United States Hybrid Counseling Psychology Graduate Programs

Hybrid Counseling Psychology Graduate Programs offer students the convenience of distance learning courses with the social learning environment of on-campus study. Both counseling and counseling psychology as person-centered and regulated fields often choose the blended format so that students can learn the essential interpersonal skills, while taking online classes for theory and research. If you are someone who wants to guide others whether in the capacity of a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) or a Counseling Psychologist, graduate level education is mostly required. Why not see whether a partially online Counseling Psychology Graduate degree makes continued education more manageable!

Hybrid Counseling Psychology Graduate Programs: Basics

Blended online programs are often ideal for graduate counseling psychology degrees. Colleges understand the need for flexible scheduling and dynamic coursework and want to collaborate in your professional development by offering low residency options. Hybrid Counseling Psychology Graduate Degree programs are available as graduate certificates, master’s degrees and PsyD and PhD degrees in a variety of counseling specializations. With all the different terminology around counseling psychology, an initial step might be to first define your own goals. While there is definitely some overlap, the academic path to practice as a licensed counseling psychologist is different from working in professional counseling.

What is Counseling Psychology? Counseling psychology is a general practice and health service provider specialty in professional psychology. It focuses on how people function both personally and in their relationships at all ages (APA). [i]

Counseling Psychologist vs. MFT vs. LPCC

If you are just starting out, it can be confusing to decide which path to take. With options at the Masters level such as MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Masters in Counseling Psychology, which Hybrid Counseling Psychology Graduate degree path is right for you? Do you prefer to enter the workplace with a Masters degree or is continued education on your horizon?

Licensed Counseling Psychologists are “psychologists”. This means – in most states - they have earned a doctorate degree in psychology, have passed through an internship, at least 1 to 2 years of supervised professional experience, and have passed the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology. What they do is help people understand and work through personal and interpersonal problems and issues, using different techniques. Psychologists are able to diagnose and treat, and they tend to receive quantitative testing and assessment methods.

MFT stands for Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. MFTs are relationship counselors. They are trained to assess, diagnose, and treat individuals, couples, children, and families but rarely using testing and assessment techniques in their regular practice. MFTs must obtain a Master’s degree in a qualifying subject, such as Counseling Psychology before becoming licensed. Much like a counseling psychologist, an MFT must complete 3,000+ hours of supervised experience before they can sit for their licensure exams.

Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors need the same amount of education and supervised experience as that of an MFT in order to become licensed. Depending on the curriculum they follow for their masters program. LPCCs may have more vocational counseling or rehabilitation counseling experience and less of the child and family orientation of an MFT.

Types of Hybrid Programs in Counseling Psychology

Now that you have a good understanding of your goals, you need to choose an academic track that will support these ambitions. When in doubt, make sure to ask for guidance – that helpful green ‘request info’ tab. There are Masters degrees that might prepare you to get started in your chosen career after graduation, and others that prepare you for continued education.

Counseling is a field where students often feel a particular calling to work within a specific setting such as a mental health clinic, in private practice, in schools or with a specific population such as married couples or drug addicts. Choose your subject from our directory on GradSchools.com to find Hybrid Counseling Psychology Programs in:

  • Art therapy
  • Counseling & therapy
  • Marriage & family therapy
  • Rehabilitation counseling

Next, choose your program level (Graduate Certificate, Doctorate, Master’s) Explore Hybrid Programs such as Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy, MA Clinical Mental Health Counseling, MA in Psychology and Counseling (low residency) and Master of Arts in Dance/Movement Therapy.

Potential Features of Hybrid Degree Programs

Of course Hybrid Counseling Programs are going to vary between graduate schools. Sometimes referred to as ‘blended online’ the combination in this type of program is often that lectures are delivered via web and assignments handing in through the same electronic course management system. Then, since counseling psychology is a human-centered profession students spend some time on-site at pre-scheduled intervals (e.g. Meetings, weekends, evenings, intensives).

This format might really work in your favor if you are a busy working graduate student or you live too far to commute to university. The onsite component is often crammed full of information, and may also help you to learn vital communication skills, patient-client protocol, and observation methods. Plus you meet your classmates and professors face to face.

In terms of access, Hybrid Counseling Psychology Programs usually have virtual libraries and research tools and students get access to all the onsite campus facilities –libraries, laboratories, gymnasium, and student services.

If you are ready to search, all you have to do is select your subject, your program level and the ‘hybrid’ format. GradSchools.com generates a list of leads for you to explore. Compare the curriculums to see what aligns with you.

Accreditation and Licensure

Making sure the school offering your hybrid program is licensed and accredited by an appropriate body or association. For example, the American Psychological Association (APA) accredits programs at the doctoral level in the fields of clinical, school, and counseling psychology (as well as some internship and postdoctoral programs)[ii]

Additionally, if you wish to pursue a license to practice psychology, many states require that the doctoral program you attend meet the designating criteria of the joint Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB ) / National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology (NR). The best option is to check with the licensing body in the state(s) in which you intend to practice. .

Take the Next Step

Hybrid counseling psychology graduate programs help prepare students for diverse potential careers. If the combination of autonomy and hands-on learning appeals to you, take the next step and initiate your search for a program that resonates with your ambitions.


[i] apa.org/ed/graduate/specialize/counseling.aspx |[ii] apa.org/ | asppb.net/

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