Counseling Psychology Masters New Jersey Graduate Programs
Counseling psychology is the practice of helping individuals to improve and maintain personal and interpersonal well-being and functioning. Counseling psychology graduate programs prepare students to work in a variety of settings with individuals seeking treatment for a wide range of symptoms including emotional, social, developmental and health-related concerns.
A master’s in counseling psychology is generally acceptable in educational settings and for private practice, and also prepares graduates to be assistants in a research setting. A Ph.D. in counseling psychology is usually necessary to teach at the university level.
Counseling Psychology Graduate Programs and Curriculum
Often the first decision in pursuing a graduate degree in psychology is to decide between counseling psychology and clinical psychology. While the two branches do overlap, clinical psychology tends to take a more medical approach to treatment and often works with more serious and complex mental illnesses. Counseling psychologists generally treat individuals with relatively less serious, more everyday concerns.
Ideally, a counseling psychologist should have the following characteristics:
Good interpersonal and communication skills Ability to listen Unbiased and nonjudgmental Self-motivated Trustworthy and responsible Compassionate and patient
A thorough degree program for a master’s or doctoral degree in counseling psychology includes coursework in three general areas: psychological theories, research, and assessment and treatment. The program coursework may include topics such as:
- Counseling and psychotherapy
- Human development over the life span
- Research and data Group therapy
- Cultural diversity Emotional and behavioral disorders and assessment
- Ethical and legal Issues
- Substance abuse
- Therapy for children and adolescents
- Family counseling
Most, if not all, programs also require direct experience, often through an internship, and the completion of a thesis. The internship and thesis are geared towards the student’s area of desired specialization.
An undergraduate degree in psychology is not always required when applying for a master’s in counseling psychology program, and some schools are willing to accept students who have undergraduate degrees in areas other than psychology. These applicants may only need to take prerequisites. Many schools also seek experience in statistics.
Counseling psychology doctoral programs often require a background in psychology, and depending upon the program, many look for a master’s degree in psychology or a related field. Both master’s level and doctoral programs seek students who are genuinely interested in and excited about the field of counseling psychology, and who are committed to completing the rigorous coursework associated with a graduate degree in counseling psychology.
When considering a program, be sure it has been accredited. Typically, the American Psychological Association (APA) certifies programs; however, other organizations can certify graduate programs in the area of school psychology. Organizations such as The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) can certify programs in areas relating to school psychology. Practicing psychologists are predominantly required to be certified or licensed. Certification and licensing varies from state to state, but as a rule requires a graduate degree from an accredited school.
Counseling Psychology Career Paths
Licensed or certified psychologists can work in a variety of settings, including private or group practices, clinics, counseling centers, hospitals, schools and in research settings.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), psychologists held about 160,200 jobs in 2012.. Many psychologists are self employed, they might work with clients or as researchers. Others might pursue career opportunties working as part of a healthcare team, or social services organization. Career opportunities might also exist for phychologists in elemetary and high schools, or colleges and universities.
Employment opportunities for psychologists are expected to grow by an estimated 12 percent by 2022, with the best prospects being for those individuals who hold a doctoral degree. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts an increasing demand for psychologists in school settings, hospitals, human services, substance abuse centers, as well as in the field of industrial-organizational psychology.
Counseling Psychology Salary
While salaries vary with industry, the average salary for a psychologist, according to the BLS, was approximately $69,280 in 2012. The lowest 10% of earners made less than $38,720, the highest 10% of earners in the field made more than $110,880. The graph below provides2012 medina salary data for psychologysits employed in select industries.