How to Become a Therapist without a Degree |Complete Guide 2023

Do you want to be a therapist without a degree?? If you’re seeking possible means of becoming a therapist without having any degree related to the field, then you’re just in the right place.

From our research, we discovered that; to become any type of therapists in US, you must have a bachelor degree in psychology or a related field.

However, some sensitive fields of therapist require you earn a master’s degree in psychology or any other related field. With this, you can start your career as a therapist if you have gained enough clinical experience, while waiting to be licensed.


This means that the possibility of becoming a therapist without earning a degree in either psychology or counselling is practically thin.

Certainly, there are many different skills and characteristics that can help you be successful as a therapist. Let’s show you the steps to take to start practicing as a therapist with a psychology degree.

What Does a Therapist Do?

In general, a therapist is in the business of helping people overcome their addictions or problems.

Basically, they help an individual to develop a better emotional and resistance skills to face the challenges of life when they come. Or better still, they will be able to stand and face their life challenges without breaking down.

These life problems can be either behavioural disorders, relational issues, or abuse problems.

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However, what a therapist does to a great extent relies on the kind of therapist they are.


Here are what a therapist does based on the field they choose:

#1. Occupational Therapist:

An occupational therapist assists individuals with brief incapacities re-visitation of their earlier degree of working, and assists individuals with lasting inabilities live more autonomously on an everyday premise (Bureau of Labour Statistics, 2019).

Occupational therapists treat injured, ill, or disabled patients through the therapeutic use of everyday activities. They help these patients develop, recover, improve, as well as maintain the skills needed for daily living and working.

#2. Marriage and Family Therapist:

A Family therapist helps couples, families, or people settle relational issues (Bureau of Labour Statistics, 2019).

Basically, a family therapist meets with members of a family as a group or individually to discuss emotional issues and provide treatment for mental disorders and psychological conflicts.

#3. Behavioural Therapist:

A Behavioural Therapist help people identify and change those unhealthy and self-destructive behaviours. They make them understand that all behaviours are learned, which means it can be unlearned too.

#4. Recreational Therapist:

Recreational therapists help people reduce depression, stress, and anxiety; recover basic physical and mental abilities; build confidence; and socialize effectively.

They use interventions, such as arts and crafts, dance, or sports, to help their patients (Bureau of Labour Statistics, 2019).

#5. CBT Therapist:

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) therapist helps individuals manage their problems by changing the way they think and behave.

It’s most commonly used to treat anxiety and depression, but can be useful for other mental and physical health problems.

#6. Child Therapist

A child therapist helps a child talk through feelings and solve their problems. basically, a therapists that works with a child gives praise and support as kids learn.

They help kids believe in themselves and find their strengths.

In conclusion, what a therapist does totally relies upon what sort of therapist they are, and what their clinical direction is.

However, the work of a therapist for the most part comprises of assisting people with improving their degrees of prosperity, improving their working in various everyday issues, regardless of whether passionate, social, word related, physical, or mental.

What Makes a Good Therapist?

Being a therapist or counsellor requires some basic skills. You can learn a lot during your studies and training to become a therapist; others that you may have learned in different areas of your life.

You must abide by the ethical codes of therapists in order to provide first-rate services to the people you treat in therapy. Understanding the common elements of good therapy can also help you.

A therapist’s main role comprises of understanding a client’s problem effectively and to build up a treatment plan cooperatively with the client.

In other words, a therapist needs to be very observant attentive to details, so they can pick up relevant statements any client states.

This oblige a therapist to be clever and adaptable so they can treat their customers in an individualized manner dependent on what their customers need and can do.

Also, a therapist should have a strong communication skill to discuss adequately with a client to be able to figure out what the client need during their therapy session. To achieve this, it requires tolerance and listening abilities as therapists need to comprehend what a client’s problem is before they can begin treating it.

According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, 2019, the characteristics that are useful for a therapist to have includes:

  • analytical skills,
  • communication skills,
  • compassion,
  • flexibility,
  • interpersonal skills,
  • leadership skills,
  • listening skills,
  • observational skills,
  • organization,
  • patience,
  • resourcefulness,
  • speaking skills, and
  • writing skills.

Finally, a therapists without a degree should put great effort to acquire these skills, because this is what will set you apart from others. Let your experience tell the story of your skills. This common skill is vital in any therapy session. So, utilize it well.

How to Become a Therapist Without a Degree

It’s almost unlikely to become a therapist without a degree.

Because in the US, you must have a bachelor degree in psychology or a related field to take up a therapist career.

There are different types of therapist, but if you wish to counsel people with psychological or emotional issues, then you must have the right education, training and experience.

Anything outside this is considered illegal and it is wrong and jail sensitive to call yourself a therapist, psychologist or psychiatrist and to do psychological counselling without the proper education and trainings.

Although, in some countries it is not illegal, they frown against it and it is certainly false advertising.

However, if you don’t have a psychology degree, there are steps you can take and still become a therapist at the end. We’ll show you how to achieve this.

If you follow these steps written down here, then get ready to kick start your career any time soon.

#1. Do a Psychology Conversion Course

Having an undergraduate degree can be a good start for anyone who wants to become a therapist without a psychology degree. Such individual can go for a psychology conversion course.

You can convert your degree by completing a psychology conversion diploma (PGDip) or take an MSc course.

Schools like Birkbeck offers two accredited psychology conversion courses, the Postgraduate Diploma and the Psychology MSc. The both are basically for candidates with an undergraduate degree in another area.

It takes one year and two years to complete the full time and part time programs respectively.

Once you’ve gotten the conversion degree, you can choose to follow any field of psychology career you wish, such as Counselling Psychology, Forensic Psychology, or Clinical Psychology.

Becoming a therapist once you have this degree will be quite easy. Although each of them requires you to study further before practicing, there are opportunities for employment and practice in this field.

#2. Go for an Online Psychology Program

Online programs is another route to take to become a therapist in a short time.

Schools like Manchester Metropolitan University offers several online courses you can take for your career.

Their courses can be completed in 12 months for full time and two years for part time. Depending on the pace you choose, you can easily gain your certificate through this route.

Entry requirements are not difficult. Just have an undergraduate certificate of any art related field and you will be good to go.


Becoming a therapist can be life-fulfilling especially when you get to work with a lot of broken persons, who you can help get their life back on track. It is a career meant to be selfless and joyful.

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