Answer the call to improve mental health when you earn your online Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Southern New Hampshire University. Develop relationship skills that allow clients to find comfort in your guidance as you lead them on the path of wellness. Learn the helping skills to be able to effectively work with clients experiencing a range of emotional and behavioral problems, from issues in child development to trauma, addiction and major mental illness.
Our 60-credit online master's in counseling includes two required face-to-face residencies that help strengthen your skills in the workforce. And because the program is designed to lead you on the path to licensure as a clinical mental health counselor, it is aligned to meet the standards of the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).
SNHU's MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is not currently accredited by CACREP.
More than 43 million American adults deal with mental illness issues each year, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). As you work toward becoming a clinical mental health counselor, these clients will benefit from the skills and compassion you have to offer. Learn how to engage with a variety of clients to support them as they strive for mental wellness and stability.
Throughout our online master's in counseling program, you'll:
As a private, nonprofit university, SNHU has one mission - to help you see yourself succeed. The benefits of earning your online master's in counseling at SNHU include:
Acceptance decisions are made on a rolling basis throughout the year for our five graduate terms. You can apply at any time and get a decision within days of submitting all required materials. To apply, simply contact an admission counselor, who can help you explore financial options. Your admission counselor can also walk you through the application process, which involves completing a graduate application ($40 fee) and providing undergraduate transcripts.
Additional requirements for this program include a personal statement, two letters of recommendation, and a form acknowledging awareness of both the program requirements and the state licensure requirements applicable to you.
Earning your online master's in counseling is your first step in the path toward licensure as a clinical mental health counselor. The online master's degree in clinical mental health counseling at SNHU is designed to prepare you for post-graduate fieldwork and to pass the exams necessary for licensing and entry into the counseling profession.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 19 percent growth for mental health counselors from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average of all jobs.* Career roles may include licensed professional counselor, licensed professional clinical counselor and licensed clinical mental health counselor.
The Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling offered by Southern New Hampshire University is designed to prepare students to meet the educational requirements for licensure in most states.
SNHU's MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree does not currently meet the requirements for licensure in Arizona, Kansas, Missouri, New Jersey, Ohio and Wisconsin. We are not enrolling students from these states at this time.
It is a student's responsibility to understand the specific requirements of the state in which they intend to apply for licensure and to be aware of any changes to those requirements. If they move to another state, the requirements for licensure will likely be different from the state where they currently reside, and they are responsible for determining the licensure requirements in the state to which they relocate. The American Counseling Association provides a directory of all state professional counselor licensure boards.
In addition to the 60 required academic credits, students must attend two five-day residencies, either in New Hampshire or in additional locations that may be named later. They must also complete at least a 100-hour practicum and two 300-hour internships during the program (some states require additional hours for licensure). In those states where additional practicum and/or internship hours or coursework is required, SNHU will work with students to obtain the additional hours and will make electives available to fulfill additional course requirements wherever possible.
SNHU does not guarantee that the completion of this program will result in state licensure or certification: In addition to successfully completing the educational requirements, students will need to meet other state licensure requirements. Students are responsible for understanding if a background check is required to apply for licensure and for determining if their own circumstances pose any barriers to licensure.
With our 60-credit master's in mental health counseling, you'll immerse yourself in development theory and treatment plans through the guidance of our experienced faculty - licensed counselors with national reputations. Coursework dives into understanding disorders, group dynamics, career assessments, addiction counseling and diverse populations.
The program emulates the profession, as you'll learn by observing, listening and talking. To prepare you for the face-to-face environment that the field requires, this program features video components, two on-site residencies, a 100-hour practicum and a 600-hour internship. (Some states may require additional fieldwork hours.)
Study the historical trends that led to the establishment of counseling as a profession (as distinct from other helping professions), the impact of the profession on society, and the importance of ethical decision-making in the counseling process. Explore personal motivations for wanting to become a professional counselor and begin to articulate a personal identity as a member of the counseling profession. Essential questions addressed include, 'how am I as a counselor?', and 'what is the role of the counselor in facilitating/supporting behavior change?'
This introductory course surveys the major theories of social and emotional development throughout the life-span, including grief and loss. Emphasis is given to the developmental stages and transitions and their relevance to the counseling process.
The course addresses the theories of diversity in counseling. Students examine their assumptions and biases about cultures different from their own and explore their own sense of "otherness." Students discuss these issues with their classmates as a means for developing the ability to converse with and relate to clients with backgrounds other than their own. Student learning in this course is guided by the essential question 'how do I, as a counselor, relate to others who are different from me?'
This course surveys the major theoretical approaches used in counseling. Attention is paid to the nature of theory, and the process of building and validating theories of counseling. Students begin process of formulating their own personal theory of counseling, taking into considering how their values influence who they are as counselors and how their backgrounds may inform their client relationships. Students address essential questions such as, 'How do counselors facilitate change?', 'How does theory inform treatment?' and 'How do the theories that counselors use both clarify and limit their understanding of clients?'
This course presents the basic skills and techniques that form the foundation of the counseling process. The course includes a 5-day, in-person laboratory in which students meet with the counseling faculty for an intensive learning experience to practice and demonstrate their competence in these skills.
This course begins to prepare students to apply the principles of the scientific method to evaluate the efficacy of counseling techniques and community counseling programs. Students learn to access and critically evaluate scientific literature and apply the findings to their work with clients including making determinations/recommendations, writing proposals, and implementing plans.
In this course, students learn to identify appropriate assessments, interpret their reliability and validity, and understand how assessment fits in to the broader picture of intake, interviewing, diagnosing, and treatment. Students administer several common assessments and evaluate and interpret the results. Other topics include the role of assessment in the determination of competency to stand trial and child custody cases.
This course presents the major theories of career development. Students learn how to help clients explore issues including career choice, leisure, and retirement planning. Other topics include rehabilitation, mid-life career changes, and work-life balance. Students learn to administer several popular career interest assessments.
This course explores substance and process addictions with ethical and multicultural considerations. The course addresses scope of practice, current trends and issues related to the field of counseling, distinctions related to licensure, co-occurring disorders, and relevant assessments.
This course explores the value of and controversies involved in using medically based systems of diagnosis in the counseling profession. Students learn to make diagnoses using the DMS-5 and ICD-10 including the use of relevant standardized assessment methods and to consider client issues from alternative perspectives. Other topics include legal, ethical, and multicultural issues inherent in diagnosing clients.
This course addresses the theoretical foundations of group counseling, the stages of group development, and begins to demonstrate the dynamics of group sessions. Ethics and multicultural aspects specific to groups are addressed.
This course introduces students to various forms of crisis, trauma, and disaster that may impact the lives of clients across the lifespan, as well intervention and treatment methods that are commonly used. Students are exposed to counseling strategies for triaging immediate or recent events as well as long-term and chronic conditions that may hinder individuals and communities.
This course is an opportunity for students to demonstrate their competence in integrating and applying the knowledge and skills acquired in the curriculum in preparation for the practicum experience. The course includes a 5-day, in-person laboratory in which students will participate in a group counseling analog experience.
This course focuses on the role of the counseling profession in the variety of mental health systems, including community, state, and federal agencies, hospitals, and private-practice. Topics include HIPPA and related laws, informed consent policies, internal procedures, populations served, relevant laws and state statutes, funding, and ethical considerations counselors' role in the legal system, consultation, operationalizing a practice, grants and program evaluations. Students consider questions such as, 'where do I fit in the profession?' and "how does the counseling profession impose structure on the mental health system?'.
This course prepares students for the practicum experience by allowing them to integrate the content learned throughout the program regarding evaluation, assessment, and diagnosis. By the end of this course, students will be proficient developing treatment plans including risk assessment, goal setting, and treatment intervention strategies and with communicating treatment plans to clients.
In this course, students work with actual clients under the supervision of a licensed counselor. Students meet as a small group in a seminar-style course led by a faculty member. A minimum of 100 hours at an approved counseling site is required.
In the internship experience, students work with actual clients under the supervision of a licensed counselor. Students meet as a group in a seminar-style course led by a faculty member. A minimum of 600 hours of total internship time at an approved counseling site is required.
Note: elective choices may be partly or fully determined by state licensure requirements.
This course presents family systems theories. Students explore the interviewing and counseling techniques that are specific to working with couples and families. Related topics include custody and guardianship, parenting, and the evolving definition of family.
The course focuses on the knowledge that counselors should possess regarding psychiatric medications. Including the major classes of medications currently in use, drug interactions, and educating clients to understand their medications. Topic include the impact and use of medications (including efficacy and misuse), the counselor's role in medically prescribed drugs including referring and collaborating with prescribing professionals.
This course serves as a survey of the primary issues related to counseling matters of sexuality, including the culture of sexuality (history and evolution), biological aspects, ethical issues, stigma, and the relevant special issues (suicide, gender identity, transgender, etc.). Potential assessments include role-plays and an interview of someone of another sexual orientation or gender identity.
This course continues the exploration of the field of psychopathology. Topics covered include historical perspectives, research methodology, and how culture influences definitions of normalcy and psychopathology. There is an emphasis on increasing students' understanding of clinical issues and current research related to altered development and maladaptive behaviors. Students are required to view cases from a variety of therapeutic perspectives and be able to compare and contrast different theoretical perspectives on each disorder and develop the ability to support these theoretical perspectives through empirical research.
This elective course is for students who need or wish to complete additional Internship hours beyond the 600 hours required. In the internship experience, students work with actual clients under the supervision of a licensed counselor. Students meet in a group in a seminar-style course led by a faculty member.
Tuition rates for SNHU's online degree programs are among the lowest in the nation. We offer a 25 percent tuition discount for active-duty service members and their spouses.
Application Fee ($40), Graduation Fee ($150), Books (course by course), Travel and Lodging for Residencies (varies).
Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges as well as several other accrediting bodies. More...
*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, on the Internet at Mental Health Counselors and Marriage and Family Therapists (viewed online October 24, 2016). Cited projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.