3 Degree Options if You Want to Become a Therapist

Therapy is a broad sector that encompasses many different career options. The common factor in all these fields is that you’ll work with your clients to make valuable suggestions for their mental health and help improve it. Mental health is not limited to one faction. Your clients may have different backgrounds with issues related to what they’re thinking, feeling, and going through.

It opens up new possibilities for you, allowing you the opportunity to explore different options before you accept the role most suitable for you. Therapy is not an easy job, but an important one. You are the glue that holds society in one piece by giving people the space to express themselves without judgment. So what are the different fields you can explore, and what degrees can you pursue to become a therapist? Here’s what you need to know:

  • Become A Marriage And Family Therapist

There are many instances in a married couple’s life where they may hit a roadblock. It occurs because of many reasons, such as lack of communication, a deep mistrust of each other, and numerous individual mental health issues that can make sustaining this relationship difficult. As a result, the couple may seek your expertise in helping them form a decision on whether to stay together or separate. However, before you can lend a hand to the ones in need, you will need to work on your education. Therapy is an extensive field that requires dedication and hard work before you can support your clients. So to become a marriage and family therapist, you may go for COAMFTE accredited MFT programs, which give you the tools you need to start in the field.

A targeted family and marriage therapy program will help you prepare to find reasons to encourage reconciliation and understand how family and relationships often influence your clients’ choices. In addition, you will understand your clients better since there is much coursework you need to cover, including the sociological, economic, and psychological logic behind marriages and the need for the community.

On the other hand, a typical route to becoming a marriage and family therapist involves getting a bachelor’s degree, after which it is advisable to get your master’s degree and top it off with a state license. You may take at least four years to become a therapist and need to publish research papers to enhance your knowledge before you can become a tool for others. The BLS reports that this profession is growing much faster than average, with a growth rate of 16% bringing in new jobs and hours in 2030.

  • Licensed School Counselor

Today’s students are under immense pressure to perform well and balance possible career opportunities. Unfortunately, this results in highly burnt-out pupils with no motivation to pursue their dreams. Therefore as a licensed school counselor, you can work closely with students and examine why they struggle in certain areas. Becoming a licensed school counselor can provide students with the support and guidance they need to pass high school.

Your work involves studying the pupil’s strengths and weaknesses to help them progress from their current standpoint and to enjoy their time in school. This may include developing coping mechanisms, inspiring students to try harder, and helping them get to the crux of their issues. If you’re intrigued by this field, you can become a licensed school counselor by doing a master’s after your bachelor’s in social work or psychology.

Once you have your degrees in hand, you will also need to intern at reputable clinics to get a chance to work with clients who may need your support and kind judgment in healing. Finally, after you put in all the hours required for work, you need to pass the state’s licensing exam to launch your practice. Certain schools may also require you to have a Ph.D.

These can take additional time to finish, with some of these degrees requiring more than three years. So check with your state before you start preparing yourself for the long haul. The BLA predicts that, at least till 2030, the need for school psychologists will grow by 12%.

  • Certified Professional Therapists

Mental health is an umbrella term that encompasses many disorders, such as depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and, in severe cases, bipolar disorder. As a counselor, it is your job to study your client and explain their ailments comprehensively, along with treatment options that can improve their condition. This is why before you can lend a hand to your clients, you must inform yourself about the various therapeutic techniques and how to use them effectively. Therapy works in a specific and concentrated manner.

Unless you know how to work with your clients, your entire treatment route may fall apart. Therefore you must study and understand your role carefully by getting the right educational qualifications. To be a successful therapist, you need to get a bachelor’s degree in psychology or social work, which needs to be followed by a master’s. Once you have these two, you will need internships and research work that gives you the exposure and skills to identify mental health problems and devise possible treatment routes for them.

You may also need to study as far as a Ph.D. in some states, without which you are not eligible to give your exams. Most terminal degrees follow coursework that includes studying human development, understanding the cultural impact on psychology, and identifying unique behavioral patterns in clients to make sense of their mental status.

Final Thoughts

Therapy is an integral part of a growing and thriving society. A therapist can provide you with all the valuable insights you need about your mental health and the thoughts necessary for your stability. This is why if you’re intrigued by psychology and want to know how you can be a part of this field, there are many ways to go about it. These include training yourself to become a marriage counselor and working alongside families. If you like schools more, you can enroll as a school counselor and work with students in a highly informed manner. But if you want to work with different types of mental ailments and explore their effects, becoming a licensed psychologist may serve your best interest.


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