So you’re thinking of becoming a therapist? It’s a very rewarding profession that also has the additional benefit of generating great revenue and no matter how much training you do, there is always room to learn more, progress quickly and specialise in numerous fields.
Due to the pandemic, demand for therapists has risen, which has led to the industry becoming one of very few that have thrived in the last 12 months and provides job security far greater than many others have. But what do you need to become a therapist? We talk you through the process of training and the factors you need to consider when being a male therapist.
Training To Become A Therapist
The first need you will need when looking into how you can become a therapist is that you do need to go to university. Firstly, a BA must be completed, this can be in any field and doesn’t have to be psychology-related, so if you obtained your degree already, don’t be discouraged and think you have to do another one.
However, you will then have to undertake an MA in psychology or a related field. This is essential if you want to become a therapist.
Next, you will need to attend a placement at a practice. All practices vary with how many placements they accept and how long this will be. It’s best to apply as early as possible to ensure a place in your chosen practice, so do your research beforehand and make applications as soon as you start your MA.
The last stage is applying for your license, this can vary depending on where you live. You may be able to get your license straight away or be asked to take further exams and supervised sessions. If you are planning on practicing in a different country or state, then you should apply for your license from that local authority, this will make it easier for you in the long run.
Once you have your license you can start practicing and taking paid clients. With the right experience and investment, you can even open your own practice.
Why Male Therapists May Differ
While all businesses should always support and promote gender equality and should base decisions on experience and skill and not gender, therapy can differ slightly. Clients have the right to ask for a specific gender of the therapist. You must realise that this should never be taken personally as there are many valid reasons as to why a client may ask for a female therapist.
Domestic violence can be experienced by any gender and the abuse can come from anyone. Many people who experience domestic abuse from one gender are left with negative thoughts and issues, such as PTSD and simply don’t feel comfortable presenting their most personal thoughts and feelings to someone they may associate with the abuse.
Being a victim of sexual abuse will commonly leave that victim apprehensive about someone of a certain gender. While we must stress that not sexual abuse comes from men, the higher percentage does than abuse from women.
Therefore, victims may request a female therapist, someone who they can not associate with the abuser in any way. If the victim is female themself, this can also be a benefit to them as they may prefer not to speak about their own bodies in front of a man.
A couple or an individual may be having trouble in the bedroom, for many reasons. As a sex therapist, you will be speaking openly about one of the most intimate things we humans do.
Women typically prefer talking to other women about this, as they know they can relate to each other. Similarly, men often prefer speaking to men. However, the stigma of inadequate sexual performance has led to some men preferring to speak to women, as they feel embarrassed speaking to another man about it-even though they shouldn’t be.
Gender Identity Issues
Some members of the community might want to throw conventional gender out the window completely and seek someone who is non-binary or gender fluid. This could simply be because they want someone who can relate to them and help them through their own journey with previous experiences.
While someone with gender identity issues could be attending therapy for any reason, their sexuality can be a contributing factor. Unacceptance from friends and family can lead to poor mental health. Others may be confused with their own feelings, and someone from the same community can help them understand their gender identity.
This won’t hold you back from reaching your full potential as a male therapist. Many male therapists excel in mental health issues related to the list above. Just remember there will be times when clients don’t want your help, it’s nothing personal and doesn’t reflect on your skills, ability or personality.