Support Children and Adolescents With a Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Degree
Children and adolescents can be susceptible to a wide range of psychological, emotional and behavioral issues. As a future clinical mental health counselor, you may decide to focus your practice on supporting the next generation. Earn your Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with an Emphasis in Childhood and Adolescence Disorders at Grand Canyon University (GCU). You will have the opportunity to develop a strong foundation of knowledge and clinical skills that you can use to support young people at all developmental levels.
The clinical mental health child and adolescent counseling graduate program is offered by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. In this child counseling degree program, there is focus on core areas such as clinical assessment, diagnoses, counseling skills, research methodologies, trauma counseling and treatment of childhood and adolescence disorders. Explore the application of psychological theories as they are applied specifically to children and adolescents. Areas of discussion include school and family life issues, child-parent relationships and developmental disorders.
The courses selected for the child and adolescent counseling graduate program are designed to meet the academic requirements established by 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. A master’s degree is a prerequisite to licensure in all 50 states.1
Identify and Treat Childhood Disorders With GCU’s Counseling Graduate Program
Compassionate and ethical care is at the heart of a career in clinical mental health counseling. GCU is a private Christian university with a focus on integrating spirituality, Christian ethics and the Christian worldview directly into the curriculum. You will have the opportunity to think critically, explore diverse perspectives and develop your counseling skills as you progress through the program.
In courses such as Counseling Couples and Families, Childhood and Adolescent Trauma and Development Through Childhood and Adolescence, you will explore the following core topic areas:
- The structure and dynamics of the family, including methods of family intervention and counseling
- Children in families affected by domestic violence and abuse, including child abuse assessment and reporting
- Theories of childhood and adolescent development
- Assessments and treatments for young people affected by trauma, including parental substance abuse, family trauma and physical, mental, emotional and sexual abuse
All master’s degree students studying child and adolescent counseling are required to complete a practicum and two internships to gain hands-on supervised experience in a clinical setting.
Influence the Lives of Children and Adolescents as a Counselor by Earning Your Child Counseling Degree
As a future mental health counselor who specializes in child and adolescent populations, you may work with clients who struggle with homelessness, childhood trauma, bullying, abuse, neglect, substance use disorders or eating disorders. Clinical mental health counselors can work in a variety of settings, including the following:
- Hospitals and clinics
- Private therapy practice
- Social service agencies
- Juvenile detention centers
- Domestic violence and homeless shelters
GCU’s master’s in clinical mental health counseling with an emphasis in childhood and adolescence disorders degree meets the academic requirements for licensure in Arizona as a Licensed Associate Counselor (LAC) and a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). Requirements can vary from state to state. Students should check the specific requirements for the state in which they plan to practice.
MS in Child Counseling Degree FAQs
To learn more about the child and adolescent counseling field and degree programs, review our responses to commonly asked questions.
1 ACA. Licensure Requirements. American Counseling Association. Retrieved on June 9, 2023.
2 COVID-19 has adversely affected the global economy and data from 2020 and 2021 may be atypical compared to prior years. The pandemic may impact the predicted future workforce outcomes indicated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as well. Accordingly, data shown is effective September 2022, which can be found here: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors, retrieved on June 26, 2023.
* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.
* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.