The MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is designed to prepare students to function as licensed clinical mental health counselors. It provides the educational requirements outlined by the New Hampshire Board of Mental Health Practice as requisite to attaining mental health counseling licensures. PSU’s mental health counseling program is nationally accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Students should note that there are significant post-degree requirements to undertake prior to being licensed, listed below in the Licensure Requirements section.
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Clinical Experiences: Practicum & Internship
Students in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program must successfully complete a 100-hour Practicum and 600-hour Internship in a mental health counseling setting. Students can choose to remain in one setting or split their time between two settings, though most students prefer to stay at the same setting. A mental health provider licensed under the New Hampshire Board of Mental Health Practice will be designated to provide individual supervision at the internship site on a weekly basis. Students interning out of state need to be supervised by mental health providers licensed in the state in which they are practicing. In addition to their field experience, students are required to attend a weekly University-based internship seminar. Typically, the practicum occurs over one semester, and the internship over two semesters. Students must complete their internship experience within two calendar years. New Hampshire state licensure law only requires 600 hours of internship, but students may choose to complete a 900 hour internship to meet the requirements of other states (such as Maine).
Clinical mental health counseling students demonstrate mastery of all specialty competencies through completion of the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE).
Licensure as a Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LCMHC) in New Hampshire has three main requirements. The first is the completion of a 60 credit masters degree in clinical mental health counseling, ideally from a CACREP-accredited program. The second is the successful completion of the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Exam (NCMHCE), which is taken after degree completion. The third and final requirement is the completion of 3000 hours of post-masters clinical work in a counseling environment, which must occur over 2-4 years, be supervised by a LCMHCE, and be pre-approved by the NH Board of Mental Health Practice. Additional rules, forms, and details can be found on the NH Board of Mental Health Practice website at the following link: https://www.oplc.nh.gov/mental-health/
Each state has its own licensure rules, although most follow this general structure. For more information, please contact the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program coordinator, Dr. Mike Mariska.