What Are the Education Requirements for a Counseling Psychologist?

Counseling psychologists help individuals, couples, and groups cope with a variety of mental, social, and vocational problems and improve their overall quality of life. Read on to learn about the education needed to become a counseling psychologist. Schools offering Addictions & Social Work degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Undergraduate Degree

To become a counseling psychologist, you must obtain a graduate degree and licensure. This process begins with the completion of an undergraduate degree program. Most graduate counseling psychology programs accept applicants with bachelor's degrees in any subject; however, schools may prefer those who've majored in psychology. Graduate degree programs typically require you to have completed a minimum amount of psychology coursework, such as in general psychology and research methodology, before granting admittance.

Important Facts About Counseling Psychology

Concentration Individual, group or family counseling
Online Availability Several schools offer counseling programs online
Possible Careers School psychologist, mental health counselor, marriage and family therapist
Continuing Education Abnormal psychology and psychopathology, testing and appraisal courses
Median Salary (2018) $79,010 (all clinical, counseling, and school psychologists)
Job Growth (2016-2026) 14% (all clinical, counseling, and school psychologists)

Graduate-level Education

Master's degree programs in counseling psychology provide a passageway to a doctoral program or allow you to work as a clinical counselor or doctorate-level psychologist's assistant. You might also work as a psychologist in the industrial-organizational industry. Other schools offer separate tracks for those intending to immediately enter the workforce and those looking to apply to doctorate programs. In a master's degree counseling psychology program, you can expect to take courses in counseling theory and methodology, developmental psychology, and group counseling, as well as completing a clinical practicum.

Doctoral Program

Most states require you to receive a doctoral degree to become a counseling psychologist. At the doctoral level, you may pursue a Ph.D. or Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) in Counseling Psychology. The main difference between the two is that a Ph.D. is typically more research-oriented, while the Psy.D. is geared toward aspiring practicing psychologists. Many doctoral degree programs in counseling psychology require you to have first completed a master's degree, but some schools allow students with only bachelor's degrees to apply. Your curriculum will generally consist of extensive research, clinical practicums, a dissertation project, and a one-year internship.

Licensing and Continuing Education

You must become licensed to work as a counseling psychologist. The licensing requirements can vary dramatically from state to state, so you are advised to check with the state in which you wish to work for specific details. Some states also require you to earn continuing education credits in order to maintain licensure, which may include courses, workshops, and conferences. on topics ranging from abnormal psychology and psychopathology to testing and appraisal.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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