Masters Degree in Holistic Counseling: Program Overview

Those interested in treating the whole mind, body and spirit may obtain a Master of Arts in Holistic Counseling degree. Courses allow students to function as professionals in the mental health field as well as help their clients develop personally.

Essential Information

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.

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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 128,200 jobs in the United States in 2015. Overall employment of mental health counselors is predicted to rise by 20%, much faster than the average for all occupations, within the 2014-2024 decade. The BLS quoted a median salary of $41,880 for mental health counselors in general as of May 2015.

License Requirements

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.

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