Becoming a therapist

The question is are therapist born or are they trained? Well, reality is that some people are naturally caring, empathic but also objective enough to be n atrial therapists. Therapy, support has been around throughout evolution it did not begin just because someone create a training course. Many people train as therapist though the value of the training will vary greatly. This maybe to do with the quality of the training program itself or the quality of the people delivering it.

Personal therapy, especially since Covid, has to the the growth industry of the next fifty years. That is both good and bad. Yes we need more therapist just as we need a more caring nurturing attitude to each other in life. However, many therapist that are trained become booked learned theorists who understand the cognitive bit but do not have the empathic, sensitivity needed to be a good therapist. Actually sensitivity can be learned. The problem is that the courses do not do that. Their interest is in the academic process. 

I have completed four degrees and a plethora of diplomas and certificates. In doing so I have met so many therapists and trainee therapists. Sadly some lacked the necessary sensitivity and empathy to enable them to be, in my terms, ‘a good’ therapist. This is often true of cognitive behavioural therapists, not all but many, that are trained in a logical technical method of attempting to get people to understand themselves. However, CBT is often only truly effective for cognitive issues but has little lasting longterm effect on emotional issues.

The point I am getting to is that just because some has a degree or a diploma in therapy it does not mean that they are any good. There are many lay therapists out there helping people. They may have no qualifications at all and yet they are doing phenomenal and truly life changing work. The thing that is really is the true training needed to create a good therapist is not taught on a course. the real training comes from living that thing called ‘life’. Those people that have worked through their own difficulties and issues, have faced and overcome their own problems have a natural empathy for others that are in emotional pain. Unless someone has an exceptional imagination the only way to true understanding is through life experience. 

So why train?

They way I see it is that a good training programme will make a natural therapist even better. It will explain mental, emotional and psychological processes in a coherent way that will enhance the naturally ability and understanding of the practitioner. If we are to practise professionally we all need a coherent theoretical model to relate back to. We need to understand developmental processes, defence mechanisms and so on. So, yes all therapist need to be trained. Though we have to realise that a training program will enhance the abilities of the natural therapist allowing them to put what they already know in a system and of course they will learn new things and skills. Training will only make a purely cognitive mind and full living manual of theoretical knowledge to be shared as therapy. I am not saying that you can’t learn from courses or that you have to experience everything in human experience yourself before you can help other people with it. I am saying that when you have, or are developing, insight and empathy you can empathise with another person’s emotional experience and be a useful therapist. 

Yes get trained.

Finding a therapist

When it come to finding a therapist the best way is by word of mouth, recommendation. Good therapists rarely advertise as they have little need to as they normally have a full diary and may even have a waiting list.

Becoming a therapist 

If your are considering becoming a therapist, as I suggested you may be doing it anyway, a good thing to try are the ten week introduction courses that are run by colleges that also run certificate and diploma courses. This will give you a good insight in both the counselling process and the techniques required. You will them be able to make a choice as to what direction you would take from there.

If you would like to ask anything or chat anything through drop me a message and I will get back to you.

Take care and be happy

Sean x

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