It’s very much the thing, we therapists and coaches are told, to ‘niche down’, to become known for working with a particular demographic or diagnosis. I’m not so sure. Looking at my caseload over the last bit of a while, there is little in the way of a niche to be seen:
- Teachers in public and state schools, including head teachers and retirees.
- Mental health professionals working in the NHS.
- A research scientist.
- Local and London based business men and women.
- A retired city gent.
- Young mums with young children.
- Professional athletes (retired and current).
- An oil rigger.
- Young people who party too hard.
- Boarders in 6th form at various public schools.
- Uni students.
- Lots of military veterans, different ages, services and tours.
This disparate group of people have presented with many different problems, randomised below:
- Heartbreak at the end of a relationship.
- Coping with a partner with PTSD.
- Panic attacks, fear of imminent death.
- Lack of direction (x2).
- Coping with a nasty split and securing access to children.
- Drug and alcohol problems (x3).
- Distressing intrusive thoughts and images.
- Work related stress (x3).
- Difficulties with long term conditions (x3).
- Skin picking.
- PTSD (x4) .
- Difficulties meeting parents’ expectations.
What these people have in common is that they have become STUCK. Something has happened to them along the way and they’ve found ways of coping that no longer seem to be working for them, so they sought my help.
So my niche? People who are STUCK, and who are ready and willing to try something new, and maybe make some changes. I can’t think of another job where I would get to connect meaningfully with such a variety of people, or under what other set of circumstances our paths would cross. It’s a huge privilege. Why on earth would I niche down and cut any of those people out of my life?