The Adler School Of Professional Psychology Announces New Master's Program In Gerontological Counseling Focus on Helping Aging Americans Stay Productive, Independent

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Counseling older adults to help them stay productive and independent is not only rewarding, it promises a wealth of job opportunities. Recognizing the tremendous need for counselors who understand the biological, psychological and sociocultural factors that affect the aging process, the Adler School of Professional Psychology is announcing their new gerontology master's degree program.

Counseling older adults to help them stay productive and independent is not only rewarding, it promises a wealth of job opportunities. Recognizing the tremendous need for counselors who understand the biological, psychological and sociocultural factors that affect the aging process, the Adler School of Professional Psychology is announcing their new gerontology master's degree program.

With 77 million baby boomers reaching or nearing retirement age, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the number of jobs in gerontology-related fields will increase by more than 36 percent during the next three years. The counseling of older adults is one of the specific fields expected to experience the greatest growth. With its emphasis on social responsibility and holism, the Adler School is uniquely qualified to educate counselors who can help aging adults focus on living rewarding lives, rather than emphasizing illness and loss.

In Fall 2009, the Adler School will offer the Master of Arts in Gerontological Counseling. This program will prepare students to provide a broad range of services to older adults in a variety of settings as well as prepare graduates to become Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC) in Illinois. Graduates will be prepared for leadership roles in a wide variety of community mental health positions in public and private human services agencies and organizations.    

In addition to unique education and training that focuses on skills in advocacy, consultation, systems change, and leadership, the Adler School's gerontological counseling program offers students other opportunities. Coursework is available in a variety of formats including face-to-face at the school's campus in downtown Chicago and online. The Dreikurs Psychology Services Center, which provides on-site psychological services to the public, serves as a clinical training site for students. Faculty members are licensed professionals who combine practice with their instructional duties.

"We offer much more than a great education for dedicated people who want to work with older adults," said Mark Bilkey, Psy.D, Gerontology Program Director. "We offer opportunities, these tough economic times have challenged people to look at careers that offer long-standing economic growth and security as well as having passion and job satisfaction. Having a specialized advanced degree in working with older adults is going to give our graduates a distinct advantage in the workplace, now and well into the future. Addressing the psychological and social needs of our older adults is one of the most exciting and greatest challenges in our country and I look forward to addressing that challenge with the dedicated, committed staff and students at the Adler School."

Dr. Bilkey brings a wealth of experience working with older Americans to the job. He has worked as a gerontological therapist in private practice and specialized in promoting healthy aging by guiding older adults toward their goals and passions. He has given lectures and led workshops on older adults, ranging from improving memory and dealing with stress to working with families with a loved one diagnosed with Alzheimer's. He also has extensive experience working with older adults with HIV. Dr. Bilkey received a Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.) and Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology degrees from the Adler School.

More About the Adler School of Professional Psychology:
The Adler School of Professional Psychology has provided quality education through a Scholar/Practitioner model for over 50 years. The School's mission is to train socially responsible graduates who practice psychology throughout the world. The Adler School has ten graduate-level programs with approximately 800 students enrolled at the main campus in Chicago and a second campus in Vancouver, British Columbia.

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