Anyone in Psychotherapy? Or related?(7 Posts)
Hi all, I’m looking for some careers advice. Background- unfortunately I didn’t apply myself as well as I could have at school, have A levels but went into work (in an industry known for crappy pay) and was slowly working my way up the
very small ladder. I’ve since had a DS, number 2 on the way. I’m mid 20’s.
Basically, since having DS I’ve become determined to have a career myself and my family can be proud of. I want to be able to support DCs and be financially independent again (SAHM). I’m really really interested in getting into therapy/psychotherapy or a related field. I find it all fascinating and think I’ve got what it takes. Problem is how to get there? No money to pay for a degree myself, unsure as to what help is it there and going back into education/training is a bit daunting after being at home with children. Any advice? Or am I barking up the wrong tree in my position?
I see a psychotherapist. She has an undergrade degree in an unrelated field, MA in pastoral counselling and MA in integrative psychotherapy. Along with that she will have had to pay for her own supervision and own therapy, and now insurance and room rental. She has to volunteer for a long time to accrue her hours to become registered.
You can train to become a psychotherapist, I'm not sure what the entry level is but a family friend trained and I think she only had GCSEs.
You could also look at Open University. They offer courses in all sorts of things and could do a psychology degree or something like that as a beginning. Then you could work in schools as educational psychologist or in a support role of some sort maybe?
Remember psychotherapy is quite hard going mentally on yourself and many people will want to see you in the evening. At the start that sounds great but then you find 3 or more evenings a week you can't see your partner because you're working.
I'm also thinking of retraining as a psychotherapist and wanted to give you some information (from what I've gleaned). Usually most courses would expect a first degree however there is often some provision for life experience. The tricky thing that you may find is that the costs in fees are really just the baseline - as someone has pointed out its the cost of your own therapy (usually once a week for a minimum of 40 weeks per year of the course plus supervision costs - when you are a trainee with your first clients usually the second or third year) and the free work you must do to qualify - often as many as 400 hours of client time ( one hour per session) that will be your main costs - not so much the fees.
If you've never been in therapy - the cost of therapy is usually £40 per hour at an absolute minimum.
The next hurdle I've found as a SAHM (I'm one like you) is that the hours are usually evenings or intensive weekend courses. This may suit you though.
I think your first step is probably researching whether you want an M.A in psychotherapy. Or whether you would be happy with a Diploma in counselling or psychotherapy .These can be a difference of two years of study. From what I've gathered the shorter (relatively!) course does not necessarily mean less earning power. An M.A part time can take as many as 4 or more usually 5 years to complete part time. Remember - all that time you need to be in therapy yourself.
The next thing to research is which type of psychotherapy you're interested in. Approaches vary greatly and will impact your way of working.
One of the most important things is to find out whether your provider provides supervision within-house as it were and also whether they have an in-house low cost counselling service which allows their own students to gather clients and accrue the much needed (350 - 400 hours) so that the student (you) can obtain professional accreditation.
Hope this helps. I've found it rather confusing and have spent some time researching it.
The best way to do this and make a living is to get a job as a trainiee Psychological Wellbeing Practioner which will allow you to work through the NHS via IAPT. At least you'll have a job that pays a wage!
BEWARE: The industry is run on volunteer hours. Funding is poor and there are hundreds of Counselling Students coming our of University each year. Courses are continued to bolster the wages of Counsellors who are teaching because they cant find enough pid work elsewhere.
Proper Psychotherapy takes years to train. You have to have an MA level qualification (level 7 qualification) to truely be considered a Psychotherapist within the profession. Is very hard work with a number of hoops to jump through with very few job opportunities other than private practice which is hard going as overheads are very high as is competion and stress levels due to the nature of the work. Recruitment is ruthless due to the competition and unless your accredited you can forget any NHS work making reliable income virtually impossible. Most posts are charity 6 month contracts. It will take you at least 2-3 years POST qualifying before you can apply for accreditation due to the number of practice hours you need. Once again these hours will be done on a voluntary basis or through Private Practice if you can get clients before your accredited. You wont find agency work (Work Insurance Policies) untill your accredited. The accreditation process cost you annual membership, you will need hours of CPD all paid for by yourself and an additional accreditation application cost each time you apply! This runs into the hundreds each time. Most dont pass first time and you have to pay each time you apply. Remember you will most likely be doing all this on a voluntary basis. Your salary to fund it will need to come from elsewhere.
The profession is much needed but due to it not be regulated its a complete farse trying to make a living. You will not earn more that 20-23K and remember you cant work full time because mentally the jobs are so hard going that most can only handle a few days a week. Burn out rates are high. Most counsellors unless they have a USP will have 2 maybe 3 different jobs just to keep going.
The honest truth is I wouldnt bother. Go into Occupational Therapy, Support Work, Social Work etc. Sorry but work in a charity running a counselling service and I see the reality each year.
One last thing. The hourly costs are £35-60 per session for private practice.
The overheads for counselling are massive! You have to pay for your own supervision costs (£50-70 per supervision session! You will need this at least once a month. For students its 1 hour to every 8 sessions!), insurances, membership, essential courses, room rental, accreditation, advertising and marketing, accountancy fees and potentially your own therapy due to the effects of the job.
You will never be rich!
I looked into it and came to the conclusion that you needed another source of income to train. It is hugely expensive.
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