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CMHC Program of Study

Clinical Mental Health Counseling

The Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling is a cohort model program designed to be completed in two years (60 credit hours) when following the prescribed program of study. In addition to taking classes on campus, you’ll participate in one practicum and two internship experiences at approved community sites where you will be able to further develop your clinical skills and knowledge.

Mission Statement

The clinical mental health counseling program exists to prepare, equip, and educate culturally competent clinical mental health practitioners who demonstrate compassion and readiness to meet the behavioral and mental health needs of a multicultural and pluralistic society

Program Objectives

  • To develop the professional identity as a proficient professional clinical counselor.
  •  To develop a professional counselor who understands the multicultural implications of working with diverse persons in a pluralistic society.
  • To develop a professional counselor who understands the relationship of human development, the nature of persons, and the environmental impact on the individual.
  • To develop individuals with the knowledge and skills to provide appropriate intake, assessment, and treatment planning to individuals impacted by trauma, crisis, and life transitional experiences.
  •  To develop proficient professional counselors who exhibit clinical counseling skills.

Program of study and course descriptions

Fall Semester: Year 1 (12 Credits)
Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Foundational course into the profession of counseling and the various specialties. The course provides an overview of the components of counseling, including but not limited to intake, assessment, diagnosis, career, research applications, and consultation. Students will explore the roles and responsibilities of clinical mental health counselors as well as the other professionals of the mental health field. (3 credit hours)
Pre-Practicum
Foundational course for the development of counseling skills, techniques, and applications. This course prepares students in the use of the skills though role-playing, videotaping, and observation and assessment of performances. (3 credit hours)
Counseling Theories
Overview of the theories and approaches used in the profession of counseling. Through role-playing, theory application, and scenarios, students will lay the foundation towards the development of a personal theoretical approach to counseling. (3 credit hours)
Human Growth and Development
In depth examination of the areas of development of humans, including normal and abnormal developments. The use of movies, books, and personal stories will assist in the application and understanding to better connect the theories to counseling.  (3 credit hours)
Spring Semester: Year 1 (12 Credits)
Group Theory and Process
Addresses the dynamics of group and the theories of group. Includes training in group facilitation, identifying types of group, the stages of group, and the development of group curriculum. Requires participation in group leadership and membership as group participant.  (3 credit hours)
Psychological Tests and Assessments
Provides a framework for the understanding of the various types and approaches to assessments and evaluation. Includes hands-on experience in the administration of various assessments and screening tools, interpretation and disclosure of results, and eligibility for the use of tests and assessments. (3 credit hours)
Professional Orientation and Ethics
Provides for an orientation to the ethical standards of various governing bodies, including the Kentucky Board of Professional Counseling. Includes models of ethical decision making, introduction and application of the ethical principles, and licensing requirements and procedures. (3 credit hours)
Career and Lifestyle Development
An examination of the major theories related to career selection and development. Students will explore the life factors which influence career choices, the use of various career tools, and the interrelatedness of mental health, disabilities, gender, and career.  (3 credit hours)
Summer Semester: Year 1 (12 Credits)
Clinical Diagnosis and Treatment
The focus on a sound development of sound diagnosis and treatment of mental health disorders and illnesses that includes the use of the DSM-5. Students will examine various treatment approaches and planning. (3 credit hours)
Psychopharmacology
Provides a study in the effects of medications and drugs and their impact on the behavior and mental health of individuals. Students will examine the various prescribing medications in the treatment of behavioral health. (3 credit hours)
Practicum
Initial clinical supervised field experience with a focus on the development of clinical skills. Students will synthesize counseling skills, techniques, and theory in field placement working with clients in individual and group counseling sessions. The course requires attendance in a seminar style course that includes discussion, case presentations, and instructor trainings. (3 credit hours)
Multicultural Counseling
An exploration into the impact of culture in the counseling arena. Through movies, documentaries, books, and articles, students will conduct self-examination as to their multicultural competency, personal biases, and cultural identity development.  (3 credit hours)
Fall Semester: Year 2 (12 Credits)
Internship I
Clinically supervised field experience with a broader focus of the experiences of a professional counselor. Students will be exposed to the day to day activities of a professional counselor, to include but not limited to clinical work with actual clients in individual and group counseling sessions. The course requires attendance in a seminar style course that includes case discussions, presentations, and experiential activities. (3 credit hours)
Counseling Children and Adolescents
A theory and skill developing course that includes an examination of the challenges and difficulties of children and adolescents. Students will be exposed to the various strategies and approaches that includes work with at risk youth. (3 credit hours)
Addictions Counseling
An examination in the assessment and treatment of substance abuse and the various addictions disorders, including but not limited to sexual, relationship, eating, and gambling. Includes the etiology of addictions, identification, and co-occurring disorders in various settings and populations. (3 credit hours)
Family Therapy
Introduction into the historical development and conceptualization of family roles, dynamics, and issues of families. Provides for the examination and assessment of family issues using role-play, video observation, movies, and assessment tools. (3 credit hours)
Spring Semester: Year 2 (12 Credits)
Internship II
Clinically supervised field experience with a broader focus of the experiences of a professional counselor. Students will be exposed to the day to day activities of a professional counselor, to include but not limited to clinical work with actual clients in individual and group session. The course requires attendance in a seminar style course that includes case discussions, presentations, and experiential activities. (3 credit hours)
Fundamentals of Research
The role of research in counseling is an essential component in the use of empirically based techniques and interventions. Includes basic statistics and interpretation, research methodology, and procedures, and understanding research results. (3 credit hours)
Crisis Counseling
Overview of the models of crisis intervention, the types of crisis, and treatment modalities will be examined. Course includes discussions of traumatizing life events, such as rape, death, and nature events. (3 credit hours)
Advocacy
The nature and need of advocacy that includes, self-advocacy, advocacy on behalf of the counseling profession, and advocacy for clients. Students will complete an advocacy project as part of the requirements for this course. (3 credit hours)