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Cathy, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1436
Experience:  Ms, MS.Ed., thirty years clinical practice
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Is there any type of relationship counseling that you dont

Resolved Question:

Is there any type of relationship counseling that you don't need a masters degree and a bachelors degree is good enough and maybe a certification?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Cathy replied 5 years ago.

Hi Linda


I would have to say YES, this despite my having two masters degrees. I would say that most clergy have only a bachelors degree and engage in marital counseling to a much greater extent than we professional counselors do.

I will not say that I am happy about this, and in fact it makes me quite unhappy to say this, but I think yes, the answer is yes.

I hope this helps. Warm regards, Cathy

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Being a clergy won't help me with this. Is there not another position other than? I'm asking bc I'm thinking of going into relationship counseling but don't feel the need to go back to school to get my masters in Psychology. I've been helping ppl all my life. I thought I might as well make a liviing by doing it. I was thinking for myself doing christian counseling which provides psychology and the biblical aspects as well.  What about online counseling on the net?<br /><br />What's the difference btw clinical and non-clinical counselors? I believe non-clinical a Bachelor's degree is good enough.<br /><br />What if I have a BBA already and have taken some psychology class, can I take the license to become a counselor or the counseling degree has to be there?
Expert:  Cathy replied 5 years ago.

Hi Linda, and I see what you are saying.


I can only speak for practice here in the US and I do not know if you are aware of this, but as of a few years ago, every US state offered licensure to qualified professionals. I believe that up until that time you could practice without a license in Utah and New York. I am not sure about Utah, but I lived in NY and that was the situation there. In order to be licensed to practice there are qualifications that would include an advanced degree, several hours supervised internship and passing a fairly rigorous exam.


In other words you just can't set up shop somewhere without meeting these standards. You can not get malpractice insurance and you cannot bill insurance companies for payment. It insures a minimum standard of care and prevents people from going into practice and possibly harming others.


Now I am sure you are very good at counseling, but just as I cannot go out and practice medicine (because I have not completed all the requirements to be a doctor of medicine) you cannot call yourself a counselor until you have completed these requirements.


You say that you have attended over 15 years of counseling sessions, might peer counseling be the right route for you? You might want to look into this. You would need only your experience as a mental health consumer, completion of a training course, and to pass the Certified Peer Specialist exam. Is this something you would be interested in?

Let me know what you think.


Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I understand all the legal issues. A lot of good counselors have had counseling themselves. How can you be a good one if you have never experienced this or any life struggle? I don't feel that just an education is good enough from my experience. For example: one who tries to give martial advice but has never been married.

I have solved my life issues mainly by myself. I used counseling just for someone to hear me bc they could never help me solve anything except for me. With my hard work, I did do this. I help ppl all the time so I thought I could make a living out of it. I have several hrs of psychology courses already.

I'm just seeing what were some job options. Also, I wanted to know the difference btw non-clinical and clinical counseling.
Expert:  Cathy replied 5 years ago.

Hi and I am in absolute agreement with you. I would not go to see a counselor who had not been in counseling either. On the other hand, I have never tried heroin but I treat many heroin addicts effectively. When I was in graduate school I learned about empathy and how it is possible to treat others who have had experiences you have not. This is part of why the advanced education is so important. I believe that all counselors should be in therapy but that not having life experiences should not exempt one from that field of expertise especially if they are very good at it.


I think your job options would be severely limited for the reasons I cited above. It is either necessary to go for that grad degree or look for other vocations.


There is no such thing as non clinical counseling. I think you may be confusing the field of counseling with psychology. A clinical psychologist is trained to do therapy while many other psychologists are trained in research and statistics and perform psychometrics or psychological testing. Hence the difference between a counseling (clinical) psychologist and a research pyschologist.

By definition, clinical means to work in a clinical setting.
I hope I have answered your question and please do press accept so that I may get credit for my work.

Good Luck and best wishes, Cathy

Edited by Cathy on 7/11/2010 at 11:55 PM EST
Cathy, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1436
Experience: Ms, MS.Ed., thirty years clinical practice
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