Child Counseling is a growing field offering mental health services to children and teens. For students interested in this area of study, there are numerous programs offered that are flexible and will well prepare you for a career in this field. Several colleges nationwide offer accredited degree programs that are conveniently online. College degree programs in this field are able to prepare you in advanced approaches concerning the latest therapy techniques and practice models. Online programs offer convenience and flexible hours for busy students who can not attend class on traditional campuses.
Continue reading below for more information concerning this career field if you are interested in pursuing a degree in Child Counseling.
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Child Counseling Degrees
Careers in the Child Counseling field are increasing, offering students a variety of colleges to choose from in order to pursue a Masters degree in this area. In order to practice in a career in this field, students must start at the undergraduate level by earning a Bachelors degree in a similar field such as Psychology or Social Work. The next step would be to enter a graduate program, earning a Masters degree, which is the minimum requirements for licensure in this field. A graduate degree in Child Counseling, along with a supervised internship, will help prepare you for licensure. Information is listed below that gives insight into these program options.
- Masters: In order to practice as a Child Counselor, one must pursue a degree at the Masters level. There are numerous colleges that offer Masters degrees online in Child Counseling. Upon completion of a Bachelors degree, most students require an additional 2-3 years to complete a Masters level program, along with an internship. After earning a Masters degree, students are eligible to take a licensing exam in their practicing state.
- Doctoral: Upon completion of a Masters degree in Child Counseling or a closely related field, students can continue their education and pursue a doctorate. Doctoral programs can help advance careers and empower professionals to make a difference in their field of study. Doctoral programs can assist professionals who want to pursue research in the field of Child Counseling and explore and elaborate current theories in this field.
- Certificate Programs: After earning a Bachelors degree or Masters degree, students have the option to pursue certifications that specialize in a concentrated area in the field of Child Counseling. Certificates do not replace the requirements for earning a Bachelors or Masters degree, but they better prepare students to continue education in their field while having extensive knowledge on specific subjects pertaining to Child Counseling.
Online Master's Programs
Many colleges offer a Masters degree in Child Counseling through an online format. For students who work full-time or have children, online programs are considered a better choice with more flexible options to fit their schedule. A career in Child Counseling can be obtained through completing an online Masters in Child Counseling program. Below are online programs for Child Counseling that are currently accepting applications for new students:
- Southern New Hampshire University - Online Masters in Child Counseling: Southern New Hampshire University's online Masters in Child Counseling program provides a flexible option for students interested in a specialized program that can prepare for licensure in Child Counseling. This 36 credit hour program can prepare you to start a career working with clients ages birth to 18 .
- Chicago School of Professional Pyschology - Online Masters in Genetic Counseling: Chicago School of Professional Psychology currently offers an innovative online Masters in Child Counseling degree program that can provide you with skills to use in this growing field. This program can be completed in one year attending full time.
Sample Courses for the Online Master of Child Counseling Degree
Students working towards a degree in Child Counseling will have the opportunity to enroll in courses that will provide extensive knowledge and skills for this job. The courses offered in these degree programs were developed to empower students to work with children in a mental health capacity. Students will study childhood mental illness, affects of trauma, and counseling methods. Completing a Bachelors degree will give you some insight into the development of children, but graduate courses will better prepare you to be a professional in this field. There are many areas you can specialize in when becoming a Child Counselor.
The courses offered in the Child Counseling program focus on the latest information used in this field to be successful in a career in Child Counseling. Graduate Child Counseling coursework offers students the opportunity to be trained specialists in the field of therapy practices and childhood development. Students interested in a Masters in Child Counseling program, should read below:
- Child Development: Child Counselor instructors in this course will provide educational information to students by studying real life case studies of children and teens. The course will study the brain and the pscyhological stages of development throughout adolescence.
- Trauma and Crisis Managment: Students will learn how trauma affects children and their brain development. This course offers information on how to react and respond to crisis situations and look at the best practices of de-escalation. Diagnosis and treatments, as well as childhood mental health disease, and how it affects development are some areas that may be covered in this course.
- Cognitive Neuropsychology: Students enrolled in this course will study the parts of the brain and what each section is responsible for. The focus will be psychiatric diagnoses versus behavioral diagnoses, as well as studying normal versus abnormal human development. In this course, you can learn more about the origins of mental illness and how to diagnose.
Where Do Child Counselors Work?
Child Counselors work in a fulfilling career in which they offer therapy and support services to children in various settings. This career path leads to opportunities to work with children in schools, hospitals, clinics, or private practice.
A Typical Day for a Child Counselor
A typical work day consists of using knowledge and expertise to provide counseling, therapy and support to patients and clients struggling with anxiety, depression, trauma or other diagnoses. Child Counselors fill different roles on a day-to-day basis depending on where they work. Counselors are need in mental health clinics to see patients who need out-patient therapy. Some child counselors may work in a hospital where children and teens are admitted for further evaluation. Child Counseling may be the job for you if you are interested in a field that involves working with youth, counseling and helping others.
Path to a Career in Child Counseling
The information pertaining to degree programs in Child Counseling will help you decide which route is best for you. Now might be a good time for you to start a new degree to pursue a career in this field. If you already have a Bachelors degree, there are numerous online programs that offer a Masters degree in Child Counseling. If you have not started a Bachelors degree, and are interested in the field of Child Counseling, many undergraduate degrees can prepare you for graduate school such as a Bachelors in Psychology, Sociology, and Early Childhood Education. Upon earning a Masters degree in Child Counseling, you will be able to take the licensure exam to practice as a Child Counselor.
In order to work directly with clients in the field, the National Board for Certified Counselors requires licensure in your practicing state. In order to apply for licensure, most states require that you old at least a Masters degree in Child Counseling. A licensing examination ensures you have the knowledge to counsel children and teens.
Organizations to Know
There are numerous associations that help guide the Child Counseling field including the National Board for Certified Counselors and the American Counseling Association. Professionals stay up to date on the latest techniques by joining organizations, like these, that specialize in their field of expertise. The Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology is an organization in this field that offers support to professionals in this career, as well as opportunities to interact with others that hold similar jobs, and learn more about the latest trends in Child Counseling.
If you are interested in pursuing a career in this field, you should review over the information concerning these two organizations: The Association for Child and Adolescent Counseling and the National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology. Both organizations can provide you with helpful insights regarding projections in your field and provide support to you throughout your career.
Careers to Consider
Being a Child Counselor is a rewarding field that is rapidly growing in the United States thanks to new research concerning brain development and emotional stages in children and teens. Focuses on child development, paired with counseling, results in a career that helps youth in a therapy type setting. With a degree in Child Counseling, you can work in private practice, a child psychiatric hosptial, or a community clinic. Professionals in this field can work in a variety of settings using their expertise in childhood development and counseling to help others.
A Child Counseling degree will allow you to provide counseling, support, testing and consultation services to potential clients and patients. Child Counselors can be helpful professionals that assist children with diagnoses, anger management, abuse and trauma.