A guide to the different environments therapists work in
6 mins read

A guide to the different environments therapists work in

Your role as a therapist allows you to impact and improve your client’s life significantly, and how you provide therapy and which clients you attend to can be heavily affected by your place of work. Exploring where therapists work and the expectations for each environment is highlighted in this article.

Private practice 

Rather than working for an organization or healthcare facility, most therapists choose to work in a private practice where they run their own independent business. Within this framework, therapists are afforded considerable leeway in establishing individual schedules and pricing structures while also being able to employ various therapeutic methodologies.

Private practice is viable if you want more control over your therapy practice and closer client interactions.

Having control over your working hours is one of the key benefits of owning a private practice, so therapists who want the freedom to choose when they work may be interested in this option. Private practice allows therapists to choose their own office hours and appointment times, creating more harmony between their professional and personal lives.

Private practice settings allow you to fix service charges according to personal preferences. However, getting clients and building a referral network as a private practice therapist is not always easy. This occupation still offers relatively higher remuneration compared to other jobs and can lead to a higher income and financial stability over time. If you are interested, this is how you can prepare.

Community mental health centers 

Organizations offering their services to the community’s individual and family members for resolving issues regarding their mental well-being could be either public or nonprofit institutions known as community mental health centers, which provide affordable and accessible mental healthcare for all members of a community and are commonly financed by state or local governments.

Affordability is just one of the many advantages that community mental health centers offer, and at these centers, you can expect fee scales that vary based on how much someone earns or can afford. Mental health treatment may be more accessible to low-income individuals and their families through this means.

Providing comprehensive and holistic care is a key feature of community mental health centers, and patients at these health facilities can receive a comprehensive range of assistance, including therapy sessions conducted by trained personnel alongside medications administered to them in periods when critical intervention is necessary. Mental health organizations often provide support group sessions and educational training programs to make society more aware of mental illnesses.


Schools are a typical place of employment for therapists who focus on treating young people. The role of therapists is to work within schools providing psychological support to both the student body and teaching staff. A beneficial element of conducting therapy within the school setting is its convenience, as it offers familiarity to students, which allows earlier interventions preventing mental health problems.

The primary advantage of working in schools is the opportunity to offer early intervention and prevention services. The services of school-based therapists aim to help students dealing with mild to moderate mental illnesses, like anxiety and depression, before they worsen. Preventing the onset of more severe mental health conditions is key to improving academic performance and social-emotional growth.

These skills can be achieved through enrolling for otd programs online at an accredited institution like American International College, if you already have a bachelor’s degree. This program is flexible, so you can continue working while studying for this doctorate program. It is a three-year program designed to increase your expertise and leadership skills.


Teletherapy is the practice of delivering therapy sessions remotely using video conferencing technology. If attending in-person appointments for therapy is not feasible due to geographic barriers, mobility problems, or other limitations, teletherapy provides the best solution by allowing therapists to provide similar quality of care. Thanks to greater availability and ease of use of technology today, teletherapy is fast becoming a preferred option for both clients and therapists.

Accessibility is one of the most important advantages offered by teletherapy. Remote therapy can be accessed by individuals from the comfort of their homes without having to go out and travel all the way to the therapist’s office. People who live in rural areas or have trouble getting around will find this very useful since it cuts down on travel time and makes appointment scheduling less stressful. In addition, teletherapy can be an ideal choice for individuals who have busy routines and cannot easily make it to in-person therapy sessions.

The flexibility of teletherapy is yet another perk, as provided that an internet connection and video conferencing software is available for both parties involved, teletherapy enables therapists to conduct sessions with clients located anywhere in the world. Using this approach enables therapists to broaden their scope and help those who may lack access to or support for mental health care. Besides being available during regular office hours, therapists can offer teletherapy sessions during the evening or on weekends for better flexibility.


A hospital can be an intense environment to work in as a therapist, as they deal with emergency cases as they arise; however, it also means more rewards. Patients dealing with acute mental health issues can expect comprehensive and collaborative care from a team of therapists and other healthcare professionals working together within this environment. Your duties could entail working directly with individuals diagnosed with conditions like psychosis and major depressive disorder, closely working with other medical professionals like doctors or nurses, and being well-prepared to handle crises of utmost importance. You can get an opportunity to work in some of the best hospitals for children.


Every workplace presents advantages and disadvantages for therapists that they must navigate to ensure job satisfaction. It is necessary to consider your objectives and abilities while choosing where to work. If one environment is not the right fit for you, don’t forget that switching is always possible, and all environments offer chances to improve your client’s life.