Explore Career Paths in Psychology as a Therapist

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Explore Our Comprehensive List of Therapy Career Profiles

It is a great calling to enter the field of therapy. There are many different ways that human beings in the course of their lives will have to deal with issues. Be it mental issues, physical issues, stress, suffering, pain, relationships all of these are very human problems and luckily, treatable.

Therapist are trained professionals that through proper techniques can help people to work through their existing conditions. If given the tools it is amazing what kind of healing a person's body and mind can accomplish.

We put together some of the top career fields in therapy today, that can give you an idea of what careers will be available to you if you decide to become a therapist.

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Professions Job Responsibilities

Art Therapist

Art therapy allows patients to visually communicate thoughts and feelings that are too painful to put into words. Through the use of art media, the creative process, and the resulting artwork art therapy helps clients of all ages express themselves in ways that conventional therapies may not.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapist

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a type of psychotherapy that takes a practical and tangible approach to solving issues. CBT is designed to help people change the way they think and the way they behave in order to help ease or even solve someone's issues. It is used in a wide variety of cases including things like depression or relationship issues, but its effectiveness stems from its ability to help people think about how their attitudes and beliefs are affecting their behavior. Once that is understood, it can be used to help affect change in that behavior.

Group of Friends Dancing | Dance/Movement Therapy | Careers in Psychology
Dance / Movement Therapist

For some people, the ability to think clearly and the ability to move freely are intertwined. Sitting for hours at a desk, with no sound to distract you and no reason to get up and move around is helpful for some learners, but absolutely sabotaging to the success of others. The fact that every person is wired slightly differently, and Continue Reading

Exercise Therapist

Exercise therapy is not only about the physical well-being of the patient. These therapists are responsible for helping people with physical or psychological issues or illnesses improve their movement and manage and overcome their discomfort. They use their psychological and physiological knowledge to help patients overcome issues such as serious back injuries or even self-confidence concerns.

Existential Therapist

Existential therapists have the unique job of helping people deal with existential issues such as death, loneliness, suffering, and meaninglessness that patients often can’t handle on their own. They combine in-depth knowledge of the psychological factors at play with an education in existential principles to promote meaning and life-enhancements the patient can make mentally and emotionally.

Life Coach

Life coaches are the people who help their clients identify and achieve physical, emotional, and social personal goals. They help clients work through roadblocks to achieve success in careers, school, family settings, and others. They are adept at analyzing a person’s issues and designing treatment or coping mechanisms that people overcome those issues or accomplish their goals in spite of that issue.

Smiling Couple in Marriage and Family Therapy | Careers in Psychology
Marriage Family Therapist

Marriage and family therapists help troubled couples and families identify and understand the psychological issues behind their discontent so that they can improve their relationship and repair any damage done to the relationship. They use their knowledge of the psychology of relationships and the family dynamic to help families and couples take a step back and recognize why the issues occurred in the first place. They then help the families and couples work through these issues together.

Man Listening to Music | Music Therapy | Careers in Psychology
Musical Therapist

Music therapists are responsible for assessing and treating emotional, physical, social, communication, and cognitive issues using musical responses and musical practice. The therapists uses their psychological expertise and knowledge of music to help identify the needs and state of well-being for each client, sometimes they even use music as a therapeutic or spiritual treatment for clients depending on the issue.

Occupational Therapist

Occupational therapy is the practice of creating customized work plans and exercise plans to help people of all ages cure, prevent or deal with things like physical injury, permanent illness or permanent or temporary disability. This is an evidence-based practice that takes a holistic approach to the issues and really helps develop an individually unique plan that caters to the specific issue of the patient. The idea is to develop techniques for helping patients get through their everyday life.

Person Meeting with a Physical Therapist | Careers in Psychology
Physical Therapist

Physical Therapists are a part of everyday life for many Americans who are dealing with chronic pain issues or recent trauma. The job of the physical therapist is to help people learn to manage pain, recover from injuries and regain movement from said injuries. They can work in private practice or for hospitals or niche clinics or in nursing homes and generally treat people of varying age for a wide range of illnesses and injuries ranging from broken limbs to traumatic brain injuries. One needs a doctoral degree to become a physical therapist, but the profession is rapidly growing as a more active population needs physical therapists now more than ever.

Psychiatric Nurse

A special division within nursing, psychiatric nursing is specifically about assessing and treating mental health issues within patients or a group of patients. Most psychiatric nurses have master's or doctoral degrees in the field as this is an advanced profession within nursing and requires a more detailed and specialized training and understanding. These nurses usually deal with psychiatric disorders and treat these disorders with specific psychotherapy. They are commonly employed in hospitals and specialty clinics, but many are in private practice as well.


Psychotherapists are responsible for treating patient issues with psychological treatments and strategies rather than medical ones. There is a lot of overlap between psychotherapists and traditional psychologists, but generally speaking, psychotherapists are focused more on the mental and emotional well-being of a patient and helping solve some of those problems with psychological techniques. Still, there are hundreds if not thousands of different types of psychotherapy and so there is a lot of diversity within the profession. Often considered more of talking therapy than anything else, psychotherapists use basic psychological principles and build a more mental approach to them.

Couple Laying on the Ground Surrounded by Hearts | Sex Therapy | Careers in Psychology
Sex Therapist

Contrary to popular belief, sex therapists do not practice therapy that looks all that different from other forms of therapy. Sex therapists are responsible for helping people with sexual issues and relationship issues. They may ask about sexual history and use that to create methods for solving the issues at hand. But these therapists aren't just focusing on the physical side of sex, they are also examining and exploring the psychological side of sex and how psychological issues can affect sexual performance, intimacy and anxiety. They are trained in therapy the same way that everyone else is and they just use that training to focus on a specific aspect of life.

Speech Pathologist

Also commonly referred to as speech therapists, speech pathologists specialize in diagnosing and treating communication and voice issues. But this treatment is not just for patients with stuttering or pronunciation issues. Speech pathologists do help with those types of issues but they also aide patients with issues that range from communicating ideas socially to sentence structure issues and physical voice issues as well. They can even help treat with brain function and cognitive problems, specifically if they affect a patient's voice, communication, or swallowing.

Transpersonal Therapist

Transpersonal therapists help their patients develop the psychological, physiological, and spiritual aspects of their life by dealing with the relationship between a patient’s physical, mental, and emotional state of mind. The therapists take a deeply holistic approach to helping their clients find self-satisfaction, personal happiness, and emotional and mental contentment in hopes that these will help the client overcome any issues they may have.

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Find a Marriage and Family Therapy Degree in Your State

It's important to choose a school that offers the degree program that checks all the boxes for you, whether that's providing online courses or offering a combined master's and doctoral program. To get even more detail about psychology degree program options in your area, find your state below. You may also consider online MFT degree options available from many accredited colleges & universities.