What Degree Do You Need to Be a Psychology Therapist?

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What Degree Do You Need to Be a Psychology Therapist?

If you want to work in a rewarding field where you can help people and improve their lives, becoming a psychological therapist may be the right path for you. Psychological therapists are professionals who help clients with their mental and emotional health. Understanding the work of a psychological therapist and the qualifications required to become one can help you decide whether to pursue this career path.

In this article, we will look at what psychological therapists do and their average salaries, as well as show you the steps to becoming one. We will also outline their skills, work environment, and annual average salary, as well as highlight some professional organizations they can join.

First, we’ll see

What Is the Role of a Psychological Therapist?

Psychological therapists, also known as psychotherapists, are professionals who help their clients improve their mental awareness and emotional intelligence. They also help their patients reduce the symptoms of mental illness and manage a variety of life challenges such as stress, relationship problems, loss of income, and mental illnesses such as depression, grief, and anxiety. Among the other duties are:

  • Recognizing and treating mental illnesses
  • Arranging meetings to provide therapy and counseling services
  • Creating and implementing personalized treatment plans, as well as adjusting them as needed
  • Diagnosing mental disorders through an examination of the patient’s mental health history establishes a positive and trustworthy relationship with the patients.
  • Evaluating the patient’s response to therapy over time
  • Providing psychological evaluation through the administration of IQ tests in order to identify mental disorders
  • Establishing client objectives and action plans to achieve personal, social, and educational growth.
  • Investigating mental health issues and publishing their findings in trade journals
  • Psychology topics are taught in colleges and universities.

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What Is the Process of Becoming a Psychological Therapist?

Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree

Earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology is the first step toward becoming a therapist. Alternatives include a bachelor’s degree in education, sociology, or health services. People with an undergraduate degree in a related field can enroll in graduate courses if they complete the prerequisite coursework.

Acquire a Master’s Degree

A master’s degree in psychology can provide you with relevant skills while also preparing you for doctoral programs. In some provinces, master’s degree holders can become licensed and practice psychological therapy. Check your province’s regulations to see what qualifications are required for this position.

Obtain a Doctorate

You can enroll in one of two existing doctoral programs for psychological therapists. For psychological therapists who want to focus on teaching and research in universities and colleges, there is a Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy) in psychology. For those who want to work directly with patients, there is also a Doctor of the Psychology degree program. This degree entails extensive education and research on mental health issues and treatments.

Licensed professionals with a doctorate degree, as opposed to those with a master’s or bachelor’s degree, can work with a diverse range of clients in a variety of work settings. If you have a doctorate, provincial agencies can license you and allow you to practice privately. A doctorate in psychology takes five to seven years to complete and includes a one-year internship.

Participate in an Internship Program

Internship programs give you the knowledge and experience you need to work directly with patients. You can work as an intern in a hospital or a private practice under the supervision of an experienced and licensed psychotherapist. Internships prepare you to handle clients better when you start working, and they are also required before you can get a license.

Apply for a License

A practicing license is required to become a psychological therapist. Licensing demonstrates that you are qualified and accountable to the field’s required standards. To be licensed, you must have a doctorate or a master’s degree, supervised hours of experience, and a passing grade on the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards exams. Different jurisdictions have different licensing requirements. Each province has its own regulatory bodies in charge of licensing in its jurisdiction.

Find and Apply for Jobs

Prepare a resume and cover letter after obtaining your license to apply for positions in the field. Emphasize your academic credentials, training, and skills. You can tailor your resume and cover letter to the job you’re applying for to help persuade the employer that you’re the right fit.

How Much Does a Psychological Therapist Earn?

A psychological therapist’s hourly wage in the United States is $54.14. Therapists in certain cities, such as North York, Ottawa, Oakville, and Toronto, typically earn more than those in others. You can also increase your income by looking for jobs in well-paying companies or specializing in higher-paying fields. As you gain experience, your earning potential as a therapist grows.

Where Can I Find a Psychological Therapist?

Psychotherapists typically work in a private office where they can speak with their clients in private and without interruption. They work in a variety of settings, such as:

  • private treatment, including the option of online treatment
  • group therapy
  • hospitals
  • nursing homes
  • pain clinics
  • rehabilitation centers
  • mental health facilities
  • correctional facilities
  • child guidance centers
  • employee assistance programs
  • private offices

Psychotherapists’ working hours are determined by their employer’s policies. Those in private practice are adaptable and can work at any time, depending on the needs of their clients.

What Skills Do You Need to Be a Successful Psychological Therapist?

Psychotherapists need a variety of skills and abilities to carry out their duties effectively, including:

Emotional intelligence: A psychotherapist must be able to recognize and comprehend their clients’ emotions. It is critical to pay close attention to the client and to demonstrate empathy and kindness so that they can share information with you.

Time management: Psychological therapists manage their own time and make sure to see clients on time. They can prepare and execute a detailed schedule to accommodate their clients because they have excellent time management skills.

Clinical knowledge: Psychological therapists must have extensive clinical knowledge in order to make accurate diagnoses and plan effective treatment plans. They sometimes deal with various mental issues that necessitate a broad range of medical knowledge.

Flexibility: Because each patient requires a unique treatment plan, an effective psychological therapist must be flexible in order to accommodate the needs of each client. Some therapy methods are more effective than others in treating specific conditions, and a therapist must be able to determine which treatment option is best for each mental illness.

Communication abilities: Psychotherapists constantly converse with clients in order to determine their problems and provide appropriate therapy. Excellent communication skills allow patients to feel at ease when speaking, which contributes to the success of therapy sessions.

Listening abilities: Therapists must be able to actively listen to clients, deliberate on their issues, and remember their emotions. Allowing clients to contribute to the conversation allows you to better understand their mental issues and offer a suitable solution.

Critical thinking: Psychological therapists use critical thinking when making diagnoses and developing treatment plans. In most cases, the first therapy technique will not work, and the therapist must devise an alternative treatment method.

Business management: Psychological therapists, particularly those in private practice, need business management skills to ensure that their practice is profitable. To maximize revenue, it is necessary to understand how to keep records, track finances and taxes, and effectively manage time.

What Professional Organizations Can a Psychological Therapist Become a Member of?

A psychological therapist can join a professional organization to connect with others in the field and stay up to date on new developments. These organizations also provide their members with publications and educational materials, share relevant job opportunities, and provide members with benefits such as grants and awards.

Here is a list of professional associations for psychotherapists to consider:

  • The Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) (CPA)
  • The Ontario Psychological Association is a member of the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards.
  • Ontario Psychologists’ College
  • Association of Canadian Counsellors and Psychotherapists
  • The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)
  • The Ontario Association of Child and Youth Counselors is a professional organization that represents child and youth counselors in Ontario.
  • Ontario Consultants, Counselors, Psychometricians, and Psychotherapists Association
  • The Canadian Association for Child and Play Therapy is a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of children.
  • Québec Psychological Order
  • Addiction and Mental Health Center
  • American Psychological Association Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (APA)

What Should You Take Into Consideration Before Becoming a Psychotherapist?

  • Ask yourself why you want to be one or what motivates you to do so.
  • Consider the population you want to serve (general, eating disorders, addictions, children, adults, families, and so on) as well as the setting (inpatient, outpatient, ER, private practice, community health, etc.).
  • Speak with as many psychotherapists as possible to learn what they like and dislike about their jobs, as well as to learn about their experiences.
  • Determine your field of interest: social worker, licensed mental health counselor, psychologist, marriage and family therapist, and look into educational programs. If possible, speak with program alumni to learn about their experiences in their field.
  • Enter yourself into therapy. I know therapists who haven’t gone, and I would never recommend them to anyone. To be useful as a psychotherapist, you must know yourself inside and out (or be open to the possibility of doing so).
  • Read books about what makes good therapy while keeping in mind that it will take you several years to learn your trade and many more to become a savvy professional.

What Are the Career for Psychotherapists?

Psychotherapists work with the general public in settings such as schools or clinics, as well as in private practices for individual patients. Psychotherapists can pursue a variety of career paths, including:


Counselors frequently work with students to assist them in making academic and life decisions. They counsel students on matters such as college and career choices, class schedules, and participation in extracurricular activities. Speaking with students can assist in determining the best course of action for the individual. Counselors may work with students on body image or healthy eating habits, but they may not work with medical issues.


Psychologists consult with patients to learn how internal and external factors influence their behaviors and life choices. They may specialize in areas such as mental health or human behavior. Psychologists are considered healthcare professionals, but unlike psychiatrists, they do not prescribe medication to patients. Psychologists frequently use a variety of therapeutic resources to assist patients in understanding and coping with their difficulties.

Worker in Social Services

Psychotherapists may be able to advance to the position of social worker, counseling people on both medical and behavioral issues. Psychotherapist social workers may be useful in situations such as consultations with law enforcement, providing services to community organizations, or working specifically with those undergoing medical treatment. Additional classes or training may be required to become both a psychotherapist and a social worker.

Why Isn’t a Psychology Degree Required to Become a Psychotherapist?

Many people I’ve met (including myself) choose to become psychotherapists later in life. It is extremely beneficial to have a previous career before becoming a psychotherapist.

It gives you hands-on experience that you can apply to your work with clients.

Is It a Good Job to Be a Psychotherapist?

If you enjoy working with different types of people, learning about their lives, and doing your best to help them, this is a very rewarding job. A psychotherapist isn’t just someone who sits at a comfortable desk and surfs the web.

It is a role in which people reveal their deepest thoughts, feelings, and insecurities to you. You are guiding people through some of the most exciting and trying times of their lives. You are assisting them in making life-changing decisions (if they will accept a position at this company or ask their girlfriend to marry them).


So, this is all you need to know about becoming a psychological therapist. If you want to choose this as your career, then you can take the above information into consideration.

About the author

Indu has been educator since last 10 years. She can find all kind of scholarship opportunities in the USA and beyond. She also teach college courses online to help students become better. She is one of the very rare scholarship administrator and her work is amazing.