Masters in Counseling
Obtaining a Masters in Counseling is generally presented as a Masters of Arts or Science in Counseling Psychology. Either traditional classroom or online study is coupled with field experience to complete the master's degree. Candidates to become licensed professional counselors or marriage and family therapists are taught how to diagnose and treat mental health issues of clients who have issues in their personal, family and educational lives. Topics of study include courses with titles like mental health drugs, individual and group counseling techniques, behavior modification strategies, couple and family counseling, chemical dependence counseling and abuse assessment.
If you have an inclination toward helping others and find satisfaction in solving problems for those facing serious trouble, pursuing Counseling Master's Programs could be a perfect route for you to take in order to find a fulfilling career. You can complete much of your required coursework online, especially the classes that simply require researching and reporting findings. Some techniques can only be taught in real life group settings, but there is still a wide selection of class options available for credit online from approved universities. Complete your degree at a lesser expense and with more convenience without sacrificing the quality of your education and the rank you achieve.
Additional Counseling Grad Resources
University of Wisconsin/Madison offers the Masters in Counseling as a forty eight credit hour program through the School of Education. Students usually commit two years of full time study plus one summer semester. The specialization options are School Counseling and Community College Counseling; the program requires a thesis along with work in the Training Clinic operated by the University.
University of Arizona has a Master of Counseling degree that leads to certification as a school counselor for K-12 grades in the State of Arizona. The University also has an excellent Master of Rehabilitation Counseling that is also offered by the College of Education. This degree provides training for professional work with people who are recovering from a debilitating injury or illness or who have a congenital disability and need help in transitioning to an independent lifestyle.
San Diego State University Department of Counseling & Psychology offers the graduate program in counseling as a Master of Education (MEd) in Counseling or as a Master of Counseling with specialization in School Counseling. There is also a Master of Marriage & Family Therapy available for students interested in a family practice and a School Psychology program that lead s to a degree as Education Specialist (EdS).
Auburn University has a Master of Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree available in the College of Education that is a sixty credit hour program available as full time or part time study, and accredited by CACREP (see below). There is also a Masters in School Counseling through the same department, also accredited by CACREP, and a Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling program.
Syracuse University offers the Master of Clinical Mental Health Counseling as a sixty credit hour program, for students interested in working with people who need help with substance abuse, career counseling, disabilities, or domestic problems. There is a program for Masters in School Counseling and another for Masters in Student Affairs Counseling which is available with a specialization in Higher Education.
Counseling Professional Associations
American Counseling Association is a national organization divided into four geographic regions with fifty six chapters scattered among them. The ACA has an insurance program available for members, the ACA Insurance Trust Inc. which provides coverage for individuals and groups in the human development professions. The organization also provides educational opportunities and monitors legislative activities pertinent to the profession.
American Mental Health Counselors Association is a growing national organization with a developing roster of state chapters that is open to counselors with various types of licenses who work in the mental health field. The Association has a malpractice insurance partnership with an insurer that is available to members at reasonable rates. Other benefits include a career job bank and legislative updates. National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors is the largest national organization for professionals working in addiction counseling, recovery support, and substance abuse education. There are 8,000 members in 43 state affiliates or chapters. There are several education programs made available by NAADAC, a career center, bookstore, newsletter and networking resources on the Association's website.
American School Counselor Association has more than 28,000 members who are active in an organization that provides a professional development program, an insurance program, two school counseling journals and a newsletter to keep members updated. For people new to the profession there is a "starter kit" of sorts provided with information relevant to launching a career.
Association of Marital & Family Regulatory Boards is an organization of the licensing agencies in each state that provide credentialing for MFT graduates who wish to practice professionally. Every state licenses Marriage & Family Therapists, and this organization tracks those agencies and the requirements that must be met to obtain a license in each state.
Counseling Accreditation and Credentials
Council for Accrediting of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) is the organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation for accrediting undergraduate and graduate programs in counseling. CACREP is the primary accreditation for counseling, marriage & family therapy, and several other types of human development degrees.
National Association of Social Workers has a program for certification for social workers who have at least two years of work experience that leads to recognition as a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers (ACSW). This is separate from a state license, which for clinical social workers trained in counseling is a LCSW, or Licensed Clinical Social Worker.
International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium is a global organization of substance abuse licensing and certification agencies. Membership includes the boards in 44 states, 22 other nations, two U.S Territories and three branches of the U.S. Military. The organization coordinates certification standards and reciprocity agreements.
National Board for Certified Counselors was established in 1982 to develop a standard for testing and certifying counselors. The Board developed the National Counselor Exam for Licensure and Certification (NCE) which is used by 49 states and the District of Columbia.
Commission on Accreditation of Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) is the organization founded by the American Association of Marriage & Family Therapists to accredit graduate degree programs in the field. It is recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation.