Psychologists who work in the field of counseling often hold a Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) or a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree. These programs can take anywhere from three to eight years to complete, although the typical completion time is closer to four years. The majority of PhD programs consist of many years of study followed by a one-year internship.
An individual who wishes to pursue licensing as a licensed behavioral therapist must first get a master’s degree in psychology or counseling and then work for certification.
Licenses for mental health counselors are normally obtained via the completion of a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling. Depending on state rules, some types of counselors who do not specialize in mental health may just require an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in order to practice.