Job Description for Psychotherapist
A psychotherapist assists individuals, families and specific groups to help with identifying trauma and psychological issues that may be affecting their lives on an emotional, behavioral and/or psychological level. Understanding inner conflicts as well as processing a patient's emotions, behaviors and thought patterns are among the responsibilities of a psychotherapist. A psychotherapist works with a variety of therapy methods, including hypo-psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy and even humanistic and integrative psychotherapy. Scheduling individual and group therapy sessions is an important duty of psychotherapists, allowing multiple options for those who are seeking counseling and advice of any kind.Read More...
Working as a psychotherapist requires the ability to empathize with patients and communicate effectively while analyzing patients extremely carefully to ensure that any psychological trauma is handled appropriately. A psychotherapist must be an active listener at all times while knowing how to properly document any erratic behavior or feelings that a patient may be expressing. Studying a wide range of behavioral disorders, brain dysfunctions and patterns in the human mind is required when working toward becoming a professional psychotherapist as a career. Psychotherapists are also responsible for managing further treatment options and available medications as well as therapy opportunities on an individual basis. Referring patients to community groups and providing referrals to additional counselors or behavioral studies are also included among the responsibilities of a psychotherapist. Staying up to date with the latest research and developments in therapy techniques, newly released medications and human behavior and emotions is a requirement for anyone who is looking to work as a psychotherapist full-time.
- Manage caseload and documentation.
- Provide for referrals and community contacts.
- Counsel individuals, groups or families to help them understand problems and develop treatment plans.
- Identify psychological, emotional or behavioral issues and diagnose disorders.
Common Career Paths for Psychotherapist
Though not the most common occurrence, Psychotherapists sometimes become Clinical Directors, where the average income is $72K per year. Given that the median pay is $52K, it may be surprising to find that a Licensed Clinical Social Worker is the most common role for Psychotherapists to subsequently assume on their way up the ladder. Transitioning into a Clinical Psychologist role — which pays $71K — is also typical for Psychotherapists, though less common by comparison.
Clinical Therapist Job Listings
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Popular Skills for Psychotherapist
Psychotherapists report using a pretty varied skill set on the job. Most notably, skills in Bilingual, Clinical Psychology, Counseling, and Group Therapy are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that pay less than market rate include Spanish Language, Diagnosis and Treatment Planning, and Group Therapy. Most people familiar with Clinical Psychology also know Spanish Language.
Pay by Experience Level for Psychotherapist
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
For Psychotherapists, more experience in the field does not usually mean bigger paychecks. People who have worked for fewer than five years bring home $50K on average. Median compensation in the five-to-10 year group, however, is higher at approximately $56K. Psychotherapists see a median salary of $68K after reaching one to two decades on the job. People who have worked for more than 20 years report a median income of $74K, which is barely higher than the median for folks with 10 to 20 years of experience.
Pay Difference by Location
For those looking to make money, Psychotherapists in Houston enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 37 percent above the national average. Psychotherapists will also find cushy salaries in Los Angeles (+20 percent) and Boston (+8 percent). Place of residence plays a huge part in a Psychotherapist's salary, with Chicago Psychotherapists earning salaries that are 24 percent less than the national average. Employers in Boulder and Baltimore also lean toward paying below-median salaries (23 percent lower and 21 percent lower, respectively).