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Counseling and Clinical Health Psychology

Philadelphia Campus

Master of Science (MS) in Counseling and Clinical Health Psychology

The Master of Science (MS) in Counseling and Clinical Health Psychology program offers a dynamic curriculum designed to prepare counselors to work in the mental health field or to pursue doctoral study in psychology and counseling.

Our program provides specialized training in cognitive behavioral therapy and training in empirically supported treatment techniques. Grounded in the cognitive-behavioral tradition, this program trains practitioner-scholars to offer assessment, therapy, consultation, program evaluation, social justice advocacy and followup services.

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Program Details

The mission of the master’s program in counseling and clinical health psychology is to prepare highly skilled, compassionate counselors to provide empirically based, culturally sensitive, and collaborative interventions.

Incorporating knowledge of the biopsychosocial model (mind + body + interpersonal/culture/community), the program provides a foundation for ethical practice that facilitates the well-being of individuals, families, and communities. The program prepares master’s-level graduates to pursue further doctoral training and/or credentialing as a licensed professional counselor to work in the mental health field.

The program is designed to be completed in two years by full-time students. Full- and part-time options are available. Most courses meet in the evenings, and a few courses meet on Saturdays. 

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PCOM offers two master's (MS) degree level counseling programs:

 

Standardized Patient Program

PCOM offers a standardized patient program where students practice counseling skills in a simulated environment with faculty review sessions.

MS in Mental Health Counseling and Counseling and MS in Clinical Health Psychology students participate in multiple clinical interviews using the Standardized Training and Evaluation of Psychologists and Psychotherapists (STEPPS) program. STEPPS is a performance-based program that provides the opportunity for students to practice their clinical skills and receive feedback. The STEPPS program consists of standardized patients (SPs), who are individuals specifically trained to accurately simulate medical and mental health conditions in a standardized way that facilitates the assessment of the student's counseling skills.

Each STEPPS video is digitally recorded. Students are able to review their STEPPS clinical interviews, track their progress, and use feedback to inform personal learning goals. Additionally, each student is assigned a PCOM faculty member/supervisor who will evaluate and review each of his or her STEPPS interviews. Students then have the opportunity to receive feedback from their supervisor in a face-to-face conference. Finally, students write a reflection paper following each STEPPS interview wherein they reflect on their performance, including strengths and areas they would like to improve.

Career Options

The MS in Counseling and Clinical Health Psychology program prepares individuals to work in mental health and medical settings—including mental health centers, inpatient psychiatric settings, outpatient clinics or group practices, general hospitals, and private or public schools—providing assessment, therapy, and consultation services. Demand for mental health counselors is expected to exceed supply by 2030 according to the National Center for Health Workforce Analysis Behavioral Health Workforce Projections.

Our program prepares students to pursue PsyD or PhD degrees in psychology, counseling, or related fields. The program, with the addition of 12 coursework credits (four courses), also fulfills the Licensed Professional Counselor requirements in Pennsylvania.

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Program Highlights

Counseling and Clinical Health Psychology (MS)

Specialized Training

Students receive specialized training in behavioral medicine and collaboration with primary care physicians as well as cognitive behavioral therapy.

Licensure

With 12 additional credits, the program fulfills the course requirements for becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in some states, including Pennsylvania.

Health and Wellness

Our programs emphasize treatment of the whole person, incorporating knowledge of mind and body to promote health and wellness.

Mentoring

Faculty mentorship is a key component of our programs.

Convenience

All courses are offered in the evenings and on some weekends.