Being a therapist can be hard. Your main job is to listen to people talk and the topics will vary. You could have clients complaining and bemoaning their life. Or, you could have clients confiding their deepest secrets and fears in you. For some, this can be a heavy burden to carry. However, for many therapists, this is not a deterrent. After all, being a therapist is more than that. Being a therapist is being able to help their clients with all the challenges that they face. And for them, this is very rewarding.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably considering the idea of being a therapist. You might have a vague or detailed idea of what being a therapist is like. Or, you might simply be wondering, “Do I even have it in me to be a therapist?” Well, if these are things you’re wondering about, we will be covering it all in this article! If you’ve already made up your mind, counselling courses singapore are available at MDIS.
What Qualities Should A Therapist Have?
1. Enjoy Being Around People
Being a therapist requires you to be constantly around people. That’s basically your job – an entire day spent listening and talking to various people. Therefore, you should be someone that enjoys human company. You enjoy talking and listening to people. You revel in the intimacy of human connection. This is very important because it helps you actively love your job of talking and understanding people. If you’re an introvert, you may feel tired out at the end of a day. But, that’s completely okay! All that matters is that you still do enjoy spending time with others as well. It’s okay to need to rest. However, you should ultimately be someone who loves and wants to spend time with people too.
2. Good Listening Skills
This is another crucial quality for therapists to have. Not every therapist has good listening skills and this can greatly affect the quality of help that your client will receive. This is the basic foundation in therapy – people want to be listened to. And as a therapist, you will have to listen and understand. That’s what good listening skills are. Without understanding, you would not be able to adequately help your client.
If you have good listening skills, you will find that your friends often confide in you and ask for advice. This shows that your friends all trust that you will empathetically listen to them. They also trust in your advice and feel that you are someone that they can turn too. This is an exceedingly good sign for you if you are interested in being a therapist as it suggests that your demeanor is trustable and comforting. You would then be able to build great rapport and trust with clients. A great therapeutic alliance between the therapist and client is needed for the client to have a positive and beneficial experience.
3. Analytical Skills
Another part of therapy is psychology and understanding people. As such, it would be a great benefit if you enjoy being analytical and have great analytical skills. This could manifest in you being interested in human behavior and why your friends may act in certain ways. You enjoy learning and understanding such things. This is great because it means that you will enjoy the analytical part of therapy work. Part of being a therapist is also to help clients uncover unconscious feelings or thought that they might have. With analytical skills, you would be great at doing so as you could analyze their behavior and sharings for better insight.
4. Enjoy Helping Others
Lastly, you should be someone that enjoys and thrives on being able to help people. Whenever you help someone, you feel happy, even if there is no gratitude or appreciation given to you. You feel boosted after helping someone and you desire to help others in the future too. The goal of being a therapist is often to be able to help their clients. Often, clients are seeking to live a better quality of life, without their struggles. And as their therapist, that is your goal. Therefore, you should enjoy and love helping others. This would mean that you have an altruistic heart and that is most important because therapy work can be frustrating at times. If you aren’t coming at it with pure intentions, work would end up becoming a burden and tiring you out. Or, you might not give your all and this would be unfair to clients.
Types of Therapists
There are many different types of therapists. Mental health understanding is increasing as time goes by and hence, there is more understanding of how mental health issues can be treated. As such, there is a great variety of therapy options available, such as art therapy, dance therapy, or play therapy.
It’s great to know what kind of therapists you want to be as there could be different education paths for specific therapist types. However, as a beginner, you should simply ask yourself who you desire to work with? Would you prefer to work with children? Or do you prefer adults?
But as a simple guideline, here are the more common and general types of therapists:
1. Clinical Social Workers
Clinical Social Workers usually work directly with their country’s government to help families or people in need. They usually have degrees in social work and are usually trained to use empowerment or advocacy within therapy. In other words, they seek to empower their clients and also advocate for better situations for them. Social workers are usually involved in situation-specific cases, such as domestic abuse, divorce, or poverty. Apart from providing or finding better resources for people, they also provide therapy such as talk therapy, individual counseling, and group counseling.
2. Clinical Psychologists
Clinical Psychologists are educated in Psychology and usually have a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology. Clinical Psychologists usually have two main functions – they can provide therapy for their clients or they can provide evaluations for mental health conditions. For example, they could help evaluate children suspected of having learning disabilities, such as Attention Deficit Disorder. They can also evaluate and diagnose clients with mental health conditions, such as Depression. In such cases, they would also go on to treat the condition. They can use a variety of therapies, such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy.
A Psychiatrist is someone with both a Psychological and Medical education. They are certified as doctors and hence, are able to prescribe medication for conditions too. They are, however, less involved with actual therapeutic solutions.
Aside from these few, there are other, more specific types of therapists. However, at the end of the day, they all have the same motive – that is, to treat and help people. If what you’ve just read appeals to you, then being a therapist might be a great option for you. It could be something that you could excel and greatly enjoy. If so, you should definitely do some deeper reading before making a decision.