How Can You Become a Therapist if You Don’t Have a Degree?

More people across the world are seeking new careers, this is due to many having been made redundant due to the pandemic or having time to reflect and wanting to change careers and do something more meaningful with their lives.

The problem many people are facing is needing to know how can you become a therapist without a degree? Degrees can be costly, time-consuming and with many universities not operating as normal, it can seem almost impossible to complete one. The short answer is, you can not become a therapist without a relevant degree, but other avenues can be taken to get into the industry with an undergraduate degree.

No Degree? How To Be A Therapist

If you aren’t fussed about the title of ‘therapist’ there are other avenues you can take to get into the industry of helping those with mental health issues, we list below the best routes to take and how you can help others, while still earning. If you are wanting to know how to be a psychotherapist or how you can become a therapist, you will need to undertake traditional training with an undergraduate degree. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the other professions that don’t require this, you can be a therapist to some extent, without the official title.

Mental Health Counselor

Mental health counsellors may not have the earning potential of therapists but you can certainly make a decent living while still helping those in need with this career.

These professionals focus on typical life issues, like relationship problems of grief counselling but can also specialise in more in-depth issues such as eating disorders. Their role is to intervene and provide support during a crisis and help a client get back to their best way of functioning as quickly as possible.

If a client’s issues are more long-term, this is when they are often referred to a qualified therapist.

To become a mental health counsellor, you will need to take up EMDR Certification Classes and get a certificate for the introduction of counselling and this takes roughly a year to complete. The fee can range from $2,500-$9000, depending on where this is completed.

Additionally, if you want to earn accreditation, you may consult an expert in ASC accreditation services, which will help and guide you to meet the criteria.

After this is completed, you can practice at a basic level, if you are wanting to specialise in a particular area, extra courses are available. Many people will choose to practise for a short time before completing one of these so they can ascertain what interests them the most before making another commitment to their training. 

Life Coaching

Life coaching is a lifeline for many people struggling with everyday life. Life coaching is not for those suffering from mental health disorders but instead allows clients to understand and explore their own emotions and thoughts.

Just because someone doesn’t have a mental health disorder, it doesn’t mean they are not struggling emotionally with their lives and this is where a life coach can make a huge difference. 

From helping with negative experiences, such as a relationship breakdown, to guidance to big decisions, such as a new job or moving to a new city, life coaches can provide the right support and guidance to allow clients to make the best decisions for themselves and understand their choices. 

This allows clients to realise their full potential and put a stop to any thoughts patterns that may be holding them back.

Many accredited institutions can provide certification for aspiring life coaches and they can vary hugely. It is best to choose the more reputable institutions, instead of opting for the cheapest, as this can determine how you are perceived by potential clients. 

To complete this qualification, it can take as little as a few dozen hours to 100 and prices can vary dramatically from $1000 to $8000. Remember, the most expensive doesn’t always mean the best and the cheapest may not always offer value for money.


Effective hypnotherapy is increasingly popular for many issues, this involves hypnotherapists guiding a client in a trance-like state and aid them to look into the subconscious mind and put a stop to certain behavioural patterns.

It is commonly used to put a stop to bad habits, such as smoking or unhealthy eating, but has also proved successful in treating phobias. Some have also found it helpful with anxiety and stress patterns.

Certification can be achieved in just a few months and there is no need to undertake an internship before practising. Many bodies provide this certification for you both online and in a classroom setting.

If you don’t have a degree, there are many routes you can take to become a ‘therapist’ in a non-traditional sense. These careers are just as rewarding and if you are wanting to spend your life helping other people but don’t have the means to train to be a therapist, the above may be for you. 

Rachel Bartee

Rachel Bartee is a blogger and freelance writer dreaming of a tour round the world to write a story of her greatest life adventure. For the time being, she feels inspired by her daily yoga sessions and studies Interpersonal Relationships.