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What could I do as a 10th grade highschool student to be prepared to become a psychotherapist??

Hi, my name is Emya and I want to become a psychotherapist in Canada in the near future! I know ill need 2 years of the college experience as well as 4 in a university stacked on that, I want to know if there's anything I could do right now as a high schooler to be prepared!
(my boyfriend let me use his account since I wasn't able to set up my own)

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Sarah’s Answer

Hi Emya!


Begin thinking about whether you'd like to work with a specific population or focus your study/research on a particular diagnosis. While you may not be able to volunteer at certain mental health facilities, consider looking for opportunities to observe/help children with developmental or spectrum disorders and individuals experiencing Dementia/Alzheimer's disease. These settings can give you a glimpse into neurodiversity and the different types of mental health related challenges humans face.

All the best to you!

~Sarah E.
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Jennifer’s Answer

Hi Emya!

Sounds like you're on a good track with researching the academic experience you'll need.

I would focus on your grades as medical school and careers are highly competitive.

If your school offers AP psych or sociology, you can even begin taking those courses to prepare for what's ahead!

It's always a good idea to start a resume and look for shadowing or internship experience early, but I'd wait until at least your 2nd year of college so you have some time to acclimate to your new pace. College and University feel a lot different from high school!

Also it's a good idea to start thinking about and exploring specialties - what drives you to want to get into psychotherapy? Helping people with depression/anxiety? Helping families resolve conflict? Substance abuse?

Is there a population that you want to focus on more: Pediatrics? Adolescents? Adults?

When you start getting into specializing your degrees for your career, you can choose courses based on techniques you want to learn more about.

Jennifer recommends the following next steps:

Think about your career goals, what do you want to specialize in?
Apply to colleges that have good psychotherapy programs and courses that align with your goals.
Practice writing a resume/CV and cover letter.
Research group therapy and shadowing/internship opportunities so when you're ready to apply, you have a head start on where to go!
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Ishaan’s Answer

Hello Emya !
At your school level you can:
1. Work on your grades, specially in the fields related to psychotherapy. This will help you land on a better and a better college (not always) results in a better career.
2. Work on your resume side by side. Keep your resume updated.
3. Actively look for some kinds of workshops or webinars, that will help you gain more insights on this field and maybe you can add those in your resume too.
4. I am sure that at the school level there must be some kind of internship or training you can do while you are on summer break, you can those on your resume too.
5. Talk to other psychotherapist on LinkedIn and other platforms, they can guide you as well.

Thanks and all the best for your future !
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Bether’s Answer

hi there.
ask around and see if you can find a working professional to shadow or at least interview
not sure of specifics where you live, but in tucson, arizona, our state universities offer online classes to high school students for college credit. see if you can take a course in your area of interest over the summer.
start doing some research into who are the premier teachers in this field (usually university professors) and see if you can find some of their lectures on you tube/read their books. see if you enjoy the content. if that content is too technical for you, just type in "practical psychotherapy" and look around at what's on you tube. it's amazing. use good judgement there are some weirdoes out there. if the person says they are associated with well known school, have 1 million subscribers and and 800,000 views it is probably a reasonable video to watch.
good luck!
bether

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