Masters Degrees in Counseling

Modern society seems to be plagued by people suffering from psychological problems. Between substance abuse, poor nutrition, and major societal changes, people of all walks of life need help getting their lives back on track. For this reason qualified counselors are in higher demand than ever. If you have a passion for helping people and would like to work as a counselor, a masters degree in counseling teaches how to help people who suffer from career and stress management, chemical addiction, suicidal depression, and many other issues. Counselors divide their time between counseling patients, researching mental health issues and analyzing patient conditions, so a masters degree in counseling makes sure you are prepared with the basics of the profession. A masters degree in counseling is a two to three-year graduate degree that qualifies you for an advanced position in counseling or can be used as a steppingstone to a doctorate degree in a related field.

Masters Degree in Counseling Success Factors

Earning a masters degree in counseling requires that you display tremendous patience and sympathy, have strong analytical ability, solid communication skills, remain calm under pressure and are able to manage a variety of tasks at once.

Masters Degree in Counseling Specializations

While earning a masters degree in counseling, you are able to specialize in a particular area of counseling, including mental health counseling, school counseling, abuse counseling, community counseling, rehabilitation counseling, substance guidance counseling and vocational counseling. Rehabilitation counselors help people deal with the effects of disabilities. School counselors assist students deal with every phase of the school experience. Mental health counselors assist people in coping with depression, stress, addictions and substance abuse. Marriage and family therapists treat individuals, family groups, or couples modify behavior and enhance communication and understanding.

Masters Degree in Counseling Curriculum

In addition to advanced coursework in the field of counseling, you may be required to complete a masters thesis and/or a comprehensive examination, also known as comps. A masters thesis in counseling is an extensive research paper on a significant topic in the field of counseling, while comps involve extensive testing of all the subjects pertinent to the field of counseling. The courses you take while earning a masters degree in counseling include psychology, sociology, child development, statistics, research and counseling. Two years of clinical training usually follow coursework, yet you'll need an advanced degree for this career track.

Counseling Certifications

Some alcohol and other drug abuse counselors need only a masters degree to practice. Yet the majority of counselors earn a post-masters graduate degree, either a Master of Arts of PhD. Both psychologists and counselors help people cope with emotional stress, but psychologists must have a doctorate in psychology. More than half of licensed counselors have master's degrees. Most counseling degrees are accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), and most states require licensure or certification. The National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) grants a general practice credential, National Certified Counselor (NCC), to counselors who have passed their examination, have completed a graduate degree and have 2 years of fieldwork. There are a number of mental health counselor certification boards that grant such titles, including the Certified Mental Health Counselor (CMHC), Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor (NACCMHC), Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), and Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC).

Counseling Jobs

A masters degree in counseling is an advanced educational credential that will qualify you for most careers in the field of counseling. There are dozens of professions that counselors can pursue, contingent upon their area of specialization and degree earned. Different types of counselors include clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, psychoanalysts, licensed social workers, school psychologists, and marriage, family, and child counselors.