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Graduate Counseling Blog

Updated degree program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Exciting news from the Graduate Counseling Department! Beginning with the fall 2014 semester, we will be offering a Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. This degree option will replace the Community Counseling degree and emphasis for all incoming students, and you can elect to adjust your degree plan accordingly if you desire.

You may be asking, “Why the change?”  

  1. Within the counseling profession, there has been a strong desire to show that counselors are well-trained and equipped to work in settings and with problems that might be considered more “clinically intensive.” In order to do this, some counselor training programs are changing the title of their Community Counseling degree to Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) while also adjusting their courses to show that their graduates have clear preparation and training for a wide range of work. Evidence of this growing trend towards focusing on “clinical mental health counseling” has been seen in several areas, such as (a) the proposed 2016 CACREP Standards, which had adopted the language of “Clinical Mental Health Counseling,” (b) some states now require licensure applicants to pass the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Exam (NCMHCE) and expect additional specific courses related to clinical mental health, and (c) the branches of the military have shown preference for utilizing services of MFTs and CMHCs.
  2. Faculty in the JBU Graduate Counseling department decided that being “ahead of the curve” and making this change now would not only keep pace with the trends in the profession, but would also continue to demonstrate that graduates from our program consistently meet and exceed what will be expected of them, regardless of the preferred setting, population, issue, or location where they may practice.

So how does this affect you? Students who are currently under another catalog will be allowed to graduate with the Community Counseling degree or emphasis in Community Counseling if they have met the requirements of the catalog when they entered the program. If they prefer to change their degree plan, current students will be given the option of meeting the requirements of the MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree and therefore having the diploma reflect the new degree instead of the Community Counseling degree.

So what does the Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree look like? CMHC places greater emphasis on clinical assessment and case management than the community counseling degree. The new CMHC degree will include new courses that are unique to this degree and will provide a distinctive specialization from the MFT and School Counseling degrees.The requirements for the degree will be a total of 64 semester hours. New courses include:

  • Introduction to Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • Crisis Counseling
  • Addictions
  • A second semester of internship (the Community Counseling degree required two semesters of practicum and only one semester of internship)

We are also changing the Advanced Psychopathology course to include a case management component. The new course title will be Diagnosis and Case Management. 

We hope that you find this information beneficial. The JBU website contains more information about each degree option. After viewing the website, if you have any additional questions, we strongly encourage you to talk with your advisor. 

John CarmackJohn Carmack, PhD, LMFT-S, LPC-S
Program Director

Blog HomePosted By: Dr John Carmack at 5:50 PM