As one of the fastest-growing fields, mental health care continues to be in need of counselors, therapists, and more. However, there are so many other types of therapy careers beyond the traditional private practice. If you’re interested in becoming a licensed therapist, it’ll take a master’s degree, clinical supervision, and testing in your state before you can get your license to practice. But once you do, what kind of therapist do you want to be? Advekit is an online therapy platform that can provide you with the resources and knowledge needed for choosing your next therapy career. Let’s go over the different types of therapy careers out there so you can be the mental health therapist that makes you the most excited and passionate.
While many therapists who take on individual therapy also act as marriage or family therapists, some decide to exclusively work with couples. If you are wondering how to become a marriage and family therapist, studying to become one includes family therapy, child psychotherapy, ethics, and marriage counseling. A marriage therapist is more likely to address relational issues like sexual problems, sexual orientation and gender identity, infidelity, substance abuse, infertility, domestic violence, and more. Rather than focusing on one person, a marriage therapist will work with the couple as a unit to help them assess and take action to solve problems within the relationship. If the relationship fails, sometimes they can help guide the couple through divorce or breakup.
Similar to marriage therapists, family therapists tackle the family as a unit and uncover mental health issues present within the context of the family. This is more likely to involve teenagers and issues facing adolescents like depression, anxiety, substance abuse, LGBTQIA issues, grieving, behavioral problems, diagnosing mental disorders, overcoming trauma, and more. This type of mental health therapist can identify relational problems within the family, or pinpoint behavioral issues with one or more family members, and work with them to find healthier alternatives to acting out.
This licensed therapist usually works with clients experiencing difficulty managing their lives because of a mental disorder. For instance, they may work with a client who suffers from ADHD or OCD to help them develop a treatment plan and coping strategies that minimize how much their mental disorder impacts their day-to-day life.
This is the biggest area of employment in the field of psychology. Now you may be wondering, how long does it take to become a therapist? This depends on the therapy career you have chosen. For a clinical therapist, these often demand doctoral degrees in clinical psychology, psychotherapy, or counseling psychology which can take longer to receive. Similar to marriage and family therapists, a clinical psychologist helps clients overcome mental health challenges. Unlike other therapists, a clinical psychologist works specifically with patients who have more severe mental disorders and focuses on developing a treatment plan for the underlying issues that cause distress.
Also known as drug and alcohol therapists, this type of mental health professional works with patients to figure out the root causes of their addictions. A substance abuse counselor can provide short and long-term care to patients but often focuses on helping patients in short-term crises. A substance abuse counselor also helps patients find medical treatment, housing, rehab centers, and support groups or twelve-step programs to assist in their recovery.
Specialized training and clinical experience mean trauma therapists work specifically with patients who have undergone one or more traumatic events. Whether it’s one large-scale event or a series of issues, they help patients process pain and develop coping strategies to deal with the emotional outcomes of those events. They may utilize eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) or cognitive behavioral therapy techniques alongside talk therapy.
Social workers usually perform therapy for a huge swath of different clients. While some choose to specialize in a particular area, such as therapy with children, these practitioners act as advocates for their clients and connect them to community resources. For example, a social worker may work with a mother of two who has been displaced by domestic violence secure housing and jobs within their community. Social workers also help to connect clients to state and federal programs.
Working with individuals and in group therapy settings, a mental health counselor deals with people experiencing mental distress and facing crisis situations such as suicidal ideation. The first step to becoming a licensed professional counselor is the learn how to start a group therapy practice or an individual therapy practice.
Working in all kinds of educational institutions, in public and private schools, these therapists apply education-related issues and principles to their clients. They usually work directly with students suffering from academic, psychological, or social issues. This can range from managing behavior in the classroom to helping students cope with major trauma and crisis, or helping students seek help for substance abuse. A school psychologist also works with other educational professionals and parents to ensure students are taken care of, but they can often end up employed by state agencies, clinics, and hospitals.
Focusing on the specific use of cognitive behavioral therapy, these therapists primarily work with patients to overcome issues with this particular psychotherapeutic technique. This often leads to patients suffering from substance abuse, depression, eating disorders, PTSD, or other trauma-related experiences.
Eating disorder therapists specialize in helping patients with eating disorders. Treatment depends on the disorder, but this mental health professional works with their patients to reduce symptoms, and often have a background in nutrition education.
An art therapist uses art and creativity to help treat mental illness and psychological disorders. Whether the art form is dance, music, drama, or fine arts, the goal is to promote communication, self-awareness, and improve well-being.
There are many therapist jobs to choose from but no matter what type of therapy specialization you choose, Advekit can be a resource for helping you succeed in your therapy practice by attracting and retaining clients through powerful matching and insurance management.