Master's in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Programs

You can learn about such subjects as addiction, counseling techniques, family development, and group counseling through a master's degree program in clinical mental health. Make sure to look through the admission requirements, which could include undergraduate degrees, GPA minimums, and standardized test scores.

Master's in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program Information

A master's degree program in clinical mental health counseling can prepare students to become licensed counselors in their state of residence or allow them to explore positions in the field of social work. Programs can often be completed in two to three years and are available on campus and through hybrid formats that combine online coursework with onsite field experiences and practicums. Core curricula between programs are often comparable. Some common course requirements include:

Introduction to Counseling

This introductory course gives students an overview of the mental health counseling field. Topics of discussion might include the philosophy of mental health counseling, professional issues specific to the field, and the history of developments in the field of counseling. Students might also look at how mental health counselors become credentialed and maintain a practice, as well as skills they need to be successful and any common problems they may face.

Counseling Techniques

Students are exposed to techniques used by counselors in their daily practice in this course. Topics of study are designed to help them navigate legal and ethical issues, understand how to properly interact with clients, develop professional relationships, and identify personal bias in one's professional practice. Hands-on practice conducting interviews, analyzing data, conducting research, and presenting the results may be included.

Group Counseling

This course focuses on techniques used in counseling groups of people. This class might be a mixture of practical work and theoretical work covering topics like group process and group dynamics. Students can also learn about different models for group work, the role of individuals within a group, and the ways in which groups can affect social change. Students might have a chance to work with an outside, community-based group as well.

Addiction Counseling

A course in addiction counseling allows students to learn how addiction is approached by mental health counselors. Coursework might cover theoretical approaches to addiction, practical approaches to treatment, and strategies for properly assessing and diagnosing addictive behaviors.

Family Counseling

A course in family counseling is designed to help students understand the dynamics of the family and their role in individual mental health processes. Students might explore the impact of gender, culture, and ethnicity on family development and learn how cultural and spiritual values affect family life. Historical models of the family are also explored alongside modern developments in family counseling. Psychosocial, transgenerational, social constructionist, and other theoretical frameworks are studied as well.

Admission Requirements for a Master's in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Degree Program

In order to be considered for admission to most clinical mental health counseling master's degree programs, you will be required to possess a bachelor's degree and to submit official transcripts of your previous education. A minimum 3.0 GPA or standardized test scores (GRE or GMAT) are also required for some schools. Other material that might need to be submitted includes multiple letters of recommendation and a personal statement or essay. Once your application is reviewed, you may also be required to take part in an interview.

Common courses offered in clinical mental health counseling master's degree programs include an introduction to counseling and counseling techniques as well as family, group, and addiction counseling. Often, standardized test scores, letters of recommendation, prior degrees, personal essays, and a minimum GPA are required to be considered for admission to a program.

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