A private therapist counsels patients as part of their own private practice. This type of a therapist is not associated with a specific hospital, clinic or practice. The responsibilities of private therapists are similar to those that are working in a practice, in that they deal with the treatment and therapy of the mind and the emotional state of their patients.
Those pursuing a career in private therapy may choose to be a generalist or a specialist who works with specific types of patients. A therapist who chooses to work as a generalist may help patients work through anything from a death of family member or eating disorders, to couples counseling and anxiety issues.
If a private therapist chooses to specialize, then they typically work with a specific type of patient. For example, a therapist may choose only to work with children, teenagers or adults. In this case, the therapist is specializing in an age range.
Another way that a private therapist can specialize is in the type of issue or problem that the patient needs help working through. For example, a private therapist that works with couples only works with marriages and people who are in committed relationships.
The duty of the private therapist is to help the patient uncover what the cause of the issue is. The therapist will work through many sessions in uncovering the problem, even if the patients comes in to the sessions thinking they know what the problem is. Throughout the sessions, the therapist and patient uncover the issues that need to be dealt with.
Working together, the private therapist and the patient then come up with a course of action to overcome or deal with the issue on the proper level. a private therapist is more of an equivalent to a counselor or a psychologist. These types of therapists are not like psychiatrists in that they cannot prescribe medication as a course of action as part of the therapy.
Typically, a private therapist rents their own office space. Some therapists are able to run their practice out of their home, depending on the zoning regulations in the state, county or town where the therapist lives. No matter where the private therapist chooses to run their practice, the therapist is required to carry the proper counseling business license and the proper licensing for running a business in the state and county where they practice.