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Accredited Online Counseling Degree

Help People Put Their Lives Back Together with Counseling Online Degree Programs

An online counseling degree prepares you to help people work through their complex emotional, mental, social or behavioral problems while aiming for a better future, often without the need for psychiatric medication.

Unlike a psychologist, a counselor cannot make a diagnosis or prescribe medication. However, these professionals do help people talk through their feelings and develop a plan or strategy that helps free them of the stress and trauma that are hampering them.

Counselors work in variety of roles and settings helping the people experiencing hardships and promoting the welfare of communities and society in general. Skilled counselors are in high demand in schools, colleges, rehabilitation centers, hospitals, and outpatient centers.

Online counseling programs typically focus on human development, psychology, counseling theory and social science. These programs also polish your observation, communication, critical thinking and problem solving skills.

Online counseling degree programs are designed to be flexible. Unlike a more traditional degree, you can choose when you study, allowing you to schedule school around your already-busy life.

Another great aspect of these programs is that many of the instructors are actual practicing counselors, so they know the real-world issues that impact the field daily. You can learn a lot from these professionals.


Is Online Counseling Degree Right for You?

To become successful and expert in field of counseling, you must have some personality traits. Counseling degree is perfect for you if you:

  • Love and enjoy helping people and solving their problems
  • Are a good observer and listener
  • Can manage pressure and stressful situation tactically
  • Are patient, open-minded and unbiased
  • Have excellent and effective communication skills
  • Can read between the lines

Subjects Covered in an Online Counseling Degree Program

Online counseling degree programs are designed to provide you with a comprehensive grounding in the theories, skills, and models of interventions to become a generalist counselor. The rigorous and relevant curriculum may includes the following fields of study: counseling ethics, human development, counseling theory, multicultural counseling, group counseling, diagnostic and assessment, career counseling, and research methods.

You can also earn online degree in counseling with specializations in school counseling, mental health counseling, marriage and family counseling, substance abuse counseling and behavioral counseling. Each concentration offers in-depth and thorough knowledge and skills of respective area needed by successful, expert and ethical counselors.

When participating in a counseling online degree program, students learn the basics of how to help clients work through their social, mental and behavioral issues. This may include helping people get in touch with their emotions and process reactions that could be relevant to the challenges someone faces.

An online counseling degree also shows you how to help clients make changes to their lives and develop strategies and policies that will help them take positive steps toward moving past job loss or a divorce.

In some cases, a client might need more help than you can offer alone, and an online counseling program will teach you when and how to reach out to other agencies, services and resources. These include psychiatrists, social workers and support groups within the community.

Online Counseling Degree Specializations

Licensing Requirements for Certified Counselors

To practice as a counselor or therapist, you must have license offered by respective state. Licensing requirements may be different depending on your speciality/concentration and the state where you want to work. Most states require at least master degree in counseling and state certification board approval and pass a licensing examination.

In your best interest, be sure to check your state licensing requirements to verify that the counseling degree program you are going to attend meets the specific guidelines.

Career Outlook for Individuals with Online Counseling Degrees

Bachelor degree in counseling prepares you for entry level jobs while master and doctoral counseling degree offer a greater degree of knowledge and competency in the field and offer high-paying senior-level positions.

Counselors work in different positions and usually server specific groups of people based on their interests and area of specialization.

School or educational counselors work with high schools and college students offering them help to overcome failures and choose a career path or a college/university.

Substance abuse and behavioral counselors treat people suffering from behavioral disorder and drug, alcohol or gambling addiction using counseling therapy and create recovery plans and policies to put their lives back together.

Marriage and family counselors apply counseling techniques to help couples and families communicate effectively and develop better understanding. They also offer guidance and advice to couples to avoid separation or divorce.

Rehabilitation counselors work in healthcare industry counseling people with medical issues and physical disabilities like accidental injuries and genetic disorders. They teach people with deficiencies necessary skills to live on their own.

Mental health counselors treat mental and emotional disorders like depression, grief, low self-esteem, trauma, and stress and promote optimum mental health by helping people learn how to cope with the stress and tension.

The stigma around seeking out counseling is receding slowly, allowing more people to get real help for their mental, social and emotional problems. This has, in turn, led to a significant increase in the demand for counselors who can help these people.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, growth in the field of counseling is expected to be significantly faster than average between now and 2020:

Substance Abuse and Behavioral Counselors
+27.3%
School and Vocational Counselors
+19.0%
Marriage and Family Therapists
+41.2%
Mental Health Counselors
+36.3%
Rehabilitation Counselors
+28.2%
Counselors, All Other
+21.3%

Salary Expectations for Counselors

Although salary expectations are not as high as those for psychiatrists, it is still possible to earn a good living as a school, marriage or mental health counselor. Many counselors own their own practices and operate as small business owners.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average income for various counselors puts them well into the middle class.

Substance Abuse and Behavioral Counselors
$40,920
School and Vocational Counselors
$56,170
Marriage and Family Therapists
$49,270
Mental Health Counselors
$43,290
Rehabilitation Counselors
$37,330
Counselors, All Other
$46,060

Trends in the Field of Counseling

There are several trends impacting this field both now and in the future, including:

  • Marriage counseling is one of the fastest-growing areas of counseling. The divorce rate is creeping past 50 percent, and some couples are trying to reverse the trend by seeking marriage counseling before getting a divorce or separation.
  • High-profile stories about the potential dangers of some psychiatric drugs are making people more likely to seek cognitive therapy with a counselor, rather than medication.
  • An aging population is beginning to confront long-buried issues now that they have reached retirement, creating additional clients.
  • Many insurance plans now cover mental health visits, making counseling more accessible to a wider range of people.

An online counseling degree could be the right choice for you if you are interested in pursuing a career that allows you to help people solving their myriad problems. If you are a good listener and can handle the pressure with poise, browse the top accredited online counseling programs.


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