When seeking a career in mental health, licensed professionals will often have a master’s degree within a mental health field. Earning your degree in mental health may prepare you to work with different communities and individuals in supporting their growth. Within the field of mental health, live many different approaches to human behavior, psychology and development. Some mental health degrees may focus on psychology, different thoughts of therapy, behavior, development or education.
Types of Mental Health Degrees
Masters in Psychology Online
Earning a master’s degree in psychology may prepare you to work with many different clients. In a master’s in psychology program, you may learn about personality development, clinical research and treatment of mental health diagnosis. For any clinical practice, a master’s in psychology best prepares you for completion of a doctorate of psychology program.
A master’s in marriage and family therapy prepares you for licensure as a marriage and family therapist in working with families, couples, and children. Throughout a master’s in MFT program, you may learn about multicultural differences, family dynamics, relationship development, and different schools of thought in theoretical approaches.
Master’s in applied behavior analysis programs guide the development of mental health professionals to work with individuals diagnosed with Autism and related diagnoses. In preparation for licensure or certification, look for BACB accredited programs.
Earning a master's degree in behavioral psychology may prepare you to help patients with substance abuse, intellectual disabilities, and mental health disorders. During a master's in behavior psychology, you may learn research methods, applied behavior analysis, and principles of behavior.
A master's in clinical psychology will prepare you to earn a doctorate in clinical psychology, which is required to practice clinical psychology. Throughout a master's program in clinical psychology you may learn about multiculturalism and diversity, developmental basis of behavior, theories of psychopathology, and biological basis of behavior.
Master's in social work programs may prepare you to work with many different types of people, groups, and organizations. During a master's in social work, coursework may include human behavior, research methods, diversity and opression in a social work context, and social policy and services.
For any mental health degree, an on- or off-site internship and practicum experience is imperative to the application and learning of mental health counseling, psychology, or therapy. When looking for a mental health degree, consider programs that offer clinical placement support to assist you in securing an internship close to home and one that supports your growth.
In online master’s degree programs, live classes can help you feel as if you are in an on-campus classroom. With live classes, you are able to “meet” your colleagues face-to-face via webcam discussions. This also provides opportunities to practice your counseling or therapeutic skills and garner direct feedback from other classmates.
When preparing future mental health professionals, individualized attention is important for the development of skills, understanding of bias, and awareness of culture. When comparing programs, seek a low student-to-instructor ratio or small class size to ensure the availability of more one-on-one time learning opportunities.
Student Support Services
When on-campus, student support is often close-by, perhaps in another building. However, for online students, finding programs that offer student support services can be a deciding factor for enrollment. In your mental health degree program search, ensure that universities offer flexible hours, online resources, and/or virtual meeting times for online students.
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