What is Counseling Psychology?

Are you considering getting a psychology degree, but don’t quite understand what you can do with it? There are a few options available, one being to become a counseling psychologist. Counseling psychology is concerned with the assessment and treatment of mental illness, psychiatric problems, and abnormal human behavior, as well as everyday human problems. As a counselor you would be responsible in helping patients cope with their problems, in addition to treating them. The job entails more responsibilities than this though and today, this is one of the most popular fields within the psychology profession.

What is the Work Setting of Counseling Psychologists?

According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2010 psychologists held about 174,000 jobs in the United States. About 34% were self-employed, 29% worked in educational services, and 20% worked within healthcare settings. Jobs are still growing though; as more “Baby Boomers” enter the elderly stage of their lives, the need will increase for counselors to help these individuals address concerns they may have, which make now the perfect time to get involved in this profession.

There isn’t just one way to do counseling. Some psychologists work independently within their own private practice and are able to set their own working hours. This is many times the most lucrative route in the profession, but you can also work in group therapy clinics, with social workers, or are part of a healthcare team. Sometimes counselors work within school settings, with either children or college aged students. It all depends on what your preference is, as a PhD can open up a wealth of routes to pursue.

Counselors fill a wide range of needs, so figuring out what you would like to do and what you’re good at is important to succeeding because you can often cater your skills and desires to what is needed in the field. While this may require relocating and a tweaking of a career path, this degree still provides the freedom to go about the profession how you would like.

What do Counselors Typically Do?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that some responsibilities of counseling psychologists include:

  • Assessment and diagnosis of psychological disorders
  • Development of treatment plans for psychological disorders
  • Collecting information through observations, interviews, surveys, tests, and other methods
  • Offering testimony for patients in legal settings
  • Use knowledge to increase understanding among individuals and groups of people
  • Working with families and individuals to make desired changes in behavior
  • Teaching clinical psychology in university settings
  • Conducting research
  • Drug and alcohol treatment
  • Creating, developing and administering programs to treat and prevent social problems

Once a PhD is attained, the options are virtually endless for how you can apply it. Counselors specifically can choose different paths of psychology to focus on as well. For example, some work with certain populations, like children, elderly, or minority groups, among others. While there are many specialties to choose from, two common types of include the following:

  • Health Counseling Psychologists: As a health psychologists, you would study how psychological factors affect health and illness. Often you will educate both patients and medical staff about psychological issues if you pursue this route. Additionally, promoting healthy-living strategies and investigating health issues may be some of your responsibilities. There are a wealth of areas you could work in and commonly counselors will work in substance abuse, teenage pregnancy, or mental illness.
  • Counseling Neuropsychologists: As this type of psychologist you would study the relation between the brain and behavior, typically working with patients who have a brain injury. This will also see an increase in jobs as “Baby Boomers” look to work through brain-related problems they may be experiencing.

Online Graduate Programs in Counseling Psychology

Walden University PhD: Counseling Psych PhD: Edu Psychology PhD: Social Psychology Walden University › Walden University is one of the most popular schools for students pursuing online graduate degrees. Walden was founded in 1970 in Minneapolis, Minnesota and is now one of the largest online schools in the country. Walden has PhD programs in Counseling, Educational, and Social Psychology available online that can help you further your career.
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Northcentral University PhD: Health Psych MA: Health Psych MA: Health Psych MA: Health Psych Northcentral University › While Northcentral University offers programs from the bachelor education level on up, its online graduate degrees are what distinguish it from many other schools. NCU is an accredited school in Prescott Valley, Arizona and was founded in 1996. It offers online degrees like the PhD and MA in Health Psychology.
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Grand Canyon University PhD in Psychology: Cognition and Instruction PhD in Psychology: Performance Psychology Grand Canyon University › Grand Canyon University is one of the few accredited schools offering PhD programs for Cognition and Instruction Psychology and Performance Psychology online. While this program can be taken by anyone who has met the enrollment criteria, it is ideal for someone looking to cut down on commuting or childcare expenses or balance their education with busy work schedules and responsibilities.
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Chicago School of Professional Psychology PhD in Business Psychology: Consulting PhD in Organizational Leadership PhD in International Psychology Chicago School of Professional Psychology › Chicago School of Professional Psychology has helped prepare students for jobs by taking a practical, hands-on approach to learning. This accredited school was founded in 1979 in Chicago, Illinois and now serves over 4,300 students with campus and online programs like the PhD in Business Psychology Consulting and Organizational Leadership degrees.
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Kaplan University MS: Psych - Addictions MS: Psych - Applied Behavioral Analysis Kaplan University › When you enroll at Kaplan University, you are gaining access to one of the country‚Äôs largest educational networks - over 70 campuses, almost 200 programs to choose from, and a student body of more than 50,000. Kaplan was established in 1937 and now offers several programs online like the MS in Addiction Psychology or Applied Behavioral Analysis.
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