The Counseling Psychology Degree is typically a graduate master’s program that takes between two and three years to complete. Students in the degree program learn about topics ranging from statistics to biology. Counseling students benefit from the coursework, which includes classes such as Introduction to Research Methods and laboratory classes in Experimental Psychology, because it incorporates real world application with classroom work. Application and experience are essential to building a strong educational program.
Students interested in pursuing a counseling psychology program will have an active interest in helping people with their problems and in studying the different ways humans interact with each other. In abnormal psychology classes, students will learn about the variety of mental illnesses as well as what makes a patient psychologically abnormal. Cognitive psychology courses will focus on the mental processes of the brain, including remembering and thinking. In developmental psychology, students learn about the processes the brain undergoes from childhood to adult. Some universities will also feature psychology electives that include Lifespan Development and Human Sexuality. In order to better serve the community, some universities offer specific tracks that feature classes in counseling for multicultural individuals, counseling for spousal abuse and counseling for addiction and abuse survivors.
Some counseling psychology degree programs are better than others because they offer stronger coursework, offering classes that are relevant to working in the field of psychology that will help to establish an ability to apply information to real experiences. The best Counseling Psychology degree programs are high ranking but also accessible. Mount Saint Mary’s College in Los Angeles is one example. This school offers a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology with three specializations. Students may choose to study therapy for families and married couples, which leads to California licensure. The school also offers a track for mental health administration for those who do not wish to pursue general psychology.
Another school offering a 60 credit master’s degree is Temple University, which presents two areas of concentration. The Agency Counseling track prepares students to work with families and couples, whereas the School Counseling track prepares students to become licensed school counselors.
Northern California’s Santa Clara University offers several emphases as well, covering health, Latino and correctional psychology in 90 units. Electives include psychodynamic, existential, motivational and spirituality counseling courses.
Finding the best online Counseling Psychology degree programs requires extensive research and an effort to ensure that the school is accredited.