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Things to Consider Before Becoming Addiction Therapists in Pennsylvania

If you think that you would enjoy a career as an addiction therapist in the state of Pennsylvania, then it's important that you find out more about this career and its demands before you start down any kind of educational or career path. To be blunt, a job in addiction therapy is simply not for everyone. Many people go into it with the best of intentions, usually because they want to help others, but then quickly find that they are simply not cut out for a position in the field. To keep this from happening to you, we've provided you with a few things to think about and consider before choosing a job as an addiction therapist.

First of all, ask yourself if you're prepared to follow the educational course that your desired job will set for you? This can be as easy a course as obtaining a two year associate's degree or as difficult a course as obtaining a master's degree or higher. Whatever job you are interested in will have its own set of educational requirements and may or may not require you to seek licensure and/or accreditation as well, even after you graduate. So, yes, a job in the field does require quite a bit of hard work and dedication before you even start to actually work, so make sure you're prepared for this and willing to see it through.

You should also take a good look at your own personality and character traits and at your individual strengths and weaknesses. The ideal person for this job will be compassionate, kind, caring, a good listener, patient, well organized, and emotionally and mentally healthy. Individuals who are not emotionally or mentally healthy often have a great deal of difficulty dealing with the stress that interactions with such disturbed and troubled patients puts on them. As an addiction therapist, you walk a fine line between caring about and for your patients and leaving your work life at work. If you tend to carry your work home with you and cannot distance yourself from it, you'll likely get frustrated and burnt out very easily.

If you think you can handle all this, then there's another thing that you need to be prepared for. Your job, in short, will be extremely demanding. Depending on where you work, you might have very odd hours or even be on call for days or several hours at a time. It is not uncommon for you to get called into work when you least expect it. This is often to deal with an emergency or to handle some other problem that has come up. This is one of the downsides to the job, and it's something to seriously ask yourself if you're willing to put up with. Once you have a spouse and children, it often gets even more difficult.

The good news, however, is that some people truly are caught out for this difficult job. And, as difficult as it is, it also proves to be an incredibly rewarding experience for many. If you are well suited to a career as an addiction therapist and enjoy what you do, you will likely find the job to be both personally and financially rewarding. Addiction therapy positions tend to pay quite well for all of that work they put you through, so it's definitely not in vain. Also, you'll be able to go to sleep each night with the knowledge that you are helping others to improve their lies and that you are doing something truly meaningful with your own life. That's not something you get from most jobs!

So, in the end, it's up to you to decide whether you think a career in addiction therapy is right for you and, if so, which one you will want to pursue. We suggest spending a great deal of time reading up on different careers in the field and taking part in internships, other forms of experiential learning, or even job shadowing whenever possible. That way, you can get a realistic feel for what different professionals do in the field and, hopefully, can find the perfect fit for you.