Clinical Mental Health Counseling, M.A.
Graduate Studies

Clinical Mental Health Counseling accreditation by CACREPImmaculata’s 60-credit Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) and is also in alignment with the requirements for the State of Pennsylvania’s professional counselor licensure (LPC).

Upon program completion, successful students will demonstrate professional knowledge, skills, and practices necessary to address a wide variety of circumstances within the clinical mental health counseling community. Specific knowledge outcome areas include the following:

  • Professional Orientation and Ethical Practice
  • Social and Cultural Diversity
  • Human Growth and Development
  • Career Development
  • Helping Relationships
  • Group Work
  • Assessment
  • Research and Program Evaluation
  • Diagnosis
  • Crisis Intervention and Trauma

The National Counselor Examination is offered on campus every year in April and October.

Each state has different processes and requirements for obtaining a counseling license. You will need to pass your state’s licensure exam and complete the required number of post-graduate supervised hours in order to be fully licensed. Learn more about national certification and state licensure for counselors.

Our graduates work at geriatric centers, rehabilitation hospitals, psychiatric hospitals, drug and alcohol treatment programs, school districts, private practice, outpatient clinics, crisis centers, and residential treatment centers.

Course Preview

Psychopathology

Review of moderate and serious pathological and diagnostic schemas using DSM, with secondary emphasis on treatment implications. Strategies for assessing and formulating clinical and cultural material are examined. Students are introduced to symptom clusters which distinguish different mental health problems and are presented with a dimensional model for understanding diagnosis within the context of personality styles.

Substance Abuse Education and Counseling

Examination and exploration of drug-and alcohol-related issues in relation to self, significant others and professional roles across the life span. Discussion of basic concepts in understanding alcoholism and drug addiction, dual diagnosis and medications, including effects on mental health and relationships, counseling strategies and an understanding of clinical settings that service these populations.

Crisis Intervention and Trauma

The purpose of this course is to prepare the students to deal with the inevitable crisis situations they will encounter as counselors. Students will reflect on how people deal with crises, explore their crisis experiences, and start to develop their skills in crisis intervention. The students will also examine some of the relevant research on crisis, resolution, and resilience. However, the major focus throughout the course will be on learning the practical skills and requisite knowledge and attitudes of helping people in crisis. It is important for students to self-monitor because the course could be emotionally challenging

Diversity Counseling

This course will provide students with an understanding of multicultural and pluralistic trends within and among diverse groups nationally and internationally. Theories of multicultural counseling, identity development, multicultural competencies, social justice, and strategies for working with and advocating for individuals, couples, families, groups, and communities will be reviewed. Specific attention to counselors’ self-awareness, beliefs, understandings, and acculturative experiences will be facilitated through assignments and experiential learning activities to increase understanding of self and culturally diverse clients. Students will gain an understanding of their role in eliminating biases, prejudices, and intentional and unintentional oppression and discrimination

Program Highlights

  • All core faculty members are counselors themselves. Their experience as practitioners informs the counselor education they provide.
  • Our faculty are approachable, student-centered, supportive, and available to meet with you to discuss personal and professional goals.
  • Faculty specialize in a range of areas related to mental health, including addictions counseling, play therapy, at-risk youth programming, multicultural/social justice issues, trauma, family counseling, and LGBTQ counseling.
  • You may choose to participate in faculty-mentored research projects and present your work at local, national, and international conferences. Immaculata provides some funding to allow students to attend conferences. Recent student research projects have focused on parenting styles and self-regulation, autism and family support, and evaluating supervision feedback instruments. Our students have presented at the American Counseling Association National Conference and at Immcaulata University’s annual research posters event.
  • Immaculata has a local chapter, Beta Mu, of Chi Sigma Iota, the international honor society for counseling students, professionals, and educators. Acceptance into the chapter will give you opportunities for networking, service, professional development workshops, and mentorship from experienced counselors as you begin your profession.
  • All classes are taught in the evenings, allowing you to work during the day. Our students generally complete the program in three years.
  • If you choose to pursue a specialty area within the counseling field, Immaculata offers a certification in PreK-12 School Counseling and a certificate in Addiction Studies and Therapeutic Practice.

CACREP Statistics for Clinical Mental Health Counseling Graduates

Year2017*2018
Number Enrolled159147
Number of Graduates4155
Completion Rate92%89%
LPC Examination Pass Rate100%95%
Job Placement Rate64%**80%
*2017 was the first year the program collected data from alumni since its CACREP status as of July 2016. **May 2017 alumni were asked if they were employed in the field. Of the 11 responses, 7 alumni replied “yes”; 2 alumni replied “no”; and 2 alumni chose not to respond.

IU Annual CACREP Evaluation Report (August 2018)

Admissions Information

The Clinical Mental Health Counseling program holds group interviews as a part of the admissions process. Here are the upcoming interview dates:

  • Fall Interviews: October 29 and November 26 (start in Spring or Summer)
  • Spring Interviews: February 4 and March 25 (start in Summer or Fall)
  • Summer Interviews: June 3 and August 5 (start in Fall or Spring)

All group interviews are held on campus, by program faculty, from 11:00am – 1:00 pm.

Clinical Training

Immaculata offers over 100 practicum and internship experiences in a variety of settings, including psychiatric hospitals, outpatient mental health clinics, addiction treatment centers, veterans administration facilities, and correctional facilities. Many students are hired by the organizations where they completed their practicums and internships. Your 100-hour practicum experience provides an introduction to the field of counseling, allowing you to practice working with clients under supervision. Our faculty provides training to your on-site supervisors so that they are well equipped to support you as you begin your work. Your two internships, totaling 600 hours, provide in-depth counseling experience with on-site, faculty, and peer supervision.

Required Curriculum and Program Planning

Required Courses (60 credits) The courses build upon one another from year to year. Year 1 courses are to be taken prior to beginning Year 2 courses.

YEAR 1 – Phase 1

Semester I:

  • COUN 618 Professional Orientation and Ethical Issues (3)
  • GEN 503 Interpersonal Relations (3)
  • GEN 501 Human Development (3)

Semester II:

  • COUN 640 Diversity Counseling (3)
  • COUN 601 Counseling Skills and Techniques (3)
  • COUN 600 Research & Program Evaluation (3)

Semester III:

  • COUN 602 Theories of Counseling (3)
  • COUN 608 Psychopathology (3)

YEAR 2 – Phase 2

Semester I:

  • COUN 604 Group Counseling (3)
  • COUN 614 Substance Abuse Education (3)
  • COUN 641 Assessment for Counselors (3)

Semester II:

  • COUN 606 Family Counseling (3)
  • COUN 630 Crisis Intervention and Trauma (3)
  • Elective (3)

Semester III:

  • COUN 609 Career Counseling (3)
  • Elective (3)

YEAR 3 – Phase 3

(NOTE: All Year 1 and Year 2 coursework must be completed prior to Year 3 and beginning Practicum) Semester I: (NOTE: students must be registered for 4.5 credit hours for financial aid)

  • COUN 691 Practicum in Counseling (3)
  • Elective (3)

Semester II: (NOTE: students only need to register for 692 for financial aid)

  • COUN 692 Internship in Counseling I (3)

Semester III: (NOTE: students only need to register for 693 for financial aid)

  • COUN 693 Internship in Counseling II (3)
  • COUN 599 Comprehensive Examination (0)

Just the facts

95%

LPC Exam Pass Rate

100%

NCE Pass Rate (Fall ’17)

700

Hours of hands-on counseling experience

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