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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

I'd like to Become a Therapist


I have been suffering from anxiety and depression. And reading your book is really helping me understand the whole thinking pattern. And with me I need to understand something before I can change it. If that makes sense. I am in my 30s with 2 young kids. I work but it's not my passion. I want to do something I love rather than something I know. A few years ago I was thinking about becoming a therapist. But I put it off and dealt with life’s events.

And recently I've been doing a lot of reading and reflecting, realizing that becoming a therapist feels like my calling. It's something I would love doing rather than just to have a job. Ever since I can remember I've enjoyed helping others. I'm not sure what kind of therapist I want to become. How did you come to choose to become a psychotherapy?


Thanks for your letter. My becoming a therapist was totally coincidental. I was taking a friend to SDSU trying to get her interested in some course of study to get her mind off her recent divorce. I was behind her in line and looking at the list of courses when I realized the woman at the counter was asking me what course I was interested in. Thinking this was merely idle conversation I answered I was kind of interested in the counseling education course. “Oh, that’s closed,” she said. “Oh that’s okay,” I said.

And I thought of my best friend in high school who became a biofeedback counselor and realized I had been slightly envious but never before had given a  thought that I myself could aspire to such a lofty calling. The clerk said to me then “But you could take it on an at-risk basis and hope to get into the program after the semester ends. “Fine,” said I, “I’ve been at risk all my life.” So, on a whim I just signed up then and there. And that’s how I became a therapist. To become an MFT (marriage family counselor) is time intensive. You need at least 1000  hours of practice (usually unpaid) before you can even take the license exam. (You’ll have to check on that figure it may be as much as 3,000 hours. I don’t remember for sure.

And there are many different kinds of therapists. Hypnotherapists,  and Spiritual therapists besides the marriage family (MFT). You can get a degree on line. Of if you belong to a church you could become a “lay counselor.”  On the other hand, some people simply develop a helpful expertise, write a book and give lectures without any official designation. Read Dale Carnegie’s book How to Make Friends and Influence People. He started out by doing small free talks at the YWCA and his course in now known throughout the world. Some people just start by writing a helpful blog and reach out to help people that way. Some people begin by doing Tarot readings for people in some kind of psychic community like Elfin Forest. Good luck on your path.

You might find Deepak Chopra’s book The Essential Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire helpful in finding out what your next step might be. It’s less than 150 pages. A. B. Curtiss