Counseling psychology is a general practice and health service provider specialty in professional psychology.
It focuses on how people function both personally and in their relationships at all ages. Counseling psychology addresses the emotional, social, work, school and physical health concerns people may have at different stages in their lives, focusing on typical life stresses and more severe issues with which people may struggle as individuals and as a part of families, groups and organizations. Counseling psychologists help people with physical, emotional and mental health issues improve their sense of well‐being, alleviate feelings of distress and resolve crises. They also provide assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of more severe psychological symptoms (https://www.apa.org/ed/graduate/specialize/counseling).
Academic Training Requirements
Training and Education in Counseling Psychology
- Doctoral degree from Counseling Psychology program
- When an applicant’s degree is not from a Counseling Psychology program, applicants must submit:
- A one to two-page statement describing how the applicant’s training and post-degree training has included counseling psychology as a major area of study (see https://www.apa.org/ed/graduate/specialize/understanding-taxonomy) including the specialized knowledge, scope of practice, skills and interventions, populations, and the philosophy of the specialization (see https://www.apa.org/ed/graduate/specialize/counseling).
- Letters of recommendation from two counseling psychologists who can attest to the applicants professional identity as a counseling psychologist.
A one-year full-time or two-year half-time internship program is required. The internship requirement can be met in one of three ways. The internship requirement is met if the internship is:
- Accredited by the APA or CPA, OR
- Listed in the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) Directory for the year in which the internship was completed, OR
- Met APPIC equivalency guidelines for the year in which the internship was completed
The postdoctoral requirement includes:
- Two years or more of post-doctoral professional work experience providing counseling psychology services or professional work ordinarily associated with the specialty of Counseling Psychology. Such experience shall reflect at least two of the following:
- Experience in Counseling Psychology (need at least two of the following four):
♦ Professional involvement and activities with Counseling Psychology association(s)
♦ Presentations or publications reflective of Counseling Psychology specialty
♦ Program of research or practice reflective of Counseling Psychology specialty
Candidates should be as specific as possible in describing how their activities demonstrate an identity as and commitment to the specialty of counseling psychology.
• Exceptions to the residency requirement are made for active-duty federal uniformed service psychologists when practicing in those roles.