How to Become a Psychotherapist in 2024: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Become a Psychotherapist

A psychotherapist is a mental health expert. To become a psychotherapist, people need certain degrees, qualifications, experience, and regular practice. Psychology is a fascinating field of study. If you are interested in discovering the different mysteries behind the human mind, how it functions, how it behaves around various environmental factors, and many more, psychology is just for you.

There are many opportunities for a professional psychotherapist in this modern world. The World is Round, consisting of billions of people around the world. Humans now are not only limited inside the single planet “Earth.” Human brains contain the extraordinary power to reach the top of the universe and discover every living reason. All the human brains should work together to perform something magical for the future.

Some innovative works and great inventions have proved that the human brain consists of many IQs. This is why BRAIN is one of the most important organs for the human body: growth, development, change, and living. Disorder of brain function or any mental illness can be hazardous and harmful for human beings.

Today’s world has many effective treatments for physical health and fitness; people are very busy keeping themselves physically fit and healthy. Doctors and scientists have brought many solutions, upgrades, and changes to treating many physical illnesses. But MENTAL HEALTH is one of the most important health issues for people worldwide.

Just think, for example, if you are mentally disturbed by the lack of sleeping (insomnia), anxiety disorder, and stress. What treatment could you possibly get for these problems? You cannot simply get medical drugs to get rid of stress or anxiety disorder. Even your physical fitness will not treat this kind of mental problem. We need therapists who can help to understand and reduce our mental issues. This type of treatment is called psychotherapy, and a professional psychological doctor (psychiatrist) or a psychotherapist is trained to treat these kinds of problems.

online psychological counseling

What is psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is a method of treatment for mentally unstable patients. A psychotherapist can examine patients who deal with insomnia, depression, anxiety, stress, negative behavior patterns, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and many other mental health conditions.

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Behavior therapy, Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), Transactional Analysis (TA), Dialectic Behavior Therapy (DBT) are some of the useful psychotherapies.

Psychological treatment can spread into various sectors for mental treatment, as it is a common illness. The human brain can alter at any time and might not function properly with optimum capacity for the human body to stay healthy. In the article “Mental health as a psychological science discipline,” the writer (Wittchen H.-U.) has stated the evidence on research and progress of the extensive behavioral change caused for mentally misfunctioned patients.

Requirements and Expenses to be a psychotherapist

What is the requirement to become a psychotherapist? The next subtopic has been stated about the degree needed to become a certified psychotherapist. But this paragraph is different, as it will be about the requirements to get admitted into a university first. So, the first step for getting into a university is a bit easy for some and quite tough for others.

Generally, the admission requirements for a university are not higher. Although the public university’s expense to complete the bachelor’s study is significantly low, it is very tough to get into any public university with high requirements and huge competition.

Mostly, students can afford a private university to pursue their bachelor’s in psychology, with an estimated cost of 3,550 US dollars for 4 years in Bangladesh. The estimation could also rise at present or in the future. Compared to countries like the United States of America or the United Kingdom, Bangladesh’s expense is low to study and complete a bachelor’s degree in Psychology.

Qualifications of a psychotherapist

To become a psychotherapist, one must be very professional, focused, thoughtful, and the most important part is to be very calm and tolerant. Becoming a psychotherapist is not an easy job. It needs a lot of hard work and time to be inputted.

How to pursue a career in this field?

  • An undergraduate degree in psychology must be completed.
  • A masters’ degree must be obtained.
  • A license to practice psychology has to be acquired.

Moreover, finishing studying it and starting a career might take 8 to 12 years. This field of study requires a lot of dedication. One needs to be very focused on their education. Good communication skills are required as well. A lot of patience and hard work is said to be a difficult field of study.

If you have the dedication and the determination to help others as a professional, if you love the feeling of satisfaction after assisting others to deal with their problems, then psychology is just for you.

Suppose an individual has knowledge and study about human psychology, like a bachelor’s degree from a university or any master’s degree. In that case, he can practice and become an ethical and professional psychology doctor (Dr. Digby Tan tam).

A psychotherapist must be a very kind and gentle person, a very calm and stoical person to observe and form a hypothesis about mentally disordered patients. Sometimes theories might not work for every person. Brain function sequence and other abilities vary from person to person, with time and zone differences.’

The time needed to become a professional psychotherapist

It is a long process. It takes indefinite time, energy, and patience to hold on. To become professional psychotherapists, they have to pursue long-term research and achieve more than one master’s degree in different modules. Especially after attaining a Bachelor’s Degree in psychology subject.

A therapist has to continue education to earn a master’s degree in advanced psychiatric nursing, master’s degree in social work, master’s degree in counseling, master’s degree in psychology, Ph.D. or Psy.D. in psychology.

A psychotherapist with a Ph.D. or Psy.D. degree in psychology is known as one of the professionals, and they can work in a wide range with private clients and become licensed who can work under different settings. All this degree and practice is hard to earn.

If a person can be dedicated for the whole time, still it might take about 4-5 years in bachelor’s program, 2 years to complete the master’s program for each specialization, and overall, it can take up to 6 years to complete.

Most Ph.D. programs usually take 5 to 7 years long to complete, including a year-long internship program. So, adding up all the time to become a professional psychotherapist takes up to 10 to 12 years of study and practice.

Salary and Income of a psychotherapist

A clinical psychotherapist or a psychologist in Bangladesh can earn about 460 US dollars (minimum salary) per month to about 1,600 US dollars (maximum compensation) per month. Almost 50% of psychotherapists in Bangladesh earns a median salary of about 1,075 US Dollar per month. The 25th and the 75th percentiles are two median values. About 25% of clinical psychologists make less than or equal 690 US dollars, while the other 75% earn more than 690 US Dollars. Also, 75% of clinical psychologists earn less than 1440 US dollars, while 25% are earning more than 1440 US dollars.

A Clinical Psychologist in Bangladesh with less than two years of experience makes approximately 520 US Dollars per month. Any professional psychotherapist with experience between two and five years is relatively expected to earn approximately 695 US Dollars per month, 34% more than someone with less than two years experience. An experienced therapist between five and ten years lands a salary of 1027 US Dollars per month. It can be increased by 48% more with two to five years of experience. 

Psychotherapist Salaries in the USA:

Job Title

Metropolitan Center for Mental Health Psychotherapist salaries – 32 salaries reported$40,086
Unum Psychotherapist salaries – 29 salaries reported$65,897
Pilsen Wellness Center Psychotherapist salaries – 14 salaries reported$39,945
Psychotherapist average salary in the United States$62,841
Maximum Paying Therapists in  California:$47,070.
Forensic Psychologist. Average Salary:$59,440
School Psychologist. Average Salary:$58,360
Sports Psychologist. Average Salary:$55,000
Counselling Psychologist. Average Salary:$81,330.
Marriage Psychotherapist$130,734
Senior Marriage Psychotherapist$126,059
Secluded Marriage Psychotherapist$123,915
Contract Marriage Psychotherapist$121,062
Worldwide Marriage Psychotherapist$120,847

Top 12 Maximum Paying Cities for Licensed Professional Psychotherapist Jobs:


Annual Salary

Monthly Pay

Boston, MA$80,548$6,712
Santa Monica, CA$79,550$6,629
Quincy, MA$79,482$6,624
Berkeley, CA$79,385$6,615
New Jersey$83,050$6,920
District of Columbia$66,080$5,506
New York$63,520$5,293
Queens, NY$78,206$6,517
Renton, WA$79,241$6,603
Daly City, CA$79,161$6,597
Minneapolis, MN$78,206$6,517

Additionally, Clinical Psychologists whose expertise spans between ten and fifteen years get a salary equivalent to 5250 US Dollars per month. It can be increased 22% more with five to ten years of experience and practice.

If the experience becomes fifteen and twenty years, the expected wage is 6,365 US Dollars per month. Moreover, it can increase up to 9% more with ten to fifteen years of experience.

Lastly, professionals with 20 years of experience make 7,480 US Dollars per month, 8% more than people with fifteen to twenty years of experience.

Is psychotherapist a Good job?

A psychotherapist should be well trained before doing any actual treatments because it is not easy to look out for humans inside problems. They have to reach into a person’s heart and brain to know exactly what is wrong with their emotions, behavior and focus.

This is a good job to contribute to the mental health field. Comparitelvly, These professionals have smart hourly, monthly, and yearly salaries.  

Role of Psychotherapist

A psychotherapist should have vast knowledge from different medical studies to be aware of all neurolinguistics functions, treatments, and side effects. A psychotherapist needs alone time for self-recovery by meditating, proper diet, and healthy food and nutrition.

A psychiatrist especially needs to have the ability to treat patients with hypnotism problems. We know hypnotism controls mind and body, controlled by other outer information, demand, and orders.

Many Psychotic patients turn out to be the victim of heinous crimes like murder, rape, etc. Their mental stability or brain function has been nurtured or triggered by some professional psychological science neurologists.

A human brain, when hypnotized, will perform the action what they are told or ordered. People sometimes are helpless; they find themselves a part of crime when they do not even know 1% of what they did or what they are doing. 

Is a psychotherapist a doctor?

Psychotherapy can practice by various professionals like professional psychologists and psychiatrists. A psychiatrist is a medical doctor. Professional psychologist includes clinical psychologists, counseling psychologists, educational psychologists, child psychologists, school psychologists, etc. They are psychotherapists and not medical doctors.

Requirements to be a Psychotherapy Doctor:

Some training requirements needed to start as a certified psychological doctor are accrediting bodies (UKCP, BACP, BABCP, and BCP). According to the British Psychological Society (BPS), standards face difficulties in psychiatric treatment, as the victim’s case is not always the same.

The registering body might differ from the accredited body (Dr. Digby tan tam–How to become a Psychotherapist). The British royal college sets some preferable advancements and knowledge required for basic psychologist training; an undergraduate degree or equivalent professional experience, four-year training with practical experiments, and examinations.

An infinite number of hours spent under supervising practices. Experience is the key; the most important requirement is experience, experience as personal therapy, and performing as a quality therapist (BABCP).

There are also many personality disorder syndromes. In this type of sickness or mental illness, any person with multiple personality disorders can have 2 or more types of characteristics within themselves. Without even knowing about the other personality, the person can lead a normal life.

However, this multiple personality disorder has shown that personality types differ in every case. This other personality could be activated by some special situations or circumstances provided. They can change themselves into another character. Also, does not remember or have any idea of the other characteristic, including their name and other professional and personal information. 

What needs to continue your psychotherapy professional?

To become a professional psychotherapist, studies and research should be continued forever. Psychiatrists should start from the beginning and practice from an early age to understand people’s mindset and the structured vision of their brain and the heart. They needed to be honest with themselves and pass all studies from the heart to reach the top and serve the human world.

Completed Bachelor’s Degree in psychology, doing Masters and Ph.D. in psychotherapy-related studies and subjects will do most of the work. Doing own research, making hypotheses and theory for supervising a mentally ill patient.

After every completion of courses and testing oneself for that field, more interns become perfect psychiatrists to better human nature and the world’s population. The motive and mindset should be fixed to be the top and only goal of becoming a psychotherapist.

Types of therapy

Psychologists or psychotherapists usually work based on some theories. According to the base theory, observation, and hypothesis, the studies have drawn a thin line for different therapy types in psychotherapy. Types of therapies are:

Psychoanalysis and Psychodynamic therapies. This approach mainly highlights the patient’s problems about behaviors, feelings, and thoughts by unraveling the patient’s unconscious meanings and motivations. In this type of therapy, patients can learn about themselves by exploring their interactions and the therapeutic relationship.

Behavior therapy. Behavior therapy has a few other branches, classical conditioning, Desensitizing, and cognitive-behavioral therapy. For Desensitizing, a therapist can help a patient with a phobia through repeated exposure to whatever causes anxiety. This type of learning is based on rewards and punishments to structure people’s behavior. 

Cognitive therapy. This therapy is more about the mental illness of people’s thoughts. Cognitive therapists think that a patient with this type of symptom has dysfunctional thinking, leading to dysfunctional emotions and behaviors.

Humanistic therapy & Integrative or Holistic therapy. These are two other types of therapy. The humanistic therapy approach highlights people’s capacity to make a sensible choice and develop to their maximum capability. Concern about other people and giving proper respect are also important themes. Holistic therapists do every kind of treatment to the patient for the cure.

Most effective psychotherapy

Behavioral Activation Therapy (BAT) is perhaps the most effective way to cure depression in mind. This therapy empowers the help seekers by engaging more in general activities. This is to cheer up or motivate the person to overcome the loss, pain, and sadness. When people are depressed, social alertness can help them be involved in any activity to distract them. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Rational Emotive Therapy (RET), is effective for mental health counseling.  

Psychotherapies are conducted when people have negative feelings like depression (i.e., withdrawn, isolated, and disconnected). Sometimes, it worsens their depression, leading to a vicious circle of disengagement.

Also, it reduces motivation, resulting in feeling worse and leading to even less motivation and more inactivity. Alternatively, research proves they think of various positive feelings with positive well-being when engaging in their activities. Even though they’re just going through the motions, a circle begins, usually providing motivation and a gradually increasing emotional payoff.

When to know you need a therapist?

Mental dysfunction can also happen for some kind of limitation that children are born with. Many cases are children born with this limitation from their mother’s womb. Even if the medical studies are overviewed for infants’ death, mental illness could be a cruel reason for the deaths.

People of a certain age can also have these psychotic problems. We even see many suicide cases in front of our eyes, nothing to do with preventing people with a mental health condition. The World has no end; we can recognize and identify many mentally ill patients.

Every patient could be affected very differently, might have many different problems, might be gone crazy to an extreme level. They can also threaten normal people’s society, as they are not mentally stable, they are not judged or think before what they do.

They might kill somebody but unwillingly or unconsciously. Some mentally ill patients are hazardous and threats to society. They need help and should be locked up for their treatment and betterment.

To make this world a better place for living and accommodation, professionally trained and experienced psychotherapists should treat these mentally unstable patients.



Some Mental health problems can also be due to drug misuse, drug overdose, or wrong medication treatment. Mental health Problem can evolve from many little things because it is sensitive. Any drug misuse or brain function suppressing drugs can easily trigger and alter the brain’s function. Drug overdose can bring cognitive-behavioral change (CBT), problems related to lack of sleeping, can also cause extra stress, which can be very problematic in case of pressure sensitivity, blood rushing, and the heart’s impulse rise a moment. Often, a person can get an attack or a stroke. Psychotherapy treatments should modify a person’s emotions, thoughts, behaviors, cognitions, and other personal characteristics.

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Last update on 2024-07-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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