Counseling Psychology Graduate programs

October 10, 2016


Graduate students who favor a less clinical approach to helping others might find that enrollong in a Masters in Counseling Psychology Program may help prepare them for a variety of potentially rewarding career paths, as well as offer a basis for further studies in the field. As a general rule, psychologists need a doctoral degree or specialist degree in psychology, though a Master’s Degree may be sufficient for some positions; a Masters in Counseling Psychology Degree may be part of a longer-term academic and professional plan for some students[i].

Counseling psychology is a specialization within psychology that encompasses research and applied work in several domains: counseling process and outcome; supervision and training; career development and counseling; and prevention and health. Some unifying themes in this branch of psychology include a focus on the client’s assets and strengths, their environment interactions, educational and career development, and personalities[ii].

If you are enrolling in a Masters in Counseling Psychology Program, some of the important qualities that this profession requires from you include being trustworthy, patient and a good listener and communicator. It also requires you to have good analytical skills, enjoy helping others and an ability to problem-solve[iii].

Reviewing options for Counseling Psychology Masters Programs is easy on Start with a location search; simply enter a city, state or country to determine where these programs are offered. Next, decide on the learning format. Either search for accredited colleges and universities to begin pursuing your, or opt for distance learning. Online study, whether in a full time or hybrid format might be a good fit for current professionals who are trying to advance their education while balancing a busy schedule.

Each search will generate results for you to review that include general programs in Counseling Psychology, as well as specializations. You may already have a clear direction for your target counseling niche, whether this be art therapuy, couple and marriage counseling, addiction counseling or mental health counseling, or social work. If so, you might opt for an MS in Mental Health Counseling, an M.A. in Psychology: Marriage & Family Therapy Art, a Master of Arts in Counseling: Concentration in Rehabilitation Counseling, or Master of Social Work - Mental Health.

Potential Curriculum For Counseling Psychology Masters Programs

Depending on the school, program format and degree concentration, students might learn subjects such as:

  • Psychopathology
  • Counseling and psychotherapy
  • Human development over the life span
  • Research and data Group therapy
  • Cultural diversity Emotional and behavioral disorders and assessment
  • Ethical and legal Issues
  • Substance abuse
  • Therapy for children and adolescents
  • Family counseling
  • Statistics
  • Art Therapy

Basic MA Psychological Counseling Masters programs are geared to provide students with in-depth knowledge about human behaviors, health issues, ethics and theories of psychological counseling. If you are studying to be a School psychologist, this training includes coursework in both education and psychology, because the work addresses education and mental health components of students’ development[iii].

DID YOU KNOW? In most states, practicing psychology or using the title “psychologist” requires licensure or certification. Most clinical and counseling psychologists need a doctorate in psychology, an internship, at least 1 to 2 years of professional experience, and to pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology[iii].

Explore a Career in Counseling Psychology

Counseling psychologists are professionals who advise people on how to deal with their problems. They help patients understand their issues, including those that arise at home, at the workplace, or in their community. Through counseling, they work with patients to identify their strengths or resources they can use to manage problems. Some choose to specialize as Mental Health Counselors, Family Therapists, Marriage Counselors, Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors or Social Workers[iv]. Most counseling psychologists need a Doctoral Degree[iii].

Some of the tasks that Counseling Psychologists perform include[v]:

  • Collecting information about clients using interviews, case studies, observation and assessment methods
  • Documenting patient information through notes, recommendations and treatment plans
  • Counseling individuals, groups, or families to understand and deal with issues or crisis
  • Development of therapeutic treatment plans based on client needs
  • Supervise interns, clinicians in training, and other counselors

The 2012 Median Annual Pay for Counseling Psychologists was $69, 280 and the overall employment of psychologists is projected to grow 12% from 2012 to 2022[vi].Industries with the highest levels of employment in this occupation include[v]:

  • Elementary and Secondary Schools
  • Offices of Other Health Practitioners
  • Individual and Family Services
  • Outpatient Care Centers
  • General Medical and Surgical Hospitals

Ready To Search For a Counseling Psychology Masters Program?

If you want to prepare yourself for a potential career as a Counseling Psychologist, use the search tools on to find a Counseling Psychology Masters Program. You may be amongst the next generation of professionals who are trained to provide individual or group counseling services in order to assist individuals in achieving more effective personal, social, educational, and vocational development and life enhancing modifications.

Sources: [i] | [ii] | [iii] | [iv] | [v] | [vi]

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