Have you ever wanted to be a therapist? If so, you aren’t the only one. It is definitely a noble profession and you can change a lot of lives. How do you go about doing it? Here are some steps that you will need to follow:
What Makes a Good Therapist?
First of all, you will need to understand the right qualifications that a therapist should have. Such things as a true love for helping others, excellent listening skills, a belief in people, the ability to create a healthy environment, and they will always act within appropriate ethical boundaries.
Regarding the last factor, they will never ask you to meet them outside of the counseling environment, nor will they make untoward comments about your looks, etc. Moreover, a good therapy won’t offer you opinions; they will simply echo your own thoughts back to you and then ask you thought-provoking questions.
Understand the Education Required to Become a Therapist
In order to understand the education required to become a psychologist, you need to realize that most of them either have a Ph.D. in psychology or a Psy.D.
Generally, a Ph.D. means that the therapist has completed a dissertation; a Psy.D. means that the therapist has focused more on clinical work. Of course, all of these tracks will require a bachelor’s degree, but there are some psychologist jobs that can be obtained with just a master’s degree. Places like Best Psychology Degrees can help you start your journey into a good psychology degree program.
However, in order to go as far as you want in your therapist career, you need to get a doctorate degree, and that will normally take a minimum of five years to complete.
Simply put, getting a doctorate degree usually means that you will have the best job prospects. Of course, in order to find a solid position, you will have to be as mobile as possible, so you should be aware of the psychology licensure requirements by state.
Be Aware of the Seven General Steps Needed to Become a Psychologist
Finally, you need to be aware of some of the seven general requirements to be a licensed psychologist as well.
First of all, you should be sure that becoming a psychologist is really for you in the first place. This is because becoming a psychologist takes a great deal of dedication over many years, as well as substantial financial commitment and it will require being good at research, working with different personalities, and maintaining an active client roster.
Second, you will need to explore the many different psychology specializations in order to map out your degree plan. You might be surprised to learn that there are actually 17 different psychology specializations.
Third, you will need to find ways to cover your tuition. This would mean applying for scholarships and other types of financial aid.
Fourth, you should focus on first things first. You will need to earn your bachelor’s degree in psychology or a related field.
Fifth, after you pick your specialization, it is time for you to pick graduate-level studies. During this step, it is important for you to shop around so that you can find the graduate school that best meets your personal needs.
Sixth, you will need to get licensed in your state. Every state has different requirements, and these can be very diverse. Thus, it is very important that you do your homework. In order to understand your particular state requirements, you should look at the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards. If you are looking to become a school psychologist, you should check the National Association of School Psychologists or the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology.
Finally, you should consider becoming board certified. This is one way to make you stand out from your competition when you are seeking new job opportunities. If you keep these steps in mind, you are sure to have a successful career in the field of psychology.