Clinical/Counseling Minor

The Clinical/counseling psychology minor is for individuals planning careers in psychology, social work, or counseling education and is open to majors and non-majors with the needed prerequisites.  Students learn about the therapeutic services provided in counseling centers, independent or group practices, hospitals or clinics.

Individuals interested in advanced degrees in psychology have the opportunity to learn how to treat a variety of adjustment and mental health problems with various populations at the undergraduate level.

Career Overview

Clinical Psychology

Clinical psycologists constitute the largest specialty they usually work in counseling centers, independent or group practices, hospitals, or clinics. They help mentally and emotionally disturbed clients adjust to life and may help medical and surgical patients deal with illnesses or injuries. Some work in physical rehabilitation settings, treating patients with spinal cord injuries, chronic pain or illness, stroke, arthritis, and neurological conditions. Others help people deal with times of personal crisis, such as divorce or the death of a loved one.

Clinical psychologists often interview patients and give diagnostic tests. They may provide individual, family, or group psychotherapy, and design and implement behavior modification programs. Some clinical psychologists collaborate with physicians and other specialists to develop and implement treatment and intervention programs that patients can understand and comply with. Other clinical psychologists work in universities and medical schools, where they train graduate students in the delivery of mental health and behavioral medicine services. Some administer community mental health programs.

Counseling Psychology

Differs from clinical psychology by its focus on adjustment related problems (e.g., divorce, loss) in outpatient client populations. Although counseling psychologists may encounter individuals with severely dysfunctional behavior, the profession itself is more concerned with prevention and life planning than with remediation and cure.

Counseling psychologists use various techniques, including interviewing and testing, to advise people on how to deal with problems of everyday living. They work in settings such as university counseling centers, hospitals, and individual or group practices.

Social Work

The profession of social work is dedicated to meeting the diverse social service needs of special populations of individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities. The profession deals with social concerns that range from societal oppression to people's emotional/behavioral problems. The social work practitioner is educated to help at-risk populations which typically include the poor and homeless, abused/neglected children and adults, people of color, women, recent refugees, chronically mentally ill, developmentally disabled, physically ill or disabled, substance abusers, criminal offenders and the aged. In focusing on disadvantaged groups, the student is trained to use a range of traditional and non-traditional methods to promote well-being, personal growth, and social justice, e.g., individual client and large system policy advocating, brokering, consulting, individual, family and group counseling/ psychotherapy, mediating, researching, supervising and teaching.

Social workers are trained to work in nursing homes, hospitals, group homes for children and adolescents, schools, county health departments, projects on aging, correctional agencies, county departments of social services, mental health centers, drug and alcohol programs, housing programs shelters, and other public and private social agencies and programs.

General Master's Programs

A master's degree in counseling can be obtained from a variety of departments offering graduate level courses, including Canisius' School of Education. An advanced degree enables graduates to provide individualized or group therapeutic services to a variety of patient populations within a variety of settings such as schools or outpatient/inpatient programs. In recent years, individuals receiving a terminal master's degree have been competitive in the job market as facilities/agencies are looking toward individuals who have clinical training, but can be paid wages that are somewhat lower than PhD/PsyD-level counterparts.

Things to know if you are considering a career in clinical or counseling psychology:

  • Clinical and counseling psychologists usually require a doctorate in psychology, completion of an approved internship, and 1 to 2 years of professional experience.
  • A doctoral degree usually requires 5 to 7 years of graduate study. The PhD degree culminates in a dissertation based on original research.
    • Requirements for the doctoral degree usually includes at least a 1-year internship.
    • Courses in advanced quantitative research methods are an integral part of graduate study and are necessary to complete the dissertation.
    • Competition for admission into graduate programs is keen. Most universities have strict GPA and GRE cutoff scores. Students who are selected for admission have typically obtained related practical and research experience prior to applying to graduate school.

We prepare our students to meet and exceed graduate school requirements. Canisius alumni are often at the top of their graduate-level classes thanks to excellent classroom instruction and outstanding field experience.

For more information on minor requirements, please click here.