Counseling is a professional relationship that empowers diverse individuals, families, and groups to accomplish mental health, wellness, education, and career goals. We strive to give our adult learners the skills and knowledge needed to address the complexity of issues impacting the mental health of individuals and families. As a competency-based program, the curriculum represents the highest standards of professional ethics, theoretical integration, clinical skills, and multicultural and social justice counseling competencies. Students will learn to address the personal and environmental struggles of others while also accentuating their unique and inherent personal qualities for empowering change, creating fulfilling relationships and leading meaningful lives.
This degree is offered by AU Seattle.
The Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) program at Antioch University Seattle (AUS) awards a Master of Arts degree in Counseling with optional specialties in Art and Drama Therapy. Accredited since 2012 by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling Related Education Programs (CACREP), the curriculum meets the highest standards in counselor training and supervision with advanced competencies in multicultural counseling, evidence-based practices, and clinical competencies. At a total of 90 graduate credits, and delivered in both classroom-based and hybrid formats, the CMHC program provides a structure and set of experiences to help students develop the intellectual and relational capacities needed to understand and work with others in the professional practice of counseling empowering diverse individuals, families, and groups. These goals are accomplished through a combination of required course work, electives, practical experience, and a supervised internship. The Clinical Mental Health Counseling program exceeds the educational requirements for state licensure in Mental Health Counseling (LMHC), and as an accredited program, meets national curriculum standards described by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Program (CACREP).
Students in Clinical Mental Health Counseling address the following knowledge areas in their graduate studies:
- Graduate-level understanding of fundamental theoretical models of human behavior within the counseling field;
- The ability to make use of research literature and other sources of relevant knowledge, as an integral part of the ongoing responsible practice of counseling;
- Skills in building relationships including the development and deepening of self-awareness, empathy, ethical awareness, social responsibility, and respect for human diversity;
- Graduate-level mastery of counseling skills including an ability to apply one’s knowledge and relationship- building skills to the counseling situation, to think critically about human behavior and the counseling relationship, and to integrate theory with practice in ways which facilitate ethical and effective practice as a counselor; and
- Knowledge of professional development issues, professional organizations and state requirements for practice as a clinical mental health counselor.
With student-centered learning and competency-based instruction, our program is tailored to the adult learner. Classes meet late afternoons, evenings, and all day Fridays for working adults. Our course structure allows students to shape the sequence of their study, creating an educational experience that is as individual as they are. In addition, we offer the opportunity to specialize in one of two cutting edge fields: Art Therapy and Drama Therapy.
For those interested in expanding their counseling career into the areas of teaching, supervision, research and leadership, 72 credits of the master’s degree will transfer into the 144 credit PhD in Counselor Education & Supervision—the only program of its kind in the country due to the program’s Creative Arts Cognate.
Antioch is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Our Clinical Mental Health Counseling specialization is accredited by the Council on Accreditation for Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Our Art Therapy specializations are approved by the American Art Therapy Association (AATA). Our Drama Therapy specialization is accredited by the North American Drama Therapy Association (NADTA).
Students enrolled in a CACREP program save between $5,000-8,000 on required supervision hours.
View our 2019-2020 Outcomes Report.
This program can be completed in 3 – 3-1/2 years.
The MA in Counseling with Clinical Mental Health Counseling helps students to develop the intellectual and relational capacities needed to understand and work with others in the professional practice of counseling. They will develop the skills you need to work as a counselor with multicultural, systemic, and integrative health competencies. These goals will be accomplished through a combination of required coursework, electives and supervised fieldwork.
The CMHC specialization is 90 quarter credits. Additionally, hybrid course sections are offered to better adapt to the working-student lifestyle. Students may begin the program in the fall, winter or spring quarter.
All coursework is completed prior to your internship:
- Addictions & Substance Abuse
- Advanced Theories: Varying Subtitles
- Assessments: Tests and Measurements
- Career Development and Counseling
- Communication and Counseling Skills
- Ethics and Professional Issues
- Family of Origin Systems
- Group Counseling
- Human Development in Context: Gender – A Lifespan Perspective
- Internship Preparation
- Multicultural Perspectives
- Pre-Internship Practicum and Supervision in CMHC
- Psychodiagnostics and Treatment Planning
- Research Methods: Introduction to Research
- Supplemental Supervision
- Systems Perspectives in Family Therapy
- The Counseling Profession and Identity
- Theories/Practice of Counseling: Humanistic/Transpersonal/Eastern
- Theories/Practice of Counseling: Psychodynamic and Cognitive Behavior
- Trauma, Disaster Response & Crisis Counseling
Elective courses provide students with an opportunity to advance their clinical training in particular areas and to pursue interest areas with depth beyond material covered in the required courses. Elective courses are offered on a regularly scheduled rotation throughout the academic year. In addition, students are required to take one course from each of the following domains:
- Multicultural Counseling Series (titles vary), or
- Historical and Socio-Cultural Perspectives in Psychology Series (titles vary)
Elective concentrations are also offered in Addiction Counseling, Clinical Treatment courses (children, adolescents, older adults), Creative Modalities courses (music, writing, dramatic enactment, movement), Counseling & Spirituality courses (Introduction to Counseling & Spirituality, and Integrating Challenges in Psycho-Spiritual Work), and Advanced Theories courses (Psychosynthesis, Buddhist, Integral, Jungian, Existential, Cognitive, Adlerian, and Brief approaches) as well as select course work in the Couples and Family Therapy program and the Art Therapy and Drama Therapy specialties.
- Internship & Case Consultation: Clinical Mental Health Counseling
All students participate in an internship in a professional setting. This experience will enable you to validate and clarify the theory you acquire in the classroom as you develop your own role as a clinician. Examples of internship sites include the following:
- Community mental health agencies
- Career and employment agencies
- Correctional facilities
- Family service agencies
- Gerontological settings
- Military and Government agencies including the V.A.
- Pastoral/religious/spiritual agencies
- Rehabilitation agencies
- Addiction treatment centers
- Youth and Family agencies
- Substance abuse settings
- Private practice settings
- College counseling centers
- Integrative Primary Behavioral Health Clinics
- Group homes
- Homeless shelters
- In-patient psychiatric hospitals
*Program Requirements and Course Offerings Are Subject to Change
For detailed curriculum, degree requirements, and course descriptions, please visit the AUS catalog.
The Clinical Mental Health Counseling program graduates roughly 32 students per academic year, and based on recent alumni data, 87% of graduates will obtain counseling related employment within 6 months. A brief Alumni Snapshot is below:
- 91% licensed as mental health counselors
- 79% completed postmaster requirements in less than 2 yrs.
- 60% work in nonprofit organizations
- 84% report job satisfaction
- 73% have salaries between $44-74,000
Graduates of the Master of Arts in Counseling degree program explore many professional options upon graduation. They seek positions in community agencies, hospitals, mental health clinics, and private practices as well as teaching at community colleges, or engaged in consulting and research.
If you choose to continue your education, the MA program provides a solid foundation for entering a doctoral program or obtaining post-master’s credentials in an area of professional interest, such as Counselor education and supervision, play therapy, substance abuse counseling or other clinical specialties.
The objective of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is to provide students with learning in both knowledge and skills building for the practice of mental health counseling as outlined by the Council on Accreditation for Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), the standard bearer for the profession. The curriculum is designed to meet these standards across 8 student-learning domains to ensure that graduates can be competent mental health professionals and meet the necessary licensure requirements of the profession. These domains are:
- Professional Identity & Ethics: Students will acquire identities as professional mental health counselors who are knowledgeable about the philosophy, ethics, history, and future trends of the profession with a commitment to life-long learning and professional development. Students will be knowledgeable of the professional ethical guidelines and demonstrate their knowledge and use of at least one ethical decision-making model as they apply it to cases involving various professional domains.
- Diversity & Advocacy: Students will recognize, understand, and respond to social and cultural differences and change in our society related to (but not limited to) factors of socioeconomic status, unemployment, aging, gender, race and ethnicity, developmental transitions, and sexual orientation. Students will demonstrate their ability to go beyond the conventional practice of providing individual and group counseling and to take leadership in advocating for clients and for systemic change to improve counseling and developmental services and programs.
- Human Growth & Development: Students will possess a foundation for understanding human behavior and development with the skills needed to provide individual counseling, assessment, and other training to facilitate decision-making and developmental life transitions.
- Career and Life Planning: Students will be knowledgeable and skilled in helping clients make life and career decisions.
- Individual and Group Counseling: Students will have the knowledge and skill competencies in the counseling process and be able to work effectively in a variety of modalities (individual, group, family) and to use crisis intervention, brief counseling, and long term mental health approaches.
- Research and Analytical Skills: Students will demonstrate the knowledge, skills and dispositions associated with conducting and interpreting social science research. Specifically, students will demonstrate their abilities of developing research and evaluation questions and selecting and using appropriate methods for data collection and analysis. Students will also show their ability to apply existing theory and research to the practice of counseling.
- Assessment and Diagnosis: Students will have the ability to gather, interpret, and utilize a variety of assessment data. This will include the ability to select, administer, and interpret appropriate standardized tests for individual and group assessment of client needs and to complete program evaluations. Student will understand the principles of the diagnostic process and established criteria in developing treatment modalities and criteria for a continuum of care.
- Family Systems Perspective: Students will have an understanding of family and other systems theories and major models of family and related interventions.
It is possible to transfer up to 15 quarter credits of prior relevant graduate-level coursework. Coursework must have a 75% overlap in course content in order for credits to transfer.