Master of Arts Degrees
MASTER OF ARTS IN PSYCHOANALYTIC COUNSELING
The Master of Arts in Psychoanalytic Counseling program provides students with comprehensive master’s level training in mental health counseling with a specialization in psychoanalytic studies. The program provides the coursework and clinical experience necessary to meet pre-master’s requirements for licensure as a mental health counselor in Massachusetts while introducing students to psychoanalytic theory and psychodynamic conceptualization of psychopathology and treatment. The student is exposed to a range of theories and clinical methods in addition to the psychoanalytic model. The program is ideal for the student interested in practicing as a licensed mental health professional within a psychoanalytic framework at the master’s level. In the past three years, 94% of recent graduates from this program are either working in the field or pursuing a higher degree. Graduates are prepared to practice in a variety of mental health settings. Those who wish to continue their graduate studies may apply for further training in psychoanalysis through the Doctor of Psychoanalysis or the Certificate in Psychoanalysis programs.
Qualifying for Licensure as a Mental Health Counselor
The Master of Arts in Psychoanalytic Counseling provides students with the education and clinical experience needed at the pre-master’s level to meet licensing requirements in the state of Massachusetts. Post-master’s requirements include an additional 3200 hours of clinical experience in a setting providing additional hours of supervision as well as successful performance on the licensing exam. While these requirements are similar to those of other states, applicants and students should check the requirements of the state in which they intend to work. 100% of recent graduates who have chosen to take the state licensing exam have successfully passed.
Graduation requires successful completion of the 66 credit curriculum which includes twenty courses scheduled over four semesters and a summer; a 100-hour clinical practicum and a 600 hour internship. Coursework includes theories of counseling, basic and comparative psychoanalytic theory, developmental studies, psychopathology, assessment, diagnosis and treatment planning, ethics and professional practice, group dynamics, and ethics. Students also undertake a personal analysis as part of their training. Most students complete a Master’s research paper at the culmination of their studies. The program is designed to be completed in two years (including a summer session) of full time study.
The first clinical experience is the 100 hour practicum conducted in a setting where students sit with regressed patients in order to learn about psychosis and primitive mental states. Group supervision emphasizes observing one’s own emotional experience when with these regressed patients and utilizing one’s reactions to understand the patient’s inner states. Individual supervision usually takes place on site.
After a semester in the practicum placement, the student begins their internship experience, placed for fifteen hours a week in a clinical setting serving adults, children or adolescents for a total of 600 hours. Students continue meeting with the three patients seen in the practicum placement in order to have a long term experience with regressed patients. Group supervision is provided at BGSP; individual supervision with qualified supervisors takes place on site. Placements include clinics, day treatment programs, residential settings, schools, early intervention programs, substance abuse programs.
The research curriculum at the Master's level consists of a research methods course and the completion of a Master's paper or thesis. The Master's paper or thesis demonstrates the student's ability to integrate psychoanalytic theory with empirical data in relation to a clinical research topic, usually a single case study. A student may opt to write a Master's paper while taking the Master's Paper seminar in the fourth semester, or choose to write a Master's thesis, usually a more extensive project, under the supervision of two readers.
Abstracts of Masters theses
Catalog for Counseling Program
Mental Health Counseling Licensing Information
For information on the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling exam, click here (note: this will take you to a separate section of the BGSP website).