FARMINGTON — With mental health counselors in higher demand than ever, the University of Maine at Farmington is now offering its highly successful master of arts in counseling psychology with a creative arts focus program at a new part-time pace to better fit working professionals’ lives.
Students enrolled in UMF’s new part-time master’s program will receive the same solid clinical foundation as the full-time master’s in counseling program and can complete the program in as little as four years. That’s the shortest part-time pathway in the state of Maine and the only Master’s in Counseling program in the state featuring creative arts as its focus.
The part-time program is now accepting applications for fall 2023.
The 64-credit graduate program is offered in a blended format that includes 70 percent online and 30 percent in person classes. Students will be an active part of a cohort model where they will learn and develop skills alongside a committed group of future colleagues.
“Our graduates are in increasingly high demand,” said Lisa Henry, director of the UMF master’s in counseling program. “People in Maine struggling with mental health issues can face a wait of up to four months before they can see a therapist. We designed our newest program to meet this growing need within our communities. UMF’s new part-time master’s program will help working students pursue a degree that will support one of the state’s most vulnerable populations.”
Since its introduction in 2020, the UMF full-time master’s program has filled its available openings every year. This new part-time modality creates new opportunities for working professionals to get the same professional preparation at a pace that meets their lifestyle.
Lucas Rushton, from Lewiston, is a graduate in the first cohort in UMF’s full-time master of arts in counseling psychology with an emphasis in creative arts program.
He came to the program with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and was looking for a graduate degree program in clinical psychology that spoke to his creative side.
“In addition to a clinical education, this program provides a concentration in the creative arts, visual arts and music theory,” said Rushton. “I play bass, 6-string guitar and ukulele and love folk and Americana music. I was looking for a graduate program that gave me time to pursue my passion while gaining the knowledge to use it to help others.”
UMF’s unique master of arts in counseling psychology program was developed to help individuals who would benefit from therapeutic options but have difficulty communicating. It is designed to provide a solid clinical foundation while also integrating creative and expressive arts into the practice of counseling and psychotherapy.
“Music uses a different part of our brain and helps to navigate and regulate our emotions. It is a universal way of communicating that evokes a response beyond words,” said Rushton. “My ability to communicate with individuals with non-traditional abilities has improved greatly by applying the knowledge and experience I have gained from this program.”
After graduating from the program, Rushton passed the National Counselor exam to receive his conditional Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor license. He is now working to complete his supervised clinical counseling experience.
Graduates of both the part-time and full-time programs are prepared to serve their communities as creative, productive, service-oriented leaders in the counseling profession. With appropriate post-graduate experience, graduates are qualified to sit for the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination to become a fully Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor.
For more information visit https://www.umf.maine.edu/grad-studies/m-a-in-counseling-psychology-creative-arts/ or contact Erin Connor, UMF associate dean for Graduate and Continuing Education, firstname.lastname@example.org or 207-778-7186.