The Clinical Mental Health concentration in the MS in Counseling Psychology program at Holy Family University supports the idea that counseling is a way of living where one is committed to social justice, empathy, and life-long learning. Students in the Clinical Mental Health concentration will develop a professional counseling identity that embeds a multicultural perspective and competence in working with a variety of clients. Graduates of the program will have the ability to apply ethical, professional counseling skills and knowledge to a variety of client needs and will find themselves working in a variety of fields and settings that include drug and alcohol programs, prison systems, mental health facilities, community mental health programs, residential treatment centers, private practice, and hospitals. Graduates have the opportunity to work with children, adolescents, and adults counseling individuals, couples, and families.
The Clinical Mental Health concentration emphasizes the development and implementation of advocacy skills and interventions with regard to social justice issues. Students are able to become members of our student advocacy group that helps to create awareness and funding opportunities for a variety of organizations. Through this group and interwoven throughout the program, students are encouraged to develop a passion for advocacy and develop projects contributing to the awareness of a multitude of causes.
The Clinical Mental Health concentration encourages and promotes students to contribute to scholarship in the field of professional counseling. Students have presented their scholarship at local and statewide conferences as well as our annual Graduate Counseling Psychology Poster Session evening. Students also have the opportunity to pair with undergraduate psychology majors as mentors to supervise work contributing to their own scholarship for presentation at conferences.
The Clinical Mental Health Concentration exposes students to a variety of theoretical orientations with an emphasis on evidence-based practice, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapies, Wellness Psychology, Trauma Focused work and the connection of Complementary and Alternative Medicine to traditional treatment. This allows our graduates to be competitive, competent, and relevant as they enter in the workforce.
The total degree hours required for this concentration is 60. This concentration requires a 600-hour internship, a 100-hour practicum, and mandatory faculty mentoring/advising meetings. Upon completion of the program, students will have met the necessary educational requirements to take the National Counselor Examination (NCE) that is offered conveniently at our location. Students completing this concentration will, as a part of their degree program, complete all the educational requirements to apply for Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). The program provides a strong educational grounding that allows our graduates to be competitive in the clinical mental health counseling market.
Our program also allows those professionals who have completed a Master's degree in Counseling or a related mental health profession and need to complete educational requirements to be licensed as a professional counselor to complete the required courses at Holy Family University in as few as 12 credit hours.
- Holy Family University's Counseling Psychology graduate employment rate in the field has averaged 91% over the past 4 years.
- Holy Family University Counseling Psychology students have an 86% first time pass rate on the licensure exam (NCE) and a 98% first time pass rate on the school counselor exam (Praxis).
According to the most recent Occupational Outlook Handbook, (2010-2011 edition), employment of mental health counselors is projected to grow 29 percent from 2012 to 2022, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.
Why Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Holy Family University?
The Clinical Mental Health Counseling concentration is the best choice for those students who want a strong foundation in counseling skills across populations and settings, which increases marketability in the field. This concentration is also a good choice for those wishing to continue their education by pursuing doctoral studies. What sets Holy Family University's program apart from others is the focus on evidenced-based practice, experiential learning, professional identity development, and promotion of scholarship and advocacy experiences.
Core Course Requirements prior to Internship
(25 credit hours)
- Substance Abuse: An Introduction to Identification & Treatment (3cr.)
- Career and Vocational Counseling (3cr.)
- Introduction to Counseling & Guidance Theory (3cr.)
- Introductory Counseling Skills: Laboratory Level I (3cr.)
- Human Development: A Life Span Approach (3cr.)
- Counseling Multicultural & Diverse Populations (3cr.)
- Counseling Practicum (1cr.)
- Research Methods for the Behavioral Sciences (3cr.)
- Assessment: Principles and Application in Counseling (3cr.)
- Counseling Comprehensive Exam
Clinical Mental Health Counseling Specialty Area Requirements
(21 credit hours)
- Group Counseling (3cr.)
- Professional Orientation and Ethics for Clinical Mental Health Counselors (3cr.)
- Survey of Community Counseling Agencies (3cr.)
- Psychopathology & Diagnosis Using the DSM (3cr.)
- Internship in Counseling Psychology I – Clinical Mental Health Counseling (3cr.)
- Internship in Counseling Psychology II – Clinical Mental Health Counseling (3cr.)
- Professional Seminar: Culminating Experience (3cr.)