In this course, students gain an understanding of the foundations of clinical mental health counseling, the people served, and the history and current state of public and private systems of care. One focus is an understanding of co-occurring mental health and addictive disorders, across the lifespan, and their impact on the lives of people diagnosed with these disabling conditions. This course also provides an overview of emerging issues in mental health counseling, policy and practice in behavioral health and integrated health care; current approaches to prevention, comprehensive treatment and support; the impact of managed care; community-building, education, advocacy, and systems change. Topics are addressed from multiple perspectives, with a strong emphasis on the perspective of service recipients and their families; as well as service providers, policy makers; and the community at large.
Students gain an understanding of the clinical mental health counseling process, from engagement to assessment, intervention, and evaluation. The focus is on the development of culturally relevant communication and consultation skills, in the context of major counseling theories. Skills are practiced in relation to working with individuals with significant mental health and substance abuse problems, their families, and other professionals. Areas covered include: ethical considerations, values clarification; evidence-based helping strategies; working with natural supports.
Students complete a 100-hour practicum, divided into two sections. The seminar involves skills based practice, primarily in the areas of introductory counseling skills, self reflection and diagnosis and assessment. The field experience consists of at least 40 hours of direct service to actual clients.
This course focuses on person-centered, recovery-oriented treatment planning, for clinical mental health and addictions counselors. It includes an understanding of the diagnosis and assessment process and how an understanding of mental health and addictive disorders influences the treatment planning process. It also addresses an individualized, strength-based approach, understanding and outreach to natural supports and community resources, and the importance of communication, documentation, and personal and community involvement in designing effective approaches to prevention, treatment and support.
Students complete a 300-hour clinical internship, reflecting the comprehensive work experience of a clinical mental health or professional counselor, in a relevant program or agency, under the supervision of a qualified field instructor. The field experience includes a minimum of 130 hours of direct service to actual clients, but more is recommended. A learning contract is developed by the student with the internship supervisor. PCMH faculty provide supervision for the internship process, individual and group instruction for the students, and serve as liaison to the internship sites. Offered on a pass/fail basis only.
This course provides an overview of standard assessment and diagnostic methods in mental health counseling, which includes the classification, description and differential diagnosis of mental health and substance use disorders. Students will develop the capacity to use a systematic inquiry process for obtaining and evaluating important and accurate information during assessment. Students will gain a practical, working knowledge of the DSM-5, as well as skills to assess strengths, mental status, and trauma. The role of hypothesis formulation and hypothesis testing will be considered, along with the etiology and treatment indications for various disorders. Ethical, cultural and other issues and biases related to assessment and psychopathology are discussed.
Take two courses from one of the specializations below:
Children, Youth and Families Specialization
This course is focused on commonly used treatment modalities with children, adolescents, and families, that can be used in a variety of settings. An emphasis is placed on understanding family systems and family-based approaches. Treatment modalities include: Behavior and Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, and Narrative Therapy. Students will learn the theoretical framework and assumptions for each approach, therapeutic techniques associated with each intervention, how each therapeutic approach can be used for specific mental health (i.e. depression, anxiety, ADHD, conduct disorders) and addictive disorders, cultural and developmental considerations, and the existing research on such practices. Students will have opportunities to practice these clinical skills in class and discuss how to apply these practices with children and families in their internship settings.
This course is the second of two clinical classes on specialized interventions with children, adolescents and families. The course will offer techniques for working with children, families and the general community during times of individual, family or community crisis (mental health or health crisis, accident, death, etc.). It will focus on the youth and families in crisis in the context of the natural community and the mental health systems of care. It will review the history and theory of crisis interventions, proactive planning for individual youth before the crisis occurs or reoccurs and risk assessment strategies. Other specific topics of focus will include: intervention in complex cases, trauma-informed care, self-harm/suicide, violence, and natural or human caused disasters. Strategies for assessment, planning, and intervention will emphasize family members as partners, solution and strength based treatment planning and interventions, natural and community based supports.
This course will build a clinical and practical foundation for intervening with adults who have co-occurring mental health and addictive disorders. Essential epidemiological, etiological, assessment, and evidence-based and promising treatment modalities will be covered (e.g. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, IDDT). Topics will include integrated mental health, addictions and primary health care, family-involvement, involuntary interventions, and treatment modalities for young adults.
This course is the second of two clinical classes on specialized interventions with adults. This course will integrate empirical and functional aspects of the therapeutic process when intervening with individuals who have co-occurring mental health and addictive disorders. Students will learn to employ core clinical interventions and treatment modalities for people with complex issues, including Dialectical Behavior Therapy and other specialized approaches. The course also will offer techniques for working with people during times of individual, family or community crisis (mental health or health crisis, accident, death, etc.). The complexity and heterogeneity of co-occurring disorders will be closely examined. There will be a special emphasis on how an individual's experience of trauma complicates clinical work. Unique ethical and boundary issues will be addressed.
Tuition rates for SNHU's online degree programs are among the lowest in the nation. We offer a 30 percent tuition discount for active-duty service members and their spouses.
Application Fee ($40), Graduation Fee ($150), Books (course-by-course)