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Where to train as a therapist? 6 recommendations to choose

Where to train as a therapist? 6 recommendations to choose

April 4, 2024

The learning trajectory necessary to engage in psychotherapy is not always clear. Depending on the place of residence of each one, the regulation in the exercise of the Psychology of each country, and the motivations and needs that move us, we must find a way to enter that professional field by going to the training centers that more match what we want to do.

It is not just a matter of studying hard and well; In addition, we must find a training institution that measures up to what we need to become the psychologists we want to become. So ... where to train as a therapist?

In this article we will see several tips on how to choose the centers in which to train to be psychotherapists, and the way in which we can estimate their quality.


  • Related article: "Types of psychological therapies"

Where to train as a therapist: how to choose where to study

Training to practice psychotherapy is not easy, especially considering the wide variety of knowledge and skills needed to work in this field of health. The type of training required to intervene psychologically in patients it must cover wide facets of human behavior and the mental processes involved in them, something that can hardly be achieved without the guidance and supervision of experts in the field.

On the other hand, it is precisely the fact that there is a wide range of knowledge to learn which makes many students feel lost at the time of proposing to progress in their training career. After all, among many thematic areas it is difficult to find a line to follow to go internalizing sequentially subjects that help us understand the functioning of psychological therapy, establishing new knowledge about those we have already made ours.


Fortunately, and although to get to dedicate to psychotherapy it is necessary to adapt the line of studies to the unique interests that define us as individuals, in general lines it is possible to find a series of criteria that can guide us when making decisions about where study to become a psychologist. These fundamental criteria are the following.

1. Check the clarity of the offered agenda

If a training center does not offer a summary of the contents that are going to be treated throughout its courses, that should be a first warning signal. Transparency regarding the type of subjects that will be taught in the classes it is something fundamental, and what we should support to know if that option is adapted to our needs.

2. Make sure they offer quality practices

It is essential not to limit oneself to learning in relation to theory. In something as changeable and flexible as human behavior, it takes much more than the knowledge obtained in books: you have to get used to carrying out practical cases that put our skills to the test in real time, in the most realistic contexts possible and more similar to the professional day to day that allows the formative context.


There are centers that offer practices by referring students to other organizations in which students can practice cases of psychological intervention on patients. However, in this aspect, the centers that make it possible to do internships without having to go to another center are even better; that is, with patients from the place where they are constantly learning. In this way, both theory and practice are better integrated , and a better correspondence is possible between what is explained and discussed in the classrooms and what is seen in the cases treated with real patients.

An example of this is the Master's Degree in Integrative Psychotherapy of the Mensalus Institute (Barcelona), which offers both internships with patients from the center itself and classes and observation in which psychotherapists attend these people who come to the consultation, with the students being placed behind a glass that hides them (in spite of that the patient knows he is being observed).

In these cases, several types of learning that have to do with solving real-time problems : one of them placing the students in the center of the action, and the other leaving them a space to consult about what they are seeing.

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3. Pay attention to the paradigms that are part of

The training centers you go to must be based on a clearly scientific conception of what psychology is. That means that it is necessary that base their teachings on well-constructed research with the pretension to create knowledge applicable to many contexts and to prove falsifiable facts and easy to test from other research teams.

In this sense, it is important that the bulk of the contents to be learned be based on the cognitive-behavioral paradigm, which is the one with the most evidence of efficacy.

4. Review your student care options

It is very common that during a course there are incidents, doubts or small problems related to the availability to attend a class, the scoring system or the need to contact teachers to answer important questions.

For this reason, it is key to learn about the type of orientation to the students offered by the centers, especially through the Internet .

5. Check your schedule compatibility options

Especially in postgraduate studies, it is good to assess the possibility of studying these studies without schedules overlap with other things , in a way that adapts to the other responsibilities that students of this profile usually have. For example, if to attend class you have to go to class at widely separated times, investing almost all day in dedicating three hours of class, that will possibly wear us out and keep us away from the resolution of other needs.

6. Pay attention to the type of therapy in which it is formed

Do not get carried away by what others do: if you are interested in a specific type of therapeutic intervention, do not be afraid to choose a center that places more emphasis on that kind of training . Of course, assess the risks of learning only about one type of therapy, taking into account the context in which you plan to work and the amount of competition that will be. The ideal is not to lose a general perspective of psychotherapy applied to a certain variety of health alterations, even if the focus is on two or three specific problems.


What's the DIFFERENCE? Choosing YOUR Mental Health Professional (April 2024).


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