What is Counseling Psychology?
Through the use of common psychological and counseling techniques, therapies, and life changes, therapists within this distinction can assist their clients with making meaningful changes that have the potential to increase their overall quality of life. Professionals in this field often work with clients that are struggling with addiction, depression, anxiety, or extended grief.
Upcoming students that are intrigued by this field of psychology can pursue training through graduate-level degree programs. Higher education can lead to more in-depth knowledge pertaining to normal and abnormal psychological processes, which can result in more knowledge and expertise with clients in the field.
While the master's route is the most common for upcoming professionals, it can be possible for some students to pursue alternative routes towards a career in this field. Degree programs leading to this career field are listed in the section below.
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What Degree Levels Are There For This Program Area?
As a new collegiate learner, it can be overwhelming to review the different educational paths towards becoming a Counseling Psychology professional. Our team's goal is to provide you with straight-forward information about the educational paths you can take in this field, as well as information about which path is the most beneficial.
Many students considering this career field begin their educational experience with a Bachelor's in Psychology or Counseling. Some universities may even offer online Bachelor's in Counseling Psychology as a beginner's option to expertise in this field.
Licensure for psychologists and counselors cannot be obtained at the bachelor's level, so your involvement in these undergraduate programs should be for gaining foundation knowledge for later learning at the graduate level. Once you have completed your 4-year bachelor's program, you can move forward into a master's program of your choice.
Masters in Counseling Psychology
The most popular degree program for upcoming Counseling Psychology specialists is the online Master's in Counseling Psychology degree. This program can be found in many different formats, with some offering further specializations into specific treatment groups.
Counseling-focused programs that lead to licensure are often accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). This agency is the leading source of reliability and accuracy for counseling programs.
If you are interested in moving even higher with your educational program, you should consider online Doctorate in Counseling Psychology programs. These programs can provide you with more insight into the research, leadership, and expertise available in this field and can potentially lead to even more unique career options after graduation.
Online Master’s in Counseling Psychology Programs
The master’s level is often the most chosen option for upcoming Counseling Psychology professionals, mostly because this is the minimum degree level needed for licensing. The online master’s can be an even more convenient option for students that are in need of flexibility during their learning experience.
Self Study, Research with Online Courses
Online Master’s in Counseling Psychology programs can provide students with virtual courses that involve self-study, research, critical thinking, and group activities. Benefits to taking courses online can include increased independence, strength in problem solving, and growth in self-discipline.
Since more and more students may be balancing higher education with a full-time career, colleges may be recognizing the need for more flexible online degree programs. A current search of available programs may show high numbers of reliable online programs for you to choose from.
Multiple Online Programs
Through our team’s search, there were many different online Master’s in Counseling Psychology programs located for interested learners. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology currently provides a few different options for incoming learners considering different specialized paths.
The online Master’s in Counseling Psychology at the Chicago School is available with specializations in Addiction Disorders Treatment, Child and Adolescent Treatment, and Trauma and Crisis Intervention. Any of these specializations could provide specialized training for specific groups in the psychological population.
Consider Specialty Tracks
A multi-dimensional degree program titled as the online Master’s in Education in Educational, School, and Counseling Psychology offered through the University of Missouri can provide learners with the opportunity to engage in learning about psychological, emotional, and educational counseling for students in public school systems.
This unique degree program can provide you with the training you need to properly analyze and treat various emotional and social diagnoses in the educational setting. Specializations offered for this program include Positive Coaching, Mental Health Practices in Schools, and Student Learning and Well-Being.
Sample Courses for the Master of Counseling Psychology
Before you ever submit your application to online Master’s in Counseling Psychology degree programs, you should engage in a thorough review of the degree program and its components. Reviewing the curriculum and expectations of a degree program can help you prepare for the road ahead and provide you with valuable insight into the core of the subject matter.
The courses that make up your master’s programs may be general in nature or encompass topics related specifically to your chosen specialization. Over all, the courses may focus on the same core subjects, so that you enter the field with the skills you need to succeed.
Assessment and Psychotherapy
Since this degree program focuses on the psychological aspects of professional counseling, you may see psychology-focused courses like Assessment and Psychotherapy. This course may delve into the person-centered concepts of psychotherapy, as well as other common approaches like Gestalt and transpersonal.
Evaluation and Treatment of Addictions
Evaluation and Treatment of Addictions is another common course found in multiple degree programs. This course can outline some of the popular methods for analyzing and assessing client addiction, developing a relevant treatment plan, and follow-up services for clients in the generalized counseling setting and within treatment centers.
Psychology of Aging and Social Psychology
The Psychology of Aging, Social Psychology, and Abnormal Psychology may also be courses included within your Counseling Psychology degree program. These course seek to educate students on the psychological changes that take place through natural aging, through social interaction and nurture, and through life experiences or physical development.
Most Important Organizations To Know
As a counseling or psychology prospect, it can be beneficial to become knowledgeable and involved in professional organizations in your field. Some professionals even go on to become members of multiple organizations as a means for gaining insight into different specializations and focuses in their general field.
One of the largest and most popular professional organizations in the field of counseling is the American Counseling Organization. Joining this organization can help you connect with counselors in many different specialized practice areas including Counseling Psychology.
The American Psychological Association can also be an intriguing professional organization for upcoming Counseling Psychologists. This organization can provide you with resources, learning materials, and professional support throughout your career.
Within the American Psychology Association, the Society of Counseling Psychology provide focus specifically into this unique career field. Professionals, students, and research professionals can share knowledge, current trends, and changes to the field.
Career Options For This Program Area
The educational path, involvement in professional organizations, and field experience can combine to create a powerful foundation for expertise in the field. As you take your knowledge and motivation into the professional field, you might be searching for job offers that encompass your desires as an incoming counselor.
Some graduates and licensees in the field of counseling can utilize their knowledge of Counseling Psychology in general counseling practice. Careers in this area can be found in mental health agencies, healthcare organizations, and even in private practice.
Counseling Psychology professionals may even exhibit their skills and expertise in the educational setting. Specialized training and licensure can lead you into school counselor positions within school systems in your area.
One of the most intriguing aspects of Counseling Psychology is that this specialization can be applied in many specific career areas. Addictions treatment, marriage and family therapy, individual or group therapy, and even sports psychology are options for you to consider as you transition into this incredible career field.
If you are one of the many students considering licensing as a psychologist, online Ph.D. programs in Counseling Psychology may be the degree of choice for your career goals. These 4-year programs may include online learning, research, and in-person residencies throughout the degree process.