Have you ever considered becoming a therapist? This is a great profession that has helped countless individuals find comfort in their lives.
If you’ve been curious about mental health and how to help others cope with the challenges of life, you should consider a therapist career.
But do you know how to become a therapist?
This guide will show you how to become a therapist and what therapist career paths to consider.
1. Psychologist VS Therapist
Often psychologist and therapist are hurled around as if they were the same thing. However, its imperative to distinguish between the two when pursuing your career. A qualified psychologist can pursue therapy. If you have been working toward a PhD in Psychology, you can consider a therapist career.
However, there is an alternative method of becoming a therapist. If you don’t wish to pursue a PhD in Psychology, you can pursue a Psy.D.
Both degrees take about five years to complete. They contain research modules as well as a practicum. Once you complete the degree, you can begin your career.
2. Becoming a Counselor
If you consider becoming a counselor, there are alternative degree requirements. Counseling is not exactly the same as therapy, but it does focus on problem-solving which is why many patients seek therapy in the first place.
If you wish to pursue counseling, you must have at least a Master’s degree. The degree should be in counseling and will require a specified concentration. Concentrations can range from career counseling, rehabilitation counseling, clinical mental health counseling, and much more.
3. Research Types of Therapists
If counseling isn’t for you, make sure to research the types of therapists there are. Make sure you do meticulous research so that you can figure out which type of therapy is best suited for your interests/skills.
For example, if you wish to deal with mentally-disturbed individuals you might wish to consider psychotherapy.
You can also work as an occupational therapist, marriage therapist, child therapist, cognitive-behavioral therapist, and much more.
You should seek out existing therapists in the fields that interest you. Interview them to learn about their experiences to see if the career prospects appeal to you.
4. What You Can Expect to Do
When researching the different types of therapists, you should familiarize yourself with the actual work involved. You want to know what role a therapist plays in each field. This is another method to help you decide which type of slavery works best for your interests/skills.
For example, if you consider recreational therapy you can expect to help your patients engage with recreational activities to improve their overall wellbeing. Recreational activities can include arts and crafts, sports, games, hobbies, etc.
If you want to help disabled people, you can consider occupational therapy. This helps people with temporary disabilities to return to their fully-functioning life. It also helps permanently disabled people adjust to life in spite of their conditions.
Behavioral therapists can help individuals improve their behavior and helps them deal with adjusting to challenging social conditions.
These are just a few of many branches of therapy. When considering what type of therapist you wish to become, learn as much about the responsibilites and tasks as you can.
5. How to Be a Great Therapist
So how do you ensure that you become a great therapist? Regardless of what type of therapist you become, you want to excel at your career. Your success boils down to your skills.
The first skill that all therapists need is patience. You can expect to deal with long periods of silence during a therapy session. You can expect clients to struggle with expressing themselves.
Furthermore, you can also expect clients to shirk their responsibilites or tasks you assign them. You have to learn how to be patient with them at all times.
A great therapist is also observant. They have the ability to observe how the client feels and their subtle behaviors. This observance will help the therapist decide on what solutions are best for the client.
Other skills include communication skills, interpersonal skills, writing, organization, record-keeping, listening, etc.
When you interview therapists, you can ask them what skills they cultivated to excel at their careers. If possible, you should see if you can assist a therapist in a session so that you can pick up the skills as you work.
Once you have completed your degree, there are a few more steps to receiving qualifications. First, you should get practical clinic hours. Your graduate program should give you an option to receive these hours.
You might need to complete several thousand more as a therapist’s assistant. These hours are to be completed before you can become a full-fledged therapist.
You should also take this time to work on developing the skills mentioned in the previous point. You can also consider working toward further certifications. These can range from being a National Certified Counselor to a specific certification for your branch of therapy.
Once you complete your hours and have honed your skills, you can apply for licensure.
7. Promoting Yourself
Once you have received the qualifications for your preferred branch of therapy, you are ready to start promoting yourself. You should consider a therapist website design service to promote your services.
You can start by working as an assistant at a therapist’s practice or hospital. As you grow in your career, you can look to opening your own practice.
Before you complete your therapy studies, try to find a therapist to serve as a mentor. This mentor should help you transition from a student to a practicing therapist.
Your mentor should also help your prepare your resume and cover letter. This will be a unique resume and cover letter that looks different from those of other professions.
These should highlight your education and experience. You can also ask your mentor to provide a letter of recommendation.
Now You Know How to Become a Therapist
Now that you know how to become a therapist, you are ready to embark upon this exciting career. Make sure to share this guide with anyone else interested in becoming a therapist.
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