What is spiritual therapy? How can one become a work-from-home spiritual therapist? What educational and licensing requirements are needed to practice as one? How much do these therapists earn?
If you’ve always been in touch with your spirituality and wanted a profession that helps people and communities improve mental health based on religious traditions, then pursuing a career as a spiritual counselor, spiritual healer, or spiritual therapist could be something you’d thrive in.
What Does a Spiritual Therapist Do?
Just as there are many types of religions, spiritual therapy can also fall under different types (such as Islamic, Jewish, Christian, or Buddhist counseling, among others). Some therapists are non-denominational; meaning, the focus could go beyond religion and instead incorporate cognitive and philosophic areas of thought.
Whichever focus the counseling might go, spiritual therapy revolves around the idea that a person’s overall well-being is a combination of a healthy mind, body, and soul. And if a person faces a spiritual crisis, the spiritual therapist helps him/her avoid an unhappy or imbalanced life.
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Spiritual therapists work in churches, schools, hospitals, the military, in their own clinics, and more. Regardless of what issue the clients have, the goal of a spiritual therapist is to help them achieve spiritual, emotional, and mental wholeness.
Work-from-Home Spiritual Therapist Requirements
Because therapy involves digging deep into a person’s psychology, mental health, and other serious trauma, the training to become one is quite rigorous.
To become a spiritual therapist, one must:
- Complete any bachelor’s degree and master’s degree. Preferably in psychology, counseling, or religious studies. Many spiritual therapists eventually obtain doctorates in ministry, psychology, or other relevant specializations, but this isn’t a requirement to practice.
- Get hands-on training – This could mean joining a seminary and interning with a pastoral counselor, serving as a counselor for local communities, or observing traditional therapy sessions under the supervision of a licensed psychiatrist or therapist.
- Licensing. Internship and clinical experience is a requirement for licensure. Your location and place you want to practice spiritual therapy will determine if you are required to take an exam. Different types of licenses exist (each with the corresponding number of clinical experience hours):
- First-tier licenses: licensed mental health counselors, licensed professional counselors, or similar professionals need 2000 to 4000 hours of clinical training.
- Second-tier licenses: Requires up to 5000 hours of clinical experience to become a licensed professional clinical counselor, licensed mental health counselor, or other similar professions.
Note that not all spiritual therapists are required to hold a license, but if you are dealing with people, it is always better to be licensed. Check your state about licensing requirements.
- Certification. Unlike licensure which is required and granted by state or federal agencies, certifications can be completed voluntarily. This means you can obtain as many certifications relevant to your spiritual therapy career as you wish. Certifications would help since it broadens your study and knowledge, but you can already practice your profession even without them.
As a work-from-home spiritual therapist, you’d need the technology to connect you to your clients. These include a computer, stable internet connection, video chat tools like Zoom, a good webcam/mic (if you’re not using a laptop), and an office that could give your clients privacy and the appropriate vibe.
How Much does a Work-from-Home Spiritual Therapist Make?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the mean annual wage of a counselor is $47,000 to $50,000 per year. Those with a master’s degree earn up to $64k annually, while those with a doctorate can take home up to $75k per year.
Being licensed, maintaining your own clinic, advancement in education, and freelancing can all contribute to higher salaries.
Where to Find Spiritual Therapist Jobs Online
If you want to become a work-at-home spiritual therapist and you already have your credentials and working experience, you have three options:
1. Join counseling websites and earn as you go.
The freelance world can be very lucrative, as long you know what you’re doing and bring your strengths to the table. You don’t really need to learn almost every skill. Stick to what you know (in this case, spiritual therapy) and the world will reward you for your talent.
The benefit of becoming a spiritual therapist working freelance for these therapy sites is that they do the marketing for you. Patients flock to the sites by themselves and if the site algorithm matches you with a particular client, then you just need to meet the client at his/her respective schedules. Sites like 7 Cups, TalkSpace, BetterHelp, and other similar websites take a commission from your hourly fees.
The problem with these sites is that many of them have a flat rate, so you have less control over your hourly fees. There will also be competition among your fellow therapists.
2. Find a remote job and work full-time.
Websites like FlexJobs.com connect you to companies that are open to hiring employees in a remote setting. This is like any traditional job board, except most of the positions listed there allow new hires to completely work-from-home or half remote and half office-based work.
You have to apply to the spiritual therapy jobs, negotiate your salary, and adhere to company guidelines and schedules.
The benefit of this route is that most remote jobs come with traditional benefits (health, dental, 401k plan, etc.). The downside is that you’ll be under contract and couldn’t increase your service fees if you wanted to.
3. Get your “clinic” online and learn how to market your services.
You can help people even if you’re hundreds of miles away. If you’ve been a spiritual therapist for a while now, the best way to bring your practice to the next level is to expand your online presence. Here are some ideas:
- Build your own website. Create a blog section where you write about your expertise. This will bring people in, especially if you talk about spirituality, healing, trauma, emotional issues, and so much more. Include a service page to show that you’re accepting private clients as well.
- Join all relevant social media platforms. If you do not have it yet, create a Facebook page, Twitter account, Instagram, Pinterest, Tik-Tok, and LinkedIn with your spiritual consultancy business highlighted. Find a way to bring your knowledge to these modern platforms and in a way new generations can connect to you.
- Learn how to market yourself. As a work-from-home spiritual therapist, you are in control of everything – from deciding the look of your website, to the hourly counseling fees.
This route is the most work, but it is also the most rewarding because you’ll be turning your profession into your own business on a global scale.
Job Outlook: Spiritual Therapists in 2021 and Beyond
The demand for therapists sky-rocketed in 2020 because of how covid19 and its after-effects brought people all kinds of issues mentally and spiritually. But once everything gets back to normal, how do you think spiritual therapy would fair. Can it still be a lucrative career?
Unlike other specializations in therapy and psychology, spiritual therapy is a fairly new field. It is expected to grow by up to 10% through 2022. That’s good news if you’re trying to break into this profession, right?
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