Becoming a Pediatric Therapist

The world and day-to-day living can be tough to navigate sometimes. Therapists and counselors can help people deal with stress, anxiety, and mental health issues. Being a kid is no easier than being an adult, and little ones have their own problems to deal with.

Pediatric counselors, therapists, and clinicians have challenging, yet rewarding jobs. Helping children with the many issues they face and putting them on the road to good mental health and growing up to be happy, productive adults is a noble and worthwhile endeavor.

How does one become a pediatric therapist?

Pediatric Therapist Education Requirements

Children can be helped by pediatric counselors, therapists, and psychologists. Their areas of expertise overlap, and they share many clinician resources but each has specific requirements. The path to pediatric therapist begins with earning a bachelor’s degree in social work, psychology, or education. Which of these the candidate chooses depends on where they wish to work, at a school, private practice, or a clinic.

After earning a bachelor’s, the aspiring therapist enters a master’s program. The area of concentration will be counseling, social work, psychology, or a related field. Some future therapists will go on to earn a doctorate. When entering an advanced degree program in counseling, it’s important to make sure it is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counselling and Related Educational Programs

While earning degrees, a therapy student will work with children under the supervision of a licensed therapist to gain experience and the hours of work needed to become licensed themselves. Many schools and clinics require 2 to 3 years of experience before they will hire a therapist. This is a good way to get that.

Pediatric Therapy Licensing

In order to work as a pediatric therapist, one must be licensed in the state in which one plans to practice. Requirements vary from state to state but generally proof of education and supervised work experience must be provided. Some states also specify a number of hours of continuing education that must be completed.

There is also a comprehensive exam that must be passed, and many states require a criminal background check. Upon completing each step and passing the exam, the new therapist receives a license and can work in that state.

Pediatric Therapy Skills and Attributes

Working with children can be difficult and not everyone is cut out for it. There are certain skills and attributes a pediatric therapist must have to be successful. The first of these is a strong desire to help others, specifically children. Patience and empathy are must-haves.

Critical thinking and communication skills are also essential. Good listening and an interest in the emotional and behavioral problems many children deal with are vital as well. Many of these skills take considerable time to fully develop.

Become a Pediatric Therapist Today!

Helping others can be a rewarding way to make a living. Children in particular need plenty of help. The path to pediatric therapist is long and challenging but the chance to help children grow and develop into healthy adults makes it worth the journey for many.