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Most postsecondary schools in Louisiana offering mental health counseling training are located in New Orleans. All programs are offered at the master's degree level, and concentrations may be available in school counseling or clinical mental health counseling. Courses explore human growth and development, professional ethics, individual and group counseling, family counseling and treatment methods. In addition, most programs integrate one or more internships and/or a practicum experience to provide students with a first-hand understanding of what a career in the field entails.
Loyola University New Orleans
Located in New Orleans, Loyola University is a private, Jesuit college accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). This school has an enrollment of over 4,000 students with more than 300 full-time faculty members. The master's degree program in clinical mental health counseling is offered through the College of Social Sciences and is accredited by The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).
Core courses of this program focus on research and philosophy, as well as various topics, such as counseling theories and practice, ethics and group counseling. Elective courses in the clinical mental health counseling concentration include child and parent therapy, play therapy and school counseling. Students must also participate in individual and group counseling skill labs. Internship experiences and a practicum are also required. There are also dual degree programs in pastoral studies, music studies and criminal justice available.
University of Holy Cross
This university is located in New Orleans and has a student body of more than 1,200 students. The curriculum for the Master of Arts (MA) in Counseling degree program with a specialization in clinical mental health requires 60 credit hours; however, if a student chooses to complete the thesis option, the total will increase to 63 credit hours. Students can expect courses in human growth, lifestyle development, ethics and treatment of mental disorders. Additional courses cover marriage and family counseling, chemical dependency, sexual trauma and group counseling. Two internships and a practicum in counseling are also required.
University of Louisiana-Monroe
Located in Monroe, the University of Louisiana-Monroe enrolls roughly 8,500 students annually. The College of Education and Human Development offers an MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree program. While there are three specializations, including school counseling and gerocounseling, the clinical mental health counseling program requires 60 credit hours. Participants in this program will be prepared to seek licensure as a counselor, and graduates can pursue careers in private practice and community settings. During this program, students must complete an internship including 600 hours of clinical work.
Xavier University of Louisiana
Located in New Orleans, Xavier University has an annual enrollment of roughly 3,000 students. The MA in Counseling degree program in mental health meets the requirements set by the Board of Louisiana Professional Counselors; therefore, graduates of this program can obtain the required Licensed Professional Counselor designation. This 60-credit curriculum includes courses in counseling ethics, theories and techniques. In addition, students can expect to study techniques for group work, family and systems, trauma and mental health counseling.
The state of Louisiana requires that individuals who want to work as mental health counselors' hold a graduate degree in mental health counseling from an accredited institution. In addition, graduates of a master's degree program must seek certification as Licensed Professional Counselors to begin work in this field.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Mental Health Counseling Degree Options||Graduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)|
|Loyola University New Orleans||4-year; private not-for-profit; large city||Master of Science (MS) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling||$16,090*|
|University of Holy Cross||4-year; private not-for-profit; large city||Master of Arts in Counseling with Clinical Mental Health Specialization||$10,372*|
|University of Louisiana - Monroe||4-year; public; small city||MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling|| $8,005 in-state*
|Xavier University of Louisiana||4-year; private not-for-profit; large city||MA in Counseling with Clinical Mental Health Specialization||$6,750*|
Sources: *NCES College Navigator.