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Is being a therapist a steady job?

What happens if no one is having problems? Or not enough people at least? #psychology #therapy

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Alana’s Answer

Best of the Village

A lot of the therapists I know have months-long waiting lists. Tons of people have problems, and you'll have no lack of people at your door desperate for your help. You'll have to build a clientele, much like any business, but once you have a solid base of folks you fit well with, they'll probably be with you for a long time.


I agree with Holly: take some computing classes. It will make things like scheduling much easier, and making scheduling easy for your patients will make them very happy -- some people with anxiety disorders, for example, have a lot of difficulty talking on the phone, so having another secure HIPAA-compliant way for them to keep in touch with you is important.


Now for the downside:
It is very hard right now to get a job as a therapist. You'll have a much better shot if you go for your masters' or doctorate. LICSW (licenced clinical social workers) is the minimum for being able to be a therapist; LMHC (licenced mental health counselor) is also valid.


If you want to do things like prescribe medicine, you will have to have your MD in Psychiatry or be a nurse practitioner, and that requires the same training as any other MD or NP: med school, residency, etc. You'll also have no lack of work there and you'll make much more money, but it takes an absurd amount of effort.


At any rate, if you can find a position, you will have no lack of work. A lot of the problem is that the mental health system is grievously underfunded, so there just aren't enough positions to fill the needs of the people who often desperately need therapy.

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Stephani’s Answer

There will always be crazy, stressed, broken, and desperate people, so no worries there. I guess it just depends on what type of psychology you want to focus on!

Thank you comment icon P.A.L. of Lynn gets a lot of clients per year so you'll be okay. Connor
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Steffi’s Answer

You will never have to worry about no one ever having problems in the world we live in. There are more self-help books, support groups, etc, now more than ever. As prices go up on food, gas, etc, people are going to continue to stress out about money. Money is the number one subject that brings people to therapy. So do not fret my friend, becoming a therapist is a solid and wise choice!!!!

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Alison’s Answer

I would just like to add in where you have a professional relationship based on compassion it is best not to use derogatory terms in any setting. The points made regarding income is fairly true and you would have more of an ability to be autonomous in this field. Unlike nurses a therapist can be a whole world away and still connect to the Internet and run sessions. If you do find yourself more interested after reading the answers to this question I suggest you try to answer another two about how you want to pursue the field and in regards to your personal ability to have the kind of compassion needed for that client. Nurses, myself included, tend to take "bandage" off with quick efficient movements in order to decrease the overall duration of pain. As a therapist you will need to be a great deal more subtle as well as have an intuitive ability to know when the psychological/emotional pain endurance is being tested. Really consider if you are the type of person able to make that kind of daily commitment to your patients.

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Sikawayi’s Answer

Hello Marcos, thank you for your question. Yes, therapist do work full time those who don't is by choose not because there's a lack of people in need of professional help. If you really want to ensure your employment for the duration you may want to think about going to work for a clinic or look into youth programs. There are also many federal jobs working with those who have been incarcerated. You will have many opportunities when the time comes remember to keep an open mind. Best of luck
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Holly’s Answer

If you decide to take this career choice this will help you as a person too. This is a great field you will always have clients. However computers and going digital are ever changing technology. So I would for sure take some computer classes too the jobs of the future are going to be a thing you do not a place you go to. So I think that in the future we will be doing these type of jobs online, with the person in 3D talking to you from the computer. I can see this in this paticular field. The pay is not that great, unless you go for your masters degree in this field of Psychology, Psychiatry here is the example of pay from money magizine for the top paying fields, this is what I would choose. Then you can write prescriptions, help people and make a great living. If you can. Secondly there are many Therapist. There are many fields in therapy. So what type were you thinking on is a question that you may want to ask too. Good luck here is the pay scale if you go to Money Magazine top 20 of the higest paying jobs you will find great career choices, and growing fields.


Ulla Laakso did her residency in psychiatry at Albert Einstein College of Medicine-Montefiore Medical Center


Best Jobs rank: 29


Median pay: $185,000


Top pay: $269,000

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