When you hear the word therapist, what immediately comes to your mind? For most people, the image is very specific: lying on a bench while talking about your problem to a guy while he nods his head, pretending to understand you. In a way, this cliché description of a therapist is accurate. A therapist is a professional who listens to you and tries to understand what you are going through. He helps you keep track of your life and facilitates positive and productive change in your personality. A therapist is usually needed to handle serious mental health issues.
But if you are interested in this job, how do you become a therapist? What are the things you should learn in order to become one?
Here is the low down on a therapist’s training requirements as well as the educational path that should be followed. Check therawand.com
Becoming a Therapist
There are many kinds of therapists; recreational, occupational, and psychological therapists. First thing you need to know is to find out what therapist you would like to become. From there, see what courses are applicable to you. Usually, you can take any undergraduate course that you want, but if you really want something that will push you into a career as a therapist, you need to take up either psychology, human services, or a similar course.
Once you have a bacheor’s degree, you can begin your practice. You can also choose to work towards a higher college degree. For example, you can become a therapist by holding a master’s degree in counseling. You can also take up Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling, a program which prepares you to take up clinical practice. The course may involve any of the following studies: substance abuse, research, treatment techniques, diagnosis, group and family therapy, and legal issues. There are also clinical practicum and internship programs available for you to gain more experience.
After graduating, you will still need to complete at least two years of clinical and professional experience on a post-graduate level. Keep in mind that the specific conditions vary from one state to another. In Florida, for instance, you are required to take up at least 1,500 hours of experience.
After gaining this experience, you can take your licensure exam which is given by the National Board for Certified Counselors. Once you pass, you become eligible to gain employment. You can finally become a therapist.
Treating Your Patients
Remember that a therapist’s primary concern is the mental health of the patient; this means listening to them and understating their problem. It’s a job the requires a lot of patience and grace for you to listen – and listen well. It’s not always an easy task but it’s a always worthwhile endeavor.