How to be a psychotherapist, in 6 steps

The profession of psychotherapist is an employment option that attracts thousands of people year after year, with the degree in psychology being one of the most requested applications in most Spanish speaking countries.

However, as everyone who begins to train in this field sooner or later finds out, the path to professionalization in psychotherapy it is not one of the simplest. Knowing how to train in the best possible way is crucial to bring to our experience the necessary differential factor to stand out, to have clients and to be a psychotherapist both in theory and in practice.

    How to be a psychotherapist: towards a viable career

    Below we will go over several basic tips for becoming a psychotherapistKnowing how to choose where to invest time and effort so that they bear fruit effectively.

    1. Choose a good college

    It should be clear: to be a psychotherapist you have to get a university degree in psychology, and in many countries it is not even enough to take this step. The training in psychology offers the theoretical and practical bases necessary to know how to orient oneself in this area of ​​knowledge and applied sciences, although to specialize it will be necessary to continue studying.

    How to choose a good university center? It is very important that you learn about their working methodology to verify that it is based on scientifically validated paradigms, and to ensure that they offer both training in the traditional format of lectures and master classes, and through hands-on learning with training materials, labs and real jobs or simulations of “ this ”. The possibility of doing internships in external organizations is also a requirement that you should consider as compulsory.

      2. Choose your area of ​​specialization

      Psychology is a very broad field, so sooner or later you will have to choose the type of content to focus on.

      In the case of psychotherapy, it is also possible to specialize more and direct efforts to train more specific subjects: eating disorders, anxiety disorders, etc. You don’t have to limit yourself to just one of these areas; the ideal is to choose three or four. This way you will have specialized knowledge but at the same time you will not have such a degree of specialization that it will be difficult for you to find a job.

      3. Learn for yourself

      Limiting oneself to the passive interiorization of the content taught at the university offers a very limited field of learning, especially since in psychology, novelties appear very often. This is why you should also learn on your own and keep up to date with the latest research in your areas of specialization.

      This means reading articles in scientific journals, in particular, and while popular science books are also interesting and useful for discovering new ideas, they shouldn’t be your only source of information.

      4. Continue to learn through courses and masters

      Masters are the type of training programs to specialize par excellence, so they allow you to learn new content but, all, apply them in contexts very similar to those you will find in consultation. It is therefore important to take advantage of this type of experience as an antechamber to what you will do alone during your consultation when you have already fully professionalized yourself.

      In other training programs, institutions have partner centers that clients can go to, and while not a bad choice, they don’t have the same standards of scrutiny. In any case, being able to apply what you have learned is essential so that the day does not come offering the first consultation and you do not know what to do.

      If you already have the qualifications to devote yourself to patient care, whether in psychology or medicine, you might be interested. The Therapist Skills Online Course, available at Throughout this learning program, designed by psychologist Miguel Ángel Rizaldos, personalized material and tutorials are offered to master fundamental skills when it comes to helping people in the clinical and healthcare context. .

      The course has a continuous assessment system, over 200 pages of material, and professional help with over 25 years of clinical and health psychology experience. To see the contact details of Miquel Àngel Rizaldos, click here.

      5. Surround yourself with people who know

      This is an idea that often goes unnoticed, but the difference between training alone and doing it in frequent contact with other students or professionals in the field of psychotherapy, greatly contributes to our progress. It is a way of meeting doubts that never occurred to us and trying to resolve them., Know the state of the profession both in its content and in its most detailed aspects (regulatory issues and the labor market) and, why not, make interesting friendships.

      6. Keep in mind the code of ethics

      In the profession of psychotherapist, you must not only know how to do it, but also know what is right to do and what is not. For that, discover all the details relating to the code of ethics psychotherapy, which among other things will help you get over the ethical implications of your work and keep in mind how what you do affects other professionals, your clients and patients, as well as those around you.

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