Western Education'sMA | Counselling Psychology

The MA Counselling Psychology is a scientist-practitioner onsite full-time degree, which prepares you to work as a professional counsellor in community agencies and public institutions that serve a diverse range of clientele. Counselling faculty draw from different theoretical orientations to expose you to current thinking in feminist-informed, cognitive-behavioral and existential practices with individuals, families and communities. The thesis requirement prepares you to be both consumers and producers of research. The eight-month internship with experienced counsellors in child and family services, schools, colleges and universities, as well as mental health and justice settings, prepares you for counselling practice in specialized areas of interest.

Help children and families

Help children and families

Eight-month internship

Eight-month internship

Opportunities to specialize

Opportunities to specialize

Ruth Nielsen

What I like about my MA program is that I've been able to work closely with expert faculty on topics that pertain to my research. Every course focuses on critical topics and ties in with current events in Ontario education.

My MA degree program has helped me hone my research skills. Moreover, it has helped me develop a keen critical eye in both my academic and professional life.

- Ruth Nielsen, Graduated 2020

Beyond the program details

Admissions

Required:

  • A four-year Honours degree (20 full courses or equivalent), with a major in Psychology, from an accredited university.
  • An undergraduate honours thesis
  • Minimum "B" standing (70%) or equivalent in the final two years of study.
  • Minimum one year or equivalent paid and/or volunteer experience in the helping professions (see note for more information).

Recommended:

  • Courses/background in research statistical methods.

Notes & Exceptions:

  • With regard to work experience, the Admissions Committee will add time in positions together to make up the equivalent of one year. There is no minimum requirement in terms of hours of work. However, there should be a reasonable accumulation of time that is the equivalent of one or more years in a related field.
  • When considering whether or not an applicant's helping experiences qualifies them for consideration the admissions committee will examine both the role of the helper and the conditions under which a person is seeking help. Helping experience encompasses any activity where the helper is aware that they are providing assistance to someone who needs support for emotional or mental distress and needs. The person who seeks help is looking to the helper to provide assistance and help them improve and modify their current emotional and mental state. Helping experience does not include tutoring, teaching, or sport/performance coaching, which would be focused on making change to a cognitive or physical state. It does include experiences where the helper is aware that they are responsible for attending to the emotional/mental needs and state of the client, and can include distress centres, shelters, street-level services for vulnerable people, and mentoring programs, for example. One marker of an acceptable helping experience is the inclusion of training on the role and limitations of a helper and the psychological needs and vulnerabilities of the client population.
  • Decisions for the Counselling Psychology program are based on application materials and a personal interview. Approximately 24 candidates are selected for personal interviews based on their application, which are held in March each year.

Tuition

Tuition amounts are set each year by Senate and then published on the Office of the Registrar's Fees Schedules web page. Fees are assessed once each term (Fall, Winter, Summer).

Current students can access fee information by logging into the Student Centre (use your Western email log in and password). Students are notified each term once fee amounts have been posted in the Student Centre; it is each student's responsibility to log into the Student Centre and pay fees by the due date indicated. Failure to do so may result in a late payment fee or deregistration.

For questions about fees, including how to pay fees and the methods of payment that are accepted, students should go to the Student Financial Services pages of the Office of the Registrar's web site or contact Student Financial Services (Office of the Registrar) at 519-661-2100.

Funding

Please visit our Scholarships Page for more information.

Technology

Instructors of onsite courses use the Sakai OWL platform, although it is not required.  Access to a course in Sakai OWL is typically opened the first business day of each term. Please note that although your own access may be granted prior to the first business day, course content may not be posted until closer to the scheduled term start. Your Western University login and password is required to access the course (your Western email without the @uwo.ca and its accompanying password). Access to Sakai OWL is found here: https://owl.uwo.ca/portal.

For online courses, students are required to have access to the following:

  • High speed Internet access
  • Access to a computer that enables connection to outside websites (flexible firewall restrictions)
  • Multimedia playback capabilities (video/audio)
  • WebCam
  • Computer capable of running a recent version of Internet Explorer, Safari, or Firefox; and/or Cisco MOVI client for PC or Mac
  • Audio headset and microphone for computer

Program information

Description

This scientist-practitioner onsite full-time degree prepares you to work as a professional counsellor in community agencies and public institutions that serve a diverse range of clientele. Counselling faculty draw from different theoretical orientations to expose you to current thinking in feminist-informed, cognitive-behavioral and existential practices with individuals, families and communities. 

The MA program in Counselling Psychology alone does not result in certification; however, many of our graduates independently become certified with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association. If graduates of the program plan to practice in Ontario, they will need to be registered with either CPO or CRPO.  

The MA in Counselling Psychology degree may lead to entrance into advanced graduate work at the doctoral level in other institutions or faculties, such as: 

  • Western University
  • University of Alberta
  • University of Toronto
  • University of Calgary
  • University of North Dakota
  • University of Ottawa

Please Note: Candidates wishing to work in public school settings as a guidance counsellor must hold a suitable teaching qualification. 

Employment 

Recent graduates of the Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology work in a variety of community agencies. Graduates have continued their education in professional psychology at the doctoral level. 

  • Thames Valley District School Board, London, ON
  • London Catholic School Board, London, ON
  • Canadian Mental Health Association, London, ON
  • Daya Counselling Services, London, ON
  • Blue Hills Child and Family Centre, Aurora, ON
  • Child Parent Resource Institute, London, ON
  • Fanshawe College Counselling Services, London, ON
  • Student Development Centre Western University, London, ON
  • Western University Student Success Centre: Careers, Leadership and Experience, London, ON
  • Center for Children and Families in the Justice System, London, ON
  • Madame Vanier Children's Services, London, ON
  • Halton Family Services, Oakville, ON
  • Canada World Youth, Montreal, QC
  • Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital, Edmonton, AB
  • Changing Ways, London, ON
  • Huntington Society of Canada- London and Area, ON
  • Canadian Mental Health Association, London-Middlesex, ON
  • London Abused Women's Centre, London, ON
  • University of Toronto, ON
  • Western University, London, ON
  • King's University College, London, ON
  • McGill University, Montreal, QC
  • Seneca College, Toronto, ON
  • Humber College, Toronto, ON
  • Rapport Youth and Family Services, Brampton, ON
  • East Metro Youth Services, Toronto, ON
  • Ryerson University, Toronto, ON
  • Peel Board of Education, Mississauga, ON
  • Toronto Board of Education, ON
  • Cambridge Memorial Hospital, Waterloo, ON
  • Centre for Prevention Research, CAMH, Toronto, ON

Milestones

Below is a summary of the Thesis process. Students must consult the Master's Thesis Guide (PDF), Program Policies web page, and the School of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies' Thesis Regulation Guide for complete thesis guidelines and regulations.

Proposal:

Once a student completes their required and elective courses they will register in ED 9683 Individual Proposal Preparation (IPP). By the end of the semester in which a student completes the last required course, a student must decide on a topic for their thesis, and submit the Individual Proposal Preparation (IPP) - Supervisor Approval Form (found on the Forms & Guidelines page).

The IPP provides a structure for the writing of a thesis proposal. An initial review of relevant research provides the background for the proposed study. The methodological framework and the method to be employed are studied and developed. Ethical considerations are investigated and, where appropriate, an ethical review document prepared. The IPP is not a course but a milestone and compulsory element for those writing a Thesis.

The IPP should be completed in one term. The IPP is completed when the proposal and ethical review (where required) have been submitted for approval.

The Thesis Supervisor after consulting with the faculty members concerned, will formally appoint a Thesis Advisory Committee. The Committee will consist of a Thesis Supervisor and at least one additional faculty member who will act as a Thesis Advisory Committee Member. The Thesis Supervisor must be a member of the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies with PhD supervisory status, as approved by the Credentials Committee of the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

When the Thesis Supervisory Committee is satisfied with a student's written proposal, the student may submit the proposal for approval. The student submits one copy of their proposal and the MA Thesis Proposal Approval form to the Graduate Programs Office for approval by the Associate Dean, Graduate Programs.

If the proposed research involves human subjects, the student has to receive ethics approval from Western University Research Ethics Board before the research begins.  Please see the Research Ethics page for more information.

The student may proceed with their research and thesis preparation when all approvals have been obtained.

Thesis:

Only after all approvals have been obtained the student must register in ED 9590 Master's Thesis and may proceed with the research and the preparation of the thesis under the guidance and review of the Thesis Supervisory Committee. Please note that ED 9590 is not a course but a milestone.

When the thesis has been completed and approved by the Thesis Supervisory Committee. The student will submit the Application for Thesis Examination - Form B and Master's Thesis Supervisor Approval Form (found on the Forms & Guidelines page) to the Graduate Programs Office. The necessary arrangements will be made by the Graduate Programs Office for the examination of the thesis in accordance with the appropriate University regulations.

Timing/delivery

Full-time students:

Students will normally complete the program in five consecutive semesters beginning in September. The first three semesters are devoted to course work and thesis proposal, with the remaining two semesters constituting the Internship plus writing and defence of thesis.

Courses

Maintenance of a B average is required throughout the program. All students in this program are enrolled in the thesis-based route of study.

. Nine half-courses;
. ED9549 (Internship); and
. ED9590 Master's Thesis.

The program requires all students to be actively involved in research in counselling psychology.

See below for more information on ED9549 Internship.

Typical Program of Study

The following is a typical itinerary for a full-time student:

Fall Term 1
(September - December)

9544 Theories of Counselling Psychology 
9545 Practicum in Counselling (6-credit hours)
9546 Research Design in Counselling

Winter Term 2
(January - April)

9542 Assessment in Career and Counselling Psychology
9543 Systemic Practice
9547 Counselling Interventions and Community Mental Health
9553 Cross-Cultural Counselling
9590 Thesis (Writing of the proposal)

Summer Term 1
(May - August)

9552 Counselling for Career Development and Life Transitions 

Fall Term 2
(September - December)

9549 Internship in Counselling
9550 Ethics and Human Development 
9590 Thesis

Winter Term 2
(January - April)

9549 Internship in Counselling
9590 Thesis

Scheduling of courses

Fall Term: 8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. (each course meets one morning per week for 13 weeks)

Winter Term: 8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. or 1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. (each course meets one morning or afternoon per week for 13 weeks)

Summer Term (Intersession): 9 a.m. – 12 noon (course meets two mornings per week for six weeks)

Timetables & Timelines

Course Descriptions

Internship

ED9549. Internship in Counselling. For counselling interns, who have completed the major part of their course work, to study cases, examine current problems and apply theory.

Prerequisite: completion of core courses or equivalent

Full course; two terms. Offered: Every Fall & Winter Term

Education 9549 involves a supervised Internship placement in counselling activities on at least a half-time basis over at least 8 continuous months of the academic year (namely September through April). Most students complete this requirement by working three days a week on-site for approximately 21 hours a week for 26 weeks (a minimum of 550 supervised hours on site) as well as one day of independent study off-site related to client issues.

The placement must be supervised by professional counsellors in accordance with Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association guidelines. If the student plans to be employed with his/her current employer during the internship year, the student must arrange for both individual and group counselling activities to a minimum of half-time. Specific arrangements for the internship are made during the Winter term of the first year in the program.

Potential Supervisor

Members

Jason Brown

Claire Crooks

Deanna Friesen

Peter Jaffe

Perry Klein

Elizabeth Nowicki

Susan Rodger

Jacqueline Specht

Shannon Stewart

We are always happy to help!

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