This web page is designed to provide you with the essential information about a PhD in Counseling Psychology. Overall, earning your PhD in Counseling Psychology provides you with the skills to give therapeutic treatments to patients who experience a variety of psychological issues. Like a clinical psychologist, a counseling psychologist will work with patients and perform psychotherapy. Typically, however, clinical psychologists deal with more severe forms of mental illness, while counseling psychologists work with those whose symptoms are not as severe.
Another difference is that a clinical psychologist often approaches mental illness from more of a medical point of view, whereas a counseling psychologist takes a more generalized approach with a larger range of psychotherapeutic methods.
Just as with clinical psychology, in counseling psychology you need to have a Ph.D. in most cases to enter private practice and to obtain licensure in your state of residence.
With your Ph.D. in this field, you also have the option of teaching at a university, conducting research or vocational counseling.
This page will give you more information about how earning this doctorate in psychology will benefit your future. Also, you will find details here about what you will learn in your PhD program and the skills you will develop. For example, to be a successful, practicing psychologist or researcher in this field, you need to have these skills:
- Analytical skills that are used to examine information collected and to draw proper conclusions.
- Communication skills that allow you to effectively relate and listen to patients.
- Patience, because treatment of patients or conducting research takes time.
- Problem solving skills are needed to find effective solutions for mental health problems.
If you need more information about a PhD in counseling psychology, please get in touch with us; we will be glad to help you.
PhD in Counseling Psychology Overview
A PhD in Counseling Psychology really is the best choice for people who want to go as far as they can in the field of psychology. Your career options will vastly increase once you have earned your PhD.
An online PhD in counseling psychology will provide you with the tools to have a big impact on the lives of others. Earning your doctoral degree with take approximately five years. You will most likely take four years of classes, as well as engage in research and a clinical practicum. Usually, before you do an internship in the fifth year, you need to finish your dissertation.
If you want to become a licensed counseling psychologist, after you get your doctorate you will need to do about two years of supervised, post-doctoral clinical hours. Then you will take your exam for your license. Be sure to check specific licensing requirements for your state at the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards.
A Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology helps patients to improve their personal and interpersonal functioning across their lifespan, with a special focus on emotional, social, vocational, educational, health, developmental and organizational issues.
A professional with a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology with often consult with many agencies, such as schools, governments and private organizations, teach at the university level, conduct research and do therapy.
With a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, you could work in many specialties, such as:
- Substance abuse
- Vocational psychology
- Child development
- Adolescent development
- Health psychology
- Anxiety disorders
- Forensic psychology
- Sports psychology
- Eating disorders
- Aggression and anger control
As a graduate with this degree, you should be able to sit for your licensure examination in most states, so that you can enter private practice as a counseling psychologist.
Online PhD in Counseling Psychology
Some of the most commonly seen online PhD in Counseling Psychology programs are:
Reasons to Earn a PhD in Counseling Psychology
Some reasons to earn a PhD in Counseling Psychology include:
- To become a research psychologist. Many of these positions are at universities and other organizations of higher learning, which are highly desirable and stable jobs when available.
- You want to teach. Teaching at a university eventually is a very worthy career goal; you will have the chance to really influence students, and also to potentially publish important research.
- You want to help others. That really is the bottom line for many people with advanced degrees in psychology.
Earning your PhD in this field can also be financially rewarding: The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the top 10% in this field earn more than $110,000 per year. Also, note that the job demand for psychologists generally will increase 12% by 2022, which is faster than average.
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PhD in Counseling Psychology Course Requirements
Some of the coursework that you will complete in this doctoral program could include:
- Counseling Skills
- Counseling Theories
- Assessment in Counseling
- Group Counseling
- Practicum in Counseling
- Human Development
- Diagnostic Appraisal and Treatment Planning
- Family Therapy
- Career Development and Counseling
- Psychology of Social Identities
- Prevention, Advocacy and Outreach
To work in the field, you need to earn your doctoral degree and complete a dissertation. Then, you may need to complete at least two years of post-doctoral clinical hours so that you can eventually become licensed as a practicing psychologist in your state.
To be admitted into the program, you will need to have a strong background in psychology and sociology. Some PhD programs may require you to have a master’s degree in psychology.
PhD in Counseling Psychology Career Outlook
Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology graduates eventually obtain their license to practice as a counseling psychologist in their home state, or become university or college professors. Some of the most common places where they professionals work are:
- Schools K-12
- Colleges and universities
- Counseling centers
- Community agencies
- Private practice
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the overall employment for all psychologists will increase by 22% by 2020, and that the job market for clinical and counseling psychologists also will increase by that same amount.
It is believed that higher demand for clinical and counseling psychologists in schools, hospitals, social service agencies and mental health centers will continue to drive job growth in this field. This website also notes that psychologists with a doctoral degree in an applied specialty of school and general counseling will have some of the best job prospects. Note that many professionals with this degree also can hold a full time job, and work as a part time independent consultant.
Indeed.com states that counseling psychologists overall earn an average salary of $58,000 per year. However, many of those professionals only have their master’s degree, so the numbers here may be skewed.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the median salary for all clinical, counseling and school psychologists is $72,200. Those who work in health practice offices earn $86,700, and those who work in employment services earn a median salary of $96,000.
According to the American Psychology Association, professionals with a Ph.D. will earn a higher salary than those with only a master’s. For example, the median salary for those with 5-9 years of experience was $31,667; but for those with a Ph.D., the mean salary was $75,977.
Most people who earn this degree become a counseling or clinical psychologist. However, some of the other occupations you can enter with this doctoral degree include:
#1 Social Worker
As a social worker, you help people deal with and cope with emotional, mental and physical problems in their daily lives. If you become a clinical social worker, you will also be able to diagnose and treat mental health issue.s
#2 Substance Abuse Counselor
You will advise and counsel people who suffer from drug addiction, alcoholism, eating problems and other related problems. Your degree will help you to provide proper treatment and support for people with addiction issues.
As a sociologist, you will study the behavior of society as a whole and study groups, cultures and organizations. Most often, sociologists work for nonprofit organizations and for universities.
#4 School Counselor
A school counselor helps their students to develop better social skills and to do well in school. You also can work with your students as a career counselor, and assist both adults and students to make good career decisions.
#5 Special Education Teacher
You will work with students who have many types of learning and emotional problems. As a special education teacher, you need to adapt regular education lessons and teach your students various subjects. These include writing, reading and mathematics.
#6 Marriage Therapist
You will help couples to overcome many mental and emotional issues. You will need to really use your communications skills to help your married couples to better understand their problems, and to teach them to use strategies to improve their relationships.
Some people who earn their PhD in psychology decide to work in research rather than to become a practicing psychologist. You will most likely conduct advanced research in a higher learning institution, attempting to add to the body of knowledge in the field.
- APA Scholarships
- University of Utah Doctoral Scholarships
- Doctoral Psychology Scholarships from the Consortium for Political and Social Science Research
- Funding Opportunities for Psychology Graduate Students
- American Counseling Association
- Journal of Counseling Psychology
- American Board of Professional Psychology
- American Psychological Association
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