The Institute for Clinical Social Work

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Program Overview

ICSW’s two-year master’s program in clinical counseling and psychotherapy is a non-resident, full- or part-time course of study designed to prepare students for careers in counseling and psychotherapy, with a specific emphasis on the integration of contemporary psychodynamic perspectives. After students complete the degree, they are eligible to apply for state licensure (LPC), necessary for opening up many more clinical opportunities.


  • Two years of coursework for full-time students (total of 60 semester credit hours)
  • Classes meet on Friday afternoons, all day Saturday, and one evening per week (Wednesday), making it possible for working students to continue their jobs while completing coursework.
  • Students take courses with the same, small cohort — each cohort consists of between five to ten students.
  • Course instructors, who are all highly qualified clinicians with post-master’s training and work in a variety of direct practice settings, also serve as the cohort’s individual academic advisers and are experienced ICSW faculty members.
  • Students are part of the overall ICSW community, which includes students in the onsite and distance-learning doctoral programs, and participants in our Advanced Clinical Practice and Inquiring Minds programs. Students have access to all ICSW community programs and supports.


  • The program incorporates a psychodynamic framework into many of the basic courses and offers additional courses specific to psychodynamic conceptualization and training.
  • Coursework is consistent with state requirements for clinical licensure eligibility.
  • Two years of clinical training includes over 1,000 hours in high-quality, supervised practice settings—the program offers two years of clinical training instead of one because of ICSW’s commitment to clinical education.
  • Placements take place with top agencies that provide clinical services.
  • Students spend approximately 7–14 hours per week at their practicum site during the first year and approximately 21 hours per week during the second year.
  • As part of their coursework, students attend a weekly practicum seminar where they discuss their practicum experiences and begin integrating clinical experience and theory.
  • The training process is closely monitored by ICSW faculty and clinical practicum supervisors.

Program Learning Objectives

  • Develop foundational counseling and psychotherapy skills that integrate the discipline’s ethical and legal standards, diverse history of the mental health field, and professional practice and behavior.
  • Develop awareness of and the ability to recognize and employ a variety of counseling and psychotherapy theories and techniques.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of modern psychodynamic theory and core aspects of human development and apply these theoretical frameworks in assessment and treatment.
  • To understand basic Research approaches to Clinical Work.
  • Understand issues of diversity in a pluralistic society and employ culturally sensitive counseling and psychotherapy approaches.
  • Understand the principles of psychological assessment, group therapy, treatment process, substance use, and mental health practice.
  • Gain practical experience in the field of clinical counseling and psychotherapy.