Earn Your Master’s Degree (MS) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Mental health counselors enter the field because they feel called to help others overcome obstacles and reach their full potential. If you feel that God has called you to serve those who are struggling with psychological, social or behavioral issues, you can earn your Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Grand Canyon University. A master’s degree is a required stepping stone toward licensure in all 50 states.
This clinical mental health counseling Master of Science degree is offered by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. It is an intensive survey of the evidence-based theories and practical applications of counseling, including the development of preventive, interventional and rehabilitative plans. Students are encouraged to develop a greater awareness of social and cultural trends, which can guide the counselor-client relationship. There is an emphasis on the role of ethics within the counseling profession. Students examine legal and professional standards, and think critically about current ethical issues that they may encounter in future practice as a mental health counselor.
GCU’s mental health counseling graduate program was designed to meet the academic requirements of the National Board for Certified Counselors for the National Certified Counselor (NCC) credential, the Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor (CCMHC) credential and the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners.
Study How to Help Others Maintain Healthy Lives
Effective mental health counselors are strong communicators, active listeners and empathetic, compassionate people who are able to make genuine connections with their clients. In this degree program, you will explore the client-counselor relationship and learn to establish appropriate boundaries. You will learn how to evaluate scientific research and apply evidence-based information to your practice. All MS in clinical mental health counseling students also complete the Career Counseling course, which provides a broad understanding of career development and decisions as a mental health counselor.
Additionally, in courses such as Substance Use Disorders and Addictions, Counseling the Culturally Diverse and Group Counseling, students will study these key topic areas:
- The stages, processes and effects of substance use disorders, including the social and psychological dynamics of these disorders
- Theories of multicultural counseling and identity development
- Group counseling dynamics, theories and ethical standards
- Scientifically sound assessment procedures for determining a client’s mental or emotional status
- The basic principles of psychopharmacology and the effects of psychoactive substances
All future mental health counselors will complete the Counseling Practicum and two internship experiences. These provide hands-on, supervised experience in the field.
Pursue a Future in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with a Master of Science Degree
Earning a master’s degree in counseling prepares students to pursue a meaningful and impactful career helping others reach their full potential. As a future mental health counselor, you could devote your practice to helping clients affected by substance abuse, trauma or depression. Many mental health counselors practice in hospitals, clinics and private practices. Others work in community-based organizations, social service agencies and nonprofit entities. Some decide to practice telemedicine, which enables them to help clients located all over the country.
GCU’s Master of Science in clinical mental health counseling degree prepares students to pursue professional licensure. The program meets the academic requirements for licensure in Arizona as a Licensed Associate Counselor (LAC) and Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). Students who wish to practice in another state should check that state’s specific requirements.