Psychotherapy Degree Programs

Psychotherapy is a treatment that is connected with medications and therapeutic counseling to ensure proper treatment of different mental illnesses. This therapy involves numerous methods of treatment for issues, such as behavioral changes, experimental relationship changes, and communication. Psychotherapists assist individuals, couples, and groups from all walks of life, of all races and backgrounds and status, with the fundamental goal of ensuring their patients’ wellbeing. If you like to help others with their problems and you can provide helpful suggestions as well as a sympathetic ear, you might consider a specialized education to start you on your path to this exciting, challenging, and enriching career.

Overview

Psychotherapists have expertise in a wide range of areas such as counseling psychology, psychiatry, mental health therapy, rehabilitation counseling, play therapy, art therapy, dance movement therapy, psychoanalysis, and more. They have the essential skills to understand emotions, ideas, thoughts, feelings, fantasies, and behavior to help them understand and appropriately treat their patient’s illness. Psychotherapists are responsible for providing a respectful, nonjudgmental outside source for patients to confide in as well as making suggestions on how to positively change the patient’s life for the better. Though they most often deal with issues related to depression, anxiety, and stress, they can experience a broad array of mental illnesses during their careers. Because they encounter so many different ailments from so many different kinds of people, psychotherapists must undergo thorough training and specialize in a particular sub-field, such as adolescent, child, or group therapy, to best serve their patients’ needs.

Types of Degrees

Master’s Degree

A master’s degree involves two years of specialized training in mental health or counseling psychology. Students in this program are taught to examine patients’ feelings, emotions, behaviors, and ideas through therapy. This degree also has specialized areas like family and marriage counseling, art therapy, or school counseling. To begin this program, one must first obtain a four-year bachelor’s degree, preferably in psychology, counseling, or a related field. Courses which are commonly taught include fundamental psychoanalytic theory, neurophysiology, analysis techniques, child psychology, abnormal psychology, clinical evaluation and treatment, and mental health and multi-cultural considerations.

Doctoral Degree

Students who wish to pursue even higher education in this career may choose to enter a Ph. D. program. A doctoral program provides students with the vast knowledge necessary to work in clinical research and psychoanalytic theory. Most doctoral programs take around five years to complete and include supervised clinical practice and a written dissertation, often based on the student’s clinical experiences. Many programs require potential students to hold at least a graduate degree in psychology. Typical courses include Freudian psychoanalysis, psychoanalytic research, case management, Jungian psychoanalysis, human mental development, and dream interpretation.

Career Opportunities

Individuals from the field of clinical psychology could assist these practitioners. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that psychotherapists held about 100,850 jobs in 2011. The Bureau also projects an 11% increase in employment rate through 2018.

Psychotherapists usually work in businesses, health care facilities, government agencies, clinics, schools, and private practices.

Salary Trends

In 2012, the average psychotherapist’s annual salary was about $58,000 (indeed.com).

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