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Masters in Counseling Requirements

Masters in Counseling Requirements

The length of any master's program depends on the university that is offering it and the curriculum requirements associated with it. In the case of counseling, most professional positions in the field require licensure - and the licensure requirements have much to do with academic standards. Programs that are designed to prepare students for a license in clinical counseling, school counseling, addiction counseling or a related specialty that requires a state license are going to have curricula that provide a lot of focus on the types of counseling involved in the specialty, the psychology that underlies counseling in those particular fields and the development issues associated with clients. There are also substantial practicum requirements with some of these degrees that demand hundreds or even thousands of hours of field experience prior to the issuance of a license to practice.

Masters in Marriage & Family Therapy Requirements

The MFT is one of the most respected master's programs in counseling and one of the most challenging academically. The program generally takes two to three years to complete. A rigorous MFT program may be a fifty to sixty credit course of study with classes in career counseling, group counseling, family counseling, couples counseling, and some room for electives to further define a counseling career track. The real challenge for MFT students however is the requirement of 3,000 hours in field internship, working at MFT counseling in a supervised environment. Usually this takes two years of concentrated effort after completion of the academic program.

Masters in School Counseling Requirements

Masters in School Counseling can be an eighteen month to two year program of study and like other counseling programs, an intergral part of the academic experience is field work, which may be continued after graduation in order to meet licensing requirements. A Masters in School Counseling can come in the form of a degree in psychology, in education or in counseling. In any case the curriculum will include classes in alcohol and substance abuse, integrative counseling, and assessment in counseling. Some programs require field work in both elementary and secondary schools, with several hundred hours of supervised counseling in each environment.

Masters in Substance Abuse Counseling Requirements

This degree will also require two years of study in a fifty to sixty credit program, under most circumstances. Often this is a Master of Arts in Psychology or a Masters in Clinical Counseling with specialization in substance abuse; a good career choice because substance abuse counseling is predicted to be one of the fastest growing jobs in the nation over the next decade. The classes that focus on the counseling specialization include areas such as group counseling for addictive behavior, the psychology of addiction, treatment of alcohol & substance abuse, and substance abuse prevention. These programs generally require 600 - 800 hours of supervised field work during the course of study. The state requirements for licensure may demand several hundred additional hours of field work, depending on the license. In most states there are several levels of licensing for substance abuse counseling and rehabilitation.

Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling Requirements

Rehabilitation counseling is a fast growing field, due in part to our aging population. Rehabilitation counselors work with people who have developmental disabilities or difficulties associated with trauma or aging, providing support for rehabilitation and recovery efforts. This is often another Master of Clinical Counseling or Clinical Psychology specialization; the academic program will usually require two years of full time effort and will be accompanied by substantial hours working with licensed counselors in the field. The coursework will include classes in vocational evaluation, occupational assessment & career counseling, psychosocial aspects of disability, and a substantial number of courses related to substance abuse. The practicum requirements for this degree and this license vary from school to school, state to state, but most programs require at least 600 hours in the field during the period of enrollment.

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