Illinois Hybrid Counseling Psychology Masters Programs
Hybrid Masters in Counseling Psychology programs explore a dynamic field of study through a combination of online coursework and in person learning. Counseling psychology is an APA recognized specialty in psychology. It includes research and applied work in different areas: counseling process and outcome; supervision and training; career development and counseling; and prevention and health.
Hybrid counseling psychology programs may prepare students to focus on a client’s assets and strengths, their situational interactions, education, career development, and personalities.i Within some programs, students may choose to explore various modalities, such as art therapy. Or, focus on counseling methods used for specific populations, such as couples, mental health disorders or addicts.
Why Consider a Hybrid Masters in Counseling Psychology Program?
Hybrid Masters in Counseling Psychology programs provide a low residency, blended online model which may appeal to working students. Many schools allow students to work at their own pace, with flexible full or part-time study, and courses that alternate web and in-class instruction.
While ‘low residency’ can mean different things at every university, sometimes they take the form of intensives. These on campus seminars may be weeklong. In them, students might connect with faculty, advisors, practitioners in their field, and classmates. Also, they provide a forum for hands-on practice where students might learn the dynamics of individual and group therapy.
Whatever the structure, students who work towards their hybrid counseling psychology degree may find it a unique mix of interaction and self-directed study. Contact individual schools to learn more about their specific format.
DID YOU KNOW?
Counseling psychologists are skilled observers, listeners and critical thinkers.ii
Types of Hybrid
Counseling Psychology Masters Programs
Within the umbrella of hybrid masters in counseling psychology programs, there are both general and more focused degree options. Most Masters in Counseling programs entail about two years of full-time study and consist of about 60 credits.
Admission to some Masters in Counseling programs presumes that students have earned a bachelors degree. Also, that they have some undergraduate credits in psychology, including Personality Theory, Statistics, Abnormal Psychology, and Research Methods.
Hybrid Master in Counseling Psychology Program
A general Hybrid Masters in Counseling Psychology program blends theory and practice of basic counseling skills and knowledge. In terms of curriculum, students can expect several psychology courses such as the examples below. Make sure to look at individual schools to see what courses they include.
- Foundations in Counseling Psychology focuses on the history, theory, ethics and practical aspects of the field.
- Applied Biological Psychology covers the biological base for mental disorders, psychotropic medication and issues such as depression and anxiety.
- Psychology of Culture could cover variables such as intelligence, aptitude, and personality traits.
- Human Development explores the cognitive, social, emotional and physical issues linked with the life span.
- Psychopathology coursework discusses concepts of mental health and effective treatments.
- Foundations of Family Therapy usually covers family and systems theories and applications.
Other courses are likely to cover things like statistics, research methods and approaches to counseling. Students may get to take some of these courses online, and work on practical skills when their program meets in person. Requirements such as fieldwork and supervised internships may be fulfilled in students’ communities.
Hybrid Master in Addiction Studies Degree
A hybrid Master of Arts in Addiction Studies program may help students develop counseling skills to meet the needs of those impacted by substance abuse and addictive disorders. Typically, students who are on track to pursue licensure must take required courses. Some of these may expand on counseling theory and techniques specific to the treatment of alcohol and drug abuse. Other courses tackle mental health, appraisal methods, and pharmacology. For their practicum, students may be required to complete their field placement in an alcohol and drug treatment facility.
Hybrid Master in Art Therapy Program
A hybrid Master of Arts in Expressive Arts Therapy program may explore the therapeutic use of arts and creativity along with transpersonal counseling methods. Students of expressive art therapy may take classes in client-centered therapy methods and recovery-oriented care. Other courses are likely to cover specific interventions that focus of the use of drama, visual arts, dance and the written word. Students may take the more experiential courses through intensive residencies. Here, they might engage in role-play, simulations and practice aesthetic response.
Hybrid Master in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Degree
A hybrid Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) program is usually aimed at students who want to prepare for clinical work and licensure. Or for those who want to go onto a doctoral program and need the relevant internship experiences and skills. To earn their CMHC degree, students usually take a series of core courses. Some of these cover professional practice skills like ethics. Other courses discuss behavior, lifespan development, psychopathology and cognition. Students are also exposed to various counseling theories, research methods and assessment tools.
Aside from the required core, students may choose electives and/or pursue an area of emphasis to tailor the degree to their own interests. These areas vary between schools and might include a focus on sexual orientation or expressive arts therapy. In addition to their courses, students complete a practicum and internship along with a capstone or thesis.
Licensure and Continued Education
Some hybrid counseling psychology masters programs may offer a ‘licensure track’. This type of program may help those who want to seek a license after graduation. Students often create study plans that reflect the requirements of their state licensure laws and/or the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC). Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LCADC), Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT), Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC), or Registered Expressive Art Therapist (REAT) are some examples.
That said, licensure occurs post-degree and is up to the student to pursue. The process may entail two years or about 3000 supervised clinical hours. Students must also successfully pass a national written and oral exam administered by their state board. Other programs may serve as a platform for a PhD or PsyD in Counseling Psychology. Contact schools to find out more.
Explore a Potential Career in Counseling Psychology
One of the things to keep in mind when you search through hybrid Masters in Counseling Psychology programs is your end professional goal. With the diversity of programs, it is important to align your interests with the degree itself.
Professionals who are licensed counseling psychologists typically have a PhD or PsyD in Counseling Psychology. Counseling psychologists are individuals who counsel people on how to deal with their issues and problems. These may arise through their own emotional or behavioral issues, or be a product of career, relationship or community. Through counseling, they work with patients to help them tap into their strengths and manage problems.iii A hybrid masters in counseling psychology program may serve as a platform for continued studies if this interests you.
Some counseling professionals choose a niche. Mental Health Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists, Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors, and Social Workers are some examples. Entry level positions in these careers may requires a masters degree, as well as licensure. iv
Find Hybrid Masters in Counseling Programs
More and more people continue to turn to counseling psychologists. iii If you hope to be one of the service providers, you are in the right place. Easily look through program here to find the right Hybrid Masters in Counseling Psychology for your needs. Refine your results from this directory by location and subject category. Read through descriptions and contact schools directly with the on-page form.
[i] apa.org/ed/graduate/specialize/counseling.aspx |[ii] onetonline.org/link/summary/19-3031.03 |[iii] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm |[iv] bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/mental-health-counselors-and-marriage-and-family-therapists.htm
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