Utah Behavioral Therapy Certification
In the state of Utah, there are many wonderful continuing education opportunities for those who wish to further their careers in behavioral therapy. Of these, many are certification programs which offer behavioral therapists extensive study in a specific area of interest in the field. The important thing to note, however, is that for every good, legitimate certification program out there, there are several more non legitimate programs that are, quite simply, a waste of time and money for everyone involved. Therefore, it’s imperative that you are selective when choosing a certification program. It should come from a fully accredited college or university or from a nationally or statewide recognized certification program. If it does not, you’ll basically spend all of your time and energy just to earn an essentially worthless piece of paper. If that doesn’t clarify the importance of doing your research and of doing it carefully, then nothing will.
Certification Vs. Licensure:
Utahans should be careful not to confuse certification and licensure, an easy but very bad mistake. Certification, as described above, enables you to be certified in a particular area of behavioral therapy, or in other words, to show your expertise in a particular subject area pertaining to the field. Licensure, which is given by the state, involves the passing of an examination and extensive study in order to obtain and is necessary to work in the field and to practice therapy. Certification, on the other hand, is not a requirement, though it can help you to increase your salary or to qualify for a more prestigious or more specialized area of study within the behavioral therapy field.
Who Needs Certification?
Though certification is not required, it can benefit almost everyone, some more than others. A professional behavioral counselor who is struggling to understand certain aspects of his or her job, for example, can learn more about the area of study and increase knowledge by choosing to obtain a certification. Someone who wants to increase the chances of qualifying for a specific position or promotion can also benefit from a certification.
Ideally, a certification program will be very focused, thus helping you to accomplish a very specific goal that you already have in mind. General certification programs are often and unfortunately just a rehashing of things that were learned in graduate school or even while still and undergraduate. These really don’t do anyone any good.
Certification and Degree Programs:
Please make sure that you understand that certifications are not degrees. They will not do you any good on their own; they are a supplement to an education, but do not stand in for an education. This is why the most legitimate of certification programs will require its students to already possess a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree in general behavioral therapy or a related field. Never think that you can simply earn a certification and then be on your way to working in the field. If any certification program promises you this, then you’ll need to be quite wary of that program, since this is not even close to the truth.
How Long Do Certification Programs Take?
Depending upon what you plan to be certified in, certification programs can take anywhere from a few weeks or months to a couple of years to complete. Some certifications only take an accepted application, though typically the requirements for such programs will include a set number of years of experience working in the field and at least a master’s degree in behavioral therapy. Before committing to any certification program, especially one that will take a large amount of time to complete, make sure that you have done your research and that your time will be well spent and that the certification will be worth it in the end.
Some, but not all, certification programs will require you to perform certain steps or duties every few years in order to keep the certification current. This can often entail requirements such as continuing your education, publishing in an industry journal a few times a year, or retaking tests every so often. Make sure you know how often your certification must be renewed if applicable and what responsibilities you have to keep up your end of the bargain.