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What it Takes to Become a Behavioral Therapist in Wisconsin

A lot of people in the state of Wisconsin dream of becoming behavioral therapists, but a very select few of them will actually have what it takes to make their career dreams a reality. It is our hope that you can be one of those people, which is why it is important for you to understand, upfront, what will be required of you in order to meet with success in the behavioral therapy field. Ultimately, you will need to possess the right combination of education, experience, and personal inclination in order to meet with success in the field.

Since education is definitely the most vital part to being able to work as a behavioral therapist, let us start there. In order to actually practice therapy legally, you will be required to have at least a master’s degree from an accredited college or university. The good thing about this is that master’s degree programs do not require your undergraduate degree to be related. This means that you can obtain your master’s degree without starting over from the beginning even if you had a different major as an undergraduate. Many behavioral therapists will also go on to earn their PhDs, which will afford them more career opportunities in the field and a higher pay.

You might be confused by a lot of the promises colleges will make you about what you can do with a bachelor’s degree or an associate’s degree. The truth of the matter is, however, that these degrees are essentially worthless in the behavioral therapy field. While a bachelor’s degree can enable you to work very few and very entry level positions, you will not be considered an actual therapist with such a low level degree. So, commit yourself to at least five to six years of education in order to be a successful behavioral therapist.

A lot of people think that once they have completed their educations, all of the hard work is over, but the truth is that it’s just beginning! After graduating from college, you will need to gain experience in the field if you have not done so already. The best and most effective way to accomplish this is by completing an internship. The internship should be as closely related to the job that you ultimately wish to have as possible. It may be paid or unpaid, but either way, should always be treated very seriously. Internships can lead to jobs at the place where the internship was completed, or they can lead to very important connections in the field.

In addition to your education and your internship, you will also need to seek licensure to become a licensed therapist and to practice therapy. Many educational programs will offer a combination licensure, but in some cases, you will have to take care of licensing on your own. Make sure you understand which kind of an institution yours is so that you will not be left disappointed or unable to practice due to not having a license.

 Remember that even with all the training and accreditation in the world, you will not enjoy or be successful at behavioral therapy if you are not cut out for it! Being a behavioral therapist is a demanding and time consuming job that can be both physically and emotionally draining for the vast majority of people. In order to ensure success with behavioral therapy, you’ll want to be a strong, hard working, ethical individual who loves helping others and who is capable of distancing oneself from the stresses of work and the emotional problems of others while still being compassionate and sympathetic. If you possess these traits and are willing to work hard at your goals, then you will be successful!

Finally, keep in mind that you will be responsible for keeping on top of the latest developments and news in the field of behavioral therapy and psychology. Continuing education is important for success as a therapist and is required to maintain your licensure status. So, be prepared to be a lifetime learner! Every day should be treated as an opportunity to grow and to learn more about your chosen field of interest.