5 Concentrations for a Ph.D in Counseling

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Updated April 24, 2021

Ph.D in Counseling Concentrations

  • School Counseling
  • Mental Health Counseling
  • Substance Abuse Counseling
  • Vocational Counseling
  • Rehabilitation Counseling

Obtaining a Ph.D in Counseling opens many exciting career paths. Choose your counseling concentration wisely, as it will have an impact on the types of jobs that you'll be qualified to pursue. At this level of education, you probably already have a pretty good idea about which specialization is right for you. Either way, explore some of the most popular concentrations for a Ph.D in Counseling to ensure that you make the right choice the first time.

Resource: Top 10 Online Doctoral Programs in Counseling

1. School Counseling

With a concentration in school counseling, you will be eligible to work as a school counselor in a variety of institutions. School counselors are also sometimes referred to as academic counselors or academic advisors. As the title suggests, these professionals guide and counsel students to ensure that they have the best academic experiences possible. Of course, their work isn't limited to students' academic lives. They also touch upon clients' personal lives, as private matters often affect a student's ability to thrive. The work is demanding but very rewarding.

2. Mental Health Counseling

If you would like to help people overcome mental health issues like depression, anxiety, eating disorders and the like, pursuing a Ph.D in counseling with a concentration in mental health should be up your alley. With this credential, you will be qualified to work directly with people who suffer from various types of mental health issues. You may work with patients one-on-one or in couples or group settings. Either way, having a Ph.D in this area will allow you to pursue exciting opportunities in this field.

3. Substance Abuse Counseling

People from all walks of life struggle with substance abuse. If you aspire to help people overcome addictions to alcohol and drugs, earning a Ph.D in Counseling with a concentration in substance abuse counseling may be the ideal option. You will learn about various methodologies for helping people overcome their addictions to lead richer, fuller, happier lives. You may also assist addicts with finding detox and rehabilitation programs, re-entering the workforce and with various other aspects of getting their lives back on track.

4. Vocational Counseling

Also known as career counseling, vocational counseling involves assisting people who are struggling to find jobs by identifying and working on various obstacles. For instance, older job seekers often face age discrimination and often have little recent experience with looking for jobs. As a vocational counselor, you will evaluate clients' skills, identify their goals and take steps to help them achieve them. This may include directly assisting them in their job search and teaching them how to effectively apply for and interview for jobs. Helping someone obtain a livelihood is very rewarding, and a diverse array of employers–including government agencies–hire vocational counselors with advanced degrees.

5. Rehabilitation Counseling

After becoming disabled, people must learn how to live life on entirely new terms. The obstacles that they face aren't just physical in nature; they're psychological too. As a rehabilitation counselor, you will help disabled people deal with the effects of their disabilities and help them overcome the various mental health issues that occur as a result of becoming disabled. With a Ph.D in counseling and a concentration in rehabilitation counseling, you'll assist disabled people in meeting their personal and career goals and in achieving and maintaining independent lifestyles.

A Ph.D in Counseling will get you far. To hit the ground running on the career of your choice, choose your concentration with care. Consider the most popular options to ensure that you don't overlook what could be an ideal fit for you. With this degree under your belt, you'll be in high demand wherever you look for work.

Related Resource: Top 10 Best Master's in Psychology Degree Programs

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