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ONLINE MASTER OF SCIENCE DEGREE IN MILITARY AND EMERGENCY RESPONDER PSYCHOLOGY

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Now enrolling for the Fall C term

 

Support Military and Emergency Responder Mental Wellness 

First responders, emergency response personnel, law enforcement, and military service members face unique emotional and mental healthcare needs. The trauma and stress they experience in their daily operations require personnel specially trained to address and support them. 

Earn your online master’s in Military and Emergency Responder Psychology, the first fully specialized master’s program of its kind in the country, to help address this growing demand and assist military and emergency responder populations through their specific needs. 

Employment in this area is expected to grow 22 percent from 2018-2028, specifically for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Some typical responsibilities for individuals in this field include:

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SUPPORT CLIENTS OF MENTAL HEALTH CLINICS, EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS, AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT PROGRAMS.

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EVALUATE AND ASSESS INDIVIDUALS FOR FITNESS FOR DUTY OR RETURN TO DUTY.

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PROVIDE SUICIDE INTERVENTION TRAINING, PEER SUPPORT, AND WELLNESS COACHING.

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UTILIZE BEST PRACTICES AND THERAPIES TO ADDRESS PSYCHOLOGICAL STRESS ON MILITARY AND FIRST RESPONDERS.

What will I learn in this degree program?

This program is designed to provide you with an advanced understanding of the values, mindset, and occupational hazards that military and first responder personnel face on a daily basis. You’ll learn both the theory and application around psychotherapy, service delivery, ethics, assessment, and counseling for these individuals, as well as applying these skills in a variety of settings, including mental health clinics, employee assistance programs, and substance abuse treatment programs. 

The Master’s in Military and Emergency Responder Psychology coursework is aligned with CACREP standards and will help prepare students to sit for the National Counselor Exam (NCE).

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Courses in this Degree

Core Degree Courses (60 Credits)

  • RES510 Fundamentals of Research and Writing
    The primary purpose of this course is to help students entering graduate level programs at CSU Global develop awareness of current and effective research and writing practices with the goal of implementing such practices into their writing and research projects. Students will learn what constitutes graduate level writing and research as well as how to communicate with colleagues in online professional forums. Students will also learn to effectively integrate writing and research skills into the writing projects they will pursue throughout their graduate level programs.
  • PSY510 History, Systems, and Philosophy of Military and Emergency Responder Psychology
    This course highlights the current psychosocial research and literature relevant to the mental health of military and responder populations, including influences of culture, age, and stigma on utilization of mental health services. Students will examine the personal, social, cultural and organizational forces that affect the psychology of military and responder populations.
  • PSY515 Ethics in Practice
    This course will focus in-depth on ethical standards applicable to the science and practice of psychology and pertinent laws and legal standards governing the practice of psychology. Special consideration will be given to topics such as peer support vs. clinician limits of confidentiality, establishing clinical boundaries, avoiding dual relationships, and the importance of establishing and maintaining cultural competence.
  • PSY520 Lifespan Development and Generational Issues
    This course is designed to familiarize students with major concepts, theories, and research related to normal lifespan development (infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood). Additionally, students will focus on impactful generational experiences and cultural norms that may reflect how individuals function in the world and in the workplace. Rank structure in the military and in police and fire agencies often leads to conflicts related to generational norms and ensuring that those providing mental health support services to these populations can understand, appreciate, and articulate the link between rank and generational experiences is essential.
  • PSY560 Substance Abuse
    This course will provide an introduction to the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of substance abuse and related disorders. Additionally, students will become familiar with the dynamics and etiology of substance abuse; learn to identify psychometric tools used in the evaluation of substance abuse; and be able to review evidence-based treatment methods and their application to military and emergency responder populations.
  • PSY535 Trauma and Crisis Intervention
    This course is designed to provide students with an overview of the key issues associated with trauma and crisis intervention, including how to conceptualize trauma and different approaches to treatment. Specifically, this course focuses on assessing and responding to crises, conducting rapid needs assessment in complex emergencies, and utilizing psychological first aid, debriefing, and defusing skills in a variety of contexts. Course content will also assist students in preventing and healing from their own experiences of secondary and vicarious trauma.
  • PSY540 Individual Counseling Techniques and Theory
    This course is designed to introduce students to the practice of psychotherapy. Students will explore basic theories and techniques of counseling, with an emphasis on the therapy relationship. Specifically, students will learn foundational theories, clinical interventions, how to evaluate progress in therapy, and how to constructively confront clients. In addition, students will explore cultural considerations for working with first responder and military populations as well as how to take care of themselves, identify vicarious trauma and prevent burnout.
  • PSY525 Suicide Prevention and Intervention
    Suicide is a serious public health issue and challenge in Colorado and across the nation. While clinicians across subfields of psychology focused to some extent on the assessment and treatment of people at high risk for suicide, a more comprehensive approach is needed to understand this issue as it relates to military and first responder cultures. Specifically, what prevents them from seeking help how to have a meaningful dialogue about suicidality in a way that is culturally sensitive. This course covers best practices in suicide prevention, intervention and suicide crisis response as it relates to military and emergency responder personnel.
  • PSY570 Counseling Practicum
    The clinical practicum is an online-directed, supervised field experience in a mental health counseling field setting during which students practice specific clinical skills, including interviewing, assessment, intervention, documentation, and consultation. Students use fundamental communication and interviewing principles and perform initial assessments with individuals, couples, and/or families. This course requires 100 hours of clinical field experience, which must consist of no less than 40 hours of direct client contact, and no less than 12 hours of face-to-face contact with field supervisors. Students also meet weekly via web conferencing for synchronous group supervision meetings with their course instructor. Students are responsible to research and comply with the specific clinical experience requirements of their states.
  • PSY550 Performance and Health Psychology
    This course will focus on the ways that clients' physical health and stress affects psychosocial and emotional well-being. Course work will focus on the relationship between the mind and the body and take a holistic and contextual approach to understanding work with clients, keeping in mind relational and cultural variables. Additionally, discussions will focus on mindfulness, differential diagnoses of depression and anxiety, sleep hygiene, and other empirically supported treatments for issues that clients routinely present with. The overarching theoretical framework of the course will be relationship-focused, client-centered, and strengths-based.
  • PSY545 Group Interventions
    This course exposes students to basic elements of the group intervention process, ethical and professional issues unique to group work, and key concepts and techniques of group therapy/intervention. Specific learning objectives include attaining an understanding of the theory and functioning of groups; gaining knowledge and practice in essential group therapy skills; identifying integral points and considerations for working with military and responder populations; and developing an awareness of one's own impact on group contexts.
  • PSY530 Couples and Family Counseling
    This course is designed for students who want to develop a specialty in working with families and couples. Theoretical perspectives utilized include general systems theory and an integration of behavioral, experiential, and family therapy approaches. Research from the Gottman Institute, which has systematically identified consistent sequences that differentiate relationship success vs failure is heavily emphasized.
  • PSY565 Grief and Loss
    The course provides a review of the present status of the psychology of loss and grief including trauma related loss. Students will review applicable literature and a model for dealing with grief and loss in individual and group settings will be discussed. Diverse cultural differences in addressing grief and loss will be covered as well as multicultural interventions to address the needs of those who have experienced grief and loss.
  • PSY551 Statistics
    This course is designed to increase understanding of advanced analytical techniques in statistics, particularly as they pertain to psychology. Course material will take an applied approach, i.e., the course material will emphasize the feasibility, application, and utilization of these analyses rather than the theories upon which they are based.
  • PSY555 Military and Emergency Responder Assessment (Pre-Employment, Fitness for Duty, and Return to Duty Evaluations)
    This course addresses the cultural considerations needed for interviewing and conducting psychological evaluations with military and responder personnel. Clinical interviewing techniques and measures across all psychological assessment domains, including diagnosis, personality, and cognition, as well as more specialty-focused areas such as pre-employment, return-to-duty, and fitness-for-duty evaluations are covered. The class explores the strengths and limitations of each assessment measure with a focus on research and norming issues as well as administration and feedback considerations.
  • PSY580 Counseling Internship 1
    This is the first course in a sequence of four clinical internship courses during which students fulfill 600 total required contact hours in a mental health counseling setting. Of the 600 total hours, students must complete 240 hours of direct client contact and a minimum of 24 hours of face-to-face contact with field supervisors. Practicum experience will serve to guide students in conceptualizing, planning, and implementing culturally responsive interventions with military and responder personnel and their families. Individual, family, and group therapy cases, as well as assessments, from the students’ field placements will be presented by the students and reflected upon in the context of the cultural considerations, therapeutic models, and assessment research learned in the previous courses. Adaptations from approaches will be applied and interventions designed to meet the needs of the responder population will be employed and evaluated for effectiveness.
  • PSY581 Counseling Internship 2
    This is the second course in a sequence of four clinical internship courses during which students fulfill 600 total required contact hours in a mental health counseling setting. Of the 600 total hours, students must complete 240 hours of direct client contact and a minimum of 24 hours of face-to-face contact with field supervisors. Practicum experience will serve to guide students in conceptualizing, planning, and implementing culturally responsive interventions with military and responder personnel and their families. Individual, family, and group therapy cases, as well as assessments, from the students’ field placements will be presented by the students and reflected upon in the context of the cultural considerations, therapeutic models, and assessment research learned in the previous courses. Adaptations from approaches will be applied and interventions designed to meet the needs of the responder population will be employed and evaluated for effectiveness.
  • PSY585 Counseling Clinical Internship 3
    This is the third course in a sequence of four clinical internship courses during which students fulfill 600 total required contact hours. Of the 600 total hours, students must complete 240 hours of direct client contact and a minimum of 24 hours of face-to-face contact with field supervisors. Students also meet weekly via web conferencing for synchronous group supervision meetings with their course instructor. Practicum experience will serve to guide students in conceptualizing, planning, and implementing culturally responsive interventions with military and responder personnel and their families. Individual, family, and group therapy cases, as well as assessments, from the students’ field placements will be presented by the students and reflected upon in the context of the cultural considerations, therapeutic models, and assessment research learned in the previous courses. Adaptations from approaches will be applied and interventions designed to meet the needs of the responder population will be employed and evaluated for effectiveness.
  • PSY586 Counseling Clinical Internship 4
    This is the fourth course in a sequence of four clinical internship courses during which students fulfill 600 total required contact hours. Of the 600 total hours, students must complete 240 hours of direct client contact and a minimum of 24 hours of face-to-face contact with field supervisors. Students also meet weekly via web conferencing for synchronous group supervision meetings with their course instructor. Practicum experience will serve to guide students in conceptualizing, planning, and implementing culturally responsive interventions with military and responder personnel and their families. Individual, family, and group therapy cases, as well as assessments, from the students’ field placements will be presented by the students and reflected upon in the context of the cultural considerations, therapeutic models, and assessment research learned in the previous courses. Adaptations from approaches will be applied and interventions designed to meet the needs of the responder population will be employed and evaluated for effectiveness.

How much will my degree cost?

Tuition Rates

Your education should increase your earning potential, not your monthly bills.

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Employer Discount

Your employer may be one of 3,000+ we partner with to offer a 10% discount on tuition.

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Financial Aid

You may be eligible to receive financial aid to help cover the cost of your education.

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REGIONALLY ACCREDITED

Regional accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) means your degree comes from a top quality, trusted university.

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“GOLD SCHOOL” OF DISTINCTION

In Best Colleges’ Schools of Distinction standings, CSU Global earns one of only 15 gold rankings, out of more than 2,000 online degree programs.

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TOP MILITARY-FRIENDLY ONLINE COLLEGE

Guide to Online Schools identifies CSU Global as one of the top military-friendly online institutions.

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Why You Should Earn Your Online Master’s Degree

Earning your online master’s degree through CSU Global provides you with more than just the diploma you need to get noticed. With an emphasis on real world concepts and career-relevant skills, you get training and experience along with your credit hours. Additionally, CSU Global strives to make your education as affordable as possible. With our Tuition Guarantee, your tuition rate won’t increase over time! Instead, you’ll enjoy the same low rate for the duration of your enrollment at CSU Global.

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ONLINE ACCREDITED DEGREES

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NO SET TIMES OR LOCATIONS

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MONTHLY CLASS START

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ACCELERATED COURSES

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Learn Valuable Skills

This program will enable you to become proficient in the four primary areas of practice associated with this particular population: 

  • Provide specialized knowledge related to the values, mindset, and occupational hazards associated with military and responder work.
  • Address current industry gaps and best practices in the four primary domains of practice including:
    • Assessment (psychological pre-employment, post-critical incident return-to-duty, psychological fitness for duty, etc.).
    • Intervention (short-term CBT, EMDR, biofeedback, systems and couples counseling, etc.).
    • Operational support (post critical incident, line-of-duty death, long-term deployment and undercover stress reactions, etc.).
    • Consultation (suicide intervention training, peer support teams, wellness coaching, etc.).
  • Demonstrate depth and breadth of understanding in areas including, but not limited to, psychotherapy theory, service delivery, ethics, assessment, research methods, couples counseling, and cultural competency. 
  • Apply this knowledge to actual clinical cases in an internship setting.

Career Outlook

$75,291 MEDIAN SALARY

The average annual salary for mental health counselors in 2020 was $75k, according to Data USA.

↑ 22%

Employment of marriage and family therapists, substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors is projected to grow 21 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations.

MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPIST, SUBSTANCE ABUSE COUNSELOR, AND MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELORS

Some job titles commonly held by those who work in military and emergency responder psychology.

PATH TO BECOMING A PSYCHOLOGIST

This program can serve as a pathway to your doctoral degree* in psychology while providing specialized career knowledge and skills for current positions. 

 

* Most psychologists are required to be licensed in their state.

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