Dear Dr. Romance:

I am considering being a licensed psychotherapist. What was your education track if I may ask?

Dear Reader:

Of course you may ask. I was licensed in 1978, so things were quite different then. I took an independent study curriculum to get my Masters in Counseling Psychology at Lindenwood  Colleges, and I used the California BBSE guidelines to set  up my courses. That way, I knew my Masters Degree would be acceptable to  them. I also needed 3,000 hours of counseling under supervision.  Those guidelines also vary.  I suggest you contact the licensing board in your state and get the current guidelines for your state. You  can also get help from the American Psychology Assn. and any good school  that trains psychologists will know what the guidelines are.  "Ten Things People Don't Know about Therapy" will help you understand how I view therapy.

Guidelines for becoming licensed vary from state to state.  Each state that licenses therapists has a governing board that sets the criteria.  In California, where I practice, the board is the California State Board of Behavioral Sciences

Then, of course, you have to get supervised hours. In my day, it was 3,000  unpaid hours, but these days, in California,  you can be paid while you get your hours under supervision.

If you would like a good example of how I work with clients It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction will tell you a lot about how I do therapy.

IEWY new cover

Good luck with your career.

For low-cost phone counseling, email me at

Author's Bio: 

Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D. is a licensed psychotherapist in S. California since 1978 with over 30 years experience in counseling individuals and couples and author of 13 books in 17 languages, including It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction; The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again; Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage, The Commuter Marriage, and her newest, Love Styles: How to Celebrate Your Differences. She writes the “Dr. Romance” blog, and the “Happiness Tips from Tina” email newsletter.