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Vancouver | Master of Arts

Master’s (M.A.) in Counselling Psychology

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Program Overview

Adler University’s Counselling Psychology programs prepare community mental health counsellors to be socially responsible practitioners in Canada’s public and private sectors. Students gain a strong foundation in counselling theories and methods and are trained to be self-reflexive, ethically aware clinicians.

The mission-driven program is designed to prepare counselling professionals to work with individuals, families, and groups to address specific mental and emotional health issues across a range of settings, including mental health centres, human service agencies, and private practice.

Our program is designed to be completed in two years of full-time study, including summer terms. We offer one start date for enrollment (September), and courses are offered during the daytime, evenings and weekends for flexibility of scheduling.

Request Information

      You need a Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution to enroll in Adler University programs.

      Okay

      Thesis & Non-Thesis Options

      Adler University offers two options of its Counselling Psychology programs for students. The Master of Arts (M.A.) in Counselling Psychology program includes a thesis, and the Master of Counselling Psychology program is a non-thesis option. Both options are accepted by the British Columbia Association of Clinical Counsellors and the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association.

      Adler University’s Master of Counselling Psychology program provides a non-thesis option for students interested in a practitioner-based master’s degree credential. This generalist training provides students with comprehensive knowledge and skills for clinical work with clients from diverse communities and in a variety of settings.

      Student Outcomes

      Service Canada projects positive job growth and need for counsellors. Our mission-driven program is designed to prepare counselling professionals to work with individuals, families, and groups to address specific mental and emotional health issues across a range of settings. These include:

      • Community organizations
      • Human service agencies
      • Community clinics
      • Mental health centres
      • Private practice

      Our innovative program aligns with the requirements of the registering bodies for master’s level counsellors in British Columbia and Canada (the British Columbia Association of Clinical Counsellors and the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association).

      Professional Development & Training

      Gain the knowledge and skills to create real change for individuals and communities. Our diverse faculty brings together rigorous classroom learning with individualized mentorship and hands-on professional experience. Under the guidance of a faculty committee, our Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology students also engage in a rigorous and systematic investigation for the purpose of completing and defending a thesis, often required for doctoral work in counselling psychology.

      Working with our robust network of community partners, students develop the practical knowledge and understanding of what it means to engage with communities and be a socially responsible practitioner through our clinical practicum, which is a 700 hour counselling practicum that offers extensive training in the field, and focuses on the clinical work and principles of counselling in settings such as community organizations, mental health organizations, and private practice.

      Graduate Spotlight

      Nazanin Fasihi, graduate
      Master of Counselling Psychology

      Nazanin Fasihi cites her grandmother for instilling in her a call to help others. A philanthropist and role model for her granddaughter, she would help strangers furnish their homes with basic necessities. “I was taught from a young age to care for and respect others, put myself in the shoes of others, and to give back to my community,” said Fasihi, a student in the Master of Counselling Psychology program in Vancouver. A mother of two, she organizes an event every year with her children and other families over Thanksgiving weekend in Canada to gather food for shelters in Vancouver.

      Learn More

      Curriculum

      The Master of Counselling Psychology is a 55-credit hour program. The Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology is a 59-credit hour program, which includes the 55 credit hours from the Master of Counselling Psychology program, in addition to the 4-credit thesis series. Successful completion of this program includes the core courses, and two of the five elective courses listed below.

      Find course descriptions and more information in the Adler University course catalog here.

      Core Courses

      MACP 200 - Professional Development Seminar I (1 cr.)

      The course covers advisement and mentoring around Adler degree requirements and mission, orientation to the field of professional psychology, issues of diversity as it relates to the field and students’ personal and professional growth, and overview of the ethical codes and professional standards of psychology.

      MACP 201 - Professional Development Seminar II (1 cr.)

      The course covers advisement and mentoring around Adler degree requirements and mission, orientation to the field of professional psychology, issues of diversity as it relates to the field and students’ personal and professional growth, and overview of the ethical codes and professional standards of psychology.

      SJP-202 Social Justice Practicum I (1 cr.)
      SJP-203 Social Justice Practicum II (1 cr.)
      MACP-337 Group Psychotherapy (3 cr.)

      This course examines the history, theory, methods and application of group psychotherapy in professional psychology. The development of competence in group methods is enhanced through a combination of lectures, student presentations, class exercises, break-out practice groups, and participation in and experience leading an experiential in-class group.

      MACP 402 - Intro Adlerian Psy & Psychopathlogy (3 cr.)

      Introduction to Adlerian Psychology and Psychotherapy covers the major principles of Adlerian or Individual Psychology. Students learn the theoretical principles as a basis for understanding each individual’s creation of a “unique style of life” or personality.

      MACP 472 - Counseling Skills & Intervention (3 cr.)

      This course is designed to provide students with the foundational knowledge and skills necessary for entry-level counselling practice. In the area of intervention, the course familiarizes students with the primary elements of the psychotherapeutic relationship, common factors in counselling and psychotherapy, and basic diversity competency in helping relationships.

      MACP 473 - Pre-Practicum Counselling Skills Lab (0 cr.)

      The 473 pre-practicum lab is designed to provide additional practice of basic counselling and intervention skills before the students start their clinical practicum experience. Students will have the opportunity to work with their peers or in community, build clinical relationships, receive support and feedback from the lab supervisor, and experience a peer consultation group.

      MACP 474 - Advanced Counseling Skills & Interventions (3 cr.)

      This course will focus on more advanced counselling skills (e.g., silence, immediacy, self-disclosure, use of metaphor, inferring client feelings, enhancing responses, body awareness). Students will be introduced to theories of change and will learn and practice interventions related to those theories from different counselling orientations.

      MACP 495 - Research in Counselling Psychology (3 cr.)

      This course discusses the assumptions and methods of a range of both qualitative and quantitative research designs used in counselling psychology research.

      MACP 505 - Ethical Practice in Counselling Psychology (3 cr.)

      This course is designed to provide students with a solid foundation for the ethical practice of counselling psychology. Students will become familiar with the codes of ethics used by counsellors as well as a systematic process of ethical decision making when faced with ethical dilemmas.

      MACP 506 - Master’s Practicum I (1 cr.)
      MACP 507 - Master’s Practicum II (1 cr.)
      MACP 508 - Masters Practicum Seminar I (2 cr.)

      Using a peer consultation model facilitated by a qualified clinical instructor, this seminar provides students engaged in practicum training with an opportunity to integrate learning about assessment, case conceptualization and treatment planning and intervention through application to their clinical practicum experiences.

      MACP 509 - Masters Practicum Seminar II (2 cr.)

      Using a peer consultation model facilitated by a qualified clinical instructor, this seminar provides students engaged in practicum training with an opportunity to integrate learning about assessment, case conceptualization and treatment planning and intervention through application to their clinical practicum experiences.

      MACP 516 - Individual Appraisal for Counselors In Practice (3 cr.)

      This course will familiarize students with assessment and evaluation commonly used in counseling practice. The following topics will be addressed: theoretical and historical bases for assessment techniques, validity, reliability, appraisal methods, strategies for selecting, administrating, interpreting, and using assessment and evaluation instruments and techniques in counselling.

      MACP 517 - Trauma Theory and Intervention (3 cr.)

      This course presents an overview of the history, theory, and neurobiology of trauma and how to treat its various presentations. The impact of early trauma and/or neglect on the brain and nervous system, and how this impact differs from trauma events later in life will be reviewed.

      MACP 520 - Theories of Psychotherapy (3 cr.)

      This survey course presents an examination and analysis of the major theories, principles, and techniques of psychotherapy.

      MACP 641 - Multicultural Counselling for Diverse Populations (3 cr.)

      This course offers students a framework to implement multicultural counselling competencies from a social justice perspective through developing necessary attitudes, knowledge, skills, and advocacy interventions when working with diverse populations.

      MACP 647 - Biopsych Bases of Health Dysfunctions (3 cr.)

      Upholding the complementary relationship between assessment and intervention, this course is designed to provide students with the foundational knowledge and skills necessary for entry-level clinical practice.

      MACP 663 - Effective Couple and Family Therapy (3 cr.)

      This course offers an in-depth understanding of several evidence-based models for intervening with families and couples. This course covers a range of dysfunctions within couple and family systems and appropriate interventions.

      MACP 671 - Structural & Sociocultural Bases of Health and Dysfunction (3 cr.)

      Traditionally, psychologists and counsellors work within circumscribed clinical contexts within which mental health issues are deemed functions of individual pathology.

      MACP 995 - Masters Clinical Qualifying Exam (0 cr.)

      The Qualifying Examination consists of the presentation of a clinical case including an audiotape, an analysis of key interchanges within the session presented, a written case conceptualization and treatment plan, a paper integrating research with the clinical case, and a paper examining social issues pertinent to the clinical case.

      Electives

      Students select two of the five.

      MACP 438 - Introduction to Addictive Disorders (3 cr.)

      This course is designed to provide an introduction to substance dependence, substance abuse, and other addictive disorders.

      MACP 569 - Lifestyle & Career Development (3 cr.)

      This course will examine a person’s career trajectory and dynamics within the context of the person’s individual circumstances (e.g., ability, culture, ethnicity, etc.). Students will learn to assess career interests, aptitudes, and options.

      MACP 673 - Advanced Adlerian Intervention (3 cr.)

      The theoretical principles of Individual Psychology (IP) including holism, phenomenology, teleology, and social interest are applied to address the cognitive, affective, socio-cultural dimensions of personality development.

      MACP 674 - Introduction to Sex Therapy (3 cr.)

      This course provides an introduction to sex therapy, with a focus on the foundational underpinnings required for clinical practice. The course will address theory and research about the historical, biological, psychological and social/cultural influences on human sexuality and its expression.

      MACP 676 - Introduction to Depth Psychology: Theory and Practice (3 cr.)

      This course is designed to introduce students to the theory and practice of depth psychology. The course will review the seminal works of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung and the contemporary developments of their work including such authors as: Anna Freud, Karen Horney, Melanie Klein, Thomas Ogden, Wilfred Bion, Sandor Ferenczi, James Hillman and others.

      Thesis Series

      Master of Arts (M.A.) students only.

      Social Justice Practicum

      200-hour internship to give students real world experience

      A unique and proven program designed to give students real-world experience throughout their time at Adler University, the Social Justice Practicum is a required 200-hour internship that spans four courses (or terms for online programs). Every student is given a number of civic-minded categories to choose from. They submit their desired areas of interest. After which, they are assigned a specific and aligned community outreach site where they will work 8 to 10 hours per week.

      Learn about Adler’s Social Justice Practicum

      Faculty Spotlight


      Debbie Clelland, Ph.D.
      Core Faculty, Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology

      Debbie Clelland, Ph.D., core faculty in the Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology and Master of Counselling Psychology programs at Adler University in Vancouver, was recently featured in an article about the psychological impacts of climate change. Impending consequences of climate change can cause people to feel eco-anxiety, a feeling that can be a driver to want to take action and in act change. Dr. Clelland tells how eco-anxiety can help fuel one’s drive to fight for climate change. She also shares advice for how people can take care of their physical and mental health in the process.

      Learn More

      Admissions Requirements

      At Adler University, we take great pride in our diverse student body. Students represent a wide range of professional interests, ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and academic and work histories. We admit individuals with a strong record of academic achievement and a commitment to social responsibility.

      Applicants to the program must have the following:

      • A baccalaureate degree or equivalent from an accredited institution, preferably in psychology or counselling-related discipline.
      • A grade point average of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale for all undergraduate or graduate coursework.
      • The equivalent of at least 12 semester credit hours in baccalaureate-level psychology coursework with a grade of C or better. These courses must include introductory psychology, abnormal psychology, research methods, and a fourth foundational course in life span/development.
      • Coursework or volunteer/work experience that involves the use of counselling-related skills and demonstrates counselling capacity is required.

      Applicants are required to submit the following items to be considered for admission:

      • Application and application fee
      • Statement of Intent (2-3 pages double-spaced) answering the following questions:
        • Why are you interested in your chosen field and program?
        • Why is Adler University’s program a good fit for you?
        • What are your career goals and interests?
      • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
      • Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate schools attended (U.S and Canada)
        • Please have official transcripts sent directly to the Office of Admissions
        • Unofficial transcripts are accepted for any schools in which a degree was not received
      • Three letters of Recommendation
        • These should be from someone who can specifically speak to your academic and professional abilities

      Approved applicants will be invited to complete an interview with faculty. Please submit all application materials to the Office of Admissions prior to the application deadline.

      International applicants are also required to submit the following:

      • Course-by-course transcript evaluation
      • All transcripts from outside of North America (including Mexico) must be evaluated by a transcript evaluation service such as World Education Services (WES) (www.wes.org) or Educational Credentialing Evaluators (ECE) (www.ece.org). Please note that we require all official transcripts (and official translations if not in English) as well as the course-by-course international credential evaluation.
      • If a WES ICAP course-by-course evaluation is ordered, applicants will only be required to submit the official international credential evaluation to the University as this service provides a verified copy of the official transcript(s) and translations to the University.

      Tuition & Fees

      Tuition for Adler University’s programs is charged each term according to the number of registered academic credits. The number of credits a student will register for varies by academic program and by term. To estimate the amount of tuition and fees that would be charged in a given term, please use our Tuition Estimator tool below, or read about tuition and fees for all Vancouver programs.

      Tuition Estimator

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