Canada Counseling Degrees Online

Online Counseling Degrees might appeal to busy working professionals who are interested in studying counseling psychology while maintaining their lifestyle. These programs explore how people function both personally and in their relationships, at all ages. Students then study methods to help people manage and overcome their problems. All through courses delivered in a flexible learning format.

Counseling Degrees Online are available in several different academic tracks, depending on your goals. Programs may focus more on research or clinical practice. You might also decide to specialize your knowledge in areas such as substance abuse, family therapy or art therapy.

Additionally, different Online Counseling Degrees may be preferable depending on if you aspire to practice as a licensed psychologist, licensed counselor or therapist. Most roles in the field of counseling however do require a graduate degree and state licensing. So if you want to help others overcome their challenges at home, work and in their relationships, Graduate Online Counseling Degrees may be a perfect option.

Why Consider Online Counseling Degrees?

Technology has made graduate study more accessible. All you really need is a computer and self-motivation. As an e-learner, you usually have access to tech support and student services. Plus online libraries allow you to research and study, in addition to having your courses delivered through digital tools.

There are numerous Online Counseling Programs targeted for counselors, but most of them originate in the fields of education, marriage and family, art therapy, rehabilitation or substance abuse treatment rather than from the field of psychology itself. You may find a handful of online graduate programs dealing with both counseling and psychology, but they may not be 100% online. Why?

Human-centered careers involve learning observation skills, people skills and patient-care interpersonal skills. Most Online Counseling Psychology Graduate Programs are formatted so that the student does the majority of his or her learning from a remote setting – with reliable Internet. However, students may also be required to fulfill some in-person requirements on campus (e.g. weekends, evening, intensives, meetings). Furthermore, counseling psychology graduate students are required to complete a supervised practicum or internship. With the help of the school, you may arrange options to complete your field education in a local setting.

Distance-learning may suit people who want to study while keeping their full-time jobs, have parenting or adult care giving responsibilities, or live too far from a program to commit to a commute. Web-based technology makes it easier to schedule your study around these commitments, so that you have some flexibility.

Online Counseling Degrees: Basics

Online Counseling Degrees are available as graduate certificates, masters and doctorate degrees in a variety of focused areas. Some programs prepare students to enter the workplace in counseling oriented roles with an online masters degree, while others lead to continued education.

Online Masters Counseling Programs typically require a bachelors degree in psychology or a related field. While programs vary, many can be completed with 2 years of full time study and may have a thesis or practicum requirement.

Online PhD Counseling Psychology Programs might accept students with a masters or bachelors degree in a related field. Students could expect to complete a doctoral program with 4 to 7 years of study, depending on education level. These programs may have a dissertation or internship requirement, depending on degree type and program goal. 

Counseling Certificate Online Programs are shorter, more focused programs, typically available at the post-masters level. Many online graduate certificates are designed for professionals hoping to continue their education and expand their knowledge of the field. Others may help students meet licensure requirements or be put towards a longer degree program. Programs vary.

How do you know how to choose the right Online Counseling Degree? It is helpful to understand that while person-centered fields may be regulated and there may be some course content overlap, counseling psychology, counseling and therapy differ in the academic and licensing requirements.

Counseling Psychology

Counseling Psychology is recognized by the American Psychological Association (APA) as a health service provider specialty within the broader context of  psychology.i The field is quite broad as it focuses on the emotional, social, work, school and physical health concerns that people experience within their personal and interpersonal dealings throughout life. This ranges from stress and anxiety to severe psychological issues. To practice as a licensed counseling psychologist, you are required to have a Ph.D. in Psychology or a Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) degree, an internship, at least 1 to 2 years of supervised professional experience, and to pass the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology.ii

DID YOU KNOW?

Some of the procedures used by counseling psychologists include psychotherapy, crisis intervention and trauma management.iii

Counseling

Licensing for counselors is more recent. The first licensed professional clinical counselors were in 2011 and 2012.iv Counselors may be licensed clinicians with advanced degrees in counseling such as Mental Health Counselors or Rehabilitation Counselors.v Both of these professions require a masters degree, and 2,000 to 4,000 hours of post-degree supervised clinical experience. Plus, counselors must pass a state-recognized exam and need to maintain their licensure through annual continuing education credits.vi

Therapy

‘Therapists’ include different types of Psychologists, Licensed Social Workers, Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists. Several degrees offer pathways to the protected title of therapist including but not limited to: Master in Psychology, Master in Marriage and Family Therapy, Master of Social Work, Master in Counseling or a doctorate in any of those fields. Therapists are required to be licensed in the state where they practice which requires a masters degree and about 2,000 to 4,000 hours of post-degree supervised clinical experience. Plus, counselors must pass a state-recognized exam and need to maintain their licensure through annual continuing education credits.v

Online Counseling Degree Concentrations

Online Counseling Degrees are available in different concentrations. These may focus on specific applications of counseling or types of patients. Below are some of the most popular areas of focus. Other options may be available to fit your interests.

  • Art Therapy
  • Career Counseling
  • Marriage & Family Counseling
  • Rehabilitation Counseling
  • Substance Abuse Counseling

Each of these may have different requirements and courses of study. Programs vary, so contact schools directly to learn more.

Accreditation and Licensure

Keep in mind that counseling and psychology are highly regulated professions. It's important to ensure the graduate school offering your online degree program is licensed and accredited by an appropriate body or association. This will be important should you seek certifications or licensure.

For psychology: The American Psychological Association (APA) accredits doctoral programs in counseling psychology, but does not accredit institutions.vii 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)viii /National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology (NR).

For Social Work: The Council of Social Work Education (CSWE) accredits Social Work programs.ix

For Counselors: Program accreditation is awarded by the Council for Accreditation f Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).x

Take the Next Step

Ready to earn your Online Counseling Degree? Searching on GradSchools.com is simple. Choose your program, degree level, or specialty from the menu. Results are generated according to your parameters. You could then request more info from schools, make a list and start your comparison process. Once you find Online Counseling Degrees you like, contact schools directly with the on page form and start applying today!


[i] apa.org/ed/graduate/specialize/counseling.aspx | [ii] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm |[iii] apa.org/ed/graduate/specialize/counseling.aspx |[iv] http://calpcc.org/lpcc/ | [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] apa.org/ed/accreditation/about/index.aspx | [viii] asppb.net |[ix] cswe.org/Accreditation.aspx | [x] cacrep.org

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