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Your top questions about degrees and careers in counseling and psychology answered!
If you’ve got a problem-solving streak in you and like to alleviate distress for others, helping people out in crises? then a career in psychology and counseling is a great choice.
Before you make a final decision, however, we are sure there are numerous questions running through your mind about this field, and we’d like to take this opportunity to help you out.
What’s the difference between counselors and psychologists?
Counseling and psychology are very over-lapping fields, with few differences between the two. In general, counselors focus more on psychologically healthy individuals offering therapeutic help. Psychologists, meanwhile, focus more on the clinical side of mental illnesses, treating serious psychological patients suffering from diseases like depression, substance abuse, etc.
Why are there so many different types of psychologists and counselors?
Psychology is a very diverse field with varying specialty areas that one can focus on. There are educational psychologists and counselors, and there are marriage and family counselors. Then there are those specializing in mental health and those focusing on research in the discipline. You need to choose a degree that matches your interests and work towards building your career accordingly.
What are some different types of psychologists?
Among the many psychology specialties, the prominent ones are as follows:
What are some different types of counselors?
There are many different specialty areas in the counseling profession, including:
Should I go for a master’s or PhD in psychology/ counseling?
While a master’s degree is more preferred for counselors, such as school and career counselors, most clinical, counseling, and research psychologists need a doctoral degree. Ph.D. in psychology or a Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) degree are common for psychologists, the latter being a clinical degree focused on practical work.
Do I need a bachelor’s degree in psychology to get admission in master’s and doctorate programs?
Yes. Most universities require candidates for masters and PhD programs in counseling or psychology to have an undergraduate degree in psychology or counseling, or any other related field such as behavioral science, social work, etc.
Where do counselors and psychologists work?
The scope of work opportunities for counselors is quite vast, with counselors working in many different settings from schools and colleges to corporate organizations. Psychologists, meanwhile, work with physicians, social workers, or as part of a healthcare team at hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation facilities, community and mental health centers, etc.
What about licensing requirements to work as a psychologist or counselor?
Most states require psychologists and counselors to be licensed in order to practice and offer their services. For psychologists, the general requirement is to have a doctorate degree in psychology, an internship and about 2 years of practical work experience. In the case of counselors, a master’s degree is required as well as 2000 to 3000 hours of supervised work experience. Both professionals must pass the state-recognized licensing exam in their respective fields to earn their license.
We hope to have answered the main question about counseling and psychology you had in mind. Do share with us whether you chose a psychology or counseling major.