M.A. in Counseling
We welcome your interest in the Counseling program. Southwestern College has a unique, integrative approach within an experiential and transformational learning environment. Students are prepared to practice as mental health professionals while also cultivating personal development.
PhilosophyThe Counseling program is dedicated to helping students determine what it means to live their soul’s journey, personally and professionally. Students learn a wide variety of counseling approaches, including cognitive-behavioral, psycho-spiritual, somatically-based, , eco-psychological, and psychodynamic, as well as other depth traditions. Most importantly, students are encouraged to become compassionate and powerful agents and guides of change, whether in individual, community, or global contexts. Our faculty is dedicated to assisting students in making the vital paradigm shift from isolated separation to authentic sharing and “giving back”. Our graduates are consistently described by employers as “true therapists”—well trained in professional counseling practices and centered in authenticity.
- Curriculum and Degree prepare graduates for licensure
- 91 quarter units (equivalent to approx. 60 semester units)
- Both practicum and internship experience
- Full-time two year program; part-time options are also available
- Strong sense of community within our college setting
- Experiential learning, including self-reflection and application of theory to self and other
- Diverse faculty within small classroom settings, resulting in personal attention and great mentorship opportunities
The Master’s program in Counseling integrates effective modes of counseling while incorporating differing levels of psychological functioning including the imaginal, physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. This holistic approach fosters a creative sense of self and facilitates the potential for change and growth. Faculty are dedicated to encouraging a sense of individuality and creativity within the learning process.
There is an emphasis on the student’s exploration of personal psychological transformation through self-reflection and experiential learning. A foundation is laid for understanding the nature of change and its application in the helping professions, using oneself as the first client. This is truly a different way of learning at a deep and experiential level, and results in more mature, reflective and advanced professional development. Our graduates often find themselves in leadership roles as a result.
Students develop their own professional counselor identities during the coursework, and through a year-long practicum and internship experience. Practicum occurs at the Southwestern Counseling Center, and internships can be accomplished in or out of state in the last two quarters of the program.
Our Master’s degree program in Counseling prepares students for a wide range of meaningful careers in the helping and healing professions. It provides students with a broad perspective on the field of counseling in the context of a truly holistic and transformational approach. Graduates are eligible for licensure in New Mexico and other states.
The Counseling program is two years in length if attending full time; however, many students find that going part time enables them to engage the experience fully and at the deepest levels.
In addition to the successful completion of coursework, practicum hours and internship, students are required to demonstrate their knowledge and abilities at the end of both the first year of classes and at the end of the program through examinations.
All Masters degree students are required to fulfill a personal therapy requirement of 40 face-to-face hours with a mental health professional licensed in New Mexico. The personal therapy requirement provides both academic and personal benefits. The experience of being a client teaches Counseling students about the nature of the therapeutic relationship, including an appreciation of the emotional life of the client. The experience also provides an opportunity for personal growth that strengthens emotional balance and therapeutic skills.