Spiritual Direction is For You

Spiritual Direction is a practice becoming more popular in the Church today as people seek to know the voice of God with clarity. And with its popularity comes the question: “what is spiritual direction?”. It is first important to clarify that spiritual direction isn't only for clerics, religious or the super-pious - it is for every baptized person who wants someone to help guide them on their journey of following God’s will. That’s what spiritual direction is; “...a relationship through which we come to better know, love, and follow Christ through the help of a kind of spiritual coach. It is a process through which we come to know and love Christ and ultimately experience the heights of spiritual union with Him, even in this life.” Navigating the Interior Life, Burke. When addressing the laity, St. John Paul II wrote in Christifideles Laici that the fundamental objective of their formation is the ever-clearer discovery of one’s vocation and the ever-greater willingness to live it so as to fulfill one’s mission.”  Everyone has a calling, a mission in life. Today there are coaches for everything: personal life and relationships, finances, investment portfolios, health and fitness goals, even organization, and wardrobe, so the question is why not have a coach to help with spiritual life? Spiritual Direction involves a relationship where both parties work together to hear the promptings of the Holy Spirit, the follow those promptings in a concrete, daily manner. The task of choosing a spiritual director is therefore not an easy one and not something to be taken lightly. It’s important to take into account the director’s qualities, spirituality and if there is personal compatibility. Not to mention the fact that those who are spiritual directors are quite busy and could be hard to find!  Another thing to keep in mind when deciding to begin a spiritual direction relationship is the difference between counseling and spiritual direction. The difference can be seen analogously as going to see a doctor and getting a fitness coach. The two work together for total health but in different ways and for different periods of time. The doctor makes sure everything is working fine or helps with an illness, and the fitness coach will work consistently for specific results in physical fitness and capacity. Knowing what one needs and is looking for is important, and of course, it's ok to need both! The new Spiritual Direction Certificate Program (SDC) offered through Divine Mercy University seeks to respond to the ongoing need for the followers of Jesus Christ to assist one another on their path of becoming ever more faithful disciples of the Lord. The goal of the SDC program is to prepare candidates with the requisite dispositions, knowledge of the theological and human sciences, interactions skills, and supervision tools that will enable them to be spiritual directors with the heart and mind of Jesus Christ and in the tradition of the Church’s tried experience. The program is open to all - priests, religious, laity, consecrated - who are eager to deepen in the tradition and practice of the spiritual life and spiritual direction. For more information on the Spiritual Direction Certificate Program visit: www.sdc-divinemercy.org.

Why You Should Get a Master’s in Psychology

In choosing a career path, our minds echo as multiple questions ricochet off the inside walls of our skull: Will I be happy with this path? Does this fall in line with my skills and values? Will this degree be enough for me? Will this provide enough for my family? Am I helping people? Do I really want to do this for the rest of my life?   A master’s degree in psychology may not even cross your mind when asking these questions. In making such an important decision, we try to be practical in determining the right career path based on financial stability, the kind of education you’d need, job and industry growth, and how you foresee your own growth and contentment. But a degree in psychology can be that practical option that opens a nearly infinite amount of doorways to different opportunities. Psychology is the science of behavior, and those who study it learn how to predict, understand, explain, and influence human motivations, cognition, emotions, and behaviors, which are all skills that can be employed in virtually any industry or occupation. Whether you are looking at one very specific career path or field of study, or are keeping your eyes, ears and mind open to multiple opportunities, earning a master’s degree in psychology can be not only one of your greatest triumphs, but also a complete game changer in your career, your future and your own growth as a person.           Here's a few reasons you should get a master's in psychology degree:  You're Passionate About Helping Others: Your psychology master’s degree puts you at a great advantage of knowing what to do in different situations, allowing you to become a transformational leader and allow those around you to flourish. No matter what your profession is or what industry you work in, your master’s in psychology will always provide you with the ability to help others. One of the big advantages for many professionals with this background is that they are able to identify potential psychological problems, build and maintain relationships, and provide useful guidance and advice to help the disadvantaged back on their feet. There Are A Variety of Job Opportunities: A psychology degree does not strictly mean your career path leads toward becoming a psychologist. Professionals with a master’s in psychology have a wide range of career opportunities to choose from, both within the industry and beyond. Many remain in the realm of psychology as researchers or workers in rehabilitation centers. But others also find themselves enjoying careers as college instructors and professors, academic advisors, HR managers, case managers, corporate managers, research analysts, and marketing and sales professionals.  Additionally, the job outlook is very positive. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is an expected growth of 22% through the year 2020. It Offers A Desirable Salary: Of course, salary is a major factor when deciding on pursuing a master’s degree, and psychology master’s holders have the upper hand to make high figures. But salaries vary depending on what you specialize in or what your job title and position is. The average salary for professionals with a Master’s in Psychology is approximately $60,000. This can even go up into the six-figure range depending on the position and industry. It can also go up for those specializing in certain fields, such as Industrial-Organizational Psychology. If you have any questions or are wondering if our Online Master’s in Psychology is right for you, give us a call at 703-416-1441. We’re happy to discuss your future with you!

What Makes a Good Counselor?

Have you ever thought about a career in counseling? Are you concerned whether or not a counseling degree will help you find a job that would “be worth it”? If so, below are just a handful of job titles you could earn with a degree in counseling:
  • Clinical Mental Health Counselor
  • Rehabilitation Counselor
  • Addictions Counselor
  • Career Counselor
  • Marriage and Family Counselor
But degree and employment opportunities aside, what makes a good counselor?
They are licensed to practice Being licensed certifies that you meet the standards of the profession of counseling and are legally recognized to practice clinically, and gives both you and your clients a standard of care. It also allows you to show the caliber of your qualifications and makes you eligible to accept a potential client’s insurance, as well as legally securing your client’s privacy. (A violation of patient privacy results in potential job loss or other legal repercussions). But most importantly, it keeps you and your clients safe and responsible. They are put through rigorous training A Clinical Mental Health Counselor is a highly trained professional who can understand, identify, evaluate and treat various problems, both mentally or emotionally, that impact different areas of personal life. Counselors receive education in the fundamental aspects of the person: personality, family, society, culture, and aging, as well as specific problems that could arise like addictions, school or work related issues, depression/stress/anxiety, relationship struggles, acclimating to a life changing event and much more. Clinical Counselors are trained to evaluate and interpret diagnostic test results and create a comprehensive plan to address their clients’ particular needs. They can get very specific Upon graduation and licensure, Clinical Counselors can decide to specialize in an area they feel best suits their talents, knowledge and passion. There is a plethora of opportunities for clinicians who don’t specialize in a particular area, but many do specialize in child or adolescent counseling, marriage and family counseling, addictions counseling, or trauma counseling with specialization in therapeutic interventions like Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprogramming (EMDR). All the work pays off It's good to know that all of the trained and specialized services a counselor offers is helping the world move in a better direction, one individual at a time. It's also good to know it literally pays off too. According to recent polls done by ZipRecruiter, the average salary in the United States for a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) is $64,623 a year. That's above the current national salary average for working adults. This means that most LPC positions fall between $45,500 and $71,500 a year, which doesn’t include salaries for counselors who have a specialty or start a private practice. They help in a way that few can The demand for well-qualified counselors and experts in mental health is reaching an all time high. As a licensed clinical mental health counselor, you're trained and certified to accompany people on their journey to healing and transformation. You are able to assist them in working through whatever concern brought them to you, and helping them to learn the tools to take life in a new and healthier direction. If this seems like a career that could be your passion, go to Divine Mercy University’s website and look at the online M.S. in Counseling degree we offer. DMU takes a holistic approach to the person, knowing that each of us has a unique dignity, freedom and soul as well as mind, heart and body. If you have any questions or concerns feel free to contact us online or call us at (703) 416-1441.

3 Reasons to Get a Master’s in Counseling

Do you have a passion for helping people who suffer from a diagnosable mental health condition? With a Master’s in Counseling degree you can act as a direct catalyst to improve the lives of those most in need. Here’s a list of undeniable reasons you should pursue your master’s degree at Divine Mercy University. 1) Be Trained in the Practice of Professional Counseling: By gaining an education that’s within industry standards for the profession of counseling, you will be able to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to engage in communities as an effective leader and advocate. This is achieved through real-world clinical training that is key to providing sound, research-based counsel to clients. As a part of our program, you will gain practicum experience of 100 hours with a minimum of 40 hours of direct services and an internship of 600 hours with a minimum of 240 hours of direct service. You will also be able to take additional training that leads to four separate levels of Trauma Certification: Compassion Fatigue Educator, Compassion Fatigue Therapist, Field Traumatologist and Certified (Clinical) Traumatologist. As a result, you will be prepared for a role as a licensed professional counselor, who works to promote mental health and well-being with a diverse population, as well as diagnosing and treating a wide range of mental health and life issues. 2) Open Yourself to New Job Opportunities: With a master’s degree, your resume will be enhanced and your counseling skills will be enriched. The demand for counseling professionals in the workforce is growing and it is expected to continue to grow. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the expected growth for jobs from 2016-2026 is projected at 23%, with the average growth rate for all occupations at 7 percent. This degree will open you to a range of employment opportunities, including:  
  • Clinical Mental Health Counselor
  • Marriage and Family Counselor
  • Substance Abuse/Addictions Counselor
  • Vocational/Veterans Rehabilitation Counselor
  • Public and Private Sector Jobs
Consequently, your contribution to the mental health profession will help reduce the national deficit of workers in the field.   3) Cut Tuition Costs with Scholarships*: Unlike most other universities, we make it our mission to help allocate scholarships to new and current students. In 2017, we awarded students more than $654,000 in tuition scholarships, which helped reduce the financial burden of going back to school. Here’s a few of our most awarded scholarships:
  • Public Servant Scholarship – 10% Off Tuition
  • Patriot Scholarship – 10% Off Tuition
  • Faith and Hope Scholarship – from $2000, up to 50% Off Tuition
*Scholarships are distributed based on availability, need and individual qualifications Download our free eBook “5 Reasons to Get a Master’s in Counseling”! Sign up to learn more about the Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Divine Mercy University.

5 Myths of Online Learning

Are you returning to school this semester? Are you dreading the impeding routine of being at school from dawn ‘till dusk, only to return home late in the evening for further study and class assignments? Well, you could go through all that schooling--the lectures, the discussion groups, the papers and presentations, the exams and pop quizzes--without ever leaving the comfort of your home. You already knew that? So what’s holding you back? Online learning has grown significantly over the last several years. Once seen as clunky, boring and ineffective in its early days, it has ballooned into an innovative learning experience offered by universities throughout the world, including Divine Mercy University. Learn about the online master’s degrees offered through Divine Mercy University. Despite its tremendous growth, there are still myths and misconceptions surrounding online education that have current and prospective students weary and unwilling to try it. Let’s take a look at these myths and, ultimately, squash them. 1) Online classes are not as effective as in-class learning You may have been excited at the thought of sailing through the course work at home instead of actually going to class. But, after thinking it through further, maybe you wondered if the online option will really be advantageous to your learning. Rest assured: online learning is designed to be the gold standard for students everywhere. Some students may have a difficult time learning key concepts in a faster-paced classroom, while others may disconnect from the class if the pace is too slow. The online option allows each student to take the time they need to learn and understand the core lessons and progress through the course at their own pace. 2) Online classes are too easy If you think you’ll just sail through the lessons all the way to the final exam, think again. Online courses demand as much time and attention as any course in a traditional classroom, and your instructor will likely be ready to compensate for your limitless resources with extra work to measure your progress. This can be anything from extra quizzes and written coursework to video presentations. Do not underestimate the workload...or your instructor. 3) Online classes are not accredited or respected by employers A college student graduating today without ever having to take a course online at some point is very unusual. Accredited colleges around the world have incorporated online courses into their curriculum, and more and more private educators are going through the rigorous process of gaining accreditation in order to include online courses in their programs as well. The rise of online courses also shows a growing respect from both employers as well, and many businesses today even require their workers to earn certain online certifications as part of their development. 4) Online courses lack interaction with the instructor and peers In the traditional classroom, students interact with the instructor and each other during discussions and often practice skills in small groups or in pairs. It’s no different in online courses. Students are able to discuss the lessons or application of a learned skill with the whole class through online social threads, receiving one-on-one feedback and seeing how everyone else approaches the same skill. This creates even greater opportunity for students to pick up more social nuances than they would in a classroom. So, instead of experiencing just a handful of social exchanges, online learners experience dozens and dozens of interactions. 5) There’s no accountability with online courses You may not be physically in the classroom, but your instructor is with you every step of the way. Online instructors know every assignment and activity a learner has or hasn’t completed, signaling learners’ progress through the course, and they have access to analytical tools where they can pinpoint and remedy any problem areas in the course that may arise, as well using keystroke tracking and browser blocking functions to cut down on cheating during test sessions. Thanks to the online social interaction, faculty members can follow up with their students to offer encouragement, coaching and direction while holding them accountable to apply the skills outside the classroom. Again, do not underestimate you instructor or the online workload. E-learning is here to make your learning more convenient Like the internet itself, online education is still growing and developing. Instructors are always finding ways to improve their courses and create better, innovative means to educate beyond the constraints of the traditional classroom, making it more convenient for you to focus on your education. Divine Mercy University offers online master’s programs in Psychology and Counseling. Sign up today to learn more. Further Readings: Online Master’s Degrees: What’s the Difference? Kiwi priest completes U.S. degree by studying online
About DMU
Divine Mercy University (DMU) is a Catholic graduate university of psychology and counseling programs. It was founded in 1999 as the Institute for the Psychological Sciences. The university offers a Master of Science (M.S.) in Psychology, Master of Science (M.S.) in Counseling, Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) in Clinical Psychology, and Certificate Programs.