Most of these positions require prospective therapists to also earn their master’s degree in psychology or a related field. After that, they can become licensed and start practicing if they have achieved enough supervised clinical experience.
If you want to become a therapist and wondering what to do then in this article we will provide you a detailed guideline on how to become a therapist. So keep reading this article for the complete procedure.
How To Become A Therapist?
Therapists are classified as mental health professionals. So they must complete significant education and training to get a license to practice.
At a minimum, most therapists hold a master’s degree and complete a significant amount of supervised clinical hours before independently seeing a client.
Students are encouraged to have certain prerequisites completed while applying to master’s level, students at the baccalaureate level may elect to study various different disciplines.
Regardless of the major they select, courses in the areas of introductory psychology, behavioral disorders, and human development should be incorporated when feasible. Otherwise, students will need to take additional classes before applying to masters-level programs.
Besides, grades are also important for master’s level programs. So baccalaureate students should be concerned about maintaining high GPAs especially in classes relevant to future studies.
Undertaking Relevant Training Program
Options for study at the master’s level tend to be focused on programs related to mental health or family and marriage therapy. These degrees tend to have some prerequisites but they are not as extensive as those needed for clinical psychology or psychiatry programs.
The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy states that individuals aspiring to work in the field of therapy have three paths to choose from to become qualified:
- Must complete a master’s degree in family and marriage therapy in two to three years of study.
- Should earn a doctoral degree in family and marriage therapy in three to five years
- Or else undertake postgraduate clinical training for three to four years.
Complete Supervised Clinical Work
Completing a supervised clinical experience is required for future licensure either as part of a degree program or a post-degree fellowship.
These opportunities, especially known as residencies or internships, allow graduates to apply the theoretical knowledge gained from coursework to real-world scenarios that require a competent and professional therapist.
While it depends on the state where therapist-in-training hope to be licensed, mandatory supervised experience generally comprises 2,000 to 4,000 hours.
Applying For Therapist Licensure
Once supervised hours are completed, the only thing standing between you and your ability to see clients is being licensed. If you want to work as a mental health counselor then you should contact the National Board for Certified Counselors to learn about requirements in your state.
While future marriage and family therapists can get information through the Association of Marital and Family Regulatory Boards. Also, the requirements vary depending on an individual state’s requirements. Some of the steps students commonly must take include:
- Providing proof of graduation from an accredited advanced degree program
- Showing evidence of completed supervised hours
- Passing a national board exam. Moreover, mental health counselors take the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification while MFTs take the Examination in Marriage and Family Therapy.
These are the steps to become a therapist. Remember that to become a therapist different state possess various laws which you have to follow.
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