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Mental Health Counseling

The M.Ed./Ed.S. and M.AE./Ed.S. program in Mental Health Counseling is designed to equip students with the pre-professional competencies required for Registered Intern status and, after 2 years of post-degree supervised clinical experience, (1) licensure in the State of Florida as Mental Health Counselors and (2) clinical membership in NBCC’s Academy of Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselors.

The entry-level 72-credit hour Mental Health Counseling program prepares students for positions as Mental Health Counselors in community, state, federal, and private social service agencies and for EAP positions in business and industry. Graduates provide services such as child, youth, couple, family, employment, health, multicultural, gerontological, substance abuse, and/or wellness counseling.

Students who complete the program are eligible to take the National Counselor Examination (NCE) offered by the National Board For Certified Counselors (NBCC) in order to qualify for National Certified Counselor status. They are also eligible to become members of the American Counseling Association (ACA), and/or the American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA).

The Mental Health Counseling program seeks to prepare graduates who:

* Establish a professional identity as Mental Health Counselors;
* Have specialized knowledge of and experience in assisting persons who present with a diverse array of couple and family problems (e.g., regarding intimate relating, marital discord, divorce, child-rearing, family/school conflicts, family violence, suicide, and medical/psychiatric distress);
* Have specialized knowledge and skills for mental health service delivery within a specific mental health service setting and/or with specific, targeted mental health service recipients;
* Have general knowledge of theories of human behavior, human development, and human relating and the influence of context on same;
* Have general knowledge of and experience with treatment modalities appropriate for a broad range of mental health service recipients and mental health service settings;
* Have general knowledge of and respect for the influences of culture/ethnicity, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic class, and have experience in working with a broad array of clientele representing such diversity;
* Interact effectively with the full spectrum of mental health professionals; and
* Provide competent professional service and leadership within the mental health field upon graduation.

The doctoral-level (Ph.D. or Ed.D.) Mental Health Counseling program specialization challenges students to master comprehensive professional knowledge regarding mental health policy formation and service delivery, to enhance their clinical practitioner technique, and to develop efficacious consultative, leadership, managerial, research, supervisory, and teaching/ training skills.

In particular, doctoral students in the program are expected to develop advanced knowledge and skills in Clinical Supervision, Consultation, Counselor Education, Post-Secondary Teaching, Qualitative and/or Quantitative Research; and Specialized Clinical Practice. In addition, they are expected to develop advanced knowledge and skills in several of the following areas: agency/budget/department administration and management; advocacy; couple and family therapy; crisis intervention; employee assistance program management and service delivery; mental health policy formation, implementation & evaluation; personnel management; professional regulation; psycho-educational program development, program management & program evaluation; and staff development/team building/training.

The Mental Health Counseling program faculty are committed to helping students (a) develop knowledge and skill as “empirical practitioners”, that is, practitioners who can deliver effective clinical and psycho-educational services and can use a variety of research methods to evaluate the impact of clinical and psycho-educational practice; (b) enhance the breadth and depth of their professional competence; (c) utilize both individual clinical-developmental theoretical perspectives and systemic multi-cultural social-ecological theoretical perspectives in the design of mental health interventions and programs; and (d) gain in-depth exposure to a variety of modes of mental health intervention and service delivery.

The Mental Health Counseling doctoral program specialization encompasses all the requirements for the Counselor Education Department’s entry-level program in the Department and can provide Florida Registered Mental Health Counseling Interns the opportunity, as needed, to complete 1 year of the 2 years of post-degree supervised clinical experience required for licensure as Mental Health Counselors in Florida.

To view current planned programs, please link to the Student Handbook web page.