Two examples of long term goals for a therapist are becoming a psychologist or continuing in a program to work as an art therapist. Becoming a psychologist takes 6 to 8 years to accomplish and normally requires a doctorate, while becoming an art therapist also takes an advanced masters degree in art therapy, psychology, social work or counseling, as noted by PayScale and the University of Florida's Counseling and Wellness Center.
At a minimum, becoming accredited as a psychologist requires a masters degree in psychology from a school recognized by the American Psychological Association. For senior positions in the field, 15 years experience and a PhD are normal requirements.
A psychologist uses training to diagnose and test patients and conduct individual and group therapy sessions. Other responsibilities include writing precise reports, communicating with family member and care providers about a patient's treatment and conducting verbal interviews as an individual or as part of a team. The career can be arduous, but having experience and education as a therapist is the first step towards a viable long term career goal.
Alternately, an art therapist builds on skills already learned as a therapist, focusing that experience creatively, using visual media and a client's own creative process to examine and be aware of emotions and thoughts that need to be processed. An accredited masters program is recommended, as asserted by the American Art Therapy Association.