The Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program educates students to become professional counselors prepared to meet the needs of diverse populations in South Texas and in the nation. Course work and clinical experiences help students formulate their personal approach to counseling, while allowing them the opportunity to demonstrate personal growth and development for enriching careers as counselors.
The program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education.
The master’s program provides personal attention to students as they prepare to become successful, licensed professional counselors who help clients with a variety of problems and circumstances, including normal developmental issues, such as identity development, aging, grief and loss; career issues, such as unemployment and underemployment; social issues, such as family and community violence; interpersonal issues, such as marriage preparation, separation, and divorce; and mental health disorders, such as anxiety and depression. Students are trained to work respectfully with clients of all ages and from all cultural, economic, religious and family backgrounds. The degree plan is structured for either full- or part-time study, and includes several semesters of clinical experience.
The Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program meets the education requirements for licensure by the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors. Upon graduation, students are prepared to work in institutions and agencies offering counseling services, including alcohol and drug treatment facilities, social service agencies and hospitals. After the post graduation supervised experience required for full licensure, many graduates pursue private practice. Some graduates continue their education by enrolling in a doctoral program that prepares them to train and supervise counselors.
Clinical mental health counselors have the ability to implement education, preventive and remedial programs.
The academic requirements for licensure as a Professional Counselor in the state of Texas can be met by completion of the program. Students desiring licensure in another state should ask the graduate program director to design their degree plan to ensure that they meet the academic requirements for licensure in that state.
Students can pursue the following degree option:
For information about candidacy, comprehensive exams or thesis requirements, contact Melanie Harper, Program Director, at email@example.com.
Objective 1: Professional Identity – a successive understanding of the professional counselors’ integrated roles related to the management and oversight of ethically sound clinical services in a variety of community contexts and clinical settings.
Objective 2: Counseling, Prevention and Intervention – knowledge and practices regarding a systematic approach to creating and maintaining collaborative service plans and advocacy needs in response to diverse community, wellness and mental health issues and crises.
Objective 3: Diversity and Advocacy – understanding of the ways in which privilege and oppression operate in relational and socio-political cultural contexts and impact therapeutic relationships, theoretical modalities, community resources (or a lack of) and advocacy needs.
Objective 4: Assessment – ability to create and obtain culturally sensitive and competent case conceptualizations and biosocial and mental health histories and to utilize and interpret assessments in ways that insure treatment interventions (including referrals, counseling and psychotropic medication considerations) are consistent with clients’ respective developmental contexts.
Objective 5: Research and Evaluation – Use of research techniques including: identifying and applying cutting edge, outcomes-based treatment modalities relevant to their clinical practice and evaluating the effectiveness of counseling interventions and programs.
Objective 6: Diagnosis – understanding and working knowledge of mental health diagnoses, diagnostic criteria and diagnostic tools and their relevance in relation to clients’ health, psychosocial stressors and crises and how to collaborate with other mental health professionals in the interest of clients in a variety of contexts and circumstances.