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Mental Health Counseling/Counselor


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What to Expect

There are many different specialties open to students in counseling degree programs.

Meagan Minvielle took graduate studies in career counseling at Florida State University. She says that students have a variety of options if they're thinking of a counseling degree.

"This program does a wonderful job preparing us for different aspects of counseling. Within my degree area are three different specializations: mental health counseling, career counseling and school counseling.

"It is really up to the individual to make sure that he or she is getting the exposure to the learning experiences they want."

Minvielle's education prepared her to work as a career counselor. Esther Groenhof's graduate studies in counseling psychology equipped her to become a clinical counselor.

Groenhof says it was quite a challenge. Her thesis took over a year to complete and was about 200 pages long!

"It often takes some time for students to realize the magnitude of writing a thesis. It's entirely different from writing a paper or essay," she says.

In order to graduate, Groenhof also had to complete some 600 hours of counseling internship experience.

As with every student, there were courses she liked and some she found less interesting.

"As my interest was in clinical practice, I appreciated the courses with more of a practical application such as advanced counselling skills; psychopathology; group counselling; crisis counselling; theories of counselling; marriage and family; and family systems, just to name a few."

Some of Groenhof's less interesting courses were advanced statistics, research design, psychological assessments and testing. But she says these courses were no less relevant.

"I probably wouldn't change the curriculum. It provided a nice balance of academic research and clinical experience, both of which are necessary, in my opinion, for an integrated counselor, one who can keep up with the latest research."


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