Our practice-oriented master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling equips graduates for a variety of specialties in mental health counseling, including community agency work, substance abuse and addictions work, in-patient treatment, and college counseling. Through a combination of classroom and field experiences, you develop a unique, professional identity as a clinical mental health counselor in our CACREP-accredited program.
Apply your knowledge, develop your professional identity, and fine-tune your skills in supervised field work which includes a one semester practicum and three semesters of internship experiences. Students take a number of basic courses in both face to face and online formats with students in other mental health fields. First year CMHC students at AUNE attend on campus classes on Wednesdays. In the second year students come to on campus classes on Tuesdays and typically spend approximately 20 hours a week at their practicum or internship sites. In the third year students are at internship sites with additional hours of faculty supervision in a web-based courseroom; there are no on-campus classes during this last year.
The CMHC program typically takes students 3 years to complete.
Total credit hours = 60
- Core Courses (12 courses @ 3 credits = 36 credits)
- Concentration/Electives (Choose 4 courses @ 3 credits = 12-credits)
- Practicum & Internships (4 semesters @3 credits = 12 credits; Practicum min.100 hrs; Internship 900 hrs)
Prepare yourself for licensure by building competency in eight core areas, as recommended by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP): professional identity; foundations of social and cultural diversity; human growth and development; career development; the helping relationship; group work; assessment; research and program development; and the specialty areas of mental health counseling: foundations, contextual dimensions, skills and practices.
Fall Semester I
- Group Approaches to Counseling
- Professional Orientation & Ethics (online)
Spring Semester I
- Counseling Theories
- Career and Lifestyle
- Human Development (online)
Summer Semester I
- Social & Cultural Diversity (online)
Fall Semester II
- Family Counseling for Addiction
- Psychopathology (online)
- Practicum in CMHC (100 hrs. in field minimum)
Spring Semester II
- Crisis & Trauma Counseling
- Research & Evaluation (online)
- Internship I in CMHC (300 hrs. minimum in field)
Fall Semester III
- Internship II in CMHC (300 hrs. minimum in field)
Spring Semester III
- Internship III in CMHC (300 hrs. in field or hours needed to complete state licensure requirements)
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a strong need for mental health counselors. Counseling is projected as one of the faster growing mental health professions — increasing 24% over the next 7-10 years.
Graduates of the CMHC Program will have the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required to function as a professional clinical mental health counselor. They will be prepared for employment in a variety of settings and able to meet certification and licensure standards as mental health counselors, through education in a CACREP accredited program.
Graduates of our program will be able to:
- Demonstrate knowledge in the CACREP core and clinical mental health counseling areas.
- Implement collaborative advocacy processes needed to address institutional and social barriers that impede access, equity, well-being, and success for clients.
- Practice self-reflection and wellness as a mental health counselor in diverse environments and treatment settings.
- Integrate into their practice of MHC the awareness of the influence of social and cultural contexts on individuals, groups, and systems
- Demonstrate and apply their professional identity as a clinical mental health counselor through an individual philosophy of practice grounded in critical analysis and research
- Adhere to and value the principles and standards of professional ethics in counseling
- Be able to contribute to the professional community, through written and verbal communication, and through appropriate and ethical use of technology
As graduates of a CACREP accredited program, graduates of the CMHC program are eligible to obtain full certification as a National Certified Counselor upon graduation after passing the National Counselor Exam offered in April of their final year and completing the required applications. See the NBCC for information on this process. Applications will be available in the department.
The program is designed to meet the educational requirements for licensure as Clinical Mental Health Counselors and/or Clinical Professional Counselors in most states. Since these requirements vary, students are responsible for being aware of their state requirements and working with their advisor to meet them. There are additional post-Master’s requirements of supervised clinical hours and examination(s) before obtaining licensure. Graduates self-reported pass rate on the NBCC exam is 80%. For information on individual state requirements, see the NBCC State Licensure page.
Practice the Art of Counseling: Practicum and Internships
Practicum introduces you to work in the field with a minimum of 100 hours of service at a clinical site, including a minimum of 40 hours working directly with clients. You learn the policy of the agency and the roles of the mental health counselor. You spend 20-hours a week in practicum for at least one semester. Before beginning practicum students must pass a candidacy review assessing their readiness to begin supervised fieldwork.
Following practicum, there are three internship semesters. These may continue at the same site as the practicum or take place at a new site. You spend approximately 20 hours a week at your clinical site and provide approximately 300 hours of service each semester, with a minimum of 120 hours of direct service to clients during each of these internship semesters. State requirements for pre-degree internship hours vary. Check your desired state requirements. During the second and third semesters of internship students do not need to come to campus on a weekly basis. They receive Antioch University supervision in a web-based conference room, in addition to their site supervision.
Field training sites offer a broad spectrum of positions that allow students to individualize their program at Antioch University New England. There are many possible positions at traditional mental health counseling sites, community agencies, college counseling centers, and community social service agencies. The Director of Practica and Internships, as well as the Director of Clinical Training will assist you in the process of matching your interests with potential sites in the community. Students are responsible for securing their own internship and for transportation to and from the site. A car is almost always necessary to reach fieldwork sites in New England.
Examples of Past Internship Sites
Clinical Mental Health Centers
- Monandnock Family Services, Keene NH
- Health Care Rehabilitation Services, Brattleboro, VT
- Clinical and Support Options, Inc., Greenfield, MA
Psychiatric Inpatient Units
- Cheshire Medical Center, Keene, NH
- Berkshire Health Systems, Pittsfield, MA
- The Retreat, Brattleboro, VT
Substance Abuse Services
- Keystone Hall, Nashua, NH
- Dartmouth Center for Addictions, Hanover, NH
College Counseling Centers
- Keene State College, Keene, NH
- Amherst College, Amherst, MA
- University of New England, Biddeford, ME
Social Service Agencies
- Family Strength, Concord, NH
- Luk Crisis Services, Fitchburg, MA
- Family Health Center, Concord, NH
School Guidance Departments
- Newmarket Junior/Senior High School, Newmarket, NH
- Westminster Center School, Westminster, VT
- Mascoma Valley Regional High School, Canaan, NH