How Do You Become a Therapist And Help Those With Mental Health Issues? Do you have an interest in human psychology, while a need and want to help others in your daily life? Becoming a therapist might be the right choice for you.
While this is a very rewarding career path for many, pursuing this route needs careful consideration and a good understanding of the process of “how do you become a therapist?” to know you are making the right choice in a new career.
How Can I Become A Therapist?
The traditional route for gaining a license in therapy is to undertake a BA followed by an MA. The undergraduate degree doesn’t have to be in a relevant field, but the master’s degree will need to be in psychology or something related to the practice.
After this, an internship or placement in a practice will follow this, there is no set time frame for completing this, it could be a few months or a few years.
After this, you can apply for your license. This varies depending on your location in cost, time and skillset. Some areas require you to take more exams, so be prepared for more studying.
This training is a huge commitment of money and time but the outcome can be great. If you are wondering how much will I earn becoming a therapist, this can vary with your specialty, experience and practice but many therapists do believe the wage they receive equates to the financial commitment being worthwhile.
How You Can Become A Therapist Without A Degree
Understandably, not everyone is in a position to undertake formal training to become a therapist. However, there are other options available and you can take on very similar roles that aren’t such a huge commitment and without a degree.
Mental health counsellors play an incredibly vital role in mental health services, they do not have the same level of training as therapists but are just as important. They help people going through a crisis, anything from grief, eating disorders, to PTSD or abuse, they are a lifeline to many.
Becoming a qualified counsellor takes 1-2 years, depending on where you train, and there is always the opportunity for further training at any point in your career. This can lead to a higher income and more specialties that you can practice within.
Life coaches are a similar role, however, they should not be considered a solution to those suffering from diminishing mental health. Rather, life coaches are there to help people lead their best life possible.
They do this by helping people analyse their choices, weigh up the pros and cons and choose the best path in life. This could be anything from choices with a new home, a career or even just finding a hobby they love and to make them feel fulfilled.
Life coaches can be certified within a few weeks to a few months and many bodies can provide this certification. A great tip-speak to a successful life coach and see where they undertook their training.
Is A Career In Therapy Right For Me?
Even if you have a huge passion for psychology and are fully committed to the training, there are other elements you need to consider before making the move to a new career.
A Passion For Helping People
Feeling energised from helping others needs to be a must for anyone who wants to become a therapist. You have to remember that every patient is visiting because they are experiencing a mental health crisis and might not always show gratitude, the knowledge that you are helping them should be enough to drive you every day.
A Similar Personal Experience
While this isn’t essential, having experienced your own mental health issues and perhaps even having therapy yourself can really help. Not only does this help you understand your clients better but it can help to build a bond of trust between the two of you, leading to more productive and successful sessions.
You can’t take anything personally as a therapist, you may have clients who relish in their sessions and show their gratitude regularly. However, you will also experience clients who don’t want to be in these sessions and push back as much as possible to your treatment. They can even become abusive at times, you have to remember they are going through a tough time; you can not let it impact your work or personal life.
Be Prepared To Ask For Help
It is very likely you can spend most of your time as a therapist listening to very traumatic experiences of clients. You have to remember that we are all human and even if your client is feeling positive from a session, hearing these horrendous stories can have an impact on your own mental health.
While you must always remain professional during a session, you must know when to reach out and seek help yourself. Over time, without the proper care and attention to your wellbeing, your mental health can deteriorate, particularly during a pandemic.
If you are still unsure about whether a career in therapy is right for you, there is no harm in contacting a therapist and asking them any outstanding questions you may have. Colleague professors in psychology can also offer a true insight into the workload and if you would be a good fit for the role.
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