Counseling Psychology (PhD)

What is A Counseling Psychology (PhD) Degree?

Psychology is the scientific study of human behavior and mental processing.  Counseling Psychology focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of healthy people who are suffering from psychological problems—problems of adjustment in life, loss of a job, spouse, loved one, difficulties with a relationship, substance abuse, etc.—that are less serious than a psychosis or severe mental disorder.  Given that, with a PhD in Counseling Psych, licensure is the same as that for the PhD in Clinical Psychology.

In reality clinical practitioners with PhDs in Counseling Psychology are more likely to work with clients across the whole lifespan who are experiencing less serious disorders, whereas the PhDs in Clinical Psychology are more likely to work with children and people suffering from psychosis and serious mental problems. Coursework for the PhD in Counseling Psychology will revolve around research design and advanced statistics and will review current literature in the field.  You’ll study advanced systems of psychotherapy, courses in psychological testing, adult psychopathology, child psychopathology, pharmacology, and numerous other specialized courses.  You’ll probably design and implement a research study, documenting your findings in a dissertation and defending your conclusions to a committee of faculty.

The video below discusses a “typical” program, so it should help regardless of which school you are considering.

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