Master of Arts (MA) in Psychology with an emphasis in Counseling Psychology

Program Description        roadmap

The mission of the MA in Psychology with an emphasis in Counseling Psychology program is to provide its participants with the knowledge and skills necessary to become competent in counseling psychology through academic and experiential learning. The program aims at educating future psychologists who have sound knowledge of the theory and practice of counseling psychology, who are competent consumers and creative producers of social science research, who are competent in counseling practice, and who are ethical and sensitive to the cultures, values, and worlds of various clients. Viewing research and practice as interdependent and mutually supporting, the MA in Counseling Psychology is based on the scientist-practitioner training model.

The program is committed both (1) to preparing counseling psychologists for advanced doctoral studies in psychology and (2) to providing training and experience that prepare students for practice. The goal is to train psychologists who have a sound knowledge of the bases of counseling and psychotherapy. Adopting a multicultural perspective, the program also emphasizes the importance of multicultural competence in both research and practice.

outcome:

a) You become a Psychologist, b) You gain verbal skills that are needed for every profession, because communication is crucial is to all disciplines, c) You get the Propädeutikum certificate, which is the first important step to become a Psychotherapist in Austria (no extra cost!), d) You are ideally prepared for any PhD Programm.

The fact that the Propädeutikum is included in our MA Programm is particularly interesting for local students, who plan to become a Psychotherapist. The Propädeutikum costs money and with only a bit more you can it and on top of it earn a Master degree in Psychology, which of course can open many more doors for your professional career.

Entry requirements:

(1) A Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from another accredited university with a cumulative GPA of a 3.0 from the applicant's undergraduate degree granting institution.

Completion of course work in the following areas within the undergraduate education:

  • Introduction to Psychology or General Psychology
  • Statistics
  • Research Methods or Experimental Psychology

Recommended completion of coursework in the following areas:

  • Social Psychology
  • Biological Psychology, Neuropsychology, or Physiological Psychology
  • Personality Psychology
  • Human Development or Developmental Psychology
  • Abnormal Psychology or Psychopathology

While completion of coursework in these areas is not an unconditional requirement, participants with completed coursework in these areas (or equivalent) will be given preference in the admissions process. Please contact the Admissions Office should you have questions regarding courses you need to complete prior to starting the Master program.

(2) If you have a Bachelor Degree other than in Psychology you may apply for a sequential Bachelor in Psychology at Webster Vienna Private University, which requires a completion of 16 courses in the Psychology major.

(3) For students coming from the Austrian higher education system, if your 1st Studienabschnitt in Psychology is completed, there is a possibility to convert the 1st Studienabschnitt to a Bachelor of Science (in Psychology) Degree.

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For information about tuition fees please click  here or contact our Admissions Office.
Learning Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Explain the main approaches to counseling and psychotherapy and the role of the therapeutic relationship.
  • Describe important theories of human development and examine their significance to counseling psychology.
  • Discuss the major categories of psychological disorders and use this knowledge to assess and diagnose psychopathology.
  • Describe the mechanisms of action for a variety of psychopharmacological agents and evaluate the role of psychopharmacology in counseling psychology.
  • Describe the importance of professional ethics and demonstrate how ethical standards and legal requirements are relevant to the practice of counseling and psychotherapy.
  • Administer and interpret various widely-used psychological tests.
  • Construct the appropriate research design, collect data, and implement the necessary statistical techniques to answer research questions relevant to counseling psychology which adds to the discipline.
  • Demonstrate practical counseling skills that can be applied to individuals and groups to address a broad range of issues and settings.
  • Integrate theory, experience, behavioral observation and analysis to systematically enhance counseling knowledge and skills.
  • Evaluate the appropriateness of various counseling approaches to different cultures, values, and world-views of various clients and choose appropriate approaches.

Program Curriculum

The 48 credit hours required for the master of arts (MA) degree must include the following courses:

  • PSYC 5000 Bases of Counseling Psychology (3 credit hours)
  • PSYC 5100 Approaches to Counseling and Therapy (3 credit hours)
  • PSYC 5200 Advanced Developmental Psychology (3 credit hours)
  • PSYC 5300 Psychopathology (3 credit hours)
  • PSYC 5400 Research Design (3 credit hours)
  • PSYC 5500 Assessment (3 credit hours)
  • PSYC 5600 Group Processes and Group Therapy (3 credit hours)
  • PSYC 5700 Psychopharmacology (3 credit hours)
  • PSYC 5800 Ethical and Legal Foundations (3 credit hours)
  • PSYC 5900 Applied Statistics and Research Methods (3 credit hours)
  • PSYC 6000 Special Topics in Counseling Psychology (3 credit hours)
  • PSYC 6100 Masters’ Thesis (6 credit hours)
  • PSYC 6200 Practice and Supervision (3 credit hours)
  • PSYC 6300 Internship (6 credit hours)

Course Descriptions

PSYC 5000 Bases of Counseling Psychology
This course provides an introduction to the field of Counseling Psychology. Participants learn about the development of the profession, ethical and professional issues and the role of research and science in the field. A primary goal for the course is to establish a greater understanding of the counseling process and the importance of the therapeutic relationship in combination with the use of specific techniques.

PSYC 5100 Approaches to Counseling and Therapy
This course is a survey of the following major approaches to counseling and psychotherapy: psychoanalytic-psychodynamic, behavioral, cognitive-behavioral, and family systems counseling and therapy. The course explores underlying theories, principles, techniques, and areas of applications of these main approaches to counseling and psychotherapy.

PSYC 5200 Advanced Developmental Psychology
This course covers research and theory concerning the psychological
development of the maturing human. This course emphasizes the research basis of developmental psychology and the role of developmental psychology for counseling and therapy.

PSYC 5300 Psychopathology
This course focuses on the understanding and identification of the major psychological disorders as detailed in the current issues of DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, issued by the APA) and ICD (International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, issued by the WHO). The behavioral manifestations and psychological dynamics of mental disorders will be explored, focusing on therapeutic assessment issues and case conceptualization. The course also includes a discussion of practical aspects of dealing with psychopathology in out-patient and in-patient settings.

PSYC 5400 Research Design
This course both examines the role of science and methods of research in Counseling Psychology and psychotherapy on a theoretical and philosophical level. The general and advanced aspects of research in Counseling Psychology as well as diverse research designs in process research, evaluation, and documentation are explored, including the concurrent quantitative and qualitative methods.

PSYC 5500 Assessment
This course covers topics relevant to assessment in counseling psychology, including procedures for diagnostic interviewing, report writing, interpreting personality and performance assessments and ethical issues in testing. The course acquaints students with key psychometric concepts and several commonly used assessment instruments in counseling psychology, including objective personality and intelligence inventories. It focuses on specific aspects of assessment in therapeutic settings and in different schools of therapy.

PSYC 5600 Group Processes and Group Therapy
This course introduces participants to the theory of some of the most important processes and phenomena in groups. It explores various types of groups, the role of a group leader or facilitator, and the group process. Group phenomena, to be discussed and experienced,   concern diverse areas and group forms. Included aspects are social influences on individuals in groups, beliefs and attitudes, social facilitation, group norms and deviance, minority influence, helping in groups, facilitation of groups, power and control dynamics, group development, models of group interaction, group performance, and conflict in groups.

PSYC 5700 Psychopharmacology
This course explores the relationship between Counseling Psychology, psychotherapy and psychotropic drugs. Brain neuroanatomy, various types of psychopharmacological agents and their mechanisms are discussed. Current status of psychopharmacology research and modern application are included.

PSYC 5800 Ethical and Legal Foundations
This course focuses on identifying and resolving ethical dilemmas, the relationship of personal values with ethical practice, and the philosophical foundations of ethical practice. In addition to exploring ethical foundations, the course also examines the surrounding conditions and regulatory framework relevant to the practice of Counseling Psychology and psychotherapy. International and national legal regulations from diverse areas of law will be explored.

PSYC 5900 Applied Statistics and Research Methods
This course builds on undergraduate knowledge of statistics and research methods. It is intended for graduate students who are engaged in or will shortly be engaged in their own empirical research (Master’s Thesis). The course (1) provides a practice-oriented overview of selected statistical procedures and of quantitative and qualitative research methods and (2) provides the possibility to develop ideas and skills for conducting one’s own research and analyzing one’s own data.

PSYC 6000 Special Topics in Counseling Psychology
This course introduces students to topics of special interest within the field of counseling psychology. The course may be presented as a one credit hour course focused on a particular counseling topic. Consequently, this course may be repeated for credit if content differs.

PSYC 6100 Master’s Thesis
The Master’s Thesis consists of an individual research project designed by the student and carried out over the duration of at least one semester, under the direction of a thesis faculty advisor. The thesis project allows students to contribute to research in the field and to gain important research experience necessary for entrance into a doctoral program.

PSYC 6200 Practice and Supervision
This course provides students with the opportunity to practice and develop their counseling skills with others, and it gives the instructor the opportunity to observe, evaluate, and develop student skills in counseling interactions. The basis of the class relies on activities and exercises in the counseling lab, supported by modern technical equipment and group supervision.

PSYC 6300 Internship
The internship, a fieldwork experience, provides a supervised transition from learning in the classroom to the professional field of counseling in providing the student with the practical application of counseling knowledge and skills. It consists of 500 hours of professional experience in qualified institutions of the social and/or health care system, which provides the opportunity to perform a variety of activities related to counseling psychology and therapy.