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Typically, education for a counseling psychology career begins with an undergraduate degree. Most students choose to begin with a bachelor’s in psychology as this offers a great foundation for advanced education that will follow. Counseling psychology concentrations are uncommon, but some graduate programs offer more options to dive further into this specialty.

Following their undergraduate education, students will pursue either a master’s or doctoral degree in psychology. Regardless of which degree they pursue first, the doctoral degree will be necessary to practice. Most states require a doctoral degree from an accredited university.

Billy always listens to his mother. He always does what she says. If his mother says, “Brush your teeth” , Billy brushes his teeth. If his mother says, “Go to bed”, Billy goes to bed. Billy is a very good boy. A good boy listens to his mother. His mother doesn’t have to ask him again. She asks him to do something one time, and she doesn’t ask again. Billy is a good boy. He does what his mother asks the first time. She doesn’t have to ask again. She tells Billy, “You are my best child.” Of course Billy is her best child. Billy is her only child.

Counseling psychologists pay attention to how problems and people differ across the lifespan, and they have great respect for the influence of different human traits, such as race, gender, sexual orientation, religion and disability status, on psychological well-being. They conduct counseling/psychotherapy, teach and perform scientific research with individuals of all ages, families and organizations (e.g., schools, hospitals and businesses). They believe that behavior is affected by many things, including qualities of the individual (e.g., psychological, physical or spiritual factors) and factors in the person’s environment (e.g., family, society and cultural groups).