Energy Therapist Career Information
Learn the education requirements and job duties for energy therapists, as well as for some alternative career options. Find out the employment and salary outlook for this career.
Energy therapy, also called energy psychotherapy, seeks to restore balance and flow of energy using an integrative treatment that is believed to provide quicker and more effective results than singular methods. Energy therapists attempt to clear energy pathways through psychological acupuncture, hypnosis and ancient calming and balancing methods, which prepare the way for traditional psychotherapy.
Energy therapy is used to treat anxiety, depression, addiction and phobias. It has also been used to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which practitioners believe results from stuck energy, according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
Becoming an Energy Therapist
Most energy therapists first study traditional psychotherapy. A doctoral degree is required to practice independently as a psychologist, which generally requires five years of graduate study, a dissertation and practical work. Others obtain master's degrees in psychology or social work, both of which require two years of graduate study, though career opportunities are more limited.
Upon successful completion of a postgraduate degree, those interested in practicing energy therapy can obtain the necessary additional education and certification from the Association of Comprehensive Energy Psychology, a nonprofit organization of licensed mental health professionals dedicated to energy psychology. Aspiring practitioners learn how to discover blockages in clients' chakras and how to enable the free flow of energy.
Energy therapists must have complete faith in the alternative therapies they espouse. They must have astute listening skills and empathy. Patients seeking energy therapy often have been victims of trauma and require patience and compassion during treatment.
Career and Economic Outlook
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the group of psychologists that includes energy therapists earned a median salary of $90,020 in May 2012. The BLS projects that jobs for this group will increase by about 11% from 2012 to 2020.
Alternative Career Options
Those who are interested in energy flow within the body but prefer to specialize in physical problems rather than mental problems might consider the career of acupuncturist. Acupuncturists treat patients using needles, electric currents and herbs. Most acupuncturists have a master's degree in the field, although a few have doctoral degrees, and they are licensed by the state in which they work. The BLS reported in May 2012 that acupuncturists had a median annual salary of $72,710. The group of health diagnosing and treating practitioners that includes acupuncturists is projected to grow by about 7% from 2012 to 2022, according to the BLS.
Mental Health Counselor
Those who are interested in helping people overcome mental and emotional challenges but don't want to practice energy therapy might consider a job as a mental health counselor. Mental health counselors meet regularly with their clients to discuss issues, and they may help clients with coping strategies. These workers need a minimum of a master's degree and must obtain a state license to practice. Mental health counselors had a median annual salary of $40,080 in May 2012, according to the BLS. This career field is growing at a much-faster-than-average pace. The BLS projects that jobs for mental health counselors will increase by 29% from 2012 to 2022.
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