Master of Arts (MA) in Psychology with an emphasis in Counseling Psychology
Webster University’s Master of Arts (MA) in Psychology with an emphasis 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 US 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, ethical and professional issues and 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 in combination with 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 in counseling and therapy.
Psychopathology: This course focuses on the understanding and identification of the major psychological disorders as detailed in the current issues of DSM (Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders, issued by the APA) and ICD (International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, issued by the WHO). 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.
Research Design: This course both examines the role of science and methods of research in Counseling Psychology and psychotherapy on a theoretical and philosophical level. The general and advanced 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.
Assessment: 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, to be 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.
Psychopharmacology: This course explores the relationship between Counseling Psychology, psychotherapy, and psychotropic drugs. Brain neuroanatomy, various types of psychopharmacological agents and their mechanisms are discussed. Current status of psychopharmacology research and modern application are 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. International and national legal regulations from diverse areas of law will be explored.
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.
Master’s Thesis: 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 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 with others, and it gives the instructor the opportunity to observe, evaluate, and develop student skills in counseling interactions. The basis of the class relies on activities and exercises in the counseling lab, supported by modern technical equipment and group supervision.
Internship: The internship, a fieldwork experience, 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 qualified institutions of the social and/or health care system, which provides the opportunity to perform a variety of activities related to counseling psychology and therapy.