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Choosing psychotherapy as a career

By Tyvon Foster


I’ve noticed that scores of people (in practice and personal life)  struggle with choosing a career that best suits their interest. I figure to share my experience to facilitate some assistance. Hopefully this post will give some of you ideas, or at the very least, help the wheels begin to turn.

To be frank, I have always saw myself practicing therapy since my adolescent years. At some point in my youth (not exactly sure when), the idea shared was to choose a career you’d love so that you never work a day in your life. At the time, I whole heartedly believed the saying to be true. At the time, it made complete sense. As a result, I started considering what are things that I enjoy or things that I have a natural proclivity to. I had a few interest that I enjoyed, but the one thing I noticed I had a natural cleaning towards was to help others. Since childhood, I had tendencies of being compassionate and thinking of others needs (although there have been times I fell short of doing so). I then figured, how can I turn this proclivity into a career? What would I enjoy the most? What would be meaningful to me? At this point in my life, I was receiving therapy myself. When I took notice to the effect therapy had, I instantly enveloped myself. I was also fascinated by psychological processes and our unconscious motivations. I knew immediately that psychotherapy was for me. 

If I told you that I didn’t stray from psychotherapy as a career, I would not be completely honest with you. While making strides to attain the goal, I developed interest in other career paths including education and athletics. Both careers, I highly respect and will always recognize the merit and contribution they have on our society. However, I always chose psychotherapy without a second thought. As a consequence, I remained diligent in my pursuit of this career.

If you find yourself struggling to choose a career path for you, do not worry. You may not always know and that is ok. Begin to consider your strengths and personality, and what will be meaningful to you. The truth is the answer you will find my not be the answer at all. In this case, be open to the possibility that your exploration will lead you towards another career path. It is always better to take a step in any direction than to stay in place, as success in life is never a linear path.