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M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

  • Chicago, IL
  • Full-Time, Part-Time
  • 2 Years Full-Time, 3 Years Part-Time

The M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) program at The Chicago School’s downtown Chicago Campus prepares students to provide high-quality mental health services to a diverse clientele in a variety of community settings. Our clinical mental health counseling master’s program is a 60 credit hour, on-ground counselor education training program that provides strong preparation in […]

The M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) program at The Chicago School’s downtown Chicago Campus prepares students to provide high-quality mental health services to a diverse clientele in a variety of community settings.

Our clinical mental health counseling master’s program is a 60 credit hour, on-ground counselor education training program that provides strong preparation in  competencies including ethics, research, evaluation, diagnosis, theories, career assessment, and counseling interventions.

Our M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling in Chicago combines rigorous coursework with supervised clinical training that provide opportunities to put theory into practice in real-world settings. Graduates will be prepared to provide counseling services to individuals, families, couples and groups, and will have the skills to help clients work through a wide variety of issues including:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Grief
  • Low self-esteem
  • Stress
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Suicidal impulses

While not accredited by The Council of Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), the program is aligned with the CACREP Standards as core learning outcomes. The program also incorporates the thirteen content areas required by the State of Illinois for licensure and the eight content areas outlined by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) to prepare those students seeking professional counselor licensure and desiring to begin professional practice at the master’s level.

Through its M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program, the Counseling Department embraces this commitment through the integration of multicultural education and diversity across its curriculum; successful students in the master’s mental health program demonstrate an appreciation for and competency in this area. Likewise, the faculty reflects experience in graduate level teaching and counseling practice with diverse clinical populations.

The program seeks to serve a diverse student body from throughout the Midwest, and the country, and from a number of international countries.

M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling: Chicago Student Experience

The Chicago Campus provides students an opportunity to immerse themselves into a culturally diverse city with nearly unlimited academic resources as well as excellent networking opportunities. Chicago is also home to some of the nation’s finest dining, entertainment, museums, and other activities.

At our flagship campus, The Chicago School has demonstrated a continued commitment to a diverse student population and expanding mental health services to multicultural and underserved communities.

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Couples and Family Counseling

This survey course presents family systems and its major theories and practice. Couple and family lifecycle dynamics will be addressed as well as issues impacting healthy family functioning and development in a diverse society. Other relevant theories will also be covered.

Diversity & Multiculturalism

Recognizing that becoming a multiculturally competent practitioner is a lifelong endeavor, this course serves as a foundation upon which continued personal and professional development in the area of diversity should be built. Students will be supported in learning about themselves as sociocultural beings and will identify the impact of their own worldviews, cultural privilege, and biases on cross-cultural interactions. This course will also address the psychological, socio- political, historical, and economic influences on various aspects of social identity, including but not limited to, gender, ethnicity, religion, class, race, immigrant status, disability, and sexual orientation. This involves gaining a better understanding of the mechanisms that impact less privileged groups. The course will be presented in both didactic and experiential formats with a focus on self-awareness and students will be expected to actively engage in interdependent and reflective learning.

Addictions and Substance Abuse

This course introduces the multiple components and etiology of addictions and substance abuse. A strength-based and holistic model for assessment and evidence based research and treatment care models are examined.

Clinical Mental Health Counseling

This course will provide an overview of mental health in the community setting with a historical context and the role that advocacy plays. Prevention and intervention approaches will be discussed. This course also examines consultation with emphasis on theories and strategies used to provide services to individuals, groups, and organizations. The practice of mental health in the changing community will also be a focus.

The M.A. Clinical Mental Health Counseling program aligns with degree and coursework requirements to be eligible for licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Illinois. Candidates for licensure must pass the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE). All candidates are also required to complete the application process, which may include fees and/or a background check. For further information about licensure, please visit the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.

Licensure and Certification FAQ

The training experience requires a minimum of 700 hours over one year of on-site supervised training, including at least one hour of individual supervision by a licensed clinician per week. The first 100 hours of a student’s training experience is considered his/her “practicum” requirement.

Students of the master’s mental health program complete 600 hours of internship, which starts following the successful completion of the practicum. Interns must complete a minimum of 280 direct client hours including experience as a group leader. In addition to direct client hours, students participate in other professional work activities at the internship site.

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Admissions Operations
c/o The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
203 N. LaSalle Street, Suite 1900
Chicago, IL 60601

Application to The Chicago School of Professional Psychology’s M.A. Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is open to any person who has earned a bachelor degree from a regionally accredited institution and who meets other entrance requirements. Students applying to the M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program must submit the following:

  • Application
  • Application Fee: $50
  • Essay – The mission of the program is to equip students with the knowledge, skills, practices, and values of the counseling profession: empowerment, resilience, optimal development, multicultural competence, and holism, in order to promote the well-being of individuals, families, and the diverse systems that support them. In a two-page essay address the following:
    • How you would contribute to the fulfillment of the program’s mission given your personal and professional characteristics and accomplishments, your academic background, and your experience, and
    • Upon successful completion of the program, how do you see yourself contributing to the profession as a clinical mental health counselor?
  • Official College/University Transcripts
    • Students must submit official transcripts from all schools where degrees have been earned. The Chicago School requires that all schools be regionally accredited higher education institutions. Official transcripts may be sent directly from the institution or with your application for admission as long as they are official, sealed, and signed across the envelope flap when they arrive.
  • Three Letters of Recommendation
    • Appropriate recommendations are from professors and/or supervisors from significant work or volunteer experiences, who can appraise your academic or professional performance. If you are mailing in your letters, they should arrive in a sealed envelope, signed across the seal. You can submit the letters online via the applicant portal.
  • Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Scores
    • The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required; however, students who have taken the exam may submit their scores to enhance their application. Scores should be sent directly to the school (GRE School Code: 1119) for consideration.

International Application Requirements

The Chicago School is dedicated to keep our professional degree programs accessible to anyone regardless of financial status. In addition to the scholarships that may be available, our Financial Aid Department will help provide you with information to determine what financial arrangements are right for you.

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