About the Course
A Ph.D. in Family Counseling with a minor in Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) is a specialized doctoral program that combines advanced studies in family counseling with training in pastoral care within clinical settings. This unique combination prepares graduates to work as licensed family therapists who can integrate spiritual and pastoral care elements into their counseling practice. Here's an overview of what you can typically expect from such a program:
1. Core Curriculum in Family Counseling: Advanced Counseling Theories: In-depth exploration of various counseling theories and models applicable to family therapy, including systems theory, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and narrative therapy.
Marriage and Family Therapy: Study of the principles and techniques specific to working with couples and families in a therapeutic context.
Advanced Psychopathology: An examination of various mental health disorders and their impact on individuals and families.
Research Methods: Training in research methodologies, data analysis, and statistics to prepare for conducting original research in the field of family counseling.
2. Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE):The minor in CPE typically involves training in pastoral care and counseling within clinical settings, such as hospitals, hospices, or other healthcare environments. This training often includes:
Pastoral Care Skills: Learning to provide spiritual and emotional support to individuals and families facing health crises, grief, or other challenging situations.
Clinical Supervision: Supervised practical experiences where you engage in pastoral care and counseling under the guidance of experienced chaplains or pastoral educators.
Theological Reflection: Reflecting on the intersection of faith, spirituality, and healthcare in your pastoral care practice.
3. Integration of Family Counseling and Pastoral Care:One of the key aspects of this program is learning to integrate the skills and knowledge gained in family counseling with pastoral care practices. This integration allows you to provide holistic support to individuals and families, addressing both psychological and spiritual needs.
4. Dissertation:The Ph.D. program typically culminates in a doctoral dissertation, where you conduct original research in the field of family counseling. Your dissertation should address a specific research question related to family therapy or a related area.
5. Teaching and Supervision Opportunities:Ph.D. students in this program may have the opportunity to gain teaching experience or serve as clinical supervisors in family therapy or pastoral care settings.
6. Career Opportunities:Graduates of a Ph.D. program in Family Counseling with a minor in Clinical Pastoral Education can pursue various career paths, including:
Licensed Family Therapist: Providing family therapy services with a focus on integrating pastoral care and spiritual aspects into counseling.
Pastoral Counselor: Serving as a pastoral counselor within healthcare settings, churches, or other faith-based organizations, addressing the emotional and spiritual needs of individuals and families.
Clinical Supervisor: Overseeing the clinical practice of therapists and counselors, providing guidance and supervision.
Academic and Research Roles: Becoming professors, researchers, or educators in family therapy, counseling, or pastoral care programs.
Chaplaincy Roles: Assuming chaplaincy roles within healthcare institutions or hospices, offering pastoral care and counseling to patients and their families.Before enrolling in a Ph.D. program with this specific focus, it's essential to research the specific program's curriculum, faculty expertise, accreditation status, and admission requirements. Additionally, consider how this program aligns with your career goals and aspirations in the fields of family counseling and pastoral care.