One-Year Update: Pursuing The Online Masters in Counselling Psychology (MACP) Degree Through Yorkville University
First off I just want to say thank you to all of you who have emailed me after reading my other Yorkville blog posts. It makes me so happy to know I was able to help you along in your academic journey. Since there have been so many emails, I haven’t been able to get back to all of you, but I hope this post gives you an update on my experience in the program. If you have any follow up questions from this post, I’ll try to get back to as many of you as possible through email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’re looking to apply to the MACP program at Yorkville, you may want to read the last blog posts I wrote about the program:
It’s crazy how fast time has flown, but I have officially been in the program for a year now. It has overall been a really great experience. As I get deeper into the program, I feel the courses are getting more important and practical for my future career as a therapist, which gets me excited and keeps me motivated. Many of you have asked about the difficulty of the courses in the program, and I feel this is very subjective and depends on how much you have on your plate while completing the courses. I have maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout the courses, and I will do my best to maintain that within the last four courses I have in the program as well. However, I do not work full-time; I volunteer part-time and do part-time work as a content creator. I put a lot of time into my papers, assignments, and discussion posts to ensure they are above and beyond what’s required; this is key to doing well in the courses.
My Favourite Course
At the beginning of the Summer, I took the 10-week Counselling Skills and Competencies course. It is required that every student ends with a 70% or higher at the end of every course; however, the counselling skills course requires each student to score 70% or higher on each assignment/component of the course because of how important the assignments are. For those of you who are not familiar with this course, it is a huge milestone in the program since it’s our first time applying the counselling skills we’ve been learning practically. We were put into groups of four, and in weeks 2, 6, and 9, we met at an allocated time for 3 hours with our professor. During each of these sessions, we each got a chance to role-play as the counsellor, the client, and the silent observer. As the counsellor, we built on certain skills with each of the three sessions (FYI, these sessions are called practical application sessions – PAS for short).
I’m going to be 100% transparent with all of you; this course gave me a lot of anxiety at first. Nothing felt more terrifying than being in a counsellor role for the first time on a zoom call with your professor while they're taking notes and grading you on your session. However, I had a great professor who empathized with these feelings of anxiety and made us feel safe and comfortable. She explained to us the truth – that the PAS was meant to be a place where we feel safe practicing our skills for the first time as future counsellors. Once I started re-framing my thoughts about the PAS, it helped me push through, but I couldn’t help feeling nervous before them, especially the first one.
“Growth is uncomfortable because you have never been here before, you’ve never been this version of you. So give yourself a little grace and breathe through it.”
– Kristin Lohr
Now I’m sure most of you are probably wondering why this was my favourite course if it brought me so much anxiety. The reason is simple and significant: I learned more during this course’s 10-week period than I have learned throughout my whole 5-year academic journey put together thus far. Read that again. I have done a four year undergrad degree in psychology and a year of grad school in counselling psychology, and this was the first time I had ever practiced the skills I’ve been learning for all those years. After completing this course and the three PASs, I felt much more confident and motivated to work as a future therapist following this program. I’m sure you will probably be nervous about this course, but it was this course that allowed me to begin growing into a therapist. You can rarely be in a space to practice a skill like counselling and get real, productive feedback from your peers, your client, and your seasoned professor. The skills and competencies course made me feel more confident that I can be a therapist after this program. This was the first time I felt this way because of the practical component of the assignments. That is why this course was my favourite, and I have a feeling it will be yours too if you’re starting this program.
“Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.”
– Brian Tracy
I have completed 8 courses so far and have 4 more to go before practicum. My practicum is set to be May 2023 – December 2023. I also wanted to touch on the fact that I doubled up two courses in my winter term in January 2022 so that I could take off 5 weeks during the time I get married this upcoming February. That is another reason why I love this program; flexibility is an important part of my lifestyle.
- Biopsychosocial Approach to Counselling (10-week)
- Research Methodology (5-week)
- Counselling Methodologies: Psychodynamic and Humanistic (5-week)
- Counselling Methodologies: Cognitive and Behavioral (5-week)
- Ethical Standards for Mental Health Providers (5-week – doubled up with diversity)
- Cultural Diversity in Counselling (5-week – doubled up with ethics)
- Counselling Skills and Competencies (10-week)
- Assessment in Counselling (5-week)
- Group Counselling (5-week)
- Applying Interventions (10-week)
- Psychology Core Elective – still have to choose (5-week)
- Couples and Family Systems (5-week)
- Practicum I & II (2 semesters)
Moving forward, I will be focusing on my hunt for a practicum placement. Yorkville does not guarantee a practicum placement, but they have an extensive list of places accepting practicum students in every city around Canada. I have started creating my own list and have completed my CV (maybe I'll do a blog post on this in the future). I will be starting to send out emails and look for a practicum placement opportunity within Calgary within the next couple of weeks for my practicum dates. Once I secure a placement, I will put out another post describing the process. There have also been a lot of questions surrounding licensure in Alberta and asking the pros and cons of registering with the CCPA vs. ACTA vs. CAP. I will make a separate post about this since this is not a simple answer. Stay tuned!
I’ve also started taking on a couple students for my mentoring program. It’s 30-minute zoom mentoring sessions where I can answer any specific questions you have about applying to the program or tips on how to succeed in the program. I also have a ton of info about the different paths of licensure after graduating in Alberta (CCPA/ACTA/CAP), and I can also discuss my knowledge on this if you need it. It’s $30 per session for the mentoring program; please email me at email@example.com if you would like to book a spot. I’ve had a couple of individuals reach out to me for mentoring sessions after finding me on TikTok (@healthwithalexis) talking about the program. I was able to give them some insight and tips on the application process and answer all the questions they had about the MACP program and possible career paths after graduation. Note: this is not affiliated with any university or institution.