Pain Points and Psychotherapy SEO

Many of our clientele work in the field of psychology and hire us to write their mental health content. In the last few years we’ve worked with dozens of psychotherapists, psychiatrists, and counselors as they build their websites and market to their community.

Everyone working in the mental health field has their own voice, and wants that voice to shine through to their potential clients. Psychologists also want to make sure that those in need of mental health services know that there is someone that understands them. This involves using pain points.

What Are Pain Points?

Pain points are the parts of an article that identify with the pain of the reader. Some writers like to put details about the experience, others like to put questions. It depends on the writer and the client. In the case of psychotherapy, this may be something like:

“When someone close to you passes, there is no right or wrong emotion. Sadness is normal, but so is anger, frustration, guilt, and possibly even relief. Loss isn’t a single emotion, but rather an inability to control emotions while you cope with the absence of someone important to you…”

Questions may be something like:

  • Do you sometimes feel like you can’t remember what happiness feels like?
  • Do you sometimes feel nauseated, even when you eat healthy?
  • Do you sometimes feel as though you’re lost in your own thoughts?

It depends on the condition, the type of writing the client wants, etc., but those are examples of ways that pain points may be added to your articles, and in some cases they may even involve personal stories.

Using Pain Points in Psychotherapy Content

Pain points are an important part of any type of content. By identifying with the reader’s experience, you ensure that the reader knows that the rest of the article is related to what they’re looking for.

However, one of the themes I’ve noticed with psychotherapists is that many prefer to create long articles filled with pain points, and very little about the benefits of working with you as a therapist. It’s my belief that that’s not necessarily the right idea.

Now, this all comes with a caveat – and one that I want to make clear for any clients looking for this type of service. There are two types of websites:

  • Those that are about generating the most business possible.
  • Those that are about making sure your voice and personality shines through.

Long articles that focus solely on pain points represent the latter, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that at all. Several of my clients have asked me to complete that type of content and I do it proudly. I’m happy with the content, they seem pleased with the content, and their business still grows. All good content is useful content, and these articles are no different.

But for the purposes of this blog post, I want to explain why I, personally, think that focusing less on pain points is still useful. Keep in mind we’re talking only about main site/service pages. Blog posts are a different beast.

Less Pain Points, More Focus On You

The issue here is about how people find you and what they search for. The theory that many psychotherapists have is that their clients will read their content, see that you’ve described what you’re feeling, and call you. But what I’ve found through various keyword searches and personal conversations is that when people find you in search engines, they already know what they have, and are looking for who to go to in order to treat it.

For example, a young lady I know needed a therapist for her young daughter, who was having some anxiety issues. She did not search for “my daughter is struggling and nervous.” If she did, then perhaps an article that identifies what she’s going through may be worthwhile, because perhaps she doesn’t know. Instead, she searched for “childhood anxiety therapist in LOCATION.” She already know she wanted someone for her child’s anxiety. What she was trying to do was choose the right person to treat it.

There, benefits of working with you become far more important than identifying with their pain. They already know what their pain is. What they’re looking for is someone that can help them make the decision – someone that makes their therapy sound like something that will work. That’s what they’re searching for, and that’s the page they want to find.

This is why I generally recommend less focus on identifying with the patient, and more focus on letting them know why they should choose you. Start with some pain points, but then talk about your skills, your services, and the reason that they should believe you’ll help them heal.

Choosing Your Writing Style

Once again, this isn’t to say either way is right or wrong. There’s some benefit to making sure your website shines with personality too – so that potential customers can learn more about who you are and possibly decide to work with you. It’s also important that you’re proud of your site as well, and if that means that you want a different type of site, then that’s what you should have.

But often when it comes to search engines, people are looking for answers, and the search queries they are most likely to use – like “Anxiety Help,” “Depression Therapist,” “Self-Esteem Coaching” indicate that they’re not wondering if they have those issues – they’re deciding who to choose to treat it. That’s why personally I think that while pain points should be part of the content, they shouldn’t necessarily take on all of it.

If you work in the psychotherapy field – or the psychotherapy marketing field – please let me know what your thoughts are in the comments, and feel free and contact me if you’d like to discuss some of Great Leap Studio’s psychology writing services.


  • Micah Abraham

    Micah Abraham is the owner and lead content writer at Great Leap Studios ( and High Volt Digital (
    Micah has over 15 years of content writing and digital marketing experience, and has owned and operated Great Leap Studios since 2013 and High Volt since 2022.
    He has a degree in Psychology from the University of Washington, and has researched and written content on a wide range of topics in the medical and health fields, home services, tech, and beyond.
    Micah lives with his family in California.

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