Post-Master’s Program in Mental Health Counseling

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The Post-Masters 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.

Program Objectives

Students in this program will:

  • Identifying best practices
  • Facilitating exploration of the unconscious domain through recognition of transference and countertransference
  • Conceptualize cases
  • Expand the range of intervention strategies
  • Creat a therapeutic frame
  • Working psychodynamically in a full range of treatment settings
  • Establish a self-care plan
  • Work with resistance
  • Developand maintain a therapeutic relationship
  • Work with challenging cases and situations

Course of Study

Graduation Requirements:

To graduate, students complete:

30 credits of academic and clinical coursework

Student may elect to:

Apply to the training committee per agreement to complete (after completing at least 9 credits), a 400-700 hour fieldwork experience with a formal presentation of a fieldwork cases on completion in a training analysis (required during fieldwork).

Program Catalog

Please refer to the Program Catalog for exact graduate requirements


Coursework provides the student with a thorough understanding of the facets of mental health counseling, including counseling theory and practice, the development of the human psyche from infancy onward, psychopathology, and social and cultural foundations. The program develops students’ professional clinical and research skills as well as an awareness of the ethics of mental health counseling.


Fieldwork studies in the Post-Masters Certificate program provide a rich learning experience for the counseling student interested in psychoanalysis. This experience provides students with the foundational building blocks for developing a relationship with patients at the earliest levels of psychic functioning. Post-Masters Certificate students 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.

During the Fieldwork Externship courses, 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.

Training Analysis

Students in the Post-Masters Certificate in Mental Health Counseling program may participate in a Training Analysis, with an ICPS approved, certified psychoanalyst, working one-on-one with an analyst throughout the program. It deepens the student’s understanding of course material through personal experience and helps the student tolerate the feelings aroused by study of the human mind.  It offers a fuller appreciation of one’s own emotional dynamics, increases the student’s access to all emotional states, and increases self-understanding, which is particularly critical for understanding others.  At least 12 sessions of training analysis are required before beginning the fieldwork course sequence and are to continue throughout fieldwork.

Time to Completion

The 30-credit program takes 3 semesters + a summer semester (full-time) to complete, or longer if studying part-time.

Program Advantages

The Post-Masters Certificate is a unique opportunity to deepen the clinician’s understand of psychodynamic methods and provide training for working more effectively with patients. In addition, graduates of the Post-Master’s Certificate can apply the coursework to the following:

  • Continuing education credits in maintenance of licensure in New Jersey (for LPC or LAC)
  • Reduction in the NJ counseling work hours experience requirement. According to the state professional counseling examiners committee’s regulations, experience requirement, if a counselor has an additional 30 approved credits in “counseling”  only 3,000 (reduced from 4,500) supervised counseling experience hours are required toward the license as a professional counselor
  • Application towards advanced standing in the full psychoanalytic certificate program
  • Educational requirements for a specialization with the NBCC as a certified clinical mental health counselor

Admission Criteria

At minimum, applicants to the Post-Masters Certificate in Psychoanalytic Counseling are required to have earned a masters degree from an approved institution. Beyond this credential, however, applicants demonstrate through their personal statement and interviews (when invited) their motivation to learn, capacity to understand oneself and others, academic and applied interests, and readiness to engage in studies of unconscious processes.

In order for ICPS to determine academic readiness for graduate level study, applicants submit transcripts, three (3) letters of recommendation, and a writing sample. For those applicants who meet the academic criteria, there will be three (3) admissions interviews scheduled with the faculty. 

ICPS is not accepting international applicants at this time. Applicants who are non-native speakers of English may be asked to submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Those educated outside the United States also submit transcripts to a credential equivalency service.

ICPS does not discriminate in its admission policy or other aspects of its program against persons on the basis of race, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, color, creed, national or ethnic origin or employment status.