How to Become an Adolescent Therapist


Being a therapist is a profession that not only takes a lot of hard work to achieve, but also to keep up in your everyday life, especially when specializing in adolescents on a daily basis.

The adolescent mind is one that is tricky to comprehend. It is not as young, observant and malleable as a child’s mind, yet does not possess a great amount of maturity and comprehension as found in the adult mind. Your adolescent years were hard enough, but imagine vicariously living through your client’s adolescent lives over and over again. It’s certainly no easy task.

That being said, the art of psychology and the study of the mind are certainly fascinating when specializing in adolescent clients. However, as previously stated, it definitely does take a lot of hard work.

Work Environment

Your training (which will be explained in the following paragraphs) will give you an overall license for psychology as a whole, which will ultimately allow you to work virtually anywhere that psychologists work at such as private practices, clinics, hospitals, and etc. However, if you want to work where adolescent psychiatry is specialized, you range can broaden to family counseling clinics, schools, after school programs, camps, and etc. It just depends what feels right with you.



As with any career in this field, you must begin by obtaining a bachelors degree in the field of psychology. In your courses, you will learn a great deal about child psychology, but it is in your final and further years of training that you will take courses that specialize specifically on the adolescent mind.

When selecting a school to attend, make sure to do your research to make sure that you select a school that has a great psychology program. This will help you out later when you attend graduate school and when you ultimately get a job.

After your undergraduate degree is completed, it is highly recommended to also obtain a graduate degree with coursework and specialization in adolescent studies. This is the time that you hone in on what you specifically want to study and gain quite a bit of knowledge about it.


Your training period will occur in graduate school with various kinesthetic pieces of work that will really help you get a grasp on what life will be like once you are officially an adolescent therapist in the professional world. The cycle of training is dependent upon which graduate program you choose to take, so make sure that you do your research to assure yourself that you have selected the best one for you.


Once you have obtained the proper degrees and training required, you will be tested for and awarded. Every test and certification process is different and specific to the state in which you are hoping to get certification in. You should also be administered a test to receive a national license for practice, which is overseen by The National Board for Certified Counselors. This is a huge written test that is composed of varying types of difficult questions in your field. This will certify you nationwide for the entirety of your career (as long as you renew and keep your certifications up to date).

Other Necessary Skills

As with any therapist, the necessary skills that one must possess in order to be successful in this field are effective communication skills, confidence, passion, and the ability to be compassionate without going too far.

Specifically for adolescent therapy, you definitely need a great deal of patience and the ability to transpose “adult” language into a conversational way that teenagers can effectively comprehend. A warm smile is something that can bring wonders to your work, as simple as that may seem.


According to Simply Hired, the average salary for an adolescent therapist is around $43,000 a year. This is around the average for what anyone in a therapy profession will make, but of course, your ultimate salary will depend where you are working at.

Job Outlook

Becoming a therapist, as state previously, is no easy task. Even once you have begun working I the field; it is still an ongoing labor of hard work. However, if you are passionate about what you are doing, than it is worth the time and effort that go in to this. Your salary can be what you make of it, so always keep progressing further and further up the ladders of this field; there will always be teens that need guidance.

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