Clinical Mental Health Counseling
What is a clinical mental health counselor?
Clinical mental health counselors work with individuals, families and groups to address and treat mental and emotional disorders and to promote optimum mental health. They are trained in a variety of therapeutic techniques used to address a wide range of issues, including:
- addiction and substance abuse
- suicidal impulses
- stress management
- problems with self-esteem
- issues associated with aging
- job and career concerns
- educational decisions
- issues related to mental and emotional health
- family, parenting, marital, and other relationship problems
Is a license currently required to practice clinical mental health counseling in the United States?
Yes, 48 states and the District of Columbia have some form of counselor licensure that governs their practice of counseling. Licensure laws establish minimum requirements in the areas of education, examination, and experience.
What are the educational requirements?
States require applicants for licensure to obtain a master’s degree in counseling. Courses are grouped into ten core areas:
- Human Growth and Development
- Counseling Theory, Practice and Psychopathology
- Group Counseling
- Social and Cultural Foundations
- Research and Program Evaluation
- Professional Orientation
- Career Development
- Supervised Practicum
- Supervised Internship
What about the rest of the requirements?
Besides the educational requirements, applicants for licensure are required to obtain a minimum of supervised experience prior to being licensed. Typically, states require individuals to accumulate between 2000 and 3000 hours of supervised experience within a certain time period. Also, applicants must pass a comprehensive examination on counseling recognized by the State. For general information about these examinations, go to www.nbcc.org. State requirements may be updated frequently. It is best to check with the appropriate state board for current requirements.
For Alabama, click here
For Georgia, click here
For Tennessee, click here
How can our degree program help you become a clinical mental health counselor?
The clinical mental health counseling program at Southern Adventist University is approved by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). You will become a proficient counselor and will gain experience that will help ensure your success in a clinical setting. You will also be prepared for more advanced educational programs and will complete the educational requirements for licensure. We also facilitate the taking of the NCE exam that you need to obtain a Temporary License.
Does our program meet the requirements for a temporary license?
Yes! Once you graduate you will begin the process of accumulating supervised hours while working in the field. In order to work after graduation, obtaining a temporary license (title varies from state to state) is often required for those who have met the education and exam requirements, but have not yet met the supervised experience requirement.
What are the requirements to apply for admission?
Applicants must be graduates of an accredited four-year college with an overall grade point average of 3.25 or higher; applicants with an upper-division (300- and 400-level classes) of at least 2.75 may be considered for provisional admission. Applicants also need a written statement of purpose, three letters of recommendation, a personal interview, a personality test, a self-assessment, and a background check. Guidelines, instructions,and additional information is available from the Graduate Enrollment Counselor. A minimum of six semester hours in upper-division psychology or behavioral science is expected, as well as a statistics course. However, the student can complete any deficiencies while enrolled in a first semester of the program.
When are the courses offered and at what cost?
Courses are generally held in the evening. Our graduate pricing per credit hour is very competitive. For tuition rates go to the graduate studies finances page. By taking classes offered during regular semesters and summer sessions, students may complete their degree program in six to seven semesters.