Therapy vs Counseling Degree

What is the difference between a therapy and a counseling degree?

Are counselors and therapists the same thing? While titles like “counselor” and “therapist” are often used interchangeably when identifying health professionals, there are distinct differences that are key to helping you make the right degree choice. Read on below to learn more.

How do I become a Marriage and Family therapist?

Therapy vs Counseling Degrees

Counselors and therapists share many similarities, however, their role in a client’s life might look vastly different. Often, counselors serve individuals or communities on a short-term basis. Counselors tend to zero in on a specific area of concern such as substance abuse, academic struggles, or mental health issues. They can work in a broad range of facilities such as treatment centers, detention centers, clinics, hospitals, or schools. In addition, counseling sessions can offer practical career development skills, facilitate multicultural understanding, or provide spiritual guidance. In many cases, counselors will address issues by identifying actionable steps and tactics.

Therapists on the other hand typically perform psychotherapy, which is the treatment of mental disorders through psychological means rather than medical means. This individualized approach invites the client to talk through the problem at hand in an effort to learn healthy coping skills. While they may also provide actionable steps to work toward overcoming an issue, therapists help understand the broader “how” and “why” behind the challenge a client is facing.

The degree requirements for counseling jobs vary. Some substance abuse counseling positions only require a high school diploma while other roles, like school counselors, often require a master’s degree. But working in more specialized areas, counselors will often need certification in order to practice. Careers in mental health therapy typically require a master’s degree, like the one offered at Friends University, with licensure in the state the therapist will be practicing in.

If you’re wanting to pursue a career as a therapist, the hands-on Marriage and Family Therapy degree program at Friends University will help you develop the theoretical, clinical, multicultural and interpersonal skills expected in a variety of mental health service careers. Our Wichita program works in conjunction with our Center on Family Living, a mental health clinic that provides free therapy to university students and low-cost therapy to the surrounding community. Students enrolled in our Kansas City program gain hands-on experience working in local clinics, meeting the needs of clients in the Kansas City area. Each year, our students provide more than 10,000 hours of transformative, relational services to individuals, couples and families.

The need for health service jobs continues to increase as more individuals and families see the benefit of therapy. As a result, 100% of the graduates from our program have found job placement upon graduation since 2013. If you’re ready to serve your community and make a lasting change in people’s lives through a career in mental health services, check out the Master of Science in Family Therapy from Friends University.

Learn more about the different kinds of jobs and career paths you can take with a Master of Science in Family Therapy from Friends University.

Request Info

Get started.

Tell us a little about you, and we’ll connect you with the answers you need. Ready to get started at Friends?