Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Program Overview:

The Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program at Concordia University Chicago prepares graduates with the professional knowledge, skills, and practices necessary to address the wide variety of complex issues and empower diverse populations to promote optimal wellness and growth. Graduate students receive a high quality education emphasizing Christian beliefs through integrity, competency, and leadership skills. The program also recognizes, values, and instills the development of techniques, conduct, and self-reflection imperative to effectiveness as professionals within a diverse community and world. The program requires 60 semester hours.

The Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program prepares candidates as qualified entry level counselors able to practice in a variety of contexts. These settings may include community agencies, residential settings, social service agencies, hospitals, religious organizations, and private practice. Candidates from the program exhibit high standards of professionalism while integrating theory, technique, and ethics into every aspect of their careers. The program requirements reflect current educational components of the Licensed Professional Counselor examination in the State of Illinois. The Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree also holds special and unique accreditation by the Council of Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP).

Program Highlights & Benefits:

  • 60 credit hours; 3 year completion time
  • Blended, Online, hybrid, and on-campus (River Forest or Grayslake)
  • Articulate and assume the professional and ethical role of a counselor.
  • Discuss and demonstrate techniques of cross-cultural counseling and advocate on behalf of multicultural populations.
  • Describe the role that human growth and development plays in counseling interventions and modify these interventions as appropriate.
  • Explain theories of career development and implement career interventions.
  • Define and utilize counseling skills and advanced counseling interventions.
  • Articulate theories of group counseling and utilize leadership skills in facilitating various types of groups.
  • Identify and utilize various types of counseling assessments.
  • Describe and conduct methods of research and program evaluation.

Areas of Study:

Curriculum

Required Courses (48 Hours)

Introduction to the Counseling Profession

Training, role and professional identity of counselors and other professions in the helping profession. Professional organizations, publications, certification and licensing. Roles and functions of counselors in various settings. Ethical and legal issues in counseling.

Counseling Theory and Practice

Individual, couple and systems theories of counseling/psychotherapy. Examination of the helping process, client and counselor characteristics that influence the process consistent with current professional research and practice in the field allowing the development of a personal model of counseling.

Counseling Interventions and Techniques

This course addresses the competencies, attitudes, and skills essential to developing the character and identity of a professional counselor. Foundational and advanced counseling skills and therapeutic interventions examined as they apply to the personal, social and academic realms. Counseling techniques from the major schools and orientations including crisis intervention, multicultural and ethical issues. This course will use role playing and videotaping to fortify burgeoning skills and interventions.

Career Counseling and Education

Career counseling approaches through the lifespan. Developmentally appropriate career programming in educational and agency settings. Occupation information sources and self-awareness emphasized.

Counseling and Human Development

Students are provided with an understanding of the nature and needs of persons throughout the lifespan including developmental and multicultural domains. Counseling approaches and issues are discussed in relation to developmental stages. Resiliency factors and ethical issues are applied across the lifespan.

Ethics, Law and Morality for Counselors

Addresses the competencies, attitudes and skills essential to the developing character and identity of a professional counselor. This course is designed to give the student an understanding of ethics and applicable laws in the profession of counseling as well as allowing them to examine their own moral values. Prerequisite: Introduction to the Counseling Profession.

Multicultural Counseling

Assessment and therapeutic treatment of diverse populations with special emphasis on understanding of the cultural context of relationships, issues, and trends in a multicultural society. Emphasis on specific problems associated with age, race, disability, religious preferences, etc., and how these affect the counseling relationships.

Clinical Mental Health Counseling Profession

History and trends in community mental health. Program development and service delivery to diverse clientele. Intake and treatment plan interventions emphasizing current psychological criteria.

Transforming Crisis to Wellness

An understanding of personal wellness and how it relates to ones’ daily encounters with different areas in life. This course is intended to explore the areas of optimal wellness and life events. An emphasis is placed on the role of the counselor in providing optimal health resolutions for clients in times of crisis. Prerequisite: Introduction to the Counseling Profession and Counseling Techniques and Interventions.

Clinical Group Counseling

Will provide an understanding, both theoretical and experiential, of group purpose, development, dynamics, theories, methods, skills, ethics, and other group approaches in a multicultural society. Students will experience and participate as group members in small group activities. Prerequisite: Counseling Theory and Practice and Counseling Techniques and Interventions.

Brief Therapy

Identification and application of brief therapy models to a variety of disorders with individuals, groups and families. Develop an understanding of techniques, assessment instruments and ethical issues. Issues and models of crisis intervention. Prerequisite: Counseling Theory and Practice.

Substance/Alcohol Abuse and Treatment

Students will be introduced to the history of substance abuse and attempts at social control. Pharmacology, signs and symptoms, screening and assessment, treatment models and the profession of substance abuse counseling and ethics will be introduced and processed. Students will be required to attend an out-of-class support meeting. Prerequisite: Counseling Theory and Practice.

Family Systems Theory and Therapy

Psychotherapy from a systems perspective focusing on the competencies, cognitions, and skills to developing the orientation of a family systems counselor. Strategic and systems theories of family therapy are examined in light of multicultural and ethical issues. Family systems counseling techniques and interventions are described and demonstrated including crisis interventions, multicultural and multigenerational considerations related to the family life cycle. Prerequisite: Counseling Theory and Practice.

Assessment Techniques

History, purpose, principles and methods of assessment; techniques and instruments employed in measuring abilities, achievement, interests, and personality; statistical procedures, limitations of measurement, especially among children. Relationship of assessment to the objectives of the school and counseling procedures.

Applied Psychopathology and Diagnosis

This course addresses the principles of diagnosis of normalcy and psychopathology through the use of current diagnostic tools, including the current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) and the current edition of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD). Introduction to principles and models of bio-psycho-social-spiritual assessments, case conceptualizations, and theories of human development.

Research in Psychology

Introduces the purpose, methods, and ethics for conducting and interpreting research in psychology and behavioral sciences. Emphasis on understanding research methods, statistical analysis, needs assessment and program evaluation allowing the development of necessary knowledge to critique research studies.

Elective (3 hours)

Choose one 6000-level course from CED and PSY in consultation with your faculty advisor.

Clinical Experience (9 hours)

Practicum: Clinical Mental Health Counseling (3 hours)

On-site and campus-based experiences to introduce the student to various functions of clinical mental health counselors. Students will be applying prior classroom knowledge to working with clients under the supervision of a university or community supervisor. Supervision will be provided by video/audio taping of professional interventions with clients and live and/or group supervision. Prerequisite: Counseling and Human Development, Ethics, Law and Morality for Counselors, Multicultural Counseling, Group Counseling, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Applied Psychopathology and Diagnosis.

Internship: Clinical Mental Health Counseling (6 hours)

On-site and campus-based experiences to introduce the student to various functions of clinical mental health counselors. Students will be applying prior classroom knowledge to working with clients under the supervision of a university or community supervisor. Prerequisite: Completion of all required coursework.

Capstone Experience:

Capstone Portfolio will be completed during practicum & internship and part of each course.

NOTE: This is only an introduction of the program. You are responsible to review the Graduate Catalog for program details.