This course integrates mental health foundations with historical, philosophical and contextual dimensions of clinical mental health counseling practice, and reviews the trends in both the knowledge and skills necessary to practice clinical mental health counseling. Additionally, this course explores current national and local issues relevant to the practice of mental health counseling. Community resources and professional networks are explored as a means of demonstrating the integration of the profession in a social context. Issues surrounding the need for ongoing professional identity development, including membership in professional organizations, are examined as a strategy for counselor involvement in advocacy processes. Students will investigate professional roles, functions, and relationships with other human services providers. Additionally, application of counseling models for diverse needs and settings, including crisis and trauma, are investigated in-depth.
This graduate-level course is 6 weeks. This course is available to take individually or as part of a degree or certificate program. To enroll, speak with an Enrollment Advisor.
Historical, Philosophical, and Political Dimensions of Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Define Clinical Mental Health Counseling and articulate historical and philosophical perspectives of mental health counseling profession, particularly in context of current political, economic, and societal trends.
Define and describe ethical and legal guidelines for mental health counselors.
Identify professional organizations, preparation standards, and credentials relevant to the practice of clinical mental health counseling and the development of an identity as professional counselor.
Identify professional knowledge, skill and practice standards for counselors within the context of community mental health counseling and the bioecological model.
Demonstrate understanding and knowledge of public policy at the local, state, and national levels affecting both quality and accessibility of mental health services.
Traits and Skills of the Clinical Mental Health Counselor
Discuss the function of the counselor in prevention, intervention, consultation, education, advocacy, program operations, and promotion of mental health/wellness in diverse societies.
Describe the guidelines for demonstrating competence as culturally and ethnically responsive mental health counselors.
Identify the entire spectrum of diversity within a community including, but not limited to, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, age, gender, sexual orientation, etc.
Identify the traits and skills of effective mental health counselors, the requirement for multicultural counseling competencies and the process of integrating awareness, knowledge and skills in becoming a diversely astute counselor.
Demonstrate skill in counseling diverse and special populations considering sexual orientation and gender identity and counseling people with disabilities.
Identify current and emerging influences in mental health counseling including ethical considerations when working with managed care systems, technological innovations, and holistic approaches.
Counseling and Consultation Processes of the Mental Health Profession
Review and demonstrate understanding of the basic theories, techniques, and competence associated with individual the counseling relationship, interviewing, assessment, treatment planning and termination.
Demonstrate foundational skill in using the DSM-IV-TR in counseling including differential diagnostic processes and ethical implications involved when delivering a diagnosis.
Define crisis and describe the nature and process of crisis and examine the impact of crises, disasters, and other trauma-causing events on the mental health of diverse clients.
Identify best practices and procedures for assessing and managing suicide risk and demonstrate skill in employing the 6-step and ABC models of crisis intervention.
Identify and practice advocacy skills that promote policies, programs, and services that are equitable and responsive to the unique needs of clients.
Examine public mental health policies, financing, emergency management systems, and regulatory processes which will affect service delivery opportunities in clinical mental health counseling.
Demonstrate understanding of quality assurance strategies and steps in program evaluation.
Group Counseling Theories, Methods, and Skills
Review and demonstrate basic theories and techniques of group counseling.
Review and demonstrate basic theories and techniques of individual counseling with a focus on stages of adulthood.
Explore different types of families and family issues.
Identify the application of counseling theory in marriage, family and couples work with attention to cultural competency.
Compare and contrast developmental considerations for counseling children and adolescents.
Identify the most common concerns affecting children and adolescents.
Community and Private Practice Settings
Compare and contrast private mental health agency and community mental health counseling settings in context of the role of the professional clinical mental health counselor.
Examine ancillary roles related to business and fiscal issues involved in successful practice as a mental health counselor including administrative, financial and accountability practices.
Identify and describe specialized clinical settings.
Demonstrate understanding of the processes involved with becoming an EAP counselor, getting approved as a 3rd party payee (insurance) provider and challenges in establishing a private practice.
Articulate the role of the professional counselor in career assessment, development, and needs across professional counseling settings and within the community.
Managing Stress, Preventing Burnout, and Counselor Self-Care
Demonstrate strategies for cultivating self-awareness and modeling self-care.