Graduates of the program receive a Master of Science (M.S.) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
"This program is incredibly dynamic. It allows students to grow both personally and professionally through the guidance of compassionate and innovative faculty. The classes we take are not only purposeful but engaging and inspiring."
Heather Ridge, Clinical Mental Health Counseling student
The Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program at Western Carolina University prepares you to work at the entry level as a counselor in a wide range of agency settings. A mental health counselor is a master's-level helping professional who possesses knowledge and skills in the basic counseling core areas: human growth and development, social and cultural foundations of counseling, helping relationships, groups, lifestyles, and career development, appraisal, research ad evaluation, and professional counselor orientation.
In addition to the professional core and research component courses, curricular studies will include the following topics relevant to mental health counseling: history, trends, philosophy, purposes, ethics, legal aspects, standards, professional roles, organizational and administrative structures, staffing patterns, typical physical facilities, employment and evaluation procedures, operational resources, provisions for continuing professional development, relationships between the various counseling and helping services within that system, addictions and crisis intervention.
Most employers of mental health counselors provide or require beginning counselors to take additional training appropriate to the needs of their clientele and to meet the requirements of their certification agencies, as applicable. Graduates of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program are eligible to pursue the post-masters' Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) credential.
Contact Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program Leader Dr. Russ Curtis for more information about this field and program.