Therapists work with individuals and groups to help people overcome behavioral issues and better manage mental health. While the profession includes many different types of therapists, they all work to help others transform their lives for the better.
One of the first choices a therapy major must make is deciding where to focus their education and training. A career in therapy offers many options, including working with school children, marginal communities, those with addictions, and trauma victims.
One of the most popular and needed areas of counseling is marriage and family therapy. Touro University Worldwide offers an online Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy to help graduates prepare for work in this rewarding field. Other programs in the TUW School of Psychology give graduates foundational knowledge to pursue a career focused on client therapy.
The Different Types of Therapist Careers
What all therapists have in common is expertise in psychology and mental health counseling. What separates them is where they decide to focus those skills.
Mental health professionals have many options, including the popular types of therapist careers listed below. Entering these fields requires a master’s degree. Therapists differ from psychiatrists, who are medical doctors allowed to prescribe medication in their psychotherapy practice. They also differ from clinical psychologists, who typically have a Ph.D. but cannot prescribe medication to their clients.
Social Worker Therapists
Social work therapists work with marginalized groups and individuals. For example, they help developmentally disabled patients connect with services they need to live independently. While many social workers focus on a large community, some maintain a private practice.
Counselors in this area work with clients to help them with substance abuse issues. This work may involve working with patients to uncover the experiences from their past that led to their addiction. Addiction therapists work with individuals and in group sessions.
A school therapist works with students on developing skills that create positive outcomes both in their academic journeys and their careers after school. They also meet with students to better understand and support their social and emotional needs, including encouraging them to explore their interests. They maintain a supportive, enthusiastic and caring relationship with students.
Trauma therapists work with those who have experienced a traumatic event. They help people process what they experienced, as well as the emotions the event caused within them. This work can last several months or longer, depending on the individual patient.
Marriage and Family Therapists
The job site Indeed ranks marriage and family therapy at the top of their list of common types of therapist careers. In this field, therapists work with couples having marital problems. They also work with individual family members on their behaviors and the relationship between the two key family members. They also conduct group sessions with the whole family.
There’s been an increased emphasis on marriage and family therapy in recent years. More is known now about the connection between marital and family dysfunction towards mental and emotional disorders. These disorders include chemical dependency, substance abuse, and eating disorders.
How TUW Prepares Different Types of Therapists
The TUW MA in Marriage and Family Therapy recently earned specialty accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE), considered the gold standard in the field.
Students in the program become experts in the evolving nature of family in the 21st century. They learn to create treatment plans that consider the dynamics of a family system. They also focus on present-day problems rather than historical conflicts and understand how interpersonal relationships provide a way to identify and treat mental health issues.
TUW’s MA in Marriage and Family Therapy Licensed Professional Clinical Counseling (LPCC) track meets COAMFTE Standards requiring 500 Practicum Client Contact Hours and at least 100 supervision hours.
Other online psychology degree programs from TUW provide students with the knowledge and skills they need for a wide variety of psychology careers. They include specializations at the bachelor’s and master’s levels.
Whatever type of therapist a psychology major chooses to become, they will enter a field where caring for others and improving lives is the main focus of their profession. It’s a challenging, rewarding career choice with plenty of room for growth in the coming years.