Career Story: Psychotherapist In Private Practice

Psychotherapist In Private Practice

Job Title: Psychotherapist With Individuals And Couples

Type of Company: I am self-employed and work with individuals and couples, usually meeting on a weekly basis.

Education: BA, Psychology, University of Pennsylvania •• MS, Rehab Counseling, University of Florida •• MSW, Simmons Graduate School of Social Work (Boston, MA)

Previous Experience: I worked as a clinician at a mental health clinic with varied diagnostic populations.

Job Tasks: I now help those who seek my services to learn how to resolve emotional and relationship problems, such as conflict with spouse, child, parent, authority. Patients review the concerns, complaints or symptoms that are interfering with their ability to put their lives in order. Starting out, I review their family and personal histories to get a sense of how their problems have developed, and ask if there are ways they've been successful in the past in resolving problems.

I have occasionally worked with teenagers whose parents are concerned about their behavior or performance in school. It is important to find out if this is the patient's concern or his parents'. I see women who have self-esteem issues associated with job difficulties or conflicts with friends or family. I also help people who suffer from depression and anxiety, suggesting tools they can use to fight these disorders. I help to point out cognitive distortions that are signs of depression, and teach breathing exercises to assist in calming in order to clarify thinking.

Most sessions last about an hour, and generally, we meet weekly. I am presently working 17 direct-service hours, but that varies from week to week. However, along with sessions, I spend time keeping records to assist in planning the future sessions. I may also contact other professionals for advice.

I meet weekly with colleagues to consult about various cases. I also attend professional seminars to broaden my knowledge base.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is engaging directly with an individual or family, and learning about them; then being able to assist them understand themselves better. Even though I sit for long periods in a day, and the setting isn't varied, I meet so many interesting people that I feel very energized.

The worst part is report writing and filling out insurance forms, which I must do to get paid!!

Job Tips: It is important to work in a variety of settings with varied populations before grad school. I did volunteer work in high school and college, and had summer employment in a school for delinquent girls.

Graduate training is necessary to be licensed, but more importantly, to actively learn from others with more experience. I learned how to be empathetic without getting overwhelmed by the problems that face people.

Private practice should follow after some years of agency, public or hospital work. But keep studying even when your are self-employed, and share information and concerns with colleagues.

Additional Thoughts: Connecting emotionally with others, curiosity about how people work and the infinite variety of self-expression is what has been most important for me. Wanting to help others is not enough and can even get in the way.

Popular Schools offering Psychology Programs

quickinfoClick the Visit School Site buttons to go directly to a school's website and learn more about the school and programs it has to offer. School website will open in a new tab. .

Click the Request Info buttons to request more information from a representative at the school

Matching School Ads

Join the community of thought leaders at University of the Rockies. Pursue your graduate degree from the University’s School of Professional Psychology or School of Organizational Leadership.

  • Programs: MA in Psychology, General Psychology, MA in Psychology, Health and Wellness Psychology , Doctor of Psychology, Sports and Performance Psychology, more...
  • Degrees: Master, Doctorate

Pursue your education at Ohio Christian University.

  • Programs: Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
  • Degrees: Bachelor

Pursue a certificate, master, or doctorate degree in Psychology at The Chicago School for Professional Psychology.

  • Programs: M.S. Applied Behavior Analysis, Ph.D. Business Psychology, Consulting Track, Ph.D. Business Psychology, I/O Track, more...
  • Degrees: Master, Doctorate
Argosy University
Ontario, Orange, Phoenix, San Diego

Welcome to Argosy University

Argosy University offers doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs to students through its eight colleges:  College of Behavioral Sciences, Graduate School of Business and Management, College of Education,  College of Health Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Creative Arts and Design, College of Clinical Psychology and Western State College of Law at Argosy University as well as certificate programs in many areas.

  • Programs: Psychology (BA), Psychology (BA) (Online), Clinical Psychology (PsyD), more...
  • Degrees: Bachelor, Doctorate, Master

Established in 1897, Bradley University is a private, independent institution of higher learning in Peoria, Illinois. Inspired by our founder, notable philanthropist Lydia Moss Bradley, we pursue excellence in teaching, research, scholarship and service; and we celebrate leadership, integrity, diversity and collaborative learning.

  • Programs: Online Master of Arts in Counseling - Professional School Counseling (PSC)
  • Degrees: Master

Recognized by the U.S. News and World Report for: Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s 2017, Best Online Programs, Grad Education 2017 and Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s for Veterans 2017

  • Programs: Sports Counseling (Certificate) - Online
  • Degrees: Certificate
Matching School Ads

Additional Career Stories for Clinical Psychologists

The inside stories from people actually working in the field.
Click a story title to show the story, and click the title again to hide it.

All Types

You are visiting:

Find a school near you

What are Career Stories?

Career Stories are concise, real-world career overviews written by people relating their personal career experiences and wisdom. They provide invaluable insights and mentoring advice to students and career changers.

Most stories include:

  • a typical day or project
  • tips and advice
  • best and worst parts
  • educational background
  • previous experience

Browse hundreds of Career Stories

More Details On This Career

Please also see our detailed information about Clinical Psychologists, including:

Back to Top
SPEAK TO AN ADVISOR 1.844.285.6104