The Department of Counselor Education offers a 60 credit hour program (20 courses) leading to the Master of Arts Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC). This degree fulfills the educational requirements for the two levels of licensure as professional counselors in the State of Illinois: Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC).
The Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Find out more information at Counselor Education’s accreditation, licensure, and credentialing.
Clinical mental health counselors are employed in settings such as community mental health agencies, substance abuse treatment centers, hospitals, employee assistance programs, counseling clinics, crisis and trauma centers, court services, university counseling centers, private practice/group practice, and business and industry.
Many students in our program have their original degrees and experience in all fields of business, education, medicine, social work, law, religion, the arts, computer technology, engineering, math and science, and other diverse fields. A number of these students have advanced degrees at the master’s and doctoral levels.
Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program Goals and Objectives
The Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) program at Northeastern Illinois University prepares students for employment as counselors to work with diverse clients presenting with a wide array of clinical issues in a variety of mental health counseling settings, such as mental health centers, community counseling agencies, chemical dependency programs, hospitals, clinics, crisis centers, court services, private practice, and industry settings. Students in the CMHC program will learn how to provide empirically supported interventions with clients within a variety of theoretical contexts. The program delivers a comprehensive academic curriculum and supervised clinical experiences that integrates the standards of the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) and meets the requirements for the two levels of licensure as professional counselors in the State of Illinois: Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC).
Students in the CMHC program will demonstrate the following knowledge bases and skill sets which will equip them in the role of effective clinical mental health counselors:
- History and professional identity development of clinical mental health counseling.
- Theories, principles, and models of counseling which integrates developmentally appropriate, biopsychosocial, neurobiological, and psychological assessment, treatment planning and case conceptualization.
- Application of essential counseling skills that embrace diverse theoretical perspectives.
- Cultural considerations relevant to all aspects of clinical mental health counseling.
- Knowledge of various mental health service delivery models and of etiology, diagnostic process, and screening for substance use and co-occurring disorders.
- Impact of crisis and trauma on individuals with mental health diagnosis.
- Commonly prescribed psychopharmacological medications and appropriate assessment for referral and consultation.
- Awareness of legislation policy, advocacy, professional organizations, legal and ethical considerations of mental health counseling.
- Assessment, diagnosis, treatment planning, intervention, evaluation, follow-up, and overall management of caseload.
- Application of individual and group counseling skills and intervention techniques for both prevention and treatment of a broad range of mental health issues.
- Management of practice, such as record keeping and third party reimbursement.
Curriculum in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, M.A.
The courses required to complete the CMHC program are listed below:
Foundation Counseling Courses:
- COUN 401 Professional Orientation & Legal/Ethical Practices (3 cr)
- COUN 402 Developmental Counseling (3 cr)
- COUN 403 Theories of Counseling (3 cr)
- COUN 404 Assessment & Evaluation in Counseling (3 cr)
- COUN 405 Individual Counseling Skills (3 cr)
- COUN 406 Group Counseling (3 cr)
- COUN 408 Research Seminar (3 cr)
- COUN 409 Career Development (3 cr)
- COUN 415 Children & Youth in School & Family Systems (3 cr)
- COUN 420 Introduction to Family Counseling (3 cr)
- COUN 425 Addictions Counseling (3 cr)
- COUN 427 Diagnostic Systems for Counseling (3 cr)
- COUN 430 Social & Cultural Diversity in Counseling (3 cr)
Clinical Mental Health Counseling Courses:
- COUN 407 Advanced Clinical Mental Health Counseling (3 cr)
- COUN 429 Psychopharmacology
- COUN 438 Crisis & Trauma Counseling (3 cr)
- COUN 439 Case Conceptualization & Treatment Planning (3 cr)
- COUN 444 Practicum: Group Supervision in Clinical Mental Health Counseling** (3 cr)
- COUN 464 Internship I: Clinical Mental Health Counseling** (3 cr)
- COUN 474 Internship II: Clinical Mental Health Counseling** (3 cr)
Clinical Experience (Practicum and Internship)**
Practicum and Internship consists of 700 hours of documented field-related experience, of which 280 hours of face-to-face counseling is required. COUN 444 Practicum: Group Supervision in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is a 100-hour, field-based experience requiring a minimum of 40 hours of direct contact with clients. COUN 464 Internship I:Clinical Mental Health Counseling and COUN 474 Internship II: Clinical Mental Health Counseling together consist of a 600-hour, field-based experience requiring a minimum of 240 hours of clinical contact with clients. Practicum is taken in the fall semester. Internship I is taken in the spring semester, and Internship II is taken in the summer semester.
Departmental Proficiency Examination (DPE)
All Counselor Education students are required to pass a comprehensive departmental proficiency examination (DPE) prior to graduation. This exam is offered annually in February, June and October.