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 Master's or Doctorate degree online
- Choose from degrees within the schools of Psychology, Organizational Leadership or Social, Human and Educational Development
- Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association
- All faculty hold doctorate degrees and bring real world experience to the classroom
- MA in Psychology, Career Management and Counseling Specialization
- MA in Psychology, General Psychology
- Programs include Bachelor of Science in Human Services, Bachelor of Science in Psychology in Addiction, and more.
- Approved as an education provider by the National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC).
- Courses cover topics such as addiction science, assessment, prevention, and treatment.
- Students learn how to identify, plan, and use resources to help improve client situations.
- MS in Psychology - Addictions
- MS in Psychology - General Psychology
- MS in Psychology
- And more...
- Offers online master’s and doctor of philosophy programs in Psychology.
- Students may also enhance their professional development and choose from several specializations, including Addiction, Gender Diversity Studies, Organizational Psychology, and more.
- Both the master’s and doctor of philosophy programs have no GRE or GMAT exam requirements.
- 100% of faculty possesses a doctoral degree in their field.
- Most courses are online, but some require in-person engagement in local communities through internships/externships and other clinically supervised activities.
- MAMFT - LGBTQ Couple and Family Therapy
- MAMFT - Military Family Therapy
- Marriage & Family Therapy - Master of Arts
- And more...
- Relentlessly reinventing higher education, helping busy adults reinvent their lives through education.
- Over 200 affordable online programs and one of the lowest tuition rates in the nation.
- See yourself succeed at Southern New Hampshire University.
- MS Psychology - Industrial & Org'l Psych
- Master of Science in Psychology - Forensic Psychology
- MS Psychology - Child & Developmental Psych
- And more...
- Earn a graduate degree from an established university that shares your values of social justice and healthy communities.
- All online master’s degree courses are instructed by experienced, accomplished faculty.
- Our rigorous online master’s degrees can be completed in as little as two years.
- New online graduate students are eligible for scholarships and other offers.
- Master of Arts in Psychology: Specialization in Military Psychology
Regent University prepares students with the knowledge to excel and the faith to live with purpose. Our 20,000 alumni, from more than 110 countries, are changing the world as accomplished professionals. Named a top-15 school nationally for online bachelor's programs (U.S. News & World Report, 2015), Regent is among the most affordable undergraduate Christian colleges (CCCU 2015). Fully accredited, challenging programs are available online and on campus. New classes begin every eight weeks.
- Master of Arts in Human Services Counseling
- Master of Science in General Psychology
As a student at South University, you will have the opportunity to learn from accomplished faculty members who have real-world experience in the subjects that they teach. Our small class sizes allow you to receive personalized attention from instructors, and the encouragement to recognize your goals for the future and the means to achieve them.
- Clinical Mental Health Counseling (MA)
Liberty University provides a world-class education with a solid Christian foundation, equipping men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for success in every aspect of life.
A liberal arts institution with 16 colleges and schools, Liberty offers programs in fields such as medicine, religion, law, aviation, cinematic arts, psychology, business, and more. Part of the Big South Conference, Liberty fields 20 NCAA Division I athletic teams and 32 Club Sports teams, offering fans an unparalleled college sports experience.
- MA in Professional Counseling - 60 Hour
- MA in Marriage and Family Therapy
- M.Div: Pastoral Counseling
- And more...
At Kaplan University, we offer over 180 degree and certificate programs. With three different ways to learn, you can choose the format that works best for you:
- Study wherever you have an Internet connection, because almost all of our courses are 100% online, or
- Take campus-based classes(with day and evening options available), or
- Combine campus learning with online classes (blended).
- Master of Science in Psychology : Addictions
- Master of Science in Psychology : Applied Behavior Analysis
- Master of Science: Psychology
- And more...
NU has been educating leaders since 1934 at our campus near Seattle. Over the years, we've seen the improbable made possible. If you have a dream, we can help make it possible.
- Master of Clinical Mental Health Counseling