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Becoming a Group Therapist

As with any professional designation, one must start with school, and lots of it. There are many schools that offer psychological training and it is important to do plenty of research into which schools will offer the best route that will lead you to group therapy. As group therapy is more of a method than a specialization, it is not going to be innate to the psychotherapy training to get a more group therapy biased education. Often, group therapists are people who entered school without considering group therapy as a career and ended up in it because of the way that their training was focused.

With a great training in group therapy during your schooling, you will be put in a great position to get internships in group therapy as well. The hand on training provided by an internship that is more focused on group therapy rather than one on one will allow you the skills necessary to continue into group therapy once you have completed your schooling requirements. Also, there is a great deal that can be learned while practicing group therapy under the tutelage of some of the professionals that avail themselves to interns.

I’ve graduated. Now what?

Upon completing your schooling, and receiving your degree. You will need to get your license and certification. This will be the best time to consider where you would like to plant some roots in the group therapy world. Licenses tend to be based upon state requirements so whichever state you get licensed in, you should also practice in for some time. As many different states offer a number of different salary ranges and practice offerings, this is something that must be researched significantly. The pace of life at different hospitals or while pursuing your own practice will vary greatly depending on the state that you choose to practice in.

Once you have selected the right place for you to practice, you must gain your license with that state and then pursue certification. To gain your license, you will most likely have to take a test and then pay a fee to apply for the actual piece of paper. License requirements change from state to state though so you will need to look into the requirements for the specific place you are interested in landing.

With your license, any other professional designations you may need to specialize your degree to a certain type of group therapy (alcohol addiction, child behavior etc). You will be ready to become a certified group therapist with the American Group Psychotherapy Association (AGPA). They will need all of the documentation of your degree, your license, and all your professional designations, as well as so many hours of experience in group therapy, with some of it supervised. Once you have the certification, the license, and the degree, you are ready to finally take advantage of the wonderful rewarding career that is group therapy. The first step is just going to sites like this to find all of the information necessary to start you on your career.