ideal clients’ problems and experience. This establishes experiential credibility, which can be more persuasive and less intimidating than a listing of academic credentials and professional kudos.
An example of my own personal story as relates to the marketing journey and marketing client is given on this website.
The Expanded Elevator Speech
Sometimes called the one-breath introduction, an elevator speech is super short and focuses only on the outcomes you produce for the type of clients you seek to attract. But obviously the 1-2 sentences of the typical elevator speech is much too short to be used on a website.
Providing your elevator speech is catchy and incorporates your unique selling points, and is expanded to 400-600 words, it can work well on an About page -- although such a message may work even better on a home page if you're struggling with content there, too.
This style keeps telling the reader why it benefits them to choose you, how you are different from the therapist down the block. End with a recitation of the various techniques you are trained to use. This is much closer to a who's who type of bio, though presented in a more casual tone.
Here's an example of one I used to use on my Worry Tamer website:
I’m Deah Curry, and I am a worry-tamer. I specialize in working with professional women who silently struggle with never feeling good enough, and need to let go of shame and fear without losing dignity or integrity.
What separates my services from other counselors and life coaches is that I help clients change self-sabotaging habits and beliefs, using ancient nature-based wisdoms, and creative alternatives to conventional therapy. Because of this, my clients quickly gain bold confidence, tackle bigger career dreams, and more easily take the risks needed for their success.
My background and expertise range from psychotherapy and hypnotherapy to life and spiritual coaching, with academic teaching, and a lot of writing experience too. I use a mix of introspective techniques to help clients build the confidence to take the risks needed to move forward on their goals.
The Personal Commitment
This approach talks in a conversational style about your mission, passion, life purpose then lists the promises you can make to your clients (e.g., that you'll listen non-judgmentally, that you'll support and encourage, etc).
While not quite as warm and friendly as the personal story, this style of bio is a kind of best foot forward. It can be modified to include the relevant credentials you know are important to your audience, but the main focus is on the value you are bringing to the client.
A personal commitment style might look something like this:
Helping people gain true personal empowerment is my passion and my life purpose. Many of my clients start coaching because they feel like their life is passing them by, or like they’ve settled for much less than they expected when they were young.
I know what it’s like to have long neglected dreams and because of that I especially strive to help my clients heal the fears and worries that hold them back. I see my job as helping my clients overcome anxiety and the confusions it creates.
As your helper at this time, I make the following commitments to you:
I'll listen unconditionally
I'll teach new skills in listening to your wiser inner voice
I’ll give you new perspectives to consider
I'll help you learn to feel your feelings and clear your thoughts
I'll support, encourage, and applaud your changes
I'll gently but directly tell you the truth as I see it
The FAQ Format
This style may feel more authentic to some, as it is just the opportunity to answer the questions you might assume potential clients have about you. Write the question as a subhead, and give answers as if you are interviewing yourself.
Your credentials can take a more front and center position in this style without that feeling like bragging or writing a resume. This is also a good style to use if you need to counter perceived objections to any technique or training that may be out of the mainstream.
For an example of this style, check on my about page on another of my websites.