Masters in Counseling Psychology: All you need to know



Masters in Counseling Psychology



A master’s degree in counseling psychology teaches you how to understand people of all ages’ interactions with themselves and others. 

You’ll learn how to handle emotional, social, job, school, physical, and mental difficulties in your patients at different periods of their lives. 

While counseling master’s programs provide therapies for everyday pressures as well as more serious concerns, this degree is focused on the general wellness and adjustment of a patient or group, comparable to other master’s degrees. These counseling programs, unlike several psychology master’s degrees, place a strong emphasis on client interaction. 

Counseling graduate degrees are meant for who? 

Counseling graduate degrees are designed for students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology or a similar discipline and desire to work with clients face to face. 

Empathic, calm, communicative, and skilled at listening and setting boundaries are traits that those who succeed in the area possess. 

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With a master’s degree in counseling, can you work as a school counselor? 

Because each school has its own set of regulations for employing a school counselor, the specific qualities you’ll need may differ. If you’re certain this is the path you want to take, you should look into one of the several MA or MS in Psychology schools that offer a specialization in school counseling. Master of Education (MEd) degrees in School Counseling are also available. 

It’s also critical to adhere to your state’s certification criteria to the letter. The National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), both of which grant certification, can be consulted for more information. The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) has a handy infographic that compares certifying bodies. 

A student is more likely to enroll in a Master of Arts or Master of Education in School Counseling program when it comes to a degree program. These degrees focus on giving treatment and advice in a variety of settings, including learning, student interactions, family issues, and special education. 

Is it possible to get in if your bachelor’s degree isn’t in psychology? 

As previously said, a bachelor’s degree in psychology is not required, but you should ensure that you’ve completed the prerequisite courses for your master’s program. If you have a bachelor’s degree in a discipline related to psychology, you may be able to fulfill the master’s degree qualifications while still in school. 

Is it necessary for you to take the GRE? 

While the GRE is not required for all institutions, it is vital to check with the schools you plan to apply to to see if they have any specific GRE requirements. More and more institutions are removing the GRE requirement, replacing it with a writing option in some cases, and requiring no scores at all in others. 

How Long is this Master’s Degree? 

If pursued full-time, master’s degrees normally take two years to complete. 

Curriculum for a Master’s in Counseling 

Given the variety of counseling professions available, the counseling curriculum can cover a wide range of topics. Whatever type of counselor you want to be, your program should include ethics, evidence-based practice, psychodynamic theory, and individual and group therapies in its curriculum.

Is it Worth It to Get a Master’s in Mental Counseling? 

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For many students, a master’s degree in mental health counseling is worthwhile. Over the next ten years, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 12 percent increase in jobs in community and social service occupations, substantially faster than the average for all occupations. 

For most employment in mental health counseling, a master’s degree is required. A profession in counseling can provide you with the satisfaction of knowing that you are making a beneficial impact on the world. Obtaining a master’s degree can provide you with the opportunity to pursue a meaningful job. 

Despite the fact that a profession in mental health counseling does not guarantee enormous income, according to a U.S. News & World Report poll, four jobs in the field rank among the 100 Best Jobs. School counselor (number 81), mental health counselor (number 71), marriage and family therapist (number 51), and drug abuse and behavioral disorder counselor (number 35) are among them. 

Some counselors specialize in working with specific groups, such as children, teenagers, inmates, or the elderly. Others work in crisis intervention, assisting customers in times of trouble. Counselors can work with children in K-12 schools and institutions that provide academic and career guidance. 

Mental health counseling can be a stable and lucrative job. Many counselors work full-time in positions that include benefits including health insurance, paid vacations, and retirement contributions.

Reasons why you should pick Counseling psychology master’s degree 

You’d like to be a professional counselor. 

To work as a counselor, you will almost always need a master’s degree. Counseling jobs frequently demand master’s degrees for entry-level roles, unlike many other careers where you can get started with a bachelor’s degree. 

You can see yourself as a psychotherapist who helps others with their mental health. Perhaps you looked up to a special counselor in high school or someone who helped you get through a difficult time. You may envision yourself as a professional in this sector as a result of your interests and talents. 

You’re considering a career in psychology. 

Do you find the workings of the human brain fascinating? Do you like it when individuals tell you about their personal life and relationships? Do you have an interest in psychology? If you responded yes to all of these questions, you could be interested in working as a mental health counselor. You’ll acquire more fascinating knowledge about psychology as you work toward your master’s degree. The best part is that you may put your newly acquired knowledge to good use by assisting others. 

You want your career to make a positive difference in the lives of others. 

If you have a strong desire to serve others, you are unlikely to be pleased with a job that is solely focused on getting money. You may wish to pursue a career that adds value to the people you serve because of your personality and principles. 

You may make a good difference in your clients’ lives by providing mental health counseling. You can feel good about yourself knowing that you are contributing to the well-being of others.


 Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorders, and Mental Health Counseling Counselor 

Individuals suffering from addiction, alcoholism, and other mental and behavioral issues are treated by counselors in this discipline. They work at mental health centers, community health centers, and prisons, both public and private. 

These counselors create treatment programs after assessing their clients’ needs and behaviors in order to help them build skills for overcoming addiction or behavioral disorders. Counselors also educate the family members of their clients in order to assist them cope with the challenges. 

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Therapist for Couples and Families 

In order to help individuals, couples, and families, marriage and family therapists focus on family ties. These counselors employ a variety of psychological approaches to assist clients explore their feelings and experiences. 

Marriage and family therapists work mostly in private practice, assisting clients in changing behaviors and making future decisions. In addition, they usually suggest to couples or families, institutions or specialists who could help them with substance abuse.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Social Worker (Clinical) 

Clients with addiction disorders or mental health issues are helped by licensed clinical social workers. They may come across a variety of mental and emotional issues in their clients, and they seek to enhance their mental health. 

Clinical social workers construct treatment plans to help their clients overcome mental issues after analyzing their requirements and resources. These social workers may offer psychotherapy or direct clients to appropriate treatment options. 

Counselors at schools and in the workplace. 

Counselors work with kids in K-12 public and private schools, as well as colleges and universities, to help them improve academic and social skills. Counselors in elementary schools assist students in developing self-esteem, decision-making, and study abilities. 

Counselors assist high school students with college applications and training programs. At the university level, counselors assist students with academic and mental health issues. They also cover things like job hunting, resumé writing, and interviewing. 

Counselors in Rehabilitation 

Clients with mental and emotional problems are served by mental health counselors who also function as rehabilitation counselors. They assist these clients in becoming self-sufficient. 

Rehabilitation counselors construct treatment plans that guide clients toward independent living after examining their clients’ interests, abilities, and requirements. They might collaborate with a group of doctors and therapists to find resources and services that help their clients become more self-sufficient.

Counseling Psychology Master’s Degree Programs 

The University of Pennsylvania is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

The Penn Graduate School of Education, or Penn GSE, offers an M.S.Ed. in the Counseling and Mental Health Services program at the University of Pennsylvania. Students pursuing admission to Ph.D., Psy.D., or Ed.D. programs take part in classroom learning while earning up to 10 hours of practical experience per week. Graduates may apply to Penn GSE’s Professional Counseling program, which is regarded as one of the best in the country. 

In addition to the traditional counseling program, Penn GSE offers an Executive-Model Program for working professionals through the School and Mental Health Counseling Program, which offers the same coursework and training opportunities but over a shorter period of time during the summer and weekends. 

School counseling certification and mental health counselor licensing are available in both the traditional and executive forms, and most students pursue both to broaden their employment options. Person-centered counseling with an emphasis on diversity and social justice is the focus. Professional careers or research in psychology, mental health counseling, or school counseling are popular among students. The majority of students enroll full-time, however university personnel are permitted to enroll part-time. 

Northwestern University is a private university in Evanston

Northwestern University’s Online Master of Arts in Counseling Program provides students with the same level of instruction as on-campus students while also allowing them to complete coursework online. The program combines online learning with in-person activities. 

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This CACREP-accredited graduate school program aims to motivate mental health counselors to be more self-reflective in their work. Students who are interested in the program may seek to make the transition into counseling from another discipline or improve their skills in a specific area of counseling. 

Northwestern University has a high graduation rate, and students can pick from a variety of paths to graduation. The accelerated track accelerates the learning process, allowing students to complete their studies more quickly. The Bridge to Counseling Program is designed for students who are switching from another field to counseling. The regular track and the part-time track for working professionals are two more alternatives. 

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Lehigh University is located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. 

Students who complete Lehigh University’s M.Ed. in the Counseling and Human Services program are eligible to apply for the Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) credential in Pennsylvania. The MPCAC-approved graduate program consists of 20 courses, 100 hours of field work, and a two-semester internship. 

During the internship, students typically work 15-20 hours each week. Fieldwork is frequently performed with public school children at the Community Voices Clinic, in college counseling facilities, or in mental health clinics. Some students pursue doctoral degrees after taking advantage of research opportunities during the program. 

The low student-to-faculty ratio at Lehigh University benefits all students by allowing professors to act as mentors to assist students succeed. Most students complete the M.Ed. degree in two years by taking four courses every semester, including summer. Graduates frequently take positions as counselors in hospitals or other organizations. 

Columbia International University is a private university located in New York City 

Columbia International University’s M.A. in Counseling program has a high job placement rate for graduates. Church counseling centers, hospitals, mental health institutions, universities, public or private schools, and addiction rehabilitation programs are all common places for graduates to work. Some students go on to pursue PhD degrees or careers in academia. 

This CACREP-accredited master’s program is for Christians who desire to work as mental health counselors. Personal and spiritual growth, as well as professional skill development, research, clinical experience, and interpersonal communication, are all emphasized. 

Although Columbia International University boasts lower tuition than many other Master’s in Counseling Psychology programs, it also takes longer to complete. Students must finish 60 credit hours, which could take up to three years. 

Northeastern University is located in Boston, Massachusetts. 

Northeastern University’s Master of Science in Counseling Psychology program prepares students to become Licensed Mental Health Counselors (LMHC) in Massachusetts. Students can choose concentrations for more in-depth study and research as part of their courses. Throughout the curriculum, they may also complete field work in various clinics to obtain expertise in a variety of professional settings. 

Experiential learning in real-world settings is required of students in this graduate program. Federal prisons, victim aid programs, mental health centers, complementary medicine clinics, rape crisis centers, and abused women’s shelters are frequently assigned to students. Other clinics may be accessible, depending on the student’s professional interests. 

The Science in Counseling Psychology department at Northeastern University boasts a high graduation rate and only takes about 20 students each year. The majority of students finish in two years, while part-time students may take longer.

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