If you visit any therapist website, you’ll see statements like the following:

  • “We can do EMDR”
  • “Psychotherapy services available”
  • “Get therapy today”

But no one wants to go to therapy. Nor do they want the modalities that many therapists use.

Psychology, mindfulness, CBT, Gottman. These are not wants.

People Want The Transformation

What people truly want is to ease their pain, stop the suffering, end the struggles and arrive somewhere better. They want the destination in their mind: to feel happy, whole, and excited about life.

People don’t buy the modality that you are using nor the therapy itself, they pay for the ease of their suffering. The erasure of their pain.

They want the transformation that therapy can bring, not the process of therapy itself.

And Face It, Therapy Can Be Hard Work

As a sexual abuse survivor that has gone to a lot of therapy, my experience has been that going to therapy is challenging.

At one point, I needed sessions twice a week. After sessions, particularly sessions where I was accessing and processing through deeper stuff, I’d need time to rest.

I would get both emotionally and physically exhausted.

But I was holding on, trying to get better.

Holding on already took a ton of effort. Showing up twice a week and doing the work of therapy took even more effort beyond that.

I wasn’t exactly laughing and skipping my way into each session! Holding back my excitement for the work. If anything, I was taking deep breaths and bracing myself for impact.

But I loved the emotional release. I loved how I would often feel lighter, seen, less alone. And over time, I transformed my life from a life that was very confusing and dark to one that I wanted to live.

I kept going to therapy because I wanted to live. Not because I loved therapy.

Sell The Benefits Of Therapy

Once you accept that every therapy client is struggling with something and they want to get to a better place, things shift from “people want therapy” to “people want relief.”

Ask yourself: am I selling the benefits of therapy? Or am I selling the process?

  • You might think they want EMDR but what they really want is to go through a day of their lives without having a painful flashback.
  • You might think they want individual therapy, but what they want is to feel excitement in life again.
  • You might think they want psychological testing, but what they really want are answers about who they are so they can finally have a clear way forward.

Their Desired Destination Is The Focus

Once you realize that people want a life transformation, you’ll want to understand how the journey will look for them.

First, they’ll have to get to know, like, and trust you. That’s the baseline starting point. Many factors for getting to know, like, and trust you are visual or beyond your website (thinks like how you show up in the community, what connections refer you, or your social media presence).

Next, don’t “sell yourself,” instead, meet them where they are in their pain and then sell the destination. Let them know healing is possible and that you’re someone who can help them get there.

The thing is, they already know the pain they are experiencing and they know where they’d like to be instead. It’s easy to sell your solution when you’re just confirming that they’ll get the value they are seeking.

It’s like they are imagining a quiet beach and then you come along and start describing how you can help them go to a place with sand, calm gentle waves, clean breeze, and gentle sunshine.

How do you think they will react? They’ll be like, “Yes! I finally found someone who gets me. They know where I am and where I want to be instead.”

And who wouldn’t want to focus on the beach instead of the long drive to get there?

Sell the beach, not the long road they will take to get there.