Do you want a career where you help others overcome their problems? If so, you may be wondering what it takes to become a therapist or counselor. However, what if you don’t have a college degree? Here’s how to become a therapist without a degree and an overview of your career options.
How to Become a Counselor Without a Degree
Before we begin, it’s important to note that many counseling positions which involve mental health require at least a master’s degree. However, this isn’t necessarily the case with every type of counseling. Here are some steps you can take toward becoming a counselor without a degree.
1. Figure Out What Type of Counseling Doesn’t Require a Degree in Your State
If you want to know how to become a therapist without a degree, the first step is to look up the requirements for your state. Every state has its own licensing requirements for anyone working as a counselor. While some positions require extensive training and education, others don’t.
In fact, the most popular counseling-related jobs without a degree include:
- Social service assistant,
- Substance abuse counselor,
- Teacher’s assistant,
- Psychiatric technician,
- Peer counselor, and
- Career services provider.
While some of these positions function as assistants for licensed counselors, the work is often similar. You still get to work with people who need advice or guidance and point them in the right direction.
2. Consider Potential Certifications
In some states, certification programs help prospective counselors gain the necessary skills and experience to work.
However, these programs typically apply to the careers listed above rather than school or mental health counseling. For example, Mental Health America offers certification as a National Certified Peer Specialist (NCPS) for those interested in peer counseling.
For this credential, a candidate must:
- Have a current state certification with 40 or more hours of training OR complete an MHA-approved training;
- Have 3,000 or more hours of supervised work or volunteer experience in peer support programs;
- Provide a professional letter of recommendation; and
- Provide a supervisory letter of recommendation.
In most states, this certification requires only a high school diploma or GED, making it ideal for those with no degree.
Another similar certification exists for those interested in providing career services. The National Career Development Association (NCDA) offers a certification as a Career Services Provider (CCSP), allowing you to offer career services as coach, advisor, trainer, or resume writer.
3. Take an Introductory Course to Counseling
If you’re unsure about what kind of career you want to pursue in counseling, consider taking a course. This is a great opportunity for those who aren’t sure if counseling is right for them and saves money when it comes to tuition. Typically, these courses include foundations of social psychology, professional ethics, and evidence-based practice.
Interested in Learning More About Counseling? Enroll in Stratford’s Psychology/Social Work Course
Still thinking about how to become a therapist without a degree? At Stratford Career Institute, we offer an introductory course covering the basics of both psychology and social work.
While becoming a social worker of any kind typically requires a degree, this course is helpful for those who want to know more about the work before enrolling in a college program. Enroll today or contact us for more information.
Become a Counselor Today!
Stratford Career Institute offers a convenient and affordable online course to teach you the basics of psychology and social work.