Therapist Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Therapist, or Counsellor delivers therapeutic treatment to individuals, couples and families to help them overcome challenges. Their duties include meeting with clients to help identify and treat emotional and psychological problems, provide exercises and tools to help break negative patterns of thinking and assist patients in communicating more effectively.

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Therapist duties and responsibilities

Therapists duties vary depending on the setting in which they work or the type of client that they see, but tend to include:

  • Establishing relationships with clients
  • Promoting and supporting their clients’ mental health
  • Maintaining detailed and accurate records of each session with a client
  • Creating treatment plans for each individual in their care
  • Conducting assessments of each client’s progress
  • Working with clients’ families to help them offer the most appropriate support
  • Maintaining a working knowledge of the latest therapeutic techniques
  • Making referrals to other agencies or health professionals
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What does a Therapist do?

Therapists conduct regular sessions with their clients to help them to overcome mental health problems such as negative thoughts or behaviour patterns. They also work with them to address sources of stress and anxiety and develop coping strategies to help clients improve their personal and professional relationships. Therapists can specialise in certain types of clients such as children, families, individuals with eating disorders or other specific issues. Some Therapists specialise in specific problems such as substance abuse, managing chronic pain or coping with trauma.

Therapist skills and qualifications

To provide the most effective treatment for their clients, Therapists need a range of skills. A successful Therapist will also have various prerequisite skills and qualifications that typically include:

  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Strong organisational and time management skills
  • The ability to maintain a calm and professional demeanour even in stressful situations
  • Excellent active listening skills
  • Comprehensive therapeutic knowledge 
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Critical thinking skills
  • The ability to establish and maintain healthy boundaries

Therapist experience requirements

Therapists typically need experience of working with clients in private practice or a clinical setting. For roles with a specific client base, such as addicts or those managing long-term health conditions, the experience of working with clients with similar issues will be an advantage. Exposure to working in a similar setting will be beneficial for some roles, particularly those in hospitals or residential facilities. Therapists that may be working with acute or emergency cases benefit from having experience in delivering front-line care in high-pressure situations.

Therapist education and training requirements

There are no specific education or training requirements for Therapists, but they typically complete a diploma or other certification in a relevant therapeutic discipline before beginning to practise. An advanced diploma gives an in-depth guide to the ethics and theory of counselling and usually includes supervised practice placements covering at least 400 hours. Some roles require a degree in psychology, social sciences or a related subject. Many Therapists register with the British Psychological Society who offer a range of certification and qualification options, including reaching chartered status.

Therapist salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Therapist in the UK is £36,333 per year. This salary depends on the type of therapy offered, the setting in which they work and the degree of specialism required.

Job description samples for similar positions

If a Therapist isn’t quite the role you are recruiting for, then these job description samples for similar positions may be more help:

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Therapist job description FAQs

What should I look for in a Therapist CV?

There are many awarding bodies for therapy qualifications, so it’s essential to check the credentials of applicants to ensure that an organisation certifies them. Membership of the British Psychological Society is not a requirement to practise as a Therapist, but most healthcare settings favour it. Experience of working in the same or a related field is also an advantage, and professional training or development in specific aspects of Therapy is also helpful.

What qualities make a good Therapist?

Therapists need a thorough understanding of professional ethics, including the need for discretion and confidentiality in all their dealings with their clients. They also need to be kind and approachable and able to build up the trust that provides a solid foundation for a therapeutic relationship. Therapists need to work with other agencies to ensure that their clients get the best care, so a holistic and collaborative approach to treatment is ideal.

What makes a good Therapist job description?

Try to provide details about the setting in which the role is based to ensure that applicants’ experience aligns with your requirements. Include information about the types of clients that the role serves and the challenges that they might face in meeting their needs. State the details of working hours or shift patterns if relevant, and details of any on-call system in place. If there are flexible working options, benefits or perks associated with the role, then put these in the job description as well.

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