How to Become a Therapist in India: Your Complete Guide

published on
Jul 2, 2024
4 Min REad
Table of Content

Have you ever considered a career as a therapist? With the increasing need for mental health support and personal well-being, the demand for therapists in India has been on the rise.

Whether you have recently graduated or are a young professional looking for a fulfilling career, becoming a therapist could be an excellent choice. In this article, we will guide you through the steps of becoming a therapist in India.


Understanding Therapist Roles

Therapists play a crucial role in helping individuals overcome mental health challenges and achieve overall well-being. In India, therapists can be broadly classified into two groups: counsellors and psychotherapists.



  • Psychotherapists are highly trained professionals who help clients navigate their emotions, thoughts, and behaviours. They use various therapeutic techniques to address mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and trauma.
  • To become a licenced psychotherapist in India, one must hold a Master's degree in Psychology or Counselling and complete additional training programmes recognised by the Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI).
  • The average salary of a psychotherapist in India ranges from ₹3-6 lakhs per annum.



  • Counsellors provide guidance and support to individuals facing personal or emotional challenges. They help clients explore their feelings and develop coping strategies to improve their overall well-being.
  • To practise as a professional counsellor in India, one must hold at least a Bachelor's degree in Psychology or Counselling and obtain certification from recognised institutions like the RCI or the Indian Association for Clinical Psychologists (IACP).
  • The average salary of a counsellor in India ranges from ₹2-4 lakhs per annum.


Types of Therapists: Job Roles and Salaries

Therapists cater to diverse needs by specialising in different areas of expertise. Here are some popular therapist job roles:

  1. Addiction Therapist: Addiction therapists help individuals recover from substance abuse disorders by providing counselling sessions, support groups, and relapse prevention strategies.
  2. Art Therapist: Art therapists use various art forms to help clients express and understand their emotions. They work with individuals of all ages and address issues such as trauma, anxiety, and self-esteem.
  3. Music Therapist: Music therapists utilise the therapeutic properties of music to improve the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of their clients.
  4. Occupational Therapist: Occupational therapists assist individuals in restoring or improving their ability to perform daily activities after suffering from injuries or disabilities.
  5. Physical Therapist: Physical therapists help patients regain physical strength, mobility, and flexibility through exercises and specialised therapies. They work closely with individuals recovering from surgeries, accidents, or sports injuries.
  6. Marriage and Family Therapist: Marriage and family therapists provide counselling services to couples and families facing relationship challenges or conflicts. They help improve communication, resolve conflicts, and strengthen familial bonds.
  7. Child Therapist: Child therapists specialise in working with children who are experiencing emotional or behavioural difficulties.
  8. Massage Therapist: Massage therapists use different massage techniques to help individuals relax, relieve muscle tension, and reduce stress. They work in various settings, such as spas, wellness centres, or private practice.
  9. Yoga Therapist: Yoga therapists combine the principles of yoga with therapeutic techniques to promote physical and mental well-being. They work with individuals seeking relief from chronic pain, stress, or other health conditions.

Average Salaries of Therapists in India


Average Salary (per annum)

Addiction therapist

₹3-5 lakhs

Art Therapist

₹2-4 lakhs

Music Therapist

₹2-4 lakhs

Occupational Therapist

₹3-6 lakhs

Physical Therapist

₹3-5 lakhs

Marriage and Family Therapist

₹4-6 lakhs

Child Therapist

₹2-4 lakhs

Massage Therapist

₹2-4 lakhs

Yoga Therapist

₹2-5 lakhs

Education and Certification Options

To embark on a career as a therapist in India, it is essential to acquire appropriate education and certification. Here are some options to consider: 

Bachelor's degree courses in Psychology

To lay the foundation for a career as a therapist, one can pursue a Bachelor's degree in Psychology. The course structure usually covers subjects like general psychology, abnormal psychology, research methods, and counselling theories.

Eligibility: 10+2 with a minimum score requirement set by the respective universities

Duration: 3 years


Master's degree courses in Psychology

For specialisation and advanced knowledge in therapy roles, pursuing a Master's degree in Psychology is recommended. The course structure typically includes subjects like psychotherapy techniques, psychopathology, assessment methods, and research methodologies. 

Eligibility: Bachelor's degree in Psychology or related fields

Duration: 2 years


Diploma Courses in Counselling and Psychotherapy

Diploma courses provide focused training on the counselling and psychotherapy skills required for professional practice. These courses are suitable for individuals who already possess a degree but want to specialise further in therapy roles.


Career Growth and Specialisations For Therapists

The mental health landscape is rapidly evolving, leading to an increased demand for therapists across various sectors such as healthcare, education, corporate organisations, and NGOs.

As a therapist, you can explore different career paths, such as private practice, working in hospitals or clinics, universities, schools, or rehabilitation centres.

Specialising as a therapist opens up more focused career growth opportunities. Popular specialisations in India include:

  • Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT)
  • Child and adolescent therapy
  • Marriage and family therapy (MFT)
  • Addiction counselling
  • Trauma therapy
  • Geriatric counselling

Obtaining the necessary licences from recognised bodies like the RCI or IACP is crucial to starting practice as a therapist in India.

Upskilling Opportunities For Therapists

Upskilling plays a vital role in enhancing your knowledge and expanding your career prospects as a therapist. Professional certification courses for psychologists provide specialised training in areas like behavioural therapy techniques or forensic psychology. 

These certifications demonstrate your expertise and can lead to higher job prospects and salary increments. Some well-known professional certification options include Certified Cognitive Behavioural Therapist (CCBT) and Certified Clinical Psychologist (CCP).


Kickstart Your Career as a Therapist

Becoming a therapist in India offers a rewarding career where you can make a positive impact on people's lives. Remember, WIZR is here to support you in your journey to becoming a therapist by providing a comprehensive selection of certification programmes and courses tailored to your needs.

Start your path towards a fulfilling career in therapy today!



1. Do marriage counsellors need a licence to practise in India?

Yes, marriage counsellors need to obtain a licence from recognised authorities such as the Rehabilitation Council of India (RCI) or the Indian Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (IAMFT) to practise legally in India.

2. What is the average cost of one hour of therapy?

The average cost of one hour of therapy sessions in India ranges from ₹1,000 to ₹ 5,000, depending on the qualifications and experience of the therapist. 

3. Does a freelance therapist earn more?

Freelance therapists have the potential to earn more as they have control over their rates and can build their client base over time. However, it may take time to establish themselves and gain enough clients to sustain an income.

4. Which age groups have a higher demand for therapists?

There is a demand for therapists across all age groups. However, the younger population, including adolescents and young adults, often seeks therapy for issues related to career choices, relationships, mental health, and personal development.

Key takeaways
No items found.

Related articles

Explore Courses

Explore more topics