Post-Master's Certificate in Psychoanalytic Counseling

BGSP-NJ is excited to announce it has received state approval for the first and only, 30-credit post-Master's psychodynamicaly oriented certificate program in Mental Health Counseling in NJ. The program is designed to enhance clinical skills and reduce the post-master's licensure clinical requirement by 1500 hours. For further information, contact Joan Castellano at enroll@acapnj.org or call 973-629-1089.

Program Overview

The Certificate in Mental Health Counseling is developed for the graduate of a master’s or doctoral degree program in counseling or a related field who is seeking ongoing professional development in a psychodynamic mental health counseling specialization. The coursework provides an opportunity to advance practice through a flexible, for-credit curriculum that is designed to enhance knowledge, skills and awareness. An overview of best practices in the field is applied to contemporary topics while assisting the student in:

  • Identifying best practices,
  • Facilitating the exploration unconscious domain through recognition of transference and countertransference,
  • Conceptualizing cases,
  • Expanding the range of intervention strategies,
  • Creating a therapeutic frame,
  • Working psycho-dynamically in a full range of treatment settings,
  • Establishing a self-care plan,
  • Working with resistance,
  • Developing and maintaining a therapeutic relationship,
  • Working with challenging cases and situations.

Coursework may apply towards

  • continuing education credits in maintenance of licensure in New Jersey (for LPC or LAC)
  • a reduction in the NJ counseling work hours experience requirement. According to the state professional counseling examiners committee’s regulations, experience requirement, option B, (N.J.A.C 13:34-11.3), if a counselor has an additional 30 approved credits in “counseling” (for a total of 90 semester credits) only 3,000 (a reduction from 4,500) supervised counseling experience hours are required toward the license as a professional counselor
  • The coursework can apply towards advanced standing in ACAP's full psychoanalytic certificate program
  • The educational requirements for a specialization with the NBCC as a certified clinical mental health counselor

Graduation Requirements

To graduate, students complete:

    1. 30 credits of academic and clinical coursework.
    2. opportunities for supervised practice and internship hours may be available.

Clinical Studies

The post master's certificate student may elect to enroll in courses only or may elect to apply to the training committee for permission to enter a 400-700 hour clinical fieldwork experience. Students are required to complete at least 9 credits of foundation courses (104, 521, 522, 536 and 824 are recommended).and participate in a training analysis before entering fieldwork.

Fieldwork studies in the Psychodynamic Certificate in Mental Health Counseling provide a rich learning experience for the counseling student interested in psychoanalysis. Students begin the Fieldwork course sequence engaging in a field placement in a setting for regressed patients to practice basic counseling skills. This experience provides the foundational building blocks to develop the skill set to develop a relationship with patients at the earliest levels of psychic functioning. Specifically, the fieldwork courses foster the ability to read the patient’s contacts, responses to stimulation, and symbolic communications while observing the emotional responses induced in oneself. These skills are basic to working with any patient.

During the Fieldwork Externship course sequence (GPSA 701-703), students simultaneously participate in a Fieldwork Seminar course and small group supervision while supervised on site by a licensed mental health professional. To complete the fieldwork sequence, students present their work with cases in the final semester of the Fieldwork Seminar and complete a case study paper with the Fieldwork instructor and one reader.

The Fieldwork Coordinator consults with each student on the internship selection and helps the student structure it to meet Counseling Internship criteria, with appropriate licensed supervisors and sufficient clinical hours.

Training Analysis

Students in the Certificate program in Mental Health Counseling may participate in a Training Analysis throughout their studies. The analysis is considered part of the educational process, providing experiential learning and a fuller appreciation for one’s own emotional dynamics as they relate to the observation and understanding of others and of the course material. Students choose an approved training analyst and work out the frequency of sessions with the analyst. At least 12 sessions of training analysis are required before beginning the fieldwork course sequence. Students planning to pursue further psychoanalytic training plan the frequency of analysis to meet the analytic hour requirements for graduation for post master's programs. Additional hours of training analysis are required upon graduation from the Certificate in Mental Health Counseling program to enter the ACAP psychoanalytic certification program.

Course Requirements

Required courses provide the student with a range of coursework to foster a thorough understanding of the facets of mental health counseling, including counseling theory and practice; the helping profession; human growth and developmental studies; psychopathology; lifestyle and career development; appraisal of individuals; ethics and professional practice; group dynamics; social and cultural foundations and research. The program develops students’ clinical and research skills and develops the students’ awareness of the ethics of mental health counseling. Psychoanalytic focus in coursework develops the student’s appreciation of unconscious forces at work in mental health and pathology and allows the student to compare multiple counseling approaches.

Post-Masters Certificate in Mental Health Counseling

New Jersey

Additional Program Cost Information and Disclosure