COVID19 has led to huge numbers of people seeking a career change, whether this is due to the loss of a current position because of redundancy or simply having time to reflect and put lives into perspective.
One increasingly popular question people are asking is ‘how do I become a therapist?. In this crisis, people are focussing on helping others in every way they can. While medical staff are proving their worth during this time and are incredibly valued, the long-term effects of the pandemic are predicted to impact mental health more than anything else.
How Many People Are Wanting To Become A Therapist?
One of the easiest and quickest ways to determine the demand for anything nowadays is by analysing Google searches. Research by RTT shows that the term ‘how to become a therapist’ and similar phrases have seen a 10x increase within the first 6 months of the pandemic compared to the same months of 2019.
What Is A Therapist?
Therapists are essentially a guide, they aid people with mental health disorders or someone who is struggling with their own mind, to understand their feelings on a deeper level and learn to manage these and cope.
It’s important to know that therapists do not ‘cure’ people. Instead, they provide a safe space for anyone who needs it to be able to talk through their problems and explore any underlying issues or repressed feelings.
Psychotherapists are specially trained therapists who deal with a severe mental health diagnosis but do not have the authority to prescribe medication.
Why A Career In Therapy Could Be For You?
There is never a definitive answer as to why people want to become a therapist but quite often is it because of previous personal experiences.
This could be having struggled with mental health yourself and witnessing just how much a mental health professional can positively impact your life and wanting to do the same for others.
Another reason is some individuals have seen a loved one suffer from mental health issues, whether they sought professional advice or not, many see just how valuable therapists can be.
However, some wish to become a therapist without any previous related experiences, the need to help others is ingrained within human nature and turning this into a career can be very rewarding.
With a lot more free time on our hands at the moment, training in a new career has never been more popular. While a career change can be scary and even risky, especially during the pandemic, the mental health crisis is just as imperative as the COVID19 one and therapists are rising in demand.
What Skills Do You Need To Become A Therapist?
Becoming a therapist doesn’t happen overnight, depending on the student, it can take a few years to be fully trained and practising. The most conventional way is to undertake a BA within a relevant field and then proceed to do an MA.
After this, internships within a clinical practice are done to then be able to apply and obtain a license.
However, there are other routes for those who can not attend university for whatever reason. Training and qualifications within the following sectors do not require a degree:
- Rapid Transformational Therapy
- Life Coaching
- Neuro-Linguistic Programming
All of these can be just as rewarding.
However, even the most qualified professional won’t be successful if they don’t have some key personality traits to begin with, such as:
- The want to help others and give advice
- Being a good listener
- Putting others before yourself
- Compassionate, non-judgemental and empathetic
- Strong-minded (you may hear many upsetting things every day)
What Do Therapists Earn?
The average earning for a therapist in the US is $48,000 but this can vary between states too.
Opening your own practice can lead to substantially more earnings and you can earn upwards of $82,000.
In the UK, the average wage for a mental health therapist is around £32,000 but those in the industry report anything from £25,000 to £41,000.
If you are a compassionate individual who strives to make a difference in people’s lives, why not consider looking into the best avenue for yourself to become a therapist? While it isn’t deemed as the easier of jobs, it is certainly one of the most rewarding.