Counseling Psychology PhD Programs
PhD Counseling Psychology programs offer graduate students seeking a career as professional counseling psychologists the opportunity to earn their advanced degree and prepare to meet state licensing requirements. Counseling psychology is a specialty within psychology that focuses on how people function personally and in interpersonal relationships throughout their different stages of life. The counseling psychologist works with clients to help them foster physical, emotional and mental well-being using a variety of techniques. If you are devoted to helping others identify, understand and deal with their problems, there are different PhD in Counseling Psychology programs to choose from.
PhD in Counseling Psychology: Basics
The PhD in Counseling Psychology degree is a graduate degree that may take 4 or 7 years to complete. Some PhD in Counseling Psychology programs may admit students with a 4-year Bachelor’s degree others may require the completion of a 2-year Master’s degree, so duration of a doctorate degree may vary as a result of prior education standing. As part of their doctoral program, students usually have to complete a 1-year internship.
DID YOU KNOW? 40% of Counseling Psychologists have post-doctoral training, 27% a Master’s degree and 25% a Doctoral Degree. [i]
Licensure for Counseling Psychologists
Why consider earning a PhD in counseling psychology? One of the reasons that a PhD Counseling Psychology program is important is the link it has with state licensure requirements. While these vary, most clinical and counseling psychologists need the following in order to practice as licensed psychologists[ii]:
- Doctorate in psychology (APA accredited)
- An internship
- At least 1 or 2 years of supervised professional experience
- Pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology
PhD Counseling Psychology Admission Requirements
While there is some variance between applications processes for doctorate programs, students are usually required to have some prerequisite courses, school transcripts, and to show completion of any placement or internship hours. At the doctoral level as well, prospective candidates may have to furnish letters of recommendation, a current resume, official transcripts and prepare for an interview with the University’s committee. Note that each school may have their own process and protocol for their Counseling PhD.
Types of Counseling Psychology PhD Programs
The term ‘counseling psychology’ is used both in terms of a specific degree and as an umbrella for other types of Doctoral Programs in Counseling that may be outside of the recognized specialties and proficiencies in professional psychology as recognized by the American Psychological Association (APA).[iii]
- PhD in Art Therapy – Art therapy is a mental health profession in which clients use art and the creative process under facilitation of an Art Therapist, to manage behavior, reduce stress and promote self-awareness[iv].
- PhD in Counseling and Therapy – Counseling and therapy are treatments to improve mental, emotional or behavioral problems or disorders.
- PhD in Marriage & Family Therapy – Marriage & Family Therapy sees the relationship as the patient and brings a family-centered approach to counseling.[v]
- PhD in Rehabilitation Counseling – Rehabilitation counseling is designed to assist those with physical, mental, developmental or emotional disabilities in living more self-sufficiently.[vi]
- PhD in Substance Abuse Counseling – Substance Abuse Counseling is designed to help those who suffer from addiction, eating disorders or behavioral issues and could focus on recovery or behavior modification.[vii]
- PhD in Counseling Psychology – Graduate coursework includes general psychology, statistics, counseling practice and research.
The Difference Between a PhD & PsyD in Counseling Psychology
The two principal terminal (highest) degrees awarded in counseling psychology are the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Psychology and the Doctor of Psychology (PsyD). Each has a different orientation.
PhD in Counseling Psychology
The PhD in Counseling Psychology is an academic research degree intended for graduates who prefer to pursue non-clinical roles in colleges and universities, government agencies, or private research organizations[viii]. The degree is granted after a student takes a comprehensive exam and completes writing and researching a dissertation which is based on original thought.
PsyD in Counseling Psychology
The PsyD on the other hand, is a clinical doctorate degree and students may not have to write a dissertation. Instead the degree is earned based on practical work and examinations and sought be individuals who are ready for clinical practice.
Finding a Doctorate in Counseling Psychology
Once you have landed on the type of PhD Counseling Psychology program you are interested in, you will want to figure out just how to go about earning your degree although not all programs are available in all formats. The three main learning formats you can refine your search by are:
- Campus programs where you study in a social learning setting (think about location)
- Online programs or distance-learning where course delivery is Internet web-based
- Hybrid programs which combine on campus visits with online courses
List of Counseling Psychology PhD Program Types
|Program Name||Formats Available||Degree|
PhD in Art Therapy
PhD in Counseling and Therapy
Online, Campus, Hybrid
PhD In Marriage and Family Therapy
PhD in Rehabilitation Counseling
PhD in Substance Abuse Counseling
PhD in Counseling Psychology
Online, Campus, Hybrid
Accreditation of Counseling Psychology PhD Programs
In terms of looking into a PhD Counseling Psychology program, students should consider one that is accredited by the American Psychological Association. The APA accredits doctoral programs in counseling, internship programs and postdoctoral residency programs (traditional, clinical and specialty)[ix]. Other doctorate in counseling psychology programs may fall under another accreditation agency, for instance, the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs. Employers may prefer this credential when hiring a Mental Health Counselor of Marriage and Family Therapist.[x]
Take the Next Step
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for psychologists is projected to increase by 19% from 2014 to 2024, which is faster than average[xi]. While it may not be employment growth that drives you, the time may be right to find a doctorate degree that could help you on your path to licensure. Review sponsored program listings such as Doctorate of Marriage & Family Therapy –Couple Therapy, Doctorate in Counseling Psychology or PsyD Marital and Family Therapy. These are only a few choices and you can request info from the prospective universities to help you make your decision about your PhD Counseling Psychology choice.
sources: [i] onetonline.org/link/summary/19-3031.03 | [ii] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm[iii] apa.org/ed/graduate/specialize/recognized.aspx |[iv] org/upload/whatisarttherapy.pdf |[v] bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/mental-health-counselors-and-marriage-and-family-therapists.htm[vi]bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/rehabilitation-counselors.htm |[vii] bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/substance-abuse-and-behavioral-disorder-counselors.htm |[viii] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm[ix] apa.org/ed/accreditation/programs/index.asp[x] bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/mental-health-counselors-and-marriage-and-family-therapists.htm[xi] .bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm
Grand Canyon University
Grand Canyon University’s Bridge to Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Supervision program is for independently licensed or associate-level licensed mental health professionals who want to teach counseling students, supervise clini...
When helping with the challenges facing today’s families, one never knows what emotional issues a family might experience. The General Family Therapy DMFT specialization allows you to select courses from a broad range of electives to fit your p...
Walden University’s Ph.D. in Psychology program combines rigorous academics and original research so that you can build the skills and knowledge required to meet the changing needs of a diverse world. This program follows a scholar-practitioner...
- Irvine, CAIrvine, CA
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
The Doctor of Psychology in Marital and Family Therapy (MFT) program is based on the practitioner-scholar model of education, integrating eight core competencies developed by the educational model of the National Council of Schools and Programs of Pr...
- Los Angeles, CA
- Chicago, IL
- Kirkland, WAKirkland, WA
Saybrook’s online hybrid clinical psychology programs are specifically focused on the knowledge, experience, and practical skills you will need to directly enter professional practice.
Liberty University Online
Liberty University’s Doctor of Philosophy in Counseling (Ph.D.) — Counselor Education and Supervision online program instructs students in advanced teaching and counseling skills. This program is ideal for those interested in progra...
- Fort Lauderdale, FLFort Lauderdale, FL
Nova Southeastern University
The Ph.D. in Family Therapy prepares graduates for careers as professors, researchers, supervisors, and senior clinicians.
- Boca Raton, FLBoca Raton, FL
Florida Atlantic University
Program offers Masters, Specialist and Ph.D.(Fall 05) programs in Counseling. Emphasis on child, adolescent and family interventions in school and clinical settings. Both regular and alternative course delivery models available across four campus sites-...
- Boca Raton, FL
- Melbourne, FLMelbourne, FL
Florida Institute of Technology
Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is the design, implementation and evaluation of environmental modifications to produce socially significant improvements in behavior. ABA includes the use of direct observation, measurement and functional analysis of the...
- Pullman, WAPullman, WA
Washington State University
- Bronx, NYBronx, NY
- Pittsburgh, PAPittsburgh, PA
The Ph.D. Counselor Education is designed for counselors who wish to enhance their professional capabilities in research and evaluation, supervision, teaching, and counseling,...
- Springfield, MOSpringfield, MO
Missouri State University
This program is tailored to working professionals who desire to further their career as a school psychological examiner.
- Tempe, AZTempe, AZ
Arizona State University
- Saint Louis, MOSaint Louis, MO
St. Louis University
To train counselors and therapists who are engaged in service to individuals, couples, families, and the community.
- Aston, PAAston, PA
Neumann equips scholars and practitioners for leadership in today's diverse world of mental health challenges.
- Saint Louis, MOSaint Louis, MO
University of Missouri - St Louis
The Department of Counseling and Family Therapy offers coursework leading to the Master of Education (M.Ed.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees, to state certification in elementary and secondary guidance and counseling, to eligibility for licensi...
- Manhattan, KSManhattan, KS
Kansas State University
The School of Family Studies and Human Services is a multidisciplinary school which, since its establishment in 1928, offers graduate training towards M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in a broad range of the human sciences and human services.
- Syracuse, NYSyracuse, NY
The master of arts program in Marriage and Family Therapy is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE). , it is intended for mature individuals with a strong commitment to the family therapy profes...
- Grand Forks, NDGrand Forks, ND
University of North Dakota
The program provides preparation at the Ph.D. level for employment in a variety of academic and psychological service settings, such as: community mental health agencies, college and university counseling centers, hospitals and medical centers, college...
- Provo, UTProvo, UT
Brigham Young University
Marriage and Family Therapy—Master Degree The MS program in MFT trains persons who will be outstanding clinicians, prepared to function in a wide variety of marriage and family therapy settings (e.g. mental health centers, private treatment programs, h...
- Provo, UT
- Skokie, ILSkokie, IL
Jewish University Of America