Clinical Mental Health Counseling

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

With a Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, you will be prepared to function as a licensed mental health counselor in healthcare, residential, private practice, community agency, governmental, business and industrial settings. As part of the requirements for this graduate degree, you will receive field training in a practicum of your choice. The goal is to help you develop skills and experience that directly relate to your interests and future career. The evening class schedule allows you the flexibility to continue working while completing your degree.

The program of study leading to the Master of Science (MS) degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is designed to prepare persons to function as Licensed Mental Health Counselors (LMHC) in healthcare, residential, private practice, community agency, governmental, forensic settings, and social service agencies.

Learning outcomes by concentration:

  • General Clinical Mental Health Counseling: Demonstrate practical skills for intervention and prevention when working with children, adolescents, families, and clients with substance abuse through evidence-based theories and practices.
  • Forensic Mental Health Counseling: Demonstrate practical skills, including knowledge of forensic assessment methods and substance abuse interventions, to serve and support populations with legal involvement.
  • Child and Family Mental Health Counseling: Demonstrate practical skills for intervention and prevention, including knowledge of art therapy, when working with children, adolescents, and families through evidence-based theories and practices.

Admissions Requirements

  • Hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States
  • Have an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 point scale
  • Have taken between nine and 12 hours of undergraduate coursework in psychology (may be augmented by coursework in closely related fields and/or reflect life experience)
  • Must have commitment to counseling profession
  • Quality written and oral communication skills are highly desired

Steps to Apply

  • Complete an application form 
  • Submit official transcripts from all postsecondary institutions attended.
    • Must be sent directly from the registrar of institution(s) attended.
  • Submit a DD214 form (United States veterans only).
  • Submit a concise, typed, two-page statement of your professional goals, including why you wish to become a licensed counselor. You could also include specific training objectives and long-term career goals following graduation. Submit to cpadm@sf.edu.
  • Submit three letters of recommendation, at least one professional and one academic reference. Must be submitted using our department form.
  • After the Office of Admissions has received the above-listed materials, you will be required to interview with the Psychology and Counseling Admissions Committee.

ACCREDITATION

The Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is aligned with standards set forth by the Masters in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council (MPCAC).

MISSION STATEMENT

The mission of the University of Saint Francis Master’s programs in Psychology and Counseling is to prepare culturally competent professionals who utilize evidence-based practices through a lifespan approach to work with diverse client populations. Our programs emphasize strength-based helping strategies and community outreach with a specialized focus on social justice in the Franciscan tradition.

STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES

To successfully complete the Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, students will:

  • Establish an identity as a counselor who is able to apply ethical principles, Franciscan values, and professional standards into professional practice.
  • Demonstrate practical skills for intervention and prevention when working with individual, group, and career counseling through evidence-based theories and practices.
  • Demonstrate knowledge, self-awareness, and skills when working with individuals and groups with diverse cultural backgrounds.
  • Understand and apply concepts of normal and abnormal behavior to case formulation, diagnosis, and treatment planning across the lifespan.
  • Incorporate knowledge of assessment measures including the selection, administration, interpretation, and application to appropriate setting with regard to strengths, limitations, and individual characteristics.
  • Demonstrate application of scientific methods to evaluate professional sources, clinical practices, interventions, and programs.
  • Apply knowledge of biological, developmental, social, organizational, environmental bases of behavior.
  • Understand the use of and respond appropriately to supervision by engaging in reflective practices and self-care strategies.

LICENSURE ELIGIBILITY

After completing the required courses for the degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, students will be eligible to take the licensing exams for licensure as a Mental Health Counselor through the Behavioral Health and Human Services Licensing Board in Indiana. The scope of practice for mental health counseling is defined in Section 24. IC 25-23.6-1-7.5 of the Indiana Code.

DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

The Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program requires 60 credit hours:

  • 39 hours in major courses
  • 9 hours in concentration courses (chose one concentration; chosen in consultation with advisor)
  • 12 hours in field work

CLINICAL MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELING PROGRAM OF STUDIES

  • Major Courses (39 credit hours): PSYC 500, PSYC 501, PSYC 502, PSYC 518, PSYC 522, PSYC 528, PSYC 530, PSYC 542, PSYC 544, PSYC 548, PSYC 573, PSYC 576, PSYC 578
  • Concentration Courses (9 credit hours):
    • Mental Health Counseling: PSYC 525, PSYC 545, PSYC 570
    • Forensic Mental Health Counseling: PSYC 516, PSYC 517, PSYC 545
    • Child and Family Mental Health Counseling: PSYC 521, PSYC 525, PSYC 570
  • Fieldwork Courses (12 credit hours): PSYC 580, PSYC 582, PSYC 591

MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELING CLINICAL INSTRUCTION

Clinical instruction includes supervised Practicum (100 hours), Internship (600 hours), and Advanced Internship (300 hours) completed within a student’s program of study. Well-planned clinical instruction is vital to subsequent effective professional practice and is taken at the end of a student’s course of study. Given the extensive time requirements for clinical work, students should consider from the outset of their program how, when, and where they will meet these clinical requirements.

CLINICAL MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELOR LICENSURE TRACK

Students with a master’s degree in psychology or counseling may apply for the Clinical Mental Health Counseling License track (non-degree option). A transcript evaluation will be conducted to identify courses that may be required as determined by the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program Director and as outlined by the Behavioral Health and Human Services Licensing Board in Indiana.

ADMISSION DECISIONS

The Office of Admissions will inform the applicant in writing of the decision of the Psychology and Counseling Admissions Committee. This decision may take one of these four forms:

  1. Accept: Registration for courses will be permitted and applicant will contact the Director of Clinical Mental Health Counseling for an advising appointment.
  2. Deny: Applicant has been denied at this time.
  3. Provisional: Out of commitment to see the applicant succeed and because certain areas of perceived deficiency exist, the applicant is provisionally accepted. These provisions may include additional coursework, assignments or restrictions being successfully met before full admission is granted. The applicant will meet with the Director, Clinical Mental Health Counseling for advisement and to contract any provisions. All provisos are made in consultation with the Department Chair.
  4. Conditional: Candidate’s full acceptance is contingent on submission of all admission requirements.

Applicants have one year (12 months) from the date of notification of acceptance or provisional acceptance to register for classes; failure to do so invalidates admission and the applicant must re-apply without guarantee of acceptance.