- Use talking techniques and therapies to help people
- You'll need excellent communication and listening skills
- You could progress to take on a training, teaching or mentoring role
As a psychotherapist, you'll help people with mental health problems to get better through various therapies.
- Encourage clients to talk about emotional or relationship problems
- Analyse past events and behaviours so that changes can be made
- Assess their way of thinking and their feelings
- Help them develop new strategies for coping
- Have regular supervision sessions with your mentor
You could work with adults or children, individually or in groups.
You may also be involved in training non-client groups like social workers. There are different types of psychotherapy, like cognitive behavioural therapy, psychoanalysis and hypnotherapy. The approach you use will depend on your specialism and your clients' needs. This work can be emotionally challenging.
To be a psychotherapist, you'll need counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach, knowledge of psychology, customer service skills, the ability to understand people's reactions, sensitivity and understanding, excellent verbal communication skills, patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations, and to enjoy working with other people.
You'll usually need a degree and postgraduate award in psychotherapy that is recognised by the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy, British Psychoanalytic Council, or the Association of Child Pyschotherapists. Courses can take up to 4 years to complete.
You can start by doing a Level 3 or 4 Diploma in Counselling before moving onto further training at degree and postgraduate level. You'll usually need to have completed a counselling certificate to do a diploma, or have a lot of experience working with vulnerable people.
You'll also need to pass enhanced background checks.
With experience, you could take on a training, teaching or mentoring role, or become self-employed and set up in private practice.