How To Know If Becoming A Therapist Is The Right Career Choice For You

Choosing a career path can be one of the most challenging yet significant decisions you make in your lifetime. Not only can it determine your financial stability, personal satisfaction, and future growth, but it can also impact how happy you are in life. Therefore, it’s vital to think wisely about what you want to do and why you want to do it.

One of the most popular career choices today is becoming a therapist, as mental health concerns have rapidly been on the rise for the past several years, leading people to recognize the importance of therapy. People may choose to become therapists for lots of different reasons, while there isn’t a surefire way to know whether this career path would be an appropriate fit for you, there are some signs that could indicate you’d be successful in this field. Here, we’ll discuss how you can tell whether becoming a therapist is the right career choice for you.

What Is A Therapist?

A therapist is a mental health professional who provides services to people facing a range of concerns, including relationship issues, mental health disorders, challenging emotions, and much more. Therapists are trained in different techniques and approaches, which they use to support and treat their clients. They can offer diagnoses, create treatment plans, and help people find effective coping skills to alleviate the symptoms they’re experiencing.

Some therapists may work in private clinics, while others might be employed at schools, hospitals, or other public settings. The road to becoming a therapist is long, but many find it to be a satisfying career choice.

Are You Meant To Be A Therapist?

While being a therapist can be highly rewarding, some people are more suited to the job than others.  Some questions you may want to ask yourself before picking this career path include the following:

  • Are you prepared to get an advanced education? Therapists must get a master’s degree in order to obtain their license to start practicing. If you aren’t planning to go to college or don’t want to get more than an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, becoming a therapist may not be the right fit for you.
  • Do you like people? As a therapist, you’ll be working with one or more people for most of your workday. Therefore, it’s crucial that you enjoy being around others and can interact with people with relative ease. This often means you’ll need strong social skills and know how to practice effective communication. Building and maintaining relationships is also important, so if you struggle to connect with others, being a therapist might be a challenge.
  • Can you keep a secret? Therapists are held to strict laws regarding client confidentiality. Violating these rules can result in lawsuits, fines, and disciplinary action, including having one’s license revoked. If you know you won’t be able to keep a secret, especially from your closest friends or even a spouse, becoming a therapist is probably not the right move.
  • How strong are your listening skills? As much as you may enjoy talking, therapists spend most of their time listening to other people. Active listening can take a lot of patience and self-control, as you don’t want to interrupt your clients or make them feel like what they have to say isn’t important. If you think you’d be tempted to talk over your clients and have a hard time listening to them during hour-long sessions, becoming a therapist might not be in your best interests.
  • Are you accepting and non-judgmental? Therapists must have the ability to relate to all types of people, being accepting of every single client regardless of their background, personality, or concerns. People may disclose deeply personal and challenging thoughts, experiences, and feelings in therapy. If you meet these disclosures with judgment instead of compassion, it can create harmful outcomes for the client. Thus, before becoming a therapist, ensure that you have the empathy the job requires.

If you desire to become a therapist, know that you don’t have to be perfect. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, mental health professionals included. Even if you’re uncertain about your ability to be a good therapist, it is possible to improve in the areas you feel you need to work on before starting your career. Attending therapy yourself may be part of this process of self-growth, and many therapists choose to see a therapist of their own while they practice.


Being a therapist can be a fulfilling career, so if you’re set on this career path and are wondering how to become a licensed therapist, try connecting with an advisor at your college of attendance. There are also numerous resources online that may be useful in your journey to practicing therapy. Above all, remember to stay true to yourself and your passions. With self-assuredness and determination, you can do anything you set your mind to.

Disclaimer: This post was developed via a partnership with BetterHelp.

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