M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
- 3 Years Part-Time
The Chicago School’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) master’s online program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Programs (CACREP) and prepares students for a career offering mental health services in a variety of settings, helping diverse clients through issues such as depression, anxiety, grief, low self-esteem, stress, relationship difficulties, and […]
The Chicago School’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) master’s online program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Programs (CACREP) and prepares students for a career offering mental health services in a variety of settings, helping diverse clients through issues such as depression, anxiety, grief, low self-esteem, stress, relationship difficulties, and suicidal impulses.
Students enrolled in The Chicago School’s online programs will enjoy a transformative educational experience with the flexibility of a program that can be integrated with other commitments.
Guided by practitioner faculty, students will experience in-depth training in various counseling areas, including:
- Program evaluation
- Counselor identity
Graduates of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling master’s online program have an in-depth understanding of a wide range of mental health issues that will be seen as a strong asset in a variety of professional arenas, such as:
- Integrative healthcare
The Chicago School’s practitioner faculty help prepare students to apply to become licensed or certified professional counselors. Professional development plans are specific to the state or country in which the student plans to seek licensure or certification to become a professional counselor.
Additional Information About the Online Campus’ Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program
- Diversity and Advocacy: demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and practices to deliver culturally appropriate counseling services, advocate for clients, and understand how to influence policy to enhance the practice of clinical mental health counseling.
- Foundations: show a commitment to their identity as counselors through membership and activities in professional organizations, and through ethical behavior in their work with clients and other professionals.
- Counseling, Prevention, and Intervention: demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and practices of culturally appropriate diagnosis, treatment, referral, and prevention of mental and emotional disorders.
- Assessment: demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and practices of culturally appropriate and holistic clinical evaluation and assessment of normalcy and psychopathology.
- Diagnosis: demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and practices of culturally appropriate diagnosis of both psychopathology and normal developmental challenges, including appropriate use of diagnosis during trauma-causing events.
- Research and Evaluation: competently and critically evaluate clinical mental health counseling research, demonstrate understanding of evidence-based treatments and outcome evaluation, and apply appropriate models of program evaluation.
|Eight Core Competencies||Program Learning Outcomes|
|Professional Counseling Orientation & Ethical Practice||Foundations|
|Social and Cultural Diversity||Diversity & Advocacy|
|Human Growth and Development||Counseling, Prevention, and Intervention|
|Counseling and Helping Relationships||Foundations|
|Group Counseling and Group Work||Counseling, Prevention and Intervention|
|Assessment and Testing||Diagnosis, Assessment|
|Research and Program Development||Research and Evaluation|
CMHC Philosophy The Essential Threads appear in every aspect of the curricula experience in the MA in CMHC program. The Essential Threads reflect the four core functions of a professional counselor.
- Professional Identity
- Ethical Decision Making
- Multicultural Competence
- Practical Application
CMHC Core Belief Clients have the ability to heal from within in a safe (judgement free zone) therapeutic environment.
Relationship Philosophy The faculty and staff members of the MA in CMHC are committed to providing support while building healthy relationships to ensure academic success. Support includes but is not limited to instructors, advisors, graduate assistants, student ambassadors, and student service team members. Therefore, students within the MA in CMHC program are expected to: pursue excellence, communicate effectively, and build wholesome relationships with the CMHC support team and fellow peers.
The faculty and staff members of the MA in CMHC are committed to providing support while building healthy relationships to ensure academic success. Support includes but is not limited to instructors, advisors, graduate assistants, student ambassadors, and student service team members. Therefore, students within the MA in CMHC program are expected to: pursue excellence, communicate effectively, and build wholesome relationships with the CMHC support team and fellow peers.
Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling: Online Student Experience
Through the convenience of The Chicago School’s online programs, your life remains intact. Our online Global Student Dashboard is where you will find all of the components to successfully complete your program. There, you’ll find your coursework and assignments, interact with fellow students, and are ask questions from your instructor.
Diagnosis of Mental Health Issues
This course addresses the general principles of etiology, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental and emotional disorders. Major definitions and descriptions of psychological phenomena as categorized and classified by the DSM diagnostic system are covered. This course includes models of mental status assessment as well as the application of how cultural factors influence mental health.
Group Theories and Processes of Counseling
This course provides the foundation for understanding theory, dynamics, principles and techniques of group therapy and counseling. Throughout the course students are exposed to various models for conducting therapeutic groups with diverse populations. Students are also involved in an experiential practice of group process throughout the course.
Assessment of Individuals
This course introduces the student to psychological evaluation and its role in the counseling relationship. It provides the student with a strong foundation in understanding and communicating clinical assessment data. The course will review basic concepts of standardized and non-standardized testing and other assessment techniques including norm-referenced and criterion-referenced assessment, environmental assessment, intellectual assessment, individual and group test and inventory methods, behavioral observations, and computer-managed and computer-assisted methods. Attention will be given to understanding strategies for selecting, administering, and interpreting assessment and evaluation instruments and techniques in counseling.
There are state professional licensure requirements to practice as a professional counselor. A state’s licensure board determines the specific requirements for candidates seeking professional counseling licensure and those requirements are subject to change. The following is professional licensure information as of the date of publication:
- The M.A. Clinical Mental Health Counseling program aligns with the degree and coursework requirements for professional counseling licensure in Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
- Applicants for licensure in the aforementioned locations may also be required to complete a minimum number of hours of post-master’s professional counseling experience within a specified time period, as well as other state-specific requirements.
- The MA Clinical Mental Health Counseling program does not meet current state requirements for professional counseling licensure in California and Kansas.
The M.A. Clinical Mental Health Counseling program was not designed to meet professional counseling licensure standards outside of the United States of America.
It is the student’s responsibility to determine the licensure requirements for any state not listed above. The M.A. Clinical Mental Health Counseling program may meet some or all of the requirements of states not listed, but additional state-specific approvals or coursework and/or practicum hours may be required beyond the program’s graduation requirements. Some state licensing requirements include the following: completion of a master’s degree, post-graduate field work, examination, and application for license. Students should contact the specific state licensing board directly to verify information regarding professional licensure. A list of state board contact information is available via The American Counseling Association.
Students will work closely with the CMHC Director of Applied Professional Practice and their faculty adviser to identify a site for the direct service component of their program. During practicum, students will complete coursework and 100 hours of practicum experience practicing foundational counseling skills and gradually integrating more advanced skills. Once the practicum course is complete, students will begin internship, which entails course work, the National Counselor Exam, a capstone project, and at least 600 hours of clinical practice at an approved site.
Students in the online M.A. Clinical Mental Health Counseling program attend two mandatory, four-day residencies at the Chicago campus. The first on-ground residency occurs during the Helping Relationships and Skills course during the first year of the program. The second residency occurs during the Group Theories and Processes of Counseling course, during the second year in the program.
Send materials to:
c/o The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
350 N. Orleans St. STE 1050
Chicago, IL 60654-1822
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 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. Letters should arrive in a sealed envelope, signed across the seal.
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.