Counseling psychology is the application of psychology to the solving of the problems of everyday stresses, such as career planning, learning difficulties and family difficulties. This can be contrasted with clinical psychology, which deals with analysis, research and treatment of severe mental health disorders, such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
A masters counseling degree is required in order to practice as a professional counselor. So what do psychology counselors do and what is involved in studying counseling at masters level? This page will help you to find out more about these things and to locate suitable schools and programs, especially online. If you wish to explore on-campus psychology programs in a specific state, go to the on campus programs page. If you want to look at doctoral programs, go to the PhD in counseling psychology page.
What do you study in a counseling psychology masters degree?
Counseling psychologists use many techniques to help people to solve interpersonal problems, including one-on-one interviews, group sessions and hypnosis. A good rapport between the counselor and the patient is essential for counseling sessions to be successful, so good interpersonal and communication skills are very important.
A typical masters degree in counseling psychology might include: human growth and development, assessment, counseling theory, interpersonal communications and relationships. individual and group work, professional identity, research methods, social and cultural diversity, and counseling diagnosis. There may be residency requirements.
Some masters in counseling psychology degrees are designed for specific settings, e.g., in an M.S. in Forensic Psychology you take counseling courses to learn more about prevention, intervention, and consultation programs for criminal offenders, and to understand the foundations of crime prevention and restorative justice for victims and offenders.
What jobs can a graduate of counseling psychology get?
The demand for psychology counselors seems to be increasing. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, employment of counseling professionals should grow by about 21% over the next several years. To be licensed to practice as a counselor in the US you need to have a counseling psychology master’s (or PhD) and up to 2,000 hours of supervised clinical internship, in addition to taking a state-administered exam. People who choose this specialization are often planning to pursue a doctoral degree in counseling psychology or in a counseling-related field, but may also pursue counseling, employee assistance, or research positions in social service, health care, business, or educational settings.
As a graduate of a masters degree in counseling psychology you would advise people on how to deal with problems of everyday living, including career or work problems and problems faced in different stages of life. You might be helping people overcome addictions and substance abuse, marriage and domestic issues. Or you might work in K-12 education settings, hospitals, and non-profit organizations. Make sure the program you take is accredited by an accrediting body appropriate for the profession you wish to enter, such as the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), the American Psychological Association (APA), the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), or the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE).
List of schools and programs
Earn your degree online with Grand Canyon University. We offer approximately 100 bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programs that can be completed 100% online. Degree programs are available in the fields of education, nursing and health sciences, business, fine arts and production, and liberal arts.
- M.S. in Christian Counseling
- M.S. in Psychology: General Psychology
- Ranked among the Best Online Graduate Business Programs and Education Programs in 2015 by U.S. News & World Report.
- Financial aid is available for students who quality, with more than $1,000,000 through 10 scholarships.
- Offers 24/7 student services, including financial aid help, course registration, and career counseling.
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- M.S. in School Counseling - General Program
- M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling - Career Counseling
- M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CACREP-Accredited)-General Program
- And more...
Kaplan University is focused on recognizing the achievements of military and veteran students and offers the flexibility of an online education. Eligible students can receive college credit for prior military experience and coursework—up to 75 percent of the credit needed for a Kaplan University undergraduate degree.*
- MS in Psychology - Addictions
- MS in Psychology - General Psychology
- MS in Psychology
- And more...
An accredited online university, Capella University offers bachelor’s, master’s/MBA, doctoral, and certificate programs designed to take you to the forefront of your profession. Our competency-based curriculum delivers foundational knowledge and real-world skills, so what you’re learning is immediately applicable to your career. We serve more than 36,000 students from the U.S. and around the world and offer more than 140 graduate and undergraduate specializations and 20 certificate programs.
- MS - Counseling Psychology
- MS - Mental Health Counseling (CACREP-accredited)
- MS - Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy (CACREP-, COAMFTE-accredited)
- And more...
Pioneering distance education since 1985, Liberty University is now the nation’s seventh largest university. With more than 300 online and residential areas of study, Liberty offers programs from the certificate to doctoral level.
- MA in Professional Counseling - 60 Hour
- MA Human Services: Marriage & Family
- MA in Marriage and Family Therapy
- And more...
Welcome to Argosy University
Argosy University offers doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs to students through its eight colleges: College of Behavioral Sciences, Graduate School of Business and Management, College of Education, College of Health Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Creative Arts and Design, College of Clinical Psychology and Western State College of Law at Argosy University as well as certificate programs in many areas.
- Clinical Mental Health Counseling (MA) (Online)
- M.A. Counseling Psychology
- M.S. Applied Behavior Analysis
- Partnerships with thousands of companies
- Alliances with many national industry associations
- Personalized career guidance
- Job market research tools to help you explore your career of interest
- M.S. in Psychology/Industrial- Organizational Psychology