Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program
The Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is a 60 credit hour Master of Science generalist program that is nationally accredited by the Council on the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). This designation indicates curricular experiences encompassing each of the eight core areas of professional counseling including Professional Identity, Social and Cultural Diversity, Human Growth and Development, Career Development, Helping Relationships, Group Work, Assessment, and Research and Program Evaluation. Other required coursework includes clinical assessment and substance abuse. Students in the Mental Health Counseling program also have the opportunity to take electives relative to their area of professional interest. These electives are chosen under the direction of an academic advisor. More information about matriculation can be found by visiting the Counseling Handbook.
This degree prepares graduates to work in a variety of capacities such as marriage and family counseling, substance abuse counseling, clinical mental health counseling, college counseling, non-profit work, business settings, and many other areas. The U.S. Department of Labor projects that counseling is growing faster than average with some areas of clinical mental health counseling seeing growth rates up to 34% by 2016.
- To create an understanding of the foundations of clinical mental health counseling including trends; roles, functions, and standards of practice and credentialing of community counselors; policies and laws, ethical and legal considerations (e.g. the ACA Code of Ethics); and diversity issues.
- To establish the contextual dimensions of mental health counseling relative to roles in various practice settings and relative other professionals in those settings; organizational dimensions of community organizations; needs assessment; and community intervention, consultation, education and outreach.
- To develop the knowledge and skills necessary for clinical mental health counselors relative to assessment, case conceptualization, theories of human development, psychopathology, diagnosis using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, and counseling plans; models, methods, and principles of program development and service delivery for a clientele; the empowerment of consumers to understand and access community resources; advocacy; and initialing, maintaining, and terminating counseling.
- To provide clinical instruction including the Practicum (100 clock hours) and the 600 clock hour internship in a community setting under the supervision of a qualified site supervisor during which the intern will complete a minimum of 240 direct service clock hours.
Why Clinical Mental Health Counseling?
Many students in the program enter with a strong desire to help others. Some individuals voice a desire to work with a specific population – children, adolescents, couples, families, or older adults. Other students indicate wanting a specific work setting such as a mental health organization, inpatient or outpatient hospital, group home, private practice, college campus, non-profit agency, or a corporate environment. Our graduates work in each of these domains and frequently return to offer their expertise to students.
We are located in 329 Proctor Hall, 336-334-7916. The coordinator of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program is Dr. Patricia Bethea-Whitfield.