What degree to become a therapist?
January 27, 2008 6:52 AM Subscribe
I want to become a therapist. What kind of degree should I get?
My interest in becoming a therapist anticipates the joy of exploring the psyche and of helping people in pain.
My basic desire is to learn from the best in the field, absorb the knowledge out there that exists from a variety of orientations, get a lot of supervised training, and have the ability over time to formulate my own style and brand of therapy. I think I am most interested in treating "normal" people and couples rather than severely mentally-ill people.
Should I be getting a Ph.D., masters, Psy.D.? Maybe a masters with extra training from a psychoanalytic institute? Maybe a Ph.D. NOT in clinical psychology but in something else?
I haven't done research and am skeptical that I'll like it, but I'm not sure. I'm also working a full-time job right now, so that constrains my ability to find out if I'll like it -- is there any easy way to see?
I'm ambivalent about spending five years in a Ph.D. program (if I could get in -- I understand they want research experience!). It's just a long, long time. But if it's the best way to learn the deepest information from the very best, I'll do it.
I'm also a little worried, from previous MeFi answers, that a masters degree will put me with relatively unmotivated, less focused peers than would a Ph.D. program. Comments?
Also, I'm interested in teaching down the road. But it doesn't have to be at a super-prestigious college.
Any advice? Thanks!