Like clinical psychology, counseling psychology is a distinct specialty within professional psychology. Although many counseling psychologists have master’s degrees in general psychology or counseling-related fields (e.g., mental health counseling, school counseling), the term counseling psychologist refers to licensed health service professionals who are graduates of Ph.D. or Psy.D. psychology programs.

Like clinical psychologists, counseling psychologists have diverse work roles, ranging from college and university teaching and scholarship to the practice of counseling or psychotherapy, assessment, and consultation in both private and public sectors. Work settings include colleges and universities; medical centers, including Veterans Health Administration Medical Centers and health maintenance organizations; jails and prisons; governmental and nongovernmental agencies; and independent practice.

Only licensed psychologists may practice independently, although U.S. states also either “certify” or “license” mental ...

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