Dear Dr. Romance: What do I need to do to become a therapist?

By

Dear Dr. Romance: What do I need to do to become a therapist?
Dr. Romance advises a student on the meaning of 'therapy is an art you can only learn by practicing"

Dear Dr. Romance:

 

 

I am a 25 year old M.A. student from the Middle East. This year is my final year to have my M.A. degree as a Family specialist to become a family counselor. I saw many things you wrote online as a family and couple therapists and i Loved them all! I was wondering if you could direct me and hear what you have to suggest that I should do after my Masters. Which courses or degrees are best for me to take more to have a wide experience as a family specialist .. And I am considering a PhD. program, which program you would suggest the most? What is your PhD. was about? Thank you for your time I would really appreciate it if you could give me answers

Dear Reader:

 

Congratulations on almost completing your Masters. I know how much work that takes. I have no information about licensing in the Middle East. When I got my Masters, I was required to have 3,000 hours of counseling under supervision, and then I sat for a California licensing exam, which I passed in 1978. That gave me a license to work as a Marriage, Family Therapist, or psychotherapist. I began a private practice, which I'm still doing today. In 1987, I went back and got a PhD.

If you want to work as a therapist in your own country, and they have licensing, I suggest you go to the licensing board there to find out their requirements and accepted schools. The best thing you can do is begin doing therapy -- as in intern, if that is what your country requires. You'll learn far more on the job than in school.

 

Find a therapist that you admire and want to learn from, and see if you can work in that practice, under the supervision of that therapist. Get started as soon as possible (if you haven't already) The only way to learn therapy is  therapy begins with the students practicing on each other, and then observing group therapy, then doig group therapy and then individual therapy. What you learn in class is helpful, but therapy is an art you can only learn by practicing.   Find a professional clinician's course taught independently by a therapist you respect.  "Ten Things People Don’t Know about Therapy" and "Guidelines for Finding and Using Therapy Wisely" will give you some insight.

Here are the guidelines I use when teaching students:

 

1. Make sure you are effective with clients. Clients who get better are very motivating. It’s more important to help clients heal old trauma then to adhere to a theoretical base.

2.Work from your heart – trust yourself and your intuition. If you guess wrong, just accept it and go on. In the end, you have to do therapy your own way. Theories and studies are helpful, but not if they hamper your own style.

 

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission.
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Dr. Tina Tessina

Author

Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D.
http://www.tinatessina.com
tina@tinatessina.com
562-438-8077
Dr. Romance Blog: http://drromance.typepad.com/dr_romance_blog/
http://www.twitter.com/tinatessina
http://www.facebook.com/#!/DrRomanceBlog
Amazon author page http://amzn.to/rar7RC
 

Location: Long Beach, CA
Credentials: LMFT, MFT, PhD
Other Articles/News by Dr. Tina Tessina:

Dear Dr. Romance: Our sex life has been very bad

By

Dear Dr. Romance My husband of almost 9 years just told me about 2 months ago that he is in love with someone else. About 5 years ago I caught him cheating on me with this girl and he told me that it was over and it was just for the sex. Then 2 years later I found out that he was still with her. Then in June (after the birth of our third child) he told me ... Read more

Dear Dr. Romance: how do I forget that she is married and I am si

By

Dear Dr. Romance: I'm a high school assistant and I fell in love with mother of one of my students. She doesn't know anything about and has some difficulty with her son's wife. I told her I want to help you to sort out your problem, but I have no idea how to help her and how about my love how do I forget it that she is married and I am ... Read more

6 Ways To Create The Happiness Of Holiday Magic This Christmas

By

Recently, as we were eating in an Italian restaurant, the music transported me back to holidays with my Italian/American family. Traditional, sentimental Italian songs were such a large part of our gatherings for the holidays. After a huge, slow, multi-course dinner, Uncle Tommy would get up and go to the piano and just start playing. The whole family would ... Read more

See More

 
My Videos
ASK YOURTANGO MORE QUESTIONS
Must-see Videos
SEE MORE VIDEOS
Most Popular