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Clinical Mental Health Counseling Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

School of Counseling and Human Services

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Residency Requirement(s):

Two six-day residencies. See university policy 3.04.05 Attendance at Residencies, the Residencies page on Campus, and the Residency section, below, for more information. Also see each graduate school’s residency courses.

Practicum/Internship Requirement(s):

Minimum of 100 practicum hours and 600 internship hours. See the Practicum/Internship Experience section, below, for more information.

 

 

Twenty-Two Required Courses

 

 

90 quarter credits

Core courses:

COUN5004
Survey of Research in Human Development for Professional Counselors

Learners in this course examine theories of lifespan development and behavior from a counseling perspective. Learners describe effective approaches in counseling, evaluate its historical and philosophical relevance to current practice, and apply theories and practices to advocate for diverse clientele. Must be taken during the first quarter by learners who have been admitted to the MS in Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy, MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and MS in School Counseling degree programs and Contemporary Theory in Addictive Behavior, Contemporary Theory in Couple and Family Systems, Contemporary Theory in Mental Health Services, and Contemporary Theory in School-Based Services graduate certificate programs. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer

4 quarter credits
COUN5006
Survey of Research Methodology

This course provides an overview of graduate-level approaches to research methodology. Learners study quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-method approaches to counseling research and program evaluation.

4 quarter credits
COUN5106
Assessment, Tests, and Measures

Learners in this course examine the assessment process and how tests and measures are used in counseling. Learners also explore the evolution of assessment methods, testing strategies and interpretation, and fundamental measurement constructs.

4 quarter credits
COUN5107 *
Principles of Psychopathology and Diagnosis

Learners in this course examine psychopathology principles, professional literature, and current issues associated with assessing mental disorders. Learners critically evaluate diagnostic models, methods, and approaches used in diagnosing and treating individuals, couples, and families. Learners also explore the current DSM classifications and diagnostic issues associated with multicultural populations. Prerequisite(s): MS Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy learners must have completed COUN5220, COUN5270, COUN5820, COUN-R5821. MS Clinical Mental Health Counseling learners must have completed COUN-R5831.

4 quarter credits
COUN5108 *
Foundations of Addiction and Addictive Behavior

This course provides learners with fundamental knowledge of addiction from its historical roots through contemporary issues. Learners examine theory and research that guides treatment for substance use disorders and related addictive behaviors, including the diagnosis and treatment of co-occurring mental health issues. In addition, learners review empirically supported interventions for individuals, families, groups, and diverse populations, as well as emerging issues in the field based upon current research. Prerequisite(s): MS Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy learners must have completed COUN-R5821. MS Clinical Mental Health Counseling learners must have completed COUN-R5831. 

4 quarter credits
COUN5217
Ethical and Legal Issues in Professional Counseling

In this course, learners evaluate current legal and ethical guidelines used in the counseling profession. Learners apply decision-making models and formulate effective collaboration strategies used to resolve legal and ethical issues that arise when working with children, adults, couples, and families. Learners also analyze how personal belief systems influence counselors’ responses to those issues. 

4 quarter credits
COUN5223
Introduction to Clinical Mental Health Counseling

This course is an introduction to current practices and trends in the clinical mental health counseling profession. Learners analyze the effects of current issues and public policy on the practice of clinical mental health counseling. Learners examine professional counselors’ roles in a variety of health service delivery modalities within the continuum of care. In addition, learners review models and strategies of professional consultation and supervision.

4 quarter credits
COUN5225
Human Sexuality

Learners in this course study sexuality within the broad context of human experience. Learners examine a systemic psychosexual approach to development across the lifespan and evaluate the functionality of sexual behavior in individuals, couples, and families. In addition, learners explore theory, assessment, treatments, and interventions for various issues associated with sexuality, as well as sexuality-related concerns of diverse populations. Throughout the course, learners are challenged to expand personal awareness of limitations and biases that could impact the therapeutic relationship.

4 quarter credits
COUN5238
Crisis Assessment and Intervention

This course presents crisis intervention and emergency management models and strategies used in the counseling field. Learners focus on developing the crisis intervention skills needed to provide counseling services in mental health settings in a timely, effective, and ethical manner. Learners also explore other related topics, including working with situational crises, assessing suicide and other risks, and supporting the implementation of emergency management plans.

4 quarter credits
COUN5239
Theories of Psychotherapy

This course presents various theories of psychotherapy and their respective philosophical principles and assumptions. Learners evaluate the theoretical concepts and evidence-based practices of psychotherapy and examine appropriate application of theories and interventions to a diverse client population. 

4 quarter credits
COUN5254
Child and Adolescent Counseling

This course presents major theories and research of adolescent and child development. Learners examine biological and psychosocial development factors and evaluate the influence of family, community, society, and trauma on development. 

4 quarter credits
COUN5271
Marriage and Family Systems

Learners in this course study families as systems from theoretical, clinical, and research perspectives. The course emphasizes family development, transitions, assessment, and intervention, including consideration for diversity and sociocultural factors. Learners also apply systems-oriented assessment models and strategies for initial interviews, hypothesis formulation, and designing a strategy for intervention.

4 quarter credits
COUN5279
Life Planning and Career Development

In this course, learners develop foundational knowledge and skills applicable to career counseling and development. Learners analyze theoretical models of career development as they relate to client interests, aptitudes, personalities, traits, values, and work preferences. In addition, learners explore the ways in which social interests, family relationships, cultural facets, and developmental factors and circumstances resulting from life transitions relate to career development across the lifespan. Learners also discuss legal and ethical issues associated with career counseling practice.

4 quarter credits
COUN5336
Counseling and Advocacy with Diverse Populations

This course introduces theory, research, and models that inform ethical and culturally competent counseling, as well as social justice advocacy, in a variety of settings. Learners assess how biopsychosocial characteristics and concerns of diverse populations impact access to and utilization of community-based resources, optimal development across the lifespan, and equity. Learners also present strategies to address the influence that their own heritage, attitudes, beliefs, and acculturative experiences has on the counseling process. In addition, learners identify effective counseling and advocacy strategies with diverse individuals, couples, families, and groups, and explore the role of the counselor and advocate in promoting social justice at multiple levels.

4 quarter credits
COUN5830 *
Mental Health Counseling Approaches and Interventions

This course cultivates foundational concepts and relationship-building skills, while integrating introductory application of assessment, therapeutic interventions, and ethical and legal standards. Learners apply theories, methods, and practices of clinical mental health counseling. COUN-R5831 must be taken the quarter immediately following COUN5830. Prerequisite(s): COUN5004, COUN5217, COUN5223, COUN5239, COUN5336.

4 quarter credits
COUN5832 *
Group Counseling and Applications in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

This course presents group theoretical models and developing interventions. Topics include types of groups, developmental aspects of group counseling, group dynamics and processes, group leadership and membership roles, and ethical awareness in relation to groups. Learners continue to integrate mental health counseling theories and methods within clinical practice. COUN-R5833 must be taken the quarter immediately following COUN5832. Prerequisite(s): COUN-R5831, COUN5106, COUN5107, COUN5108, COUN5238. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
COUN6965 *
Applied Research and Program Evaluation in Mental Health Counseling

In this course, learners demonstrate proficiency in mental health counseling by applying learning from required courses to create a program evaluation proposal in which they examine a theory-based mental health application. Learners select appropriate research methods to assess client needs and evaluate outcomes in counseling interventions and programs. Learners also demonstrate their understanding of using ethical and culturally relevant strategies for conducting, interpreting, and reporting results. Prerequisite(s): COUN5006, COUN5106, COUN5223, COUN5832, COUN-R5831. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits

All academic courses listed below include specific residency or clinical experiences. Learners must complete prerequisites and residency and clinical experience requirements to be eligible to complete each course in the sequence.

COUN-R5831 *
Advanced Mental Health Counseling Approaches and Interventions: Residency Track 1

The first residency includes an online courseroom and a residency experience. Learners engage in preparatory online courseroom activities to prepare themselves for the residency experience. During the face-to-face residency experience, learners focus on developing clinical mental health counseling skills, including building therapeutic relationships, performing initial assessments, identifying cultural diversity considerations, and applying ethical and legal standards of practice. The residency experience guides learners as they integrate mental health counseling skills and develop an understanding of the treatment planning process. Learners then engage in post-residency online courseroom activities to assess knowledge gained. This course requires travel. COUN-R5831 must be taken the quarter immediately following COUN5830. Prerequisite(s): COUN5004, COUN5217, COUN5223, COUN5239, COUN5336, COUN5830. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
COUN-R5833 *
Advanced Group Counseling and Clinical Applications in Mental Health Counseling: Residency Track 2

The second residency includes an online courseroom and a residency experience. Learners engage in preparatory online courseroom activities to prepare themselves for the residency experience. During the face-to-face residency experience, learners integrate mental health counseling theories and methods for clinical practice. Learners further develop clinical mental health counseling skills, maintain therapeutic relationships, and apply theory to individual and group therapy modalities. In addition, learners conduct risk assessments and develop interventions. The residency provides 10 hours of group therapy experience. Learners also engage in post-residency online courseroom activities to assess knowledge gained.  This course requires travel. COUN-R5833 must be taken the quarter immediately following COUN5832. Prerequisite(s): COUN5106; COUN5107; COUN5108; COUN5238; COUN5830 and COUN-R5831, or COUN5930 and COUN-R5930; COUN5832. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer. 

4 quarter credits
COUN6302 *
Mental Health Counseling Clinical Practicum

The clinical practicum is an online-directed, supervised field experience in a mental health counseling field setting during which learners practice specific clinical skills, including interviewing, assessment, intervention, documentation, and consultation. Learners use fundamental communication and interviewing principles and perform initial assessments with individuals, couples, and/or families. This course requires 100 hours of clinical field experience, which must consist of no less than 40 hours of direct client contact, and no less than 12 hours of face-to-face contact with field supervisors. Learners also meet weekly via web conferencing for synchronous group supervision meetings with their course instructor. Grading for this course is S/NS. It is the learner’s responsibility to research and comply with the specific clinical experience requirements of their states. Prerequisite(s): COUN5006, COUN5106, COUN5225, COUN5254, COUN5271, COUN5279, COUN-R5831, COUN-R5833, completion of or concurrent registration in COUN6965  with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

4 quarter credits
COUN6321 *
Mental Health Counseling Clinical Internship 1

This is the first course in a sequence of two clinical internship courses during which learners fulfill 600 total required contact hours in a mental health counseling setting. Of the 600 total hours, learners must complete 240 hours of direct client contact and a minimum of 24 hours of face-to-face contact with field supervisors. Learners also meet weekly via web conferencing for synchronous group supervision meetings with their course instructor. The internship consists of a courseroom experience accompanied by supervised experience in a mental health counseling field setting and provides learners with specific clinical skills in interviewing, assessment, intervention, documentation, and consultation with individuals, couples, and/or families. The focus of the internship is on learner professional development and the application of counseling skills under the supervision of site and faculty supervisors. Grading for this course is S/NS. It is the learner’s responsibility to research and comply with the specific clinical experience requirements of their states. Prerequisite(s): COUN6301 or COUN6302; COUN6965 with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

5 quarter credits
COUN6322 *
Mental Health Counseling Clinical Internship 2

This is the second course in a sequence of two clinical internship courses during which learners fulfill 600 total required contact hours. Of the 600 total hours, learners must complete 240 hours of direct client contact and a minimum of 24 hours of face-to-face contact with field supervisors. Learners also meet weekly via web conferencing for synchronous group supervision meetings with their course instructor. COUN6322 consists of an online courseroom experience accompanied by supervised experience in a mental health counseling field setting and serves as the capstone course for the MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. It provides learners with specific clinical skills in interviewing, assessment, intervention, documentation, and consultation with individuals, couples, and/or families. The focus of the internship is on learner professional development, including career preparation, and the application of counseling skills under the supervision of site and faculty supervisors. Upon successful completion of the internship, learners are prepared to transition into roles as professional counselors who make active contributions to the field. Grading for this course is S/NS. It is the learner’s responsibility to research and comply with the specific clinical experience requirements of their states. Prerequisite(s): COUN6321 with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

5 quarter credits

 

 

Total

 

 

90 quarter credits

 

* Denotes courses that have prerequisite(s). Refer to the descriptions for further details.

Capella University cannot guarantee licensure, endorsement, other professional credential, or salary advancement. State licensing regulations and professional standards vary; learners are responsible for understanding and complying with the requirements of the state in which they intend to work. For more information, see the Licensure section for this program on Capella’s website (www.capella.edu).

 
Residency

The residency requirement for the Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree program is satisfied by the completion of two online courses, each consisting of a six-day residency (COUN-R5831 and COUN-R5833). Learners must have completed the residency requirement prior to starting their practicum (COUN6302) or final integrative project (COUN6965). Each residency experience for the Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree program requires learners to receive a minimum of 40 total hours of training and practice in the areas of counseling theory and intervention, assessment, multicultural issues, legal and ethical issues, group counseling, and advanced counseling/therapy. Through the counseling residencies, learners gain a stronger sense of academic community by networking and discussing concepts and issues in the field of professional counseling. This experience provides a learning environment that fosters the application of critical thinking and integrated knowledge to professional issues.

Practicum/Internship Experience

Learners enrolled in the Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree program complete supervised onsite counseling experiences as a requirement of their program. The practicum and internship experiences consist of the following online courses and supervised field work:

The practicum (COUN6302) is an online course that requires completion of 100 hours of supervised counseling experience performed at an approved fieldwork site. Learners apply the skills developed throughout the course of their program while working in a school, clinic, agency, or other setting that provides counseling services.

The internships (COUN6321 and COUN6322) are two online courses that require 600 total hours of experience completed under supervision at an approved fieldwork site. Learners may register for a third or fourth internship course (COUN6333 and COUN6334) should they need additional time or need to meet additional requirements for state licensure. The internships include a more intensive experience at the fieldwork site where learners continue to demonstrate the counseling competencies and proficiencies required in their program.

Learners should consult the Counselor Education Fieldwork Manual for a full description of the practicum/internship experience and all fieldwork requirements.

Online Masters in Mental Health Counseling Degree | Courses - Capella University

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Online Masters in Mental Health Counseling Degree | Courses - Capella University

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