2016-2017 Graduate Academic Catalog


Division of Counseling and Psychology

Founded in 1975, Lesley's graduate programs in Counseling and Psychology have advanced a philosophy of education with three driving forces: a broad foundation of psychology-based, rigorous theoretical study that integrates developmental, holistic, and trauma informed multicultural perspectives; a strong emphasis on field experience in a variety of professional settings; and a commitment to socially responsible, reflective practice.

The Division of Counseling and Psychology offers school guidance counseling and school adjustment counseling Master's degree programs approved by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (leading to Initial licensure). The Division of Counseling and Psychology is approved by the Council for Applied Masters Programs in Psychology (CAMPP) and the Masters in Psychology Accreditation Council (MPAC). Its graduate degree programs lead to licensure in mental health counseling and/or school counseling in Massachusetts.

The programs prepare clinicians in the field of counseling and psychology at the Master's degree and post-Master's levels. In addition, certificate programs are offered at the post-baccalaureate and post-Master's levels. Some graduates choose to obtain post-Master's credentials in an area of professional interest such as trauma, holistic studies, and play therapy. Students work closely with a faculty of scholar-practitioners who have achieved leadership roles in their professions.

Through coursework and supervised field-based experiences, students are trained to work with a variety of populations in school and agency settings. Students may specialize in areas in which Lesley has built a distinguished reputation: Holistic Studies, School Counseling, Professional Counseling, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and Trauma Studies.

Learning is seen as an ongoing process that incorporates cognitive, affective, and social dimensions. Students develop knowledge in the fields of counseling and psychology, acquiring skills for clinical inquiry and intervention, with an understanding of both the relational aspects of psychological change and the sociocultural contexts of individual functioning and professional practice. Coursework and programs foster self-awareness and an understanding of ethical and professional guidelines for practice.

The Counseling and Psychology programs lead to two types of credentials: licensure as mental health counselors and Initial licensure as school guidance and school adjustment counselors. Licensure for Master's degree-level practitioners has helped to define the professional identity of counselors by ensuring appropriate academic and clinical competencies and allowing for independent practice. Currently, 49 states credential mental health professionals with Master's degrees.

Licensed Mental Health Counselors (LMHCs) are authorized by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to receive third-party (insurance) reimbursement from commercial insurers. Further, Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) must now consider LMHCs when their panels are opened. In Massachusetts, after July 1, 1998, sixty (60) credits of graduate study are required to meet the educational eligibility requirements for licensure as a mental health counselor. If you plan to practice in a state other than Massachusetts, please contact the state licensing board for practice requirements.