Holistic counselors believe that many physical, social and mental illnesses can be traced to a disintegration of the self from the community or environment. They gain practical knowledge through internships and clinical work. A holistic counseling program can also lead to separate specific graduate programs, such as a certificate in mental health counseling with a holistic counseling concentration. Programs generally require a bachelor's degree with a high GPA and high standardized test scores (like the GRE or GMAT), and last anywhere from two to five years.
Master's Degree in Holistic Counseling
Students in a holistic counseling program learn about the five levels of holistic healing, including personal development, one-on-one consultation, small system, large system and global system skills. Course topics include:
- Foundations of holistic counseling
- The mind-body connection
- Systems theory and family therapy
- Assessment and treatment
- Creative intervention skills
- Holistic counseling practicum
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not differentiate between holistic counselors and traditional mental health counselors. However, mental health counselors in general held 304,500 jobs in the United States in 2018. Overall employment of mental health counselors is predicted to rise by 22%, much faster than the average for all occupations, within the 2018-2028 decade. The BLS quoted a median salary of $44,630 for mental health counselors in general as of May 2018.
Every state requires licensing for mental health counselors, including those schooled in holistic methods, so students should make sure any program they are considering meets their state's standards. While requirements vary by state, licensing generally calls for a master's degree, several thousand hours of clinical experience and continuing education.
A master's in holistic counseling equips students with the skills to assess and treat mental health issues, and it also includes courses that teach creative intervention methods. Having a master's in this field allows students to obtain the jobs they want, since most states require at least a master's to practice counseling.