At the beginning of their studies, students must be demonstrably active in a professional field of social work requiring counselling competence for at least 12 months and at least 15 hours per week. The professional activity should be maintained during the course of one’s studies. The students are qualified to deal with the diversity and complexity of the current challenges of counselling, taking into particular account pedagogical, psychological, sociological, legal, socio-political and ethical approaches. The degree program provides a broad training course and incorporates the various counselling approaches that are relevant for person-centred psychosocial counselling within social work.
Advantages, perspectives, focal points
Psychosocial counselling plays a central role in social work and is established as a professional characteristic through the Master's program. Professionals can qualify themselves for this challenging task. In contrast to standard further training courses in counselling, the teaching at EHB is independent of schools of thought and approaches. Counselling research at an academic level is explicitly included and, in addition, there is still a high proportion of self-reflective modules on offer.
Our graduates are able to plan, professionally apply and critically reflect on counselling within all fields of social work. They are able to develop counselling concepts as well as methods and techniques that fit individual personalities, the chosen field of action as well as the individual needs of those seeking counselling and can conduct application-related counselling research. They are able to work independently in the capacity of a counsellor, a manager and a researcher.
Contents and processes
In the first three semesters, students acquire in-depth theoretical knowledge of current social challenges and counselling needs, of various counselling approaches and methods as well as practical action skills through practice-oriented case work. In the confrontation with ethical-normative framework conditions and their own biography, the students learn to sharpen their professional identity regarding those fields of action that are relevant to counselling. From the fourth semester onwards, students conduct research within the field of counselling, thereby expanding their research skills. Thereby they participate in the further development of counselling research. In addition, they particularly professionalise themselves with regard to the necessary changes of perspective and collective cooperation in the (supervised) role as a counsellor. The students can expand their counselling competences through very specific compulsory elective modules.
The consecutive, part-time Master's program is designed as a part-time program. The standard period of study is six semesters on a part-time basis (90 credit points). The program has a modular structure and combines both theory and practice. The main content of the program is focused on three pillars, which are offered parallel each semester and relate to each other in terms of content: (1) theoretical references, (2) practice-oriented case work, (3) identity and professional action.
Acquisition of competences
Competences are acquired in the following areas:
- Knowledge of clinical and life-world models of change as well as interdisciplinary counselling theories.
- Psychosocial, socio-educational diagnostics
- Professional relationship building and conversation skills
- Diversity and the culturally-sensitive design of counselling processes
- Normative and social framework conditions of counselling
- Social science research that qualifies for studying at a doctoral level
- The ability to reflect and the appropriate flexibility with regard to one's own thinking, experience and professional actions.
Possibilities for further qualification
- With the Master's degree, there is the possibility of undertaking a doctoral degree course.
- Due to the transitional phase, resulting from the introduction of the new law on the professions of psychological psychotherapists as well as child and youth psychotherapists (Psychotherapeutengesetz PsychThG – Psychotherapist Act) of 15.08.2019 (valid from 01.09.2020 on), those interested in further qualification as a child and youth psychotherapist should refer to the information on the website of the Landesamt für Gesundheit und Soziales (LAGeSo – Berlin State Office for Health and Social Affairs). The professional and legal questions (especially regarding the temporary transitional arrangement for graduates of social pedagogy / social work) can ultimately only be answered by the LAGeSo in combination with the relevant training institute.