What does a Clinical Therapist do?

Learn all about Clinical Therapist duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Clinical Therapist.

Photo of Brenna Goyette
Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 3 min read

A clinical therapist is a professional who provides counseling and therapy to patients in order to treat mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders. Clinical therapists use a variety of techniques to help their patients, including individual and group therapy, family counseling, and cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Clinical Therapist job duties include:

  • Assesses patient needs and develops treatment plans
  • Provides individual, group, and family therapy
  • Conducts diagnostic interviews
  • Develops therapeutic relationships with patients
  • Promotes patients’ strengths and resilience
  • Teaches patients coping and problem-solving skills
  • Addresses patients’ immediate needs
  • Links patients to community resources
  • Documents patient progress
  • Collaborates with other members of the treatment team

Clinical Therapist Job Requirements

A Clinical Therapist typically needs a Master's degree in Counseling, Psychology, or a related field. Many states also require Clinical Therapists to be licensed. In addition to education and certification, Clinical Therapists need several years of experience working with clients in a clinical setting.

Clinical Therapist Skills

  • Patience
  • Active Listening
  • Empathy
  • Nonverbal Communication
  • Problem-Solving
  • Critical Thinking
  • Stress Management
  • Flexibility
  • Emotional Regulation
  • Compassion
  • Culturally Competent

Related: Top Clinical Therapist Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Clinical Therapist

A clinical therapist is a mental health professional who provides therapy to patients. There are many different types of clinical therapists, including counselors, psychologists, and psychiatrists. To become a clinical therapist, you will need to earn a master’s or doctoral degree in counseling, psychology, or psychiatry. Once you have earned your degree, you will need to obtain a license to practice in your state.

If you are interested in becoming a clinical therapist, the first step is to earn a bachelor’s degree in psychology, counseling, or a related field. Once you have earned your bachelor’s degree, you will need to complete a master’s or doctoral program in counseling, psychology, or psychiatry. After completing your graduate program, you will need to obtain a license to practice in your state.

Related: Clinical Therapist Resume Example

Related: Clinical Therapist Interview Questions (With Example Answers)