Methods for Pursuing a Career in Counseling, Psychology, or Psychotherapy

A private member's bill to exempt counseling and psychotherapy from the HST
Visit to back Bill C-218.

How to train to be a psychologist, counselor, or psychotherapist

December 2020 update

Dr How does one become a therapist in Ontario? asks a University of Toronto student, to which Kim responds:

I'm going to list a few useful tips that aren't in the brochures but are crucial to know.

There are numerous ways to qualify. You could pursue clinical psychology training by earning a PhD. A Masters of Social Work in Counseling, or an M A If you choose the right courses, a degree in psychology or occupational therapy can teach you the fundamentals of counseling and could land you a job as a counselor in a remote area (not likely Toronto or Ottawa). Some nurses also provide psychotherapy, usually with a doctor's approval. Another choice that could provide you with more in-depth training is to enroll in a psychotherapy program that has been approved by the College of Psychotherapists of Ontario. Alternately, you could pursue further education to become a psychiatrist after graduating from medical school and practicing as a GPP.

Consider the type of work and lifestyle you want to lead before enrolling in any training program, and then do your research to see if you can find employment that fits your needs. You could look at the jobs that are being advertised and try to determine how many qualified candidates have applied for those positions. Jobs have been opening up for licensed psychotherapists, but the number of candidates may be rising much more quickly.

If you prefer working for yourself rather than an employer, you should be aware that, with the exception of doctors who are compensated by OHIP, there has long been an oversupply of mental health professionals (relative to the number of people who can afford to pay for therapy, not to the need).

This could imply that you spend much more time marketing than providing counseling. I observe that therapists spend a lot of money on advertising and posh offices in the hopes of attracting clients. Additionally, it has resulted in the inability of many people who train for this line of work to find it.

For instance, about 20 years ago, I was acquainted with a student enrolled in a highly regarded and pricey master's program in counseling; I believe the majority of the students intended to open their own practices. Two years later, two were still (or again, after trying to start a private practice) working at what they had been doing before the course, with one of them being a part-time, low-paid counsellor with a long commute.

Since then, it appears that there has been a significant increase in the number of people pursuing counseling and psychotherapy programs. For instance, as of September 13, 2017, there were 4,882 registered psychotherapists, up from 3,931 at the end of 2016. additionally, 100 new applications are being processed each month by the Ontario College of Registered Psychotherapists. (Psychologists, social workers, doctors, and other practitioners of psychotherapy are excluded from this.) RP training schools have recently opened up, and I am aware of two more that are currently being developed in Toronto.

Therefore, if you want to start a private practice, consider how crucial having a source of income will be and where you will find clients. If you pursue training in psychology, you might be able to locate a specialty that is currently in demand from people or organizations with the funds to pay for it. If your husband is a doctor in a wealthy neighborhood, for instance, he and his friends might be able to keep you supplied with clients. Alternatively, you might decide to pursue training as a social worker or psychotherapist because you have a special in. assuming you're talented enough and have a diverse enough range of abilities I once met a charming and outgoing therapist who used friends of friends to grow her psychotherapy practice in a sparsely served neighborhood; many people try to do that today with social networking, but I have no idea how successful they are. The majority of people discover they need a website, but a private website won't show up in a search; it only serves as a resource for people looking for information about you. (See psychotherapists' websites for the bare minimum; here is an example.)

However As a result, they can enjoy whatever clients come their way without having to worry about making a living or how much the clients can afford to pay; it's more about giving. A large percentage of psychotherapists in private practice are middle-aged and older women whose husbands have high incomes. back This has the potential to benefit everyone. A person who is at ease and truly happy makes a better therapist than one who is stressed about paying the bills. Even against the client's best interests, I have heard of therapists who tried to keep a patient coming to see them. That completely betrays both the client and the profession, in my opinion.

Another thing to keep in mind when estimating potential earnings from a private practice is that you are talking about "billable hours." Even if you have enough clients and don't need to work on marketing, you still need time to plan your work with your clients, consult with colleagues, contribute to the profession, continue learning, do paperwork, and run a business.

Regarding clients' financial capacity, the majority of those in good jobs can obtain a few sessions covered by their EAP and/or their plan. Currently, the majority of plans pay 0 annually per person. Plans will cover a psychologist, and the majority of them will cover an MSW. Although there are plans to pay licensed psychotherapists, they don't appear to be progressing very quickly at the moment. Depending on their financial situation, some clients are able to continue seeing a therapist for a few more sessions or longer after their insurance expires because some therapists significantly reduce their fee.

Once you spread the word, there is a way to run a private practice without ever having to worry about marketing or finding clients. Patients will throng to your door if you work as a GP psychiatrist or psychotherapist who is compensated by OHIP. The majority of your training will be in medicine, which is necessary if you are dealing with physical issues like dementia but is not the best preparation for performing psychotherapy; however, there are courses and workshops you can take gradually to improve your skills.

So pick a university program or, if you want to become a registered nurse, a school for psychotherapy. Most psychotherapy schools accept students with a bachelor's degree as admission requirements. The Centre for Training in Psychotherapy (in Toronto) and the Toronto Institute for Relational Psychotherapy are two reputable institutions with a long history.

I've tried to warn you about a few things, but let me just say that being a therapist can be incredibly fulfilling for some people. Best of luck with your incredibly worthwhile goal.

Counseling and therapy: home page

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