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Counseling Degrees Tips

Read these 4 Counseling Degrees Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Psychology Degree tips and hundreds of other topics.

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Is it necessary to obtain a PhD in Counseling?

Obtaining a PhD in Counseling

Working as a counseling psychologist will generally involve obtaining a doctoral level degree. This means a degree such as a PhD in counseling or a PsyD or EdD will be necessary. Students who earn a PhD in counseling typically spend 4-5 years doing postgraduate work to achieve their degree. The coursework during this time should include core courses related to the biological, cognitive, social bases of behavior, individual differences, history and methods of psychology.

In addition to these core courses there will be coursework in specific areas of counseling such as community psychology, substance abuse and trauma, adolescent psychology or spirituality. The student will select these courses based on career aspirations. Some PhD in counseling degree programs may also require students to participate in a full time internship for one year prior to earning a degree. This type of training gives the student practical, hands on experience which will be very beneficial after the degree is obtained. The completion of a psychology related dissertation and research projects will also likely be required to obtain a PhD in counseling.

What are my online counseling degree options?

Online Counseling Degree Options

Students pursuing an online counseling degree have a variety of options available to them. Some of these options include when and where courses are taken, the types of courses which are taken and the amount of time taken to complete the degree. When and where online counseling degree courses are taken is one of the options which is specifically related to the ability to take courses online. Some online programs allow the student to access lessons and assignments at their convenience while other online programs require students to be available at specific times for each lesson. Students participating in an online program should consider which type of program they prefer before selecting a program.

Students also have options in the courses they will take when pursuing an online counseling degree. There may be a number of required courses but students will have options which will help them to tailor the degree to meet their specific needs. For examples students who wish to pursue a career in counseling children may wish to take classes which relate to adolescent psychology. Students wishing to pursue a career in counseling substance abusers may opt to focus on courses which relate directly to substance abuse.

Students pursuing an online counseling degree also have the option to complete the degree at a more relaxed pace than most traditional classroom settings. However, students should be careful to adhere to all time related restrictions to ensure all of the coursework is considered valid.

Related Tip: Online counseling degree options may make obtaining a graduate degree in psychology much easier for some students. This may include students who are already working full time in a related field, students who have disabilities which prevent them from attending a traditional school or students who have other life obligations which prevent them from dedicating themselves fully to school. In these cases obtaining an online counseling degree may make an otherwise unattainable goal possible.

How can I obtain a counseling degree online?

Obtaining a Counseling Degree Online

Obtaining a counseling degree online can be a rather difficult process. A counseling degree will typically require a student to obtain a masters degree. A bachelors degree in psychology is typically a prerequisite for admissions into a masters degree program. This means students interested in obtaining a counseling degree online should have already completed their undergraduate degree either online or in a traditional university. Once a student has an undergraduate degree in psychology he can apply for admissions into online programs offering a masters degree in counseling psychology.

The requirements for obtaining a counseling degree will typically include completing approximately 60 credit hours in courses closely related to the degree. A full time student may be able to complete these course requirements within two years. However, when obtaining a counseling degree online and taking courses on a part time basis the student may take longer to earn the degree. Students should verify all graduation requirements to ensure the degree is completed within an allowable timeframe. This is important because some colleges may place restrictions on how long it may take a student to complete degree requirements.

Related Tip: Students seeking to obtain a counseling degree online may include those who previously completed a bachelors degree in psychology and are already working at a full time job. For these students taking online courses while working full time is an excellent option because it allows them to maintain an income while continuing their education. It may not be possible for these students to take classes on a full time basis, however, so it may take them longer to earn their degree than it would take a full time student in a traditional school.

What types of counseling degree programs are available?

Types of Counseling Degree Programs

A counseling psychologist is a psychologist who focuses on aspects such as social, vocational, educational, health-related, developmental, and organizational issues in an effort to assist the patient with personal and interpersonal concerns. Counseling degree programs will typically include the pursuit of a doctoral degree such as a PhD or a PsyD and will likely include base courses such as counseling theory, multi-cultural psychology, life span development, research methods, group dynamics and counseling ethics and law.

In addition to these core classes, students in counseling degree programs are encouraged to take a series of courses which relate specifically to their intended career focus. This may include specializing in areas such as community psychology, substance abuse and trauma, adolescent psychology or spirituality. These specialized courses help to prepare the student for real life counseling sessions with future patients.

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