How Long Does it Take to Become a Therapist?

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This brief blog aims to provide you information on how long does it take to become a therapist.

The blog will explain in detail the process of becoming a therapist and the time required to become a therapist but before that let’s find out what is a therapist.

What Is a Therapist?

A therapist is a professional who provides counseling and applies therapies on people in numerous settings such as rehabilitation centers, hospitals, clinics, schools, organizations etcetera.

Therapists perform tasks such as they provide social coaching, PTSD recovery, occupational support, and so forth.

Therapists also work as school counselors, marriage counselors, family therapists, and addiction recovery therapists.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics list, therapists can specialize as health educators, social workers, and probation officers.

They can provide individual, family, group, or couple of therapies. 

Therapists are known on the basis of tools they use on the clients to enhance their well-being and treat their mental illnesses.

For example, play therapists used interactive play as a tool to help children develop, music therapist use music in their exercises and therapies to identify the hidden conflicts of their clients and resolve them efficiently, art therapists use artistic skills who explored the expression of the feelings and emotions of their clients through their artwork.

In addition to this, therapists are also known by the clinical style they adopt and the School of Psychology they follow such as gestalt or School of Psychology, psychodynamic School of Psychology, and so forth.

How Long Does it Take to Become a Therapist?

The time required to become a therapist where is on the degrees the individual has earned.

Mostly it requires about 7 to 15 years after graduation from high school to become a therapist.

To become a therapist you need a bachelor’s degree which requires at least 4 years, then a master’s degree that takes about 2 to 3 years or a doctorate degree that requires about 5 to 7 years on average. 

To get a license it is necessary to work for a specific number of hours, under the supervision of a licensed therapist in clinics or any other setting.

Hence, we can say that if an individual had earned a bachelor’s degree, he would require about 4 to 10 more years to become a licensed therapist.

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How To Become a Psychotherapist

For becoming a psychotherapist, first of all, an individual needs to get a Bachelor’s degree in the field of psychology or a relevant field such as sociology.

After this, the individual needs to earn a Master’s degree in psychotherapy.

While doing a Master’s, the individual will be exposed to the clinical environment to help them gain experience to get licensed.  

For example, in the United Kingdom, an individual needs to earn a Master’s degree in the field of psychotherapy along with 450 hours of clinical practice to get licensed by the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP).

In the United States, an individual needs to get a pre-degree from 1000 to 1500 hours of clinical experience and 1500 hours of supervised experience after getting the degree.

Usually, the individual who has completed his required hours of being under supervision will be allowed to sit in the clinical licensing exam before they get officially licensed for practicing.

The individual can practice as an internee with the title “associate” or the “intern”, before getting officially licensed himself. 

After the individual is officially licensed, it is obligatory for him to receive a certain amount of education for keeping his license active and credentialing up to date.

More information about psychotherapy certification can be gained from here.

You can find out more information about the programs required to become a therapist on this page.

The following is a list of some good books that you can read to enhance your knowledge about being a therapist and the tasks performed by a therapist.

All the books are easily accessible on the Amazon store.

Just click the book you wish to read and you will be redirected to the page from where you can access it.

What we recommend for Counselling

Professional counselling

If you are suffering from depression or any other mental disorders then ongoing professional counselling could be your ideal first point of call. Counselling will utilize theories such as Cognitive behavioural therapy which will help you live a more fulfilling life.

Is it hard to become a therapist?

Yes, it is hard to become a therapist.

Unlike psychiatry which requires admission in medical school for becoming a licensed psychiatrist, for becoming a licensed therapist it is necessary to get a degree in Ph.D. or PsyD in Clinical Psychology.

How long does it take you to be a therapist?

The duration of becoming a therapist depends on the programs and degrees one acquires.

To become a therapist you need a bachelor’s degree which requires at least 4 years, then a master’s degree that takes about 2 to 3 years or a doctorate degree that requires about 5 to 7 years on average.

What qualifications do you need to become a psychotherapist?

To become a psychotherapist an individual needs to get a graduate degree, most commonly a doctorate degree in the field of clinical psychology, counseling psychology, or clinical social work with an emphasis on psychology.

For attending a Master’s or doctoral degree, it is important to complete two years of supervised clinical practice.

How much does a psychotherapist make a year?

A psychotherapist with about five to nine years of experience earns about $ 57 830 based on 227 salaries, while an experienced psychotherapist with about 10 to 19 years of experience earns about $ 60540 on average, based on 239 salaries.

Is psychotherapy a good career?

Yes, psychotherapy is a very good career.

A psychotherapist can work in a number of settings including rehabilitation centers, schools and colleges, hospitals, clinics, and so forth.

A degree from a renowned university can help an individual to get the best career options.

How do I become a psychotherapist UK?

For becoming a psychotherapist in the UK you have to complete a degree in psychology or a related subject such as sociology, post-graduation qualification, and about 450 hours of practice to become an officially licensed psychotherapist by the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP).

This brief blog aimed to provide you information about how long does it take to become a therapist.

The blog tried to clarify your concept about a therapist and mentioned various programs that are required for becoming a licensed therapist.

If you have any queries or questions regarding the blog, let us know through your comments. We will be glad to assist you.


How Long Does It Take To Become a Therapist?

How To Become a Therapist: Requirements, Degrees & Experience by Joaquín Selva (2020)

How Long Does It Take to Become a PSychologist by Emily Swaim (2020) 

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