Best Counseling Schools in Washington
Counseling in any capacity can be rewarding and well-paying, as you get to help others effectively in a variety of situations. If you’re interested in counseling work, these are some of the best counseling programs in Washington State. Find one that matches your needs and interests, and you’ll be well-prepared for a promising career after graduating.
How to Find a Counseling Program in Washington
As you evaluate the various counseling degree programs that are available in Washington, make sure you consider how well each program would work for you. The program that you attend should match your financial, scheduling, and personal needs, while also preparing you well for whatever the next step is.
Counseling Degree Pathways in Washington
Colleges and universities offer both undergraduate and graduate counseling degrees. Undergraduate programs can be pursued after high school, while graduate ones can be pursued after earning a bachelor's degree. The various counseling degree options are:
- Associate Degrees – prepares students for low-level work through a two-year program
- Bachelors Degrees – prepares students for non-licensed work through a four-year program
- Master's Degrees – prepares students for licensure as a professional counselor
- Doctorate Degrees – prepares students for highly advanced research (Ph.D.) or clinical (Psy.D.) work over the course of three to six years
- Certificate Programs – allows students to specialize through a shorter six to twelve-month program
Choose a Counseling Specialty
Some counselors in Washington provide general services to a broad client base. Other counselors work with a specific client base, providing more specialized services. Either path is a viable option for your counseling career.
If you wish to specialize, completing a specialization track is an excellent way to gain advanced training in your chosen counseling niche. Specialization tracks are available for:
- Clinical mental health counseling
- School counseling
- Pastoral counseling
- Child, couple, and family therapy
- Art therapy
Check School Accreditation
Almost all colleges and universities that offer counseling degrees in Washington are accredited. You should still confirm that any program you apply for is accredited by a recognized body, however. Only accredited programs are guaranteed to meet academic standards.
The main accrediting organizations for counseling programs are the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP) and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Online vs. Traditional Counseling Programs in Washington
You can choose to attend an online or traditional counseling program, as both modes are available from Washington schools. Online programs usually cost less, and they can have a more flexible class schedule. Traditional programs have plenty of opportunities for in-person discussion, though, and also might afford better access to opportunities and resources.
If you have limited financial resources and/or non-school responsibilities, an online program may be the better choice for you. If you have the ability to attend a traditional program, you may have a different experience attending in-person classes.
Becoming Licensed as a Counselor in Washington
To become a licensed professional counselor (LPC) in Washington, you must complete a master's degree, an internship that takes place during your master's degree, and 3,000 supervised hours that are done after your degree. You also have to pass an exam and pay a small application fee.
Your counseling license will then have to be renewed biannually. The renewal process requires a fee, and also 36 continuing education hours. At least six of the hours must be related to law and/or ethics.
List of Counseling Degree Programs in Washington
Are you searching for a counseling degree program in Washington? Browse our comprehensive list of schools offering counseling programs, both online and on-campus, and follow the links to learn more about what each program has to offer.
Western Washington University
Bellingham, WA 98225-9008
Eastern Washington University
- Mental Health Counseling (MS) Campus
- School Counseling Specialization Campus
- Addiction Studies (MA) Campus
- Advanced Addiction Therapies (MA) Campus
- Addiction Studies Campus
Cheney, WA 99004-2496
Central Washington University
- Mental Health Counseling Campus
Ellensburg, WA 98926
- BA in Human Development Online
- MA in CFT with Addiction Counseling Concentration Campus
- MA in Couple & Family Therapy Campus
- MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Online
- MA in CMHC with Addiction Counseling Campus
Seattle, WA 98121-1814
Seattle Pacific University
- Master of Science (MS) Marriage and Family Therapy Campus
- Master of Education (MEd) School Counseling Campus
Seattle, WA 98119-1997
Seattle, WA 98122-4340
Spokane, WA 99258-0001
Spokane, WA 99251
University of Puget Sound
Tacoma, WA 98416
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