A military career is not all about being in a war zone and knowing how to fight. If you have an interest in being part of the military family and helping soldiers with their various issues, then a degree in counseling is the one for you. Although the counseling requirements vary per state, you will mostly require a master's or a doctorate in the field.
Master's Degree in Counseling Program Information
A graduate counseling program is available as a Master of Arts degree and can be completed part-time or full-time. The full-time program is flexible and can be completed over a period of 3-5 years. Around 42 course credits may be needed. A foundation in psychology is preferred but may not be mandatory. Most programs offer specializations in such areas as counseling in general, counseling for substance abuse and counseling for mental disorders. The program will cover the following courses:
Family and Marriage Counseling
Military personnel often have very stress filled lives, and counseling helps a lot in solving the issues which they encounter in their families. In this course, students will understand the structure and ways a marriage functions. Various aspects and different models of family life are studied. How therapy and counseling are applied for solving various issues within the institution of marriage are also highlighted.
During this course, future counselors will learn how to advise people in crisis. Soldiers' lives are filled with traumas and counseling is one of the ways they can be helped to deal with it in daily life. The course will cover the handling of such situations with examples and case studies.
Diagnosing Clinical Conditions and Treatment
Students taking this course will research the causes associated with mental disorders and learn different diagnoses. Protocols for treatment of typical cases like suicide will be covered. Learning to provide the proper counseling strategies to help their patients cases is also part of this course.
Counseling for Drug Usage
Substance abuse, its effects and treatment planning are the core components of this class. Behavior patterns and psychological effects are examined in depth. Ways in which to form rehabilitation plans are also addressed.
The Study of Mental Illness
This class covers the study of complex nature of human behavior. Students will explore how individuals differ from each other and what causes certain disorders in them. The class highlights approaches to help individuals understand how past experiences can have a direct effect on their present mental health.
Requirements for Admission
Students and professionals wanting to pursue a career in the military as a counselor need a foundation in psychology. This is a flexible program that can be taken full-time or online. Minimum GPA may be required in bachelor's by some colleges. Some institutes may require GRE/TOEFL scores and letters of recommendation. Resume stating relevant work experience and personal letter of intent may also be considered. A bachelor's degree from an accredited university is required. Some colleges may ask for personal interviews.
If you have an interest in helping soldiers in the military via counseling and therapies to see them through the various issues they are forced to face due to the job requirement, this program may be a suitable choice for you.