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Child Therapy Careers in Virginia

When most Virginia residents think of child therapists, they likely think of clinical child therapists, which are the most common types of therapists practicing in the state and in most other states throughout the nation. However, what these people don't realize is that child therapists work in a wide variety of other capacities and positions. Clinical therapists are just one type in a vast web of many different professions, all of which have the same goal in mind: to better the lives of children and thus to create a better future for the world at large.

So, before you start your educational path toward becoming a child therapist, make sure that you take a look at all of the different career options you have available to you. Even if you're already working in the field and starting to feel a little disillusioned or burnt out, then you might consider a switch to a different area of child therapy. Not knowing what else is out there is an easy way to miss out on some truly wonderful opportunities that could potentially bring you great happiness, success, and personal fulfillment in your life. As they say, you'll never know until you try, and in this case, you'll never know until you do some exploring!

As mentioned above, clinical child therapists are by far the most common professionals working in the field. These individuals hold at least a master's degree in child therapy or a highly related area, with some even having their doctorate degrees. They must also be licensed by the state. Clinical child therapists might work in their own practices or they might work in the practices of other professionals in the field. Sometimes, they might even partner with other professionals in order to open up private practices. Their job is to diagnose mental illnesses, learning disorders, personality or emotional disorders and the like when necessary in their clients. They also develop treatment plans or plans of action to help their clients to achieve certain goals or just an all around betterment of their young lives. They work with their clients in one on one or family sessions, usually a combination of both, often utilizing talk therapy, play therapy, art therapy and more to reach them. They are responsible for reporting suspected child abuse and/or neglect to the proper authorities and for making referrals to other professionals when they feel they are unable to adequately help a particular client.

Another type of child therapist working in the state is child therapy specialists. These professionals work in much the same way as clinical therapists, meaning that they diagnose their patients and help them to work through their own unique challenges. However, they do this only with certain types of patients. A specialist child therapist, for example, might only work with children going through the divorce or death of a parent, or with those patients suffering from eating disorders, emotional disorders, and so on. Generally, these therapists have completed a great amount of additional, specialized study in their area of expertise in addition to having at least a general master's degree. They must also be licensed by the state.

Child therapists also work in the school system. They may perform more entry level positions, such as therapy assisting or classroom problem solvers, with only bachelor's degrees, but most will have their master's degrees or higher. Their job is to single out and help those students who are not performing well in school or who are exhibiting behavioral or emotional problems. Alternately, students may be referred to the therapist by teachers or other staff. In some cases, students may also come to the therapists of their own accord. The job of the child therapist is to protect the school and other students from possible harm, to help all students to enjoy a better learning experience in a safe and caring environment, and to protect children from any type of emotional, physical, or sexual abuse or neglect by reporting suspected cases to the proper authorities.

These three careers are just a few of the many aspects in which qualified therapists may choose to work. If none of them sound just right for you, keep researching! We guarantee you can find one that is.