A career in therapy is a lucrative one. Because of the amount of schooling that is involved in becoming a therapist, you make quite a bit of money. Plus, the stigma about seeing a therapist is disappearing more and more every day.
What is a Therapist?
A therapist is a licensed mental health professional who helps clients with tough times in their lives. They do this by helping them develop better cognitive and emotional skills, reduce symptoms of mental illness, and cope with various challenges that come up in their life.
It’s someone people can talk to and even vent to when they are emotional. They are the closest we can get to understanding our emotions and how they work. It’s almost like they can read people’s minds.
A therapist does a variety of things that can help a client. They
What it Takes to Be a Therapist
There is a lot of education involved before you can be a therapist. You need a doctorate degree in psychology. For those who don’t know, you have to get a bachelor’s degree, then a master’s degree, and then you go to school for a doctorate.
There are also licenses that you need as well. You need a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC), and a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).
You don’t need to have all of these, as it depends on what kind of therapy you want to get into.
You will also need special skills like being analytical, empathic, strong, and have listening skills. You have to be strong enough to set boundaries. If you don’t, people will drag you down and all your time will be given to your work.
You will need to like people. If you don’t like people, then why are you even thinking of this field as a career?
If you decide to open your own practice, then you will need a good mind for business. You will be in solely charge. This could mean that you have to handle the budget, payroll, and other administrative tasks.
Difference Between a Therapist and a Psychiatrist
Sometimes therapists and psychologists get lumped together, which makes sense. They are both in the mental health section of the medical field. They both help people improve their lives. They both require a lot of schooling, but they are separate careers.
As mentioned before, a therapist is a licensed professional. They specialize in different therapies like family therapy, marriage counseling, and they can even be a school counselor.
They can’t prescribe medications unless they also happen to be a psychiatrist.
They will spend an hour with clients, talking with them and letting them talk. They have more of a personal relationship with their clients.
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who has attended 4 years of medical school, 1 or 2 years of internship training, and more than 3 years of special training as a psychiatrist resident.
They provide therapy and can prescribe medication. They can also tell the difference between an illness caused by the mind or by the body. In a sense, they are a therapist with more skills.
They only spend about 15 minutes with their patients. It’s more focused on medications than emotions. It’s more like when you visit a doctor for your body.
Different Kinds of Therapists
There are a few different kinds of therapy. Each of them require different skills and possibly different certifications.
An occupational therapist helps people with temporary disabilities live more independently. For example, they can help someone who recently became wheelchair-bound learn how to live their daily life more independently.
This type of therapist uses recreational activities like arts and crafts to improve people’s well-being in general.
These types of therapists are great in nursing communities. They can encourage elderly people to get more social by joining activities.
Marriage and Family Therapist
This therapist helps solve problems between a couple or a family. They are able to juggle multiple people in a session and are able to play referee.
They can point out the hurtful things that people are unwittingly doing to each other. They can communicate that in ways that their clients can understand.
A behavioral therapist helps people change the way they behave. For example, how they react to something that happens a lot in their lives. They stop people from hurting themselves, letting their feelings sabotage their careers, and more.
A Cognitive Behavioral Therapist (CBT) helps someone identify thought patterns that lead to destructive behaviors. They then help that person change those patterns. They help someone figure out why they lash out so much and what triggers that.
This a therapist that specializes in helping children. They might figure out why the child can’t focus in school or help them develop in a healthier manner.
The Average Therapist Salary
The average therapist salary is around $53,653 a year. The average range is between $38,748 and $85,833. This amount can change depending on where you are working, how much experience you have, and the amount of education you have.
It also might change if you are a special type of therapist like the ones listed above.
The best-paying cities for therapists are
The best-paying states are:
So if you are thinking of moving and becoming a therapist, these are the places to go.
Benefits That Come with a Therapist’s Job
There are special job benefits that come with being a therapist, on top of getting the therapist salary. Though if you run your own business, then there won’t be the regular job benefits because you are the boss.
The need for therapists is only growing with every passing year. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics believes that the demand for therapists is going to grow by 29% by 2022. It seems like more and more people are in the need of therapy.
With people having to buy health insurance, it opens up opportunities for people who didn’t have access to it before.
If you choose to have your own practice, that means you can pick your schedule. This is good for any therapists that have kids or prefer to work at night than during the day.
You Can Work Anywhere
You can find employment in hospitals, inpatient or outpatient care centers, private practices, schools, mental health clinics, and more. Plus, you can pick what to specialize in as well.
You will be helping people and will be able to see the results. By working with someone one-on-one, you can see all the changes that happen. You will get the satisfaction that you are improving someone’s life.
It Takes a Special Kind of Person
Being a therapist requires a special kind of person. If you are a compassionate person, then you would be a good fit. If you are too sensitive and tend to absorb emotions like a sponge, then this isn’t the career for you.
Therapists need to be human and analytical. They need to listen to their clients and then access all that they learned to figure out some possible illnesses that could be causing these problems.
They need to be strong but soft. You need to be soft enough that people want to talk to you, but strong enough to set boundaries.
Not everyone can be a therapist.
But if you can handle all that, then you will be able to make a great living from it. Between possibly opening your practice and getting a therapist salary, you will be able to make a comfortable living.