Want to be a therapist; What are my career choices?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Q. I have been interested in psychology since I was very young. I would like to get help in finding the right education and direction. I will be finishing my bachelor in psychology but I don’t know wherre to go next. Should I focus on becoming a psychologist or a therapist. Can you help me with information if it’s difficult to find a job after graduation, what are the places of employment, which way should I go I am so confused. I would ultimately like to work for myself. Thank you.

A. If you want to work as a therapist and run your own private practice business (not surprisingly this is what everyone wants to do), then, with regard to schooling, you can pursue several types of degrees. One is a PhD is psychology or PsyD. Another way to become a therapist is to pursue a master’s degree in social work of a master’s degree in something related to social work such as psychology of education or other related education degrees.

The current and most popular trend for those individuals who want to receive training as a therapist but do not want to pursue a PhD in psychology a or PsyD is to get a master’s degree in social work. This degree allows you to pursue a master’s degree and then, after passing a state exam, become licensed as a therapist in your respective state. The social work degree and licensure allows an individual the freedom of working in a variety of settings ranging from political campaigns, child welfare, hospitals, gerontology, drug and alcohol units, mental health, criminal justice, research, etc. There are many possibilities.

My advice for you is to do some research into the profession or degree that you are interested in. The Internet can assuredly assist you in this process. Try reading or joining Internet groups related to your professional interests and this may put you direct contact with people working in those fields. Take care and good luck on your search.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 25 Jun 2007

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2007). Want to be a therapist; What are my career choices?. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 21, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2007/06/25/what-to-be-a-therapist-what-are-my-career-choices/