Counseling with Understanding and Compassion

December 1, 2021

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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 40% of U.S. adults reported struggling with mental health or substance use in 2020, with marginalized communities particularly affected. Counselors can play a vital role in supporting the mental health needs of these communities. Whether it’s through supporting those who are struggling with substance abuse, working with individuals who are incarcerated, or assisting returning veterans, counselors are an integral piece to improve individuals’ wellbeing.

With marginalized groups and communities lacking mental health care services in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, practitioners need to be prepared to address their needs in specific cultural contexts. A fundamental part of this is meeting individuals where they are and giving rise to their unique voices. Counseling programs at Saybrook University focus on preparing students to support these underserved populations.

Hridaya Sivalingam, Ph.D., a core faculty member in the Counseling Department says, “At Saybrook, I am fortunate to get to work with counseling students who bring their own blend of different worlds. The students who find their way to us have their own ways of viewing mental health, of challenging dominant paradigms, of working to bridge different philosophies, and of diving into their own depths to increase their capacity for compassion.”

Saybrook degree programs have been designed to prepare graduates to meet the mental health care challenges of the future and foster a new era of counselors with humanistic values.

Saybrook offers two hybrid-online counseling programs:

The CACREP-accredited M.A. Counseling, Clinical Mental Health Specialization program prepares students to apply holistic and systemic perspectives when working with groups or individuals in settings such as hospitals, nonprofit organizations, and clinics.

The Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision program is led by expert faculty with years of practical experience. Each course helps students develop skillsets in leadership, clinical supervision, and research to understand how to best serve diverse communities. Additionally, the program will examine how aspects of power impact individual, familial, and community experiences.

The hybrid-online curriculum of each program contains extensive fieldwork opportunities to provide real-world training for several career paths, including:

  • Mental health counselors
  • Adjunct faculty in counseling programs
  • Counseling researchers

While each program is completed online, there is an in-person residency component each semester that allows students and faculty to meet with each other to discuss academic goals, networking opportunities, and professional insights.

Saybrook: Doing the work since 1971

For more than 50 years, Saybrook University has provided students with a progressive education that is rooted in compassion, interconnectedness, and self-direction. Saybrook works to provide students with the tools necessary to make positive change in our world—whether their career path may be psychology, social work, or business administration. Saybrook accomplishes this through the support of expert faculty, who are committed to preparing competent mental health professionals who, in turn, will inspire transformational change toward a just, humane, and sustainable world.

Begin Your Journey Now

If you would like to move forward with an academic path that can make a significant difference in people’s lives, the counseling degree programs at Saybrook University will help you develop the foundation to address the needs of marginalized communities. To learn more about the counseling degrees, including admission requirements and program details, visit our website. To start your application process, simply request more information to be contacted by an enrollment counselor.

Saybrook University is accredited by the Senior Commission of Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), a regional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and by the State of California.