How To Name a Private Practice

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Today, we are talking all about naming a practice. The name of your practice is one of the most important things that you can land on. But, also, people often get hung up on it and they take way too long to name their practice. I actually named my practice ‘Sanok Counseling PLLC’, which is one of the most boring names ever. But, later on, I figured out, “Oh, I like the name ‘Mental Wellness Counseling'”, and was available, so I ended up buying the URL and filing what’s called a ‘DBA’, Doing Business As. I did this so that I can be Sanok Counseling PLLC doing business as Mental Wellness Counseling.

So, first, realize that – although you may give it your best shot –  you can always change the name of your practice, it’s easy. Here are a couple of quick tips for you in regards to naming a practice.

1. Don’t Use Your Own Name

First, you don’t want to use your own name, because if you ever want to grow and scale and add other people to your practice, you are going to be limited. If you use your own name, people are always going to want to see the owner of the practice, instead of just a general counselor there. So, if it’s your own name, it sets you apart in a number of ways that you just don’t need. They will only want to see you, it’s going to be harder to scale, and it’s not going to be great for SEO (search engine optimization). If people are Googling your name already, they probably already know your name and so it’s not going to really help you out.

2. Use Professional Term

Second, you want to use the term ‘counseling’, ‘therapy’, ‘psychotherapy’, ‘psychology’, whatever your field is. Not only will this help with SEO, which isn’t as important as it used to be, but also for clarity. I’ve been on so many websites where you get to their website and you see happy people, and it doesn’t say ‘counseling’ or ‘therapy’, and you have no idea what they do without scrolling down. You want it to be abundantly clear on your website that you are doing counseling. Because, you could just as easily be a massage therapist, or a chiropractor, or you could be a funeral home. So many websites are not clear. So, if you have counseling or therapy in your URL, in your name, and all over your front page, above the fold, it’s going to make it so much easier for people to know exactly what you do.

3. Don’t Be Boring!

Third, don’t be boring! So many people just come up with these really boring names and have really boring websites. You want to stand out! You want people to say, “I remember that name”. So, really seek to not be boring as much as you can when you’re naming your practice.

4. Do a Market Evaluation

Do a market evaluation in your area. Look at what other counseling practices are called. If their names are ‘Child and Family Counseling’, ‘Family Counseling’, ‘Coastal Counseling’, ‘Water Counseling’, ‘Water’s Edge Counseling’, ‘Willow Tree Counseling’, you want to really differentiate yourself to stand out from the rest of the other practices. If you sound too much like a different practice, people are going to confuse you and you’re not going to attract the right clients. Find unique things about you and about your specialty that you can incorporate into the name of your practice.

5. Do This Exercise

  1. Pull out a sheet of paper
  2. Put everything that comes to mind first when you think about your ideal client
  3. Think about the outcome of counseling with you
  4. What are all the ideas that come to mind when you would describe yourself?
  5. When it comes to your therapy practice, when you think about if it were a group practice, what would you want that practice to be as a group?
  6. Go to and start to look at other words that go with that
  7. Get a whole mash up of words and play with those words and see what seems to fit well for you


Joe Sanok is the owner of Mental Wellness Counseling and the host of the top podcast, Practice of the Practice. The podcast was recently named one of Huffington Post’s top 100 podcasts. For more on personal and business growth go to