Clinical mental health counselors are distinguished among the helping disciplines by their balanced focus on wellness and psychopathology. Their preparation and professional practice emphasize the needs for prevention, advocacy, and positive social change in communities in addition to counseling intervention with individuals, groups, and families. Clinical mental health counselors are often a first and critical point of contact between troubled community members and the helping services that they require.
The CACREP-accredited M.Ed. in Counseling - Clinical Mental Health Counseling concentration prepares students for service as licensed professional counselors working in public or private human service agencies or in private counseling practice. The small size of the program provides students with extensive opportunities for interaction and collaboration with faculty throughout both coursework and clinical experiences. Through a broad foundation in counseling theory and technique, an experienced and dedicated faculty, and substantial opportunity for supervised practice, the program provides students with both the skills and confidence to perform their challenging and vital role.
The M.Ed. is the entry-level degree for professional counseling, so we accept students from a variety of academic backgrounds, and previous counseling experience is not required. Full-time students typically complete the program in two academic years; part-time study is also available.
Graduate students in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Concentration complete a total of 60 semester hours of classroom and clinical course work. Accredited by CACREP (the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs), the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program adheres to a rigorous set of standards for both classroom and clinical instruction.
See the Clinical Mental Health Concentration Program of Study for course names and sequence.
Clinical instruction consists of a required one-semester (150-hour) practicum and a two-semester (600-hour) internship in which students work as clinical mental health counselors in field placements they select in consultation with faculty mentors.
Under the supervision of experienced William & Mary faculty, Clinical Mental Health Counseling students select their field sites based upon their individual interests in work as a professional counselor. This ensures that students with a wide variety of counseling interests are able to receive clinical training and experience that is directly relevant to the particular client context and population that they would like to work with in the future.
Virginia licensure as a Professional Counselor requires a master’s degree in counseling, 60 hours of graduate course work in counseling, a 3400-hour, post-master’s clinical residency, and successful completion of the licensure examination. The curriculum fulfills all classroom and clinical instruction requirements for licensure as a Professional Counselor in Virginia and most other states as well as certification by the National Board of Certified Counselors.
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