What Degree Programs Are Available in Psychotherapy?

Psychotherapy is usually studied within a psychology degree program, though some graduate programs in psychotherapy are available. Read on to learn more about degree options for those interested in this field. Schools offering Clinical Psychology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Overview of the Relationship Between Psychotherapy and Psychology

The Mayo Clinic defines psychotherapy as an interaction between a patient and a mental health therapist (www.mayoclinic.com). Many psychology degree programs teach psychotherapy concepts and techniques are part of the curriculum. One way to refine your search for a degree program is to ask yourself who you want to help.

The major careers that can use psychotherapy and require psychology degrees include counseling psychologists, who work in private, group, crisis and community practices, and school psychologists, who work with students on behavioral and emotional development issues. Another type of psychologist is a research scientist, who has less interaction with actual patients because work is focused on research. The most prevalent group is clinical psychologists. This broad designation covers everything from marital counseling to substance abuse.

Degree Options

A bachelor's degree in psychology can qualify you to work as a psychology assistant or in a psychologist position with the federal government, but an advanced degree is usually required for higher level positions. A master's degree may qualify you to work in an industrial-organizational psychology setting, but many states require a psychologist to have a doctorate degree to practice psychology independently. Additionally, many psychologists working in research, counseling, clinical psychology and teaching are required to have a Ph.D.

To meet mandatory state licensing requirements for providing direct care to patients, you need to graduate from an accredited degree program. The American Psychological Association (APA) accredits psychology programs in clinical, school and counseling psychology.

Master's Degree Programs

Master's degree programs are available in psychotherapy and cover a variety of approaches to psychotherapeutic thought and technique. You might find programs that focus on the Buddhist idea of contemplative thought therapy and methods. A program such as this places an emphasis on the importance of self-awareness, meditation and inner-discovery. Other types of programs may be designed to teach you psychological analysis techniques as well as why and how people interact in different manners. You might also learn how to be more self-aware and open to those around you.

Doctoral Degree Programs

Doctoral degrees are available in the field of psychology, but again, students can choose to focus more specifically on psychotherapy as part of these degree programs. One degree option in the psychology field is the Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.), which emphasizes working with patients over research. If you're more interested in research or remaining in an academic setting, you may choose a Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree program.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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