I launched a local online mental health directory, Portland Therapy Center, in January of 2014. At the beginning of 2016, I launched an alternative healthcare directory, Wellpdx and started a new project, the Practice Academy, that helps health and wellness workers improve their digital brands and attract more clients online.
Since launching Portland Therapy Center, more than 300 therapists have created profiles and the directory quickly became the most popular way to find a counselor in Portland. The website gets close to 9,000 visitors per month, the majority of whom are researching therapists and learning about different mental health issues and treatment orientations.
Visitors to the site are encouraged to check out the mental health dictionary, where more than 100 terms are listed and defined. The dictionary serves two purposes. Clients can click on a term to learn more about it and can also find therapists that specialize in treating that issue or using that psychological orientation.
Therapists are given a chance to educate visitors as to why they are experts in that certain topic. When clients read the specialty explanation,s it creates more trust and authority with clients, while also holding therapists responsible for backing up why they specialize in a certain area.
Since launching the site, there have been more than 40,000 clicks on the terms in the dictionary. This data gives us unique insights into what clients want to learn more about and what they are looking for in a mental health professional. The results may surprise you. They certainly surprised me a bit.
The chart above shows the top 20 most popular terms in Portland Therapy Center’s mental health dictionary. These 20 terms make up more than 50% of the total clicks.
One important factor to take into consideration is that these results only represent the Portland, Oregon market. Portland is a very progressive town with liberal values and very little stigma associated with going to therapy.
This data does not fully represent the rest of the country. It may come close to representing similar cities, like San Francisco or Austin, but will likely fall short when compared to cities that are more conservative and less open to counseling. With that said, this information tells an interesting story.