Therapists and counselors are two very different things. In most states, therapists must have a doctoral degree in the specific area they are practicing, whereas counselors only need to have an undergraduate degree with a certain number of hours in counseling/psychology courses.
Therapists tend to be licensed in that specific area, and counselors don’t. Keep in mind that these are generalizations, not absolutes; there are some states where a certain amount of training will get you into the therapist position.
A therapist could specialize in marriage counseling or anxiety disorders, whereas a counselor might deal with more of an all-over approach. A therapist might have hours of alone time with a client, whereas a counselor might have eight people to see in an hour, which leaves little time for in-depth work on any one client’s issues. If you are thinking about what career to pursue, here are some reasons that might just persuade you to enter the therapy field rather than counseling.
The Options to Qualify Are Varied
You can become a specialist therapist in a number of different areas, and in some cases, you don’t even need to go to a physical college to get your degree. Check out the Touro University Online MFT Programs in marriage and family therapy, for example – this is a fully online program that will prepare you to help people with a wide variety of issues.
Getting a graduate degree in psychology will also help you specialize in a particular area, such as industrial or school psychology.
You’ll Be Helping People In Need
There is a growing trend in therapy that emphasizes social justice. A lot of the people you’ll be helping will have suffered some sort of trauma for various reasons. Life events such as divorce, losing a job, and the death of family members are among the top causes of trauma that people can face, leading to higher numbers of those committing suicide in the United States. It is not always the physical events that cause people to be depressed, and this is why many believe that people should pursue therapy to prevent these kinds of suicides.
It’s not just suicide either; people earn far less money when they are in the process of separating or divorcing a spouse. When these people find out that they lost far more money than what they were supposed to, it makes them even more depressed.
Other factors such as family issues, lack of emotional support, depression among peers, long hours of work, and very little time to spend with friends and family will all make people even more depressed. You can be part of the change and help these people.
You Have a Great Deal of Patience
As a therapist, you will spend most of your time listening to people talk, and so one of the greatest skillsets a person can have is the ability to be patient. If you are already this way inclined, you will find the job role so much easier to slip into.
You’re probably thinking, "I’m already making my own decisions; this isn’t going to make any difference. That’s not how it works, though. Life is made up of a series of choices and lots of decisions, and the more practice you have in making these choices, the more prepared you’ll be for them when they come along, so consider this when making your final decision about your career choice.