How To Become A Psychotherapist

family disruption, educational failure, disability, and debilitating diseases may take its toll on the mental health of an individual, which could lead to the development of various mental disorders and addictions. the basic aim of psychotherapy is to improve an individual's mood by changing the way they think and feel about themselves.

how to become a psychotherapist
it is important to realize that psychotherapists work under various job titles including psychiatrists, licensed professional counselors, psychologists, licensed social workers, psychiatric nurses, and licensed marriage and family therapists. the educational and licensure requirements vary with each of these positions. for instance psychiatrists have to obtain a medical degree and specialize in the field of psychiatry. they are then authorized to prescribe medicines and conduct psychotherapy. but generally, a master's or doctoral degree is required along with training in psychological counseling.

most individuals aspiring to join this field choose to enroll in a graduate program such as psychology or counseling. coursework in introductory and experimental psychology and statistics is helpful and often required for a master's degree. these degree programs may be completed through online degree program offered by one of many accredited institutes. with flexible and convenient course and studying schedules and comparatively lower cost, this form of education is rapidly gaining popularity among both students and employers.

work activities
psychotherapists work with individuals, couples, groups, and families. generally, they engage with their clients on a one-on-one basis. they hold sessions of varying duration. the primary objective is to help clients deal with mental health problems by encouraging them to talk about their feelings and behaviors. the outcome of these non-medical treatment plans is evaluated and documented. they also:

  • design patient specific non-medical treatment plans
  • train teachers, nurses, and social workers
  • address work-related professional and personal concerns by working under the supervision of other psychotherapists.
  • alleviate anxiety and inner conflicts
  • identify, diagnose, and treat behavioral, mental, and emotional disorders
  • conduct scientific studies on brain functions to address the causes of distress
  • administer performance, aptitude, personality, and intelligence tests

while helping people with learning disabilities and mental health problems, these professionals may employ the following types of psychotherapy:

  • cognitive behavioral therapies
  • humanistic and integrative psychotherapies
  • systemic therapies
  • hypno-psychotherapy
  • psychoanalytic and psychodynamic therapies
  • humanistic and integrative psychotherapies
  • experiential constructivist therapies

essential qualities
in order to increase your chances of becoming an effective and successful psychotherapist, you should possess excellent listening and speaking skills as this line of work involves paying undivided attention to the clients to resolve their problems. as a person, you should be compassionate, dependable, and tolerant. you should be sensitive to the feelings and needs of other people.

job outlook
the employment of these professionals is expected to grow much faster than the average of all occupations as stated by the us bureau of labor statistics. for example, from 2010 to 2020, psychologists have a projected employment growth of 22%. for mental health counselors it is cited to be 37%, and for marriage and family therapists, the growth rate rises to 41%. they are employed by education and social services, as well as the youth justice system. licensed professionals may also start their own private practice.


Q:How long does it take to become a psychotherapist?

A:It can take you 8-12 years to become a psychotherapist or clinical psychologist. After high school, individuals must enroll in an undergraduate degree which takes 4 years to complete. The next step is to earn a 2 year masters degree, and further pursue a doctoral degree. The profession requires training and in-depth knowledge.

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