Post-Master of Science in Counseling: Childhood and Adolescence Disorders Certificate

Post-Master of Science in Counseling: Childhood and Adolescence Disorders Certificate

Offered By: College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Study How To Counsel Youth Experiencing Childhood and Adolescence Disorders

Grow your professional skill set and enhance your career qualifications by pursuing continuing education opportunities in childhood and adolescence counseling. The Post-Master of Science in Counseling: Childhood and Adolescence Disorders Certificate at Grand Canyon University is designed for working professionals who hold a master’s degree in counseling or other behavioral health fields who are seeking the opportunity to improve their ability to understand, connect with and help young clients.

This certificate is offered through the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. The curriculum examines research, theories and evidence-based practices in the assessment and treatment of mental health disorders in young people with the end goal of improving quality of life and supporting individual and family relationships.

The adolescent and childhood counseling certificate is available online. By choosing to earn your certificate online, you can enjoy the flexibility and convenience of learning from almost anywhere while continuing to manage your personal and professional obligations. The digital learning platform will enable you to easily access your course materials, enjoy discussions with your peers and connect with your instructors.

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Study Childhood Development, Adolescent Disorders and Disabilities

During this post-master’s certificate in counseling, you will examine theories related to child and adolescent development, best practices in identifying disorders and the use of evidence-based treatment modalities. Additionally, you will have opportunities to develop your communication skills and ethical decision-making, as well as to examine the Christian worldview and principles of servant leadership within counseling contexts.

In courses such as Specialization in Professional Counseling and Development Through Childhood and Adolescence, you will explore the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) and be taught a framework for understanding childhood and adolescence disorders. The curriculum includes the psychosocial stressors within the family system and the physical, biological and psychosocial development of young people.

Progressing forward in this certificate program, you will have the opportunity to explore the following topic areas:

  • Developmental disabilities, including autism spectrum disorders, specific learning disorders, childhood disintegrative disorder and pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS)
  • Assessment and treatment approaches designed for trauma that occurs during childhood and adolescence, including physical, sexual, mental and emotional abuse and neglect
  • Common disorders that occur in young people, including disruptive, impulse control and conduct disorders

You will complete case study exercises designed to provide a practical, hands-on exploration of contemporary issues that you may encounter in your work.

Career Paths for Graduates With a Post-Master’s Certificate in Counseling for Childhood and Adolescent Disorders

Children and adolescents are susceptible to a wide range of daily life stressors and mental illnesses. While many of these mental illnesses may also manifest in adults, recognizing and treating them in children requires flexible thinking and different approaches. A youth counseling certificate can equip you to address the unique needs of young people throughout their developmental stages. Upon earning this certificate, you will have the opportunity to advocate on behalf of young people and to position yourself for possible leadership roles within the behavioral health field, empowering you to work toward more favorable outcomes for your community.

Prior to enrolling in this post-master’s childhood counseling certificate program at GCU, it is required that you possess a master’s or doctoral degree in any of the following fields:

  • Behavioral health
  • Clinical or counseling psychology
  • Counseling
  • Human development
  • Marriage and family therapy
  • Nursing
  • Psychiatry medicine
  • Social work
  • Substance abuse counseling

Pursue Your Youth Counseling Studies From an Institutionally Accredited University

GCU is an institutionally accredited school that focuses on bringing together diverse students and instructors who are knowledgeable in their fields. The Post-Master of Science in Counseling program teaches advanced knowledge and skills in childhood and adolescent disorders, developmental issues, school and family life issues, child-parent relationships and the mental health disorders specified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA).

Post-Master of Science in Adolescence and Childhood Counseling Certificate FAQs

Before making the decision to further your education and your counseling qualifications, you may have some questions about the field and the program. Explore the following information, which may help guide your decision-making as you consider whether to focus your career on helping children and adolescents whose quality of life may be affected by mental health disorders.

It’s often possible to earn a baccalaureate or graduate degree in counseling via online classes. However, in order to meet licensure requirements in all 50 states for private practice, you must also complete in-person clinical experience hours under supervision.1 Other licensure requirements may apply, depending on the state in which you plan to practice. A counseling license is required for all counselors who work in private practice.1 However, if you are already a licensed counselor and would like to earn a post-master’s certificate in counseling that focuses on childhood and adolescence counseling, you may be able to complete the program entirely online.

At GCU, you can complete this certificate entirely online. Our online courses offer convenience to working professionals while still providing quality instruction.

Online education is becoming far more prevalent. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began affecting in-person instruction, distance learning at both the baccalaureate and post-baccalaureate levels increased substantially.2 It’s possible that because of the increasing prevalence of online education that all types of online certificate programs are becoming more respected. Of course, this can depend on the specific school and the employer. It’s best to choose an online certificate from an institutionally accredited school, such as GCU.

The post-master’s certificate in counseling requires a total of 15 credits for completion. The classes are eight weeks in length. Fill out the form on this page to speak to a university counselor, who can help you better understand how long it takes to earn your post-graduate certificate.

Enhance your professional and academic qualifications and work toward a specialization as a childhood and adolescence counseling professional. Apply today for enrollment in this postmaster’s counseling certificate program at GCU.

1 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2022, October 24). Substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors. Occupational Outlook Handbook. Retrieved July 28, 2023.

2 National Center for Education Statistics. (2022). Distance learning. National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved July 28, 2023.

Total Credits: 15
Online: 8 weeks
[More Info]
Up to 12 credits or 1/3 of the total program requirements in transfer (whichever is less)
Online: $575 per credit [More Info]

Course List

15 credits
Degree Requirements:
15 credits

Core Courses

Course Description

This survey course provides an introduction to the graduate certificate programs in childhood and adolescence disorders, marriage and family therapy, substance use disorders and addiction, and trauma. Students are introduced to the University policies and procedures, the learning management system, the library, and proper APA formatting for academic writing. In addition, students are introduced to the current DSM and how the information relates to the field of counseling. Students also learn about researching and utilizing community resources, and becoming certified in specializations.

Course Description

This course provides a broad understanding of the theories related to child and adolescent development. Also covered are the variables that directly impact children and adolescents throughout their personal development. Students gain knowledge and understanding of childhood and adolescent disorders.

Course Description

This course provides students with an in-depth understanding of the developmental disabilities occurring in children and adolescents, as defined in the DSM. Students examine the following disorders and disabilities: specific language and learning disorders, intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, sensory processing, and physiological developmental disorders, while learning assessments and measurements used in diagnosing. Students receive an overview of the neurological and cultural perspectives of developmental disabilities, and the unique needs of the families.

Course Description

This course provides a broad understanding of trauma related issues during childhood and adolescence. Students examine the various types of trauma, including neglect; physical, mental, emotional, and sexual abuse; family trauma; parental substance use; and domestic violence. Students learn assessment and treatment approaches designed for trauma occurring during childhood and adolescence.

Course Description

This course provides students with an in-depth understanding of common disorders among children and adolescents, as defined in the DSM. Studies in this area include the following: disruptive, impulse control and conduct disorders, ADHD, autism spectrum disorders, separation anxiety and selective mutism, trauma and stressor related disorders, PTSD, and adjustment disorders. Students also gain the knowledge and skills needed for treating these disorders.

Program Locations

GCU Online Student

Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere.

* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.

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