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Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (M.A.C.M.H.C.)

Do you want to make a difference? Would you like to serve others?

A career in counseling is a way. ETBU makes it possible. The School of Natural and Social Sciences at East Texas Baptist University offers a Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. The Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is designed with academic rigor and holistic attention to the entire person of the graduate student. Upon graduation from our program, you will be well-prepared to competently provide professional counseling services in a variety of settings as well as fully understand aspects of practice management and emerging professional trends.

The Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program prepares you to:

  1. Meet educational requirements for obtaining intern status as a Licensed Professional Counselor in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, New Mexico, and other states that require 60 hours or less. Upon completion of the program, you will be eligible to sit for the National Counseling Exam (NCE).
  2. Demonstrate knowledge and skills of professional counseling for intervention concerning a wide variety of mental illnesses, individual and family dynamics, and life concerns. To this end, you will receive broad training in a variety of models of counseling and psychotherapy as well as specific training in specialty areas such as Marriage and Family Counseling, Addictions Counseling, Counseling with Issues of Crisis and Trauma, Counseling with Children and Adolescents, and Play Therapy.
  3. Demonstrate capability as a practitioner-scholar, capable of consuming research and applying empirical research methods for advancement of intervention and support. You will be able to use current research to help your clients, and you will be well-positioned for adapting to emerging trends in professional practice.
  4. Be a self-aware and self-reflective leader who understands and addresses issues of racism, discrimination, sexism, power, privilege and oppression which impact the practice and policy levels of counseling in a multicultural society.
  5. Have the knowledge and skills that enables you to integrate faith, religion, and spirituality competently into counseling.

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The Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is a 60-credit hour graduate program designed to meet the educational requirements to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). The curriculum is consistent with LPC licensure laws in Texas and Louisiana. The courses for the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling will be delivered utilizing traditional face-to-face, web-enhanced, and online formats in regular 16-week and accelerated summer semesters. The curriculum will provide students substantive training in human growth and development, abnormal human behavior, assessment techniques, counseling theories and techniques, lifestyle and career development, sociocultural factors, integration of faith in counseling, and professional issues. Additionally, students will take courses promoting their capacities for research consumption, applied research methodology, and program evaluation. The program curriculum also includes a careful focus upon current legal, social, governmental, and economic issues facing counseling professionals. Courses are richly supported by contemporary literature of the discipline that prepares the students to seek licensure as a professional counselor and for independent practice. Additionally, in response to emerging trends of the field, an evidence-based perspective is utilized throughout the curriculum when instructing upon applied research, intervention, and faith integration.

The mission of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) program is to contribute to the University's mission through equipping students called to the field of counseling with the competence to help individuals and families from diverse cultural and spiritual backgrounds struggling with emotional and psychological issues, using knowledge from Christian faith and counseling research.  We emphasize students' spiritual, personal, and professional identity development through faculty mentoring along with promoting advocacy, service leadership, and growing the counseling profession.

For the Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, students will complete a total of 60 graduate credit hours, maintain at least a 2.75 grade point average, and pass the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE) with a passing score of one standard deviation below the national mean score.  Students must complete all requirements for the degree within five years of being granted full admission.

1. Students who fail to achieve full admission after the completion of nine graduate hours will be dismissed from the program.
2. Students who fail to maintain at least a 2.75 grade point average will be placed on probation and will have one semester to raise the grade point average. Following that semester, failure to regain at least a 2.75 grade point average will result in dismissal from the program.
3. Students who earn a grade of “D” or “F” in any one course may be dismissed from the program based on a recommendation from the Program Director and Dean.

Year One

Year One Fall

  • COUN 5301 Theories of Counseling - This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of the major counseling theories and practices. Several of the major theories of counseling will be examined with an emphasis on four areas: key concepts of the theory, its beliefs about the therapeutic process, the role of the counselor, and how to apply the theory to helping a client change. Each theory will be analyzed for its uniqueness and similarity with the other approaches and applied to case examples.
  • COUN 5304 Professional Orientation in Counseling - This course is an introduction to the field of counseling. It includes the history and trends of the counseling profession; the professional roles and identity; and ethical issues that affect the practice of counseling. This course provides opportunities to explore various types of counseling such as: career counseling, school counseling, college counseling, crisis counseling, and rehabilitation counseling within a diverse society. Other contemporary issues are covered as well.
  • COUN 5327 Sociocultural Issues in Counseling - This course provides students with an understanding of how diversity and pluralistic trends and treatment strategies are related to such factors as: culture, race, ethnicity, nationality, age, gender, sexual orientation, mental and physical characteristics, education, disability, family values, religious and spiritual values, socioeconomic status, and unique characteristics of individuals, couples, families, and communities.

Year One Spring

  • COUN 5321 Research and Program Evaluation - A review of the research methods used in counseling. Included are experiences in searching research literature databases, understanding basic statistics, evaluating statistical software, planning research, and communicating research findings. Strategies for effective program evaluation as methods of consultation will also be reviewed.
  • COUN 5330 Professional Issues and Ethics for Practice - This course provides a survey of ethical principles, standards, and legal codes for counselors as defined by the American Counseling Association (ACA), American School Counseling Association (ASCA), and the states of Texas and Louisiana. Students will learn how to apply ethical decision making models to navigate potential ethical dilemmas.
  • COUN 6305 Career Counseling Across the Lifespan - Students will be introduced to career development and the importance of various facets of career counseling. Emphasis is given to developmental considerations and the role of testing, educational and career development program planning and implementation. Technology-based career development applications and strategies will be explored.

Year One Summer

  • COUN 5312 Lifespan Development - This course provides an advanced overview of current research and theory on life-span human development, and will enhance students’ understanding of significant developmental changes that occur over the life span. Emphasis will be placed on standard physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development as well as on issues such as diversity and socialization in relation to perceptions of human development. Professional, clinical, legal, and ethical issues will also be addressed.
  • COUN 6326 Addictions Counseling - This course will provide an in-depth study of the theories and etiology of addictions and addictive behaviors including strategies for assessment and diagnosis, prevention, intervention, and treatment across the lifespan across a variety of settings. Coverage will include but not be limited to gambling, sexual, eating, alcohol, and drug-related addictions.
Year Two

Year Two Fall

  • COUN 5309 Assessment for Counselors - This course provides an overview of various approaches to assessment and procedures for evaluation. Special emphasis is given to counseling decision-making, and treatment planning. Theoretical and applied material will be integrated in order to provide the student with an understanding of the context of assessment and evaluation. Emphasis will be placed on equipping students to understand technical terms in professional journals, test manuals, and test reports.
  • COUN 5316 Psychopathology and Diagnosis - This course will provide an overview of psychopathology and treatment planning. An interactive, developmental perspective for conceptualizing psychopathology as well as resilience will be employed. In particular, the influence of development, neurobiological mechanisms, and contextual features on the emergence, exacerbation, and alleviation of psychopathology will be discussed.
  • COUN 5335 Techniques in Counseling - This course emphasizes the stages of the helping relationship. Students practice basic attending and communication skills. Counseling skills are introduced through didactic, demonstration, and experiential learning situations. Counseling skills will be integrated with the use of counseling theories.

Year Two Spring

  • COUN 5305 Group Counseling - A study of group dynamics, process, theoretical applications, techniques and leadership skills in an experiential setting. This course traces the major theoretical orientations in group counseling. Students will learn to apply group approaches to the treatment of mental health problems
  • COUN 6320 Psychopharmacology and Treatment - This course will discuss the primary psychiatric disorders and the medications commonly used to treat these disorders, with an emphasis upon disorders identified in the current version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Students in this course will gain an understanding of how these drugs work, what effects and side effects they have, and how to work with clients as they receive both medical and counseling services.
  • COUN 6301 Marriage and Family Therapy - This course provides an overview of marital and family counseling from a systems perspective. An overview of the predominant systems theories essential in working with couples and families will be presented. Special emphasis is given to evidence based treatments and the current research on attachment theory and the role of attachment in couple and family distress.

Year Two Summer

  • COUN 5303 Counseling Children and Adolescents or COUN 6351 Faith Integration in Counseling.  COUN 5303 this course is a didactic and experiential course that prepares graduate students to work with the specific needs of children and adolescents. This course will focus on developmental needs, specific therapeutic interventions, and common emotional issues of children and adolescents. Group and individual counseling techniques will be practiced and treatment options will be covered. COUN 6351 in this course, students explore personal and professional issues of faith and spirituality as they pertain to clinical competency in professional counseling. Students will have an opportunity to learn about frameworks for faith integration in professional practice. The course provides students with an overview of several common approaches to mental health counseling from a faith perspective that have been well-supported in research.
  • COUN 6313 Counseling Practicum - Counseling supervised field experience. The practicum experience is designed to give counselors in training the opportunity to put into practice the skills and knowledge they are developing throughout the counseling program as they counsel clients for the first time.
  • COUN 6324 Advanced Ethics for Professional Practice - This course explores the range of ethical issues that professionals may encounter within the field of psychology during independent practice. Through lecture, discussion, reading, and role-plays, students will explore such issues as the interrelation between professional ethical codes, ethical decision-making, and records management. Additionally, a survey of applicable rules, laws, and statutes related to professional practice will be undertaken.
Year Three

Year Three Fall

  • COUN 6322 Crisis and Trauma Intervention - This course will look at the dynamics and treatment of developmental and situational crises, trauma, and grief. Students will learn crisis intervention theories and be able to apply multiple models of intervention to various problems, such as suicide, sexual assault, domestic violence, substance abuse, school violence, abuse, divorce, grief and loss, and disaster relief. Primary skills of psychological first aid will additionally be taught
  • COUN 6350 Counseling Internship I - Internship I will builds upon skills and experiences developed in practicum, and will identify strengths and growth areas relative to counseling core competencies, and focus on expanding the depth and diversity of the student’s professional experience as they counsel clients. This internship requires the student to complete 300 clock hours of supervised internship, a minimum of 120 hours of which must be direct service.

Year Three Spring

  • COUN 6352 Counseling Internship II - Internship II is an extension of Internship I and requires the student to complete an additional 300 clock hours of supervised internship, a minimum of 120 hours of which must be direct service. Internship II will build on strengths and improve growth areas identified in Practicum and Internship I as students continue to work with clients. Focus will continue to be on providing the best possible client care and professional development.
Required Forms for Students and Site Supervisors