M.A. Counseling Psychology
Palo Alto University’s M.A. Counseling Psychology program prepares students to serve their communities as licensed Marriage and Family Therapists or licensed Professional Clinical Counselors in the State of California. In either of these roles, graduates are directly responsible for managing the delivery of mental health care, incorporating the principles of recovery-oriented treatment, ensuring client safety, and remaining compliant with all laws, regulations, and moral and ethical guidelines. With this degree, graduates are able to help people manage or overcome mental health and emotional disorders and problems with their families and relationships. By listening to clients and asking questions, licensed Marriage and Family Therapists and licensed Professional Clinical Counselors help clients to understand their problems and develop strategies to improve their lives.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of marriage and family therapists is expected to grow 41 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. Additionally, employment of mental health counselors is expected to grow 36 percent in the same timeframe.
This degree is the first step to obtaining a MFT or LPCC license. After completing the program, graduates need to accumulate 104 weeks of supervision and 3,000 total hours of supervised work experience. Once graduates accrue the required amount of experience, they may take the written licensing tests for the Marital and Family Therapy or Professional Clinical Counselor license. Upon passing the exams, graduates will be issued a license to practice by the State of California.
While the program was designed to meet California counseling requirements, it also meets the licensure requirements of many other states and foreign countries. Anyone who may potentially seek licensure in another state or country should check those specific laws and regulations.