The BIHE M.A. in Counseling Psychology framework adheres to a strengths-based model that focuses on a developmental perspective of psychological challenges. It is an educational, preventative, and context-oriented approach. The medical model is predominantly followed by psychiatrists and clinical psychologists. The basic values and philosophical paradigm of counseling psychology, however, differ from the medical model in that counseling psychology tradition shies away from seeking what is wrong with the person. It pays particular attention to the problems inherited from the environment and the contextual factors that are affecting the psychological well-being of the individuals. Therefore, there are some skills that are at the focus of counseling psychology such as multicultural and diversity awareness, reflective practice, health promotion skills, and establishing strong therapeutic alliance.
The final important characteristic of counseling psychology- that is especially expressed in the current curriculum- is the educational-developmental approach towards psychological challenges. The emphasis on education is what BIHE’s counseling psychology program hopes to achieve across all curriculum and courses. However, to ensure proper attention to the role of education in the wellbeing of the communities, a few courses in the program have been specifically designed in a way that students can engage practically with the educational activities in their communities. All of these courses share educational components such as learning how to participate in and offer psycho-educational workshops, identify needs of the community, and plan modules addressing psychological challenges facing individuals within the Iranian society. These courses include Counseling Skills, Practicum, and Professional Development I and II.
The Psychology Department is committed to excellence in graduate education. The department’s faculty and graduates are expected to be competent and ethical professionals committed to the science of psychology and its application to real-world situations. The undergraduate program provides a foundation for the scientific understanding of behavior and mental processes and promotes scholarship and service. The department’s graduate programs prepare students to become psychologists who provide evidence-based services for children, adults, and families in a variety of healthcare and educational settings. The Psychology Department promotes an environment characterized by collaborative learning and scholarship among its graduate students, and faculty, guided by the core values of BIHE and professional organizations.
The mission of our program is to enhance the academic and personal experience and success of all students by providing a variety of counseling and psychological services to them. We accomplish our mission by offering services that facilitate students’ personal development, as well as services that educate students in ways that develop self-awareness, self-reliance, and self-confidence.
The overarching goal of our program is to educate counselors who can work collaboratively with individuals to promote their psychological wellbeing, and help them reach their potential within their families, communities, and societies.
Goals and Objectives
To accomplish this mission, we adhere to following goals:
- Enhance students’ self-awareness, interpersonal skills and personal development through individual, couples and group counseling, psychotherapy, and educational workshops
- Increase students’ self-knowledge and sensitivity to others through groups and workshops designed to foster an appreciation for differences
- Enhance student academic skills and learning strategies through academic counseling and learning skills workshops
- Support the continued education and wellness of the staff through ongoing personal and professional development
The program is open to those with a bachelor's degree in psychology from a regionally accredited institution. An official transcript from the attended university is required.
Applicants apply online using an application form that collects personal data as well as a 500-word essay in English that outlines why the candidate would like to pursue this program and summarizes personal background that is relevant to their application. All applicants should provide two letters of recommendation from referees who are not family members or friends and who have worked closely with the applicant in the academic or work environments, ideally with some research component. The referees should be familiar with the applicant’s work habits, motivation, and ability to work creatively and independently. Applicants must also submit their resume (educational background and related scientific, social, and occupational activities).
The applicants are required to present proof of English proficiency at the level of the "International English Language Testing System" (IELTS) 6.5 in each of writing, reading, comprehension & expression. This can be assessed by an IELTS, the "Test of English as a Foreign Language" (TOEFL) or equivalent.
All requested materials must be submitted by the established deadline.
Eligible applicants will be invited for an interview.
At present, the program can admit a maximum number of 15 students.
For M.A. in Counseling Psychology, students must pass 14 courses.
- PSY5160: Counseling Theories I (3 Credit Hours)
- PSY5162: Counseling Skills/Developing a Working Alliance (3 Credit Hours)
- PSY5165: Ethics (2 Credit Hours)
- PSY5172: Use of Research in Counseling (2 Credit Hours)
- PSY5170: Assessment and Diagnosis (2 Credit Hours)
- PSY5171: Career Counseling (2 Credit Hours)
- PSY5167: Practicum I (3 Credit Hours)
- PSY5161: Counseling Theories II (3 Credit Hours)
- PSY5175: Couple and Family Counseling (2 Credit Hours)
- PSY5180: Internship (3 Credit Hours)
- PSY5176: Professional Development I (3 Credit Hours)
- PSY5166: Group Counseling (2 Credit Hours)
- PSY5159: Professional Development II (3 Credit Hours)
- PSY5181: Practicum II (3 Credit Hours)