Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Licensed mental health counselors make a difference in the lives of others along with social workers, psychologists and psychiatrists. Careers include work in mental health programs, substance abuse treatment, veteran’s affairs, college counseling centers, youth support programs and private practice. Pursue a master's degree or bridge program and help people of all ages.
The Master's program is designed to meet the requirements of the New York State License in Mental Health Counseling. You will share a group of core counseling courses with the School Counseling Program and obtain the foundational knowledge that all counselors need.
You will develop practical clinical skills through lab-based courses, and field experiences, which include an internship. At the end of the program you will have completed all academic requirements for the New York State “limited permit."
The School Counseling program is designed to meet all of the academic requirements for professional certification in New York State and qualifies you for initial certification in most other states as well. You will share a group of core counseling courses with the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program. Courses provide the knowledge and skill that you will need as a school counselor.
You will focus on developing practical skills and learn first-hand through lab-based courses, and field experiences, which include an internship. You can complete the program in as little as five semesters and you will be prepared to help students with the social and cultural issues they face in school today.
The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) accredits both the School and Clinical Mental Health Counseling Programs. CACREP accreditation offers greater recognition of quality professional preparation within the “job market”, as well as educational opportunities beyond a master’s degree, as well as provides students greater reciprocity for state/territory certifications and license beyond New York State.
Both programs provide a common core, and allows students to specialize in school counseling or mental health counseling. Please contact your advisor if you have any questions.
Mental Health Bridge Program
This course of study (typically, 12-18 credit hours) is for candidates who already have a Master’s degree in counseling, but do not meet the required coursework and experience for the NYS mental health-counseling license (LMHC). In order to qualify for this “Bridge Program,” candidates should have a Master’s degree in school counseling, community agency counseling, college counseling, rehabilitation counseling, and older general counseling degrees.
In most cases, Bridge Program students enter the program having completed graduate level counseling courses in professional issues and ethics, counseling theories, human development, counseling skills, group work, assessment, research and program evaluation, social and cultural issues in counseling, and career development.
If any of these courses have not been completed, a student will be required to take them as part of their bridge program. Candidates who have completed Psychopathology and/or Chemical Dependency as part of their Master’s Degree in Counseling may complete their bridge program with fewer credits.
Faculty Advisor Mental Health Bridge Program Coordinator
Dr. Michael Rutter
Counseling Employment Outlook
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
The job outlook for school counselors between 2018 and 2028 was projected to grow 8% faster than the average for all occupations.
The 2019-2029 job outlook for mental health counselors as well as substance abuse counselors is projected to grow 25 percent, much faster than the average for all occupations.