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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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Maria’s Answer

In addition to @Michael's answer regarding the educational path, I would add that it's also important to start creating self-care practices i.e. creative outlets, physical fitness, mental health wellness since the field of therapy and all the schooling requires a lot of emotional, mental and physical energy. Also, learning how to maintain school-life and eventually work-life balance will be important for anyone interested in a career of providing patient care (doctors, nurses, counselors, etc...). That balance comes in the form of placing boundaries between work and your personal life, setting boundaries with colleagues and patients, and adhering to the ethics required by professional licensing organizations like the American Psychological Association.
I highly recommend shadowing a therapist (any field) for a day or so to see what they do outside of patient care & gathering information about what it looks like to work in an office, a hospital, or a community health clinic. Also, for the future, a good graduate program also will require their own counseling students to engage in their own therapy (individual, couples and/or group) to put themselves in the client chair first before asking others to do the same.
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Michael’s Answer

Hi Emya,

While in high school, one will need to focus on science and math classes to prepare for a psychotherapist career. Physics, chemistry and biology will be the core science courses. For math, algebra, calculus and statistics will be needed. Both concentrations will enable you to focus and refine your analytical skills for research; complex problem solving; investigative and innovative critical thinking; attention to detail; etc.

Other skills that will need to be built upon center around team building, team work and communication. In any work culture, collaboration amongst team members, staff and partner departments occur on a daily basis. As a psychotherapist, communication is essential and critical when dealing with clients and patients. A college course in public speaking and in English will help with one's communication and writing skills.

A Bachelor of Science (BS) in Psychology will concentrate more on math and science courses. This will be earned at a college or university for a duration of four years. Afterwards, a Master of Science in Psychotherapy will be pursued for the next two years. Clinical experience is gained while in graduate school. Future plans will include becoming licensed within the state of practice as well as pursuing higher education such as a doctoral degree (PhD or PsyD).

Here are the best US colleges with a Psychology Major:

- Princeton University
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Harvard University
- Stanford University
- Yale University
- University of Chicago
- Johns Hopkins University
- University of Pennsylvania

https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/psychology-major-4201

Here are some of the Best Student Counseling Programs:

- University of Maryland--College Park
- University of Georgia.
- University of Wisconsin--Madison
- Ohio State University.
- Pennsylvania State University--University Park
- Teachers College, Columbia University
- University of Florida
- University of Missouri
- Indiana University--Bloomington

https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-education-schools/student-counseling-rankings

When reviewing colleges and universities, it is best to check the following:

- In-State vs Out of State Tuition
- Internships
- Scholarships
- Career Placement upon graduation
- Course work and offered classes
- Post-Graduate Degrees - Master and Doctoral

Best wishes for your education and career path as a Psychotherapist!
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