Webster University’s Master of Arts (MA) in Counseling Psychology is an advanced, international program in English which has been designed to meet the growing demand for qualified professionals assisting those in emotional distress in today’s intercultural society. An MA in psychology with an emphasis in Counseling Psychology prepares students for a wide range of exciting careers. Relevant professional areas include mental health agencies, social services, private practices, human resources departments, personnel departments, and a variety of educational and organizational settings.
The degree requires completion of 48 credit hours of coursework which are offered over a 2-year period.
Bases of Counseling Psychology
This course provides an introduction to the field of Counseling Psychology. Participants learn about the development of the profession, are introduced to ethical and professional issues, and learn to understand the role of research and science in the field. A primary goal for the course is to establish a greater understanding of the counseling process and the importance of the therapeutic relationship as compared to the use of specific techniques.
Approaches to Counseling and Therapy
This course is a survey of the following major approaches to counseling and psychotherapy: psychoanalytic-psychodynamic, behavioral, cognitive-behavioral, and family systems counseling and therapy. The course explores underlying theories, principles, techniques, and areas of applications of these main approaches to counseling and psychotherapy.
Advanced Developmental Psychology
This course covers research and theory concerning the psychological development of the maturing human. This course emphasizes the research basis of developmental psychology and the role of developmental psychology for counseling and therapy.
This course focuses on the understanding and identification of the major psychological disorders as detailed in the current DSM (Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders, issued by the American Psychiatric Association) and ICD (International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, issued by the World Health Organization). The behavioral manifestations and psychological dynamics of mental disorders will be explored, focusing on therapeutic assessment issues and case conceptualization. The course also includes a discussion of practical aspects of dealing with psychopathology in out-patient and in-patient settings.
This course both examines the role of science and research in counseling psychology and psychotherapy on a theoretical and philosophical level, and introduces participants to some of the most relevant methodological issues involved in counseling and psychotherapy research. Theoretical and general aspects of research in counseling psychology as well as diverse research designs in process research, evaluation, and documentation are explored including the concurrent quantitative and qualitative methods.
This course covers topics relevant to assessment in counseling psychology, including procedures for diagnostic interviewing, report writing, interpreting personality and performance assessments, and ethical issues in testing. The course acquaints students with key psychometric concepts and several commonly used assessment instruments in counseling psychology, including objective personality and intelligence inventories. It focuses on specific aspects of assessment in therapeutic settings and in different schools of therapy.
Group Processes and Group Therapy
This course introduces participants to the theory of some of the most important processes and phenomena in groups. It explores various types of groups, the role of a group leader or facilitator, and the group process. Group phenomena discussed and experienced concern diverse areas and group forms. Included aspects are social influences on individuals in groups, beliefs and attitudes, social facilitation, group norms and deviance, minority influence, helping in groups, facilitation of groups, power and control dynamics, group development, models of group interaction, group performance, and conflict in groups.
This course explores the relationship between counseling psychology and psychotherapy and psychotropic drugs. Brain neuroanatomy and various types of psychopharmacological agents and their mechanisms are discussed. Principles of use and current status of psychopharmacology are also included.
Ethical and Legal Foundations
This course focuses on identifying and resolving ethical dilemmas, the relationship of personal values with ethical practice, and the philosophical foundations of ethical practice. In addition to exploring ethical foundations, the course also examines the surrounding conditions and regulatory framework relevant to the practice of counseling psychology and psychotherapy. It explores international and national legal regulations from diverse areas of law.
Applied Statistics and Research Methods
This course builds on undergraduate knowledge of statistics and research methods. It is intended for graduate students who are engaged in or will shortly be engaged in their own empirical research (Master’s Thesis). The course (1) provides a practice-oriented overview of selected statistical procedures and of quantitative and qualitative research methods, and (2) provides the possibility to develop ideas and skills for conducting one’s own research and analyzing one’s own data.
The master’s thesis consists of an individual research project designed by the student and carried out over the duration of at least one semester, under the direction of a thesis faculty advisor. The thesis project allows students to contribute to the research in the field and to gain important research experience necessary for entrance into a doctoral program.
Practice and Supervision
This course provides students with the opportunity to practice and develop their counseling skills on others, and gives the instructor the opportunity to observe, evaluate, and develop student skills in counseling interactions. A significant part of this class is based on activities and exercises in the counseling lab, supported by modern technical equipment and group supervision.
The internship is a fieldwork experience that provides a supervised transition from learning in the classroom to the professional field of counseling in providing the student with the practical application of counseling knowledge and skills. It consists of 480 hours of professional experience in a qualified institution in the social or health care system which provides the opportunity to perform a variety of activities related to counseling psychology and therapy.