Psychotherapy degree requirements
A psychotherapist talks with patients to help them understand and modify their feelings and behavior. Psychotherapists work in health care facilities, businesses, schools, clinics, private practices and government agencies. Psychotherapist education requirements differ by state, but a doctoral degree is the minimum requirement in many states.
|Required Education (2012-2022)*
|Required; candidates must pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology
|Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)*
|11% for all clinical, counseling and school psychologists
|Average Salary (2013)*
|$72, 710 for all clinical, counseling and school psychologists
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Every state requires a graduate degree, typically a doctorate, in clinical psychology, counseling or clinical social work, preferably with an emphasis on psychotherapy. Master's and doctoral degree programs require students to complete two years of supervised clinical practice. Psychotherapist education programs at the doctoral level emphasize psychotherapy research, psychoanalytic psychotherapy and psychotherapy and medicine.
Ph.D. psychotherapist education requirements typically include a written exam, oral exam, supervised clinical work and a dissertation. Psychiatrists are medical doctors who specialize in psychiatry, also practice psychotherapy. However, most psychotherapists aren't physicians.
Certification and License Information
Prospective psychotherapists must take the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP). The test covers psychotherapy techniques, psychological research methods and assessment. Every state requires psychotherapists to obtain a state license before practicing. Some states also mandate that prospective psychotherapists serve a residency with a licensed psychotherapist. Depending on the state, psychotherapists might be required to complete continuing education courses in order to keep their license current.
The demand for psychotherapy continues to increase because people are living longer and because mental health problems are being more readily diagnosed. Job opportunities will be most plentiful for applicants who hold a Ph.D. in psychotherapy from a top college program in the field. Jobs for clinical, counseling and school psychologists, a category that includes licensed psychotherapists, are projected to increase 11 percent between 2012 and 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). According to the BLS, the average annual salary for all clinical, counseling and school psychologists was $72, 710 in 2013.
The Master of Counselling or Counseling (MC, M.C., or M.Couns.) is a postgraduate professional degree. The degree prepares students for professional practice as counsellors or counselling psychologists in mental health, community organizations, schools, post-secondary educational institutions, employee assistance programs, and private practice...
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