Counseling psychology is essentially the application of psychology to the solving of the problems of everyday stresses, e.g, career planning, marriage guidance and family difficulties. It can be studied at masters and doctoral levels.
This page provides more information about the field, and about the contents of the degree. It also has information and links to where to study it, an outline of the career prospects, the salaries, and more. Although the information about the field is relevant to all students, this page mainly provides links to schools for students who wish to study counseling psychology online. If you wish to explore the on campus psychology programs available, go to the campus universities page.
What do you study in a counseling psychology degree online?
Counseling psychologists help people to solve interpersonal problems. To do this they use many techniques, including one-on-one interviews, group sessions and hypnosis. These are all skills that need to be learned. A good rapport between the counselor and the patient is essential for counseling sessions to be successful, so good interpersonal and communication skills are very important.
A typical counseling psychology degree would include:
- Career development
- Human growth and development
- Interpersonal communications and relationships
- Group work
- Social and cultural diversity
- Research and program evaluation
- Professional identity
Counseling psychology career requirements
For most counseling careers you need to have a relevant first degree (e.g., psychology, sociology, or education), and have successfully completed graduate level courses or a graduate degree in counseling psychology. You also need a minimum of 600 hours of supervised clinical counseling experience. This will allow you to work as a Careers Counselor, Executive Coach, Family and Marriage Counselor, or similar.
But to be licensed to practice as a counselor in the US you also need to have a master’s degree (or PhD) in counseling and up to 2,000 hours of supervised clinical internship, in addition to taking a state-administered exam.
The American Psychological Association (APA) accredits doctoral training programs in counseling, as well as institutions that provide internships for doctoral students in counseling psychology.
What are the career prospects?
As a graduate of an online counseling psychology program you would advise people on how to deal with problems of everyday living, including career or work problems and problems faced in different stages of life. You might be helping people overcome addictions and substance abuse, marriage and domestic issues. As a graduate of a counseling psychology degree you might work in K-12 education settings, hospitals, and non-profit organizations. Make sure the program you take is accredited by an accrediting body appropriate for the profession you wish to enter, such as the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), the American Psychological Association (APA), the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), or the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE).
The demand for psychology counselors seems to be increasing. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, employment of counseling professionals should grow rapidly until at least 2018. Employment for behavioral disorder counseling should increase dramatically. The greater enrollment in schools will lead to a rapid growth in numbers of school counselors.
List of schools and programs
The Chicago School is a not-for-profit, regionally accredited institution with more than 4,285 students at campuses across the country (Chicago, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C.) and online. TCSPP has been an innovator in the field of psychology and related behavioral science for more than 30 years. TCSPP offers more than 20 degree programs and a wealth of opportunities for international experiences.
- M.A. Counseling Psychology
- Ed.S. School Psychology
- Ph.D. Counselor Education and Supervision
- And more...
Be a part of the world’s premier institution for humanistic studies at Saybrook University. Pursue an advanced degree in psychology, mind-body medicine, organizational systems, and human science.
- M.A. Psychology, Counseling Specialization
- Drug & Alcohol Treatment Specialist
Regent University prepares students with the knowledge to excel and the faith to live with purpose. Our 20,000 alumni, from more than 110 countries, are changing the world as accomplished professionals. Named a top-15 school nationally for online bachelor's programs (U.S. News & World Report, 2015), Regent is among the most affordable undergraduate Christian colleges (CCCU 2015). Fully accredited, challenging programs are available online and on campus. New classes begin every eight weeks.
- Master of Arts in Human Services Counseling
- Doctor of Ministry in Clinical Pastoral Education
- Bachelor of Science in Psychology
- And more...
You believe a better world is possible, and you want to be part of it. We share your vision.
Adler University educates students to engage the world and create a more just society. Established in 1952 to build on the pioneering work of Alfred Adler, the first community psychologist, the University offers master’s and doctoral degree programs for social change. Students enroll and complete degree programs at our urban campuses in downtown Chicago and Vancouver.
- Master of Arts in Counseling: Art Therapy
- Master of Arts in Counseling: Specialization in Rehabilitation Counseling
- Master of Arts in Counseling: Specialization in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (Part Time)
- And more...
Kaplan University is focused on recognizing the achievements of military and veteran students and offers the flexibility of an online education. Eligible students can receive college credit for prior military experience and coursework—up to 75 percent of the credit needed for a Kaplan University undergraduate degree.*
- MS in Psychology - Addictions
- MS in Psychology - General Psychology
- MS in Psychology
- And more...
- Community Support Worker
Established in 1897, Bradley University is a private, independent institution of higher learning in Peoria, Illinois. Inspired by our founder, notable philanthropist Lydia Moss Bradley, we pursue excellence in teaching, research, scholarship and service; and we celebrate leadership, integrity, diversity and collaborative learning. Today, we offer an impressive array of more than 130 undergraduate, graduate and continuing education programs across five colleges and the Graduate School.
- Online Master of Arts in Counseling - Professional School Counseling (PSC)
- Online Master of Arts in Counseling - Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC)
- Online Alcohol & Drug Counseling Studies