Clinical Mental Health Counseling (M.S.)

Clinical Mental Health Counseling (M.S.)
Aerial view of Plymouth campus

The Master of Science (MS) in Clinical Mental Health Counseling is designed to prepare students to function as licensed clinical mental health counselors. Students may choose to complete concentrations in Addictions Treatment, Marriage and Family Therapy, Eating Disorders, Play Therapy, or Wellness Leadership. The program provides the educational requirements outlined by the New Hampshire Board of Mental Health Practice as requisite to attaining clinical mental health counseling licensure. Program requirements, policies, and resources are all available in the student handbook that all students review during the Professional Orientation and Ethics course.  It may also be requested from the program coordinator listed above. Students should note that there are significant post-degree requirements to undertake prior to being licensed. The clinical mental health counseling program is nationally accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

Internship

Students in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program must successfully complete a 600-hour mental health counseling internship in a mental health setting. Students can choose to remain in one setting or can split their time between two settings. A mental health provider licensed under the New Hampshire Board of Mental Health Practice must 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 internship requirement is met over two academic terms and carries six credits. Students must complete their internship experience within two calendar years.

Contact

Program Coordinator, Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Professor
Phone: (603) 535-2821
Office: Health & Human Enrichment, Samuel Read Hall, MSC 58, Plymouth, NH 03264

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PSU was recently awarded a $1.9 million Federal Behavioral Health and Workforce Education Training program grant.

 Learn More

Curriculum & Requirements

Course Title Credits
Counselor Education Component
CO 5010Professional Orientation and Ethics3
CO 5020Counseling Skills3
CO 5040Social Behavior and Diversity3
CO 5050Advanced Human Development3
CO 5070Research Design in the Helping Professions3
CO 5230Career Counseling and Development3
CO 5260Counseling Theories and Personality3
CO 5430Assessment for Counselors3
CO 5460Group Counseling3
CO 5100Practicum3
Clinical Mental Health Specialization Component
CO 5130Psychopharmacology and the Biological Basis of Mental Health3
CO 5600Foundations of Clinical Mental Health Counseling3
CO 5670Working with Children and Families3
CO 5710Crisis and Trauma Counseling3
CO 5720Addictions & Related Disorders3
CO 5770Psychopathology: Disorders of Childhood, Adolescence and Adulthood3
CO 5790Assessment, Diagnosis, and Treatment Planning3
CO 5880Seminar and Internship in Mental Health Counseling6-9
Electives3-6
Total Credits63

Optional Concentrations in this Major

Addictions Treatment

Course Title Credits
Counselor Education Component
CO 5010Professional Orientation and Ethics3
CO 5020Counseling Skills3
CO 5040Social Behavior and Diversity3
CO 5050Advanced Human Development3
CO 5070Research Design in the Helping Professions3
CO 5230Career Counseling and Development3
CO 5260Counseling Theories and Personality3
CO 5430Assessment for Counselors3
CO 5460Group Counseling3
CO 5100Practicum3
Clinical Mental Health Specialization Component
CO 5130Psychopharmacology and the Biological Basis of Mental Health3
CO 5600Foundations of Clinical Mental Health Counseling3
CO 5670Working with Children and Families3
CO 5710Crisis and Trauma Counseling3
CO 5720Addictions & Related Disorders3
CO 5770Psychopathology: Disorders of Childhood, Adolescence and Adulthood3
CO 5790Assessment, Diagnosis, and Treatment Planning3
CO 5880Seminar and Internship in Mental Health Counseling6-9
Addictions Treatment Component
CO 5730Addictions Treatment Modalities3
Total Credits60-63

Marriage and Family Therapy

Course Title Credits
Counselor Education Component
CO 5010Professional Orientation and Ethics3
CO 5020Counseling Skills3
CO 5040Social Behavior and Diversity3
CO 5050Advanced Human Development3
CO 5070Research Design in the Helping Professions3
CO 5230Career Counseling and Development3
CO 5260Counseling Theories and Personality3
CO 5430Assessment for Counselors3
CO 5460Group Counseling3
CO 5100Practicum3
Clinical Mental Health Specialization Component
CO 5130Psychopharmacology and the Biological Basis of Mental Health3
CO 5600Foundations of Clinical Mental Health Counseling3
CO 5670Working with Children and Families3
CO 5710Crisis and Trauma Counseling3
CO 5720Addictions & Related Disorders3
CO 5770Psychopathology: Disorders of Childhood, Adolescence and Adulthood3
CO 5790Assessment, Diagnosis, and Treatment Planning3
CO 5880Seminar and Internship in Mental Health Counseling6-9
Marriage and Family Therapy Component
MFT 5010Foundational Methods in Marriage and Family Therapy3
MFT 5020Current Issues in Marriage and Family Therapy3
MFT 5030Foundations and Ethics in Marriage and Family Therapy3
MFT 5900Seminar and Internship in Marriage and Family Therapy1-9
Total Credits67-78

Eating Disorders

Course Title Credits
Counselor Education Component
CO 5010Professional Orientation and Ethics3
CO 5020Counseling Skills3
CO 5040Social Behavior and Diversity3
CO 5050Advanced Human Development3
CO 5070Research Design in the Helping Professions3
CO 5230Career Counseling and Development3
CO 5260Counseling Theories and Personality3
CO 5430Assessment for Counselors3
CO 5460Group Counseling3
CO 5100Practicum3
Clinical Mental Health Specialization Component
CO 5130Psychopharmacology and the Biological Basis of Mental Health3
CO 5600Foundations of Clinical Mental Health Counseling3
CO 5670Working with Children and Families3
CO 5710Crisis and Trauma Counseling3
CO 5720Addictions & Related Disorders3
CO 5770Psychopathology: Disorders of Childhood, Adolescence and Adulthood3
CO 5790Assessment, Diagnosis, and Treatment Planning3
CO 5880Seminar and Internship in Mental Health Counseling6-9
Eating Disorders Component
CO 5150Eating Disorders Clinical3
CO 5160Eating Disorders: Awareness and Prevention3
CO 5170Treatment Modalities for Eating Disorders3
CO 5180Nutrition Fundamentals and Counseling in the Recovery of Eating Disorders3
CO 5190Medical and Physiological Aspects of Eating Disorders3
Total Credits72-75

Play Therapy

Course Title Credits
Counselor Education Component
CO 5010Professional Orientation and Ethics3
CO 5020Counseling Skills3
CO 5040Social Behavior and Diversity3
CO 5050Advanced Human Development3
CO 5070Research Design in the Helping Professions3
CO 5230Career Counseling and Development3
CO 5260Counseling Theories and Personality3
CO 5430Assessment for Counselors3
CO 5460Group Counseling3
CO 5100Practicum3
Clinical Mental Health Specialization Component
CO 5130Psychopharmacology and the Biological Basis of Mental Health3
CO 5600Foundations of Clinical Mental Health Counseling3
CO 5670Working with Children and Families3
CO 5710Crisis and Trauma Counseling3
CO 5720Addictions & Related Disorders3
CO 5770Psychopathology: Disorders of Childhood, Adolescence and Adulthood3
CO 5790Assessment, Diagnosis, and Treatment Planning3
CO 5880Seminar and Internship in Mental Health Counseling6-9
Play Therapy Component
CO 7010Dynamic Play Therapies1
CO 7020Child Centered Play Therapy1
CO 7030Expressive Play Therapies1
CO 7040Special Populations in Play Therapy1
CO 7560Counselor Education: Special Topics (Students take four, one-credit special topics courses)4
Total Credits65-68

Wellness Leadership

Course Title Credits
Counselor Education Component
CO 5010Professional Orientation and Ethics3
CO 5020Counseling Skills3
CO 5040Social Behavior and Diversity3
CO 5050Advanced Human Development3
CO 5070Research Design in the Helping Professions3
CO 5230Career Counseling and Development3
CO 5260Counseling Theories and Personality3
CO 5430Assessment for Counselors3
CO 5460Group Counseling3
CO 5100Practicum3
Clinical Mental Health Specialization Component
CO 5130Psychopharmacology and the Biological Basis of Mental Health3
CO 5600Foundations of Clinical Mental Health Counseling3
CO 5670Working with Children and Families3
CO 5710Crisis and Trauma Counseling3
CO 5720Addictions & Related Disorders3
CO 5770Psychopathology: Disorders of Childhood, Adolescence and Adulthood3
CO 5790Assessment, Diagnosis, and Treatment Planning3
CO 5880Seminar and Internship in Mental Health Counseling6-9
Wellness Leadership Component
OH 5180Exploring Personal & Organizational Health3
OH 5200Communication in Socially Responsible Organizations3
OH 5100Full Spectrum Leadership3
Total Credits66-69

Counselor Education Objectives - Students will be able to:

  1. Articulate and demonstrate the professional and ethical role of a counselor.
  2. Discuss and demonstrate techniques of cross-cultural counseling and advocate on behalf of multicultural populations.
  3. Describe the role that human growth and development plays in counseling interventions and modify these interventions as appropriate.
  4. Explain theories of career development and implement career interventions.
  5. Define and utilize counseling skills and advanced counseling interventions.
  6. Articulate theories of group counseling and utilize leadership skills in facilitating various types of groups.
  7. Identify and utilize various types of counseling assessments.
  8. Describe and conduct methods of research and program evaluation.
Clinical Mental Health Counseling Objectives - Students will be able to:
  1. Articulate and apply foundational knowledge of clinical mental health counseling.
  2. Articulate and demonstrate various types of counseling, consultation, prevention, and intervention – including response to crisis and trauma and addiction.
  3. Discuss issues of multiculturalism, demonstrate multicultural competency skills, and advocate on behalf of multicultural populations in clinical mental health counseling settings.
  4. Analyze and utilize various types of clinical mental health counseling assessments.
  5. Critically evaluate and utilize research methods in the practice of clinical mental health counseling.
  6. Describe and employ principles of case conceptualization, diagnosis, and treatment planning with a variety of populations.

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.
 
2021-22 Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program Outcome Report
2021-22 Counselor Education Assessment Report
Key Performance Indicators used to assess Student Outcomes
 
PSU was recently awarded a $1.9 million Federal Behavioral Health and Workforce Education Training program grant – Learn More!

Admission Information

Requirements

The MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling requires the following materials to be submitted through our online application

  • Recommended 3.0 or better GPA in undergraduate coursework
  • Official transcripts from any/all college level work
  • Three professional recommendations
  • Current Resume
  • Statement of interest
  • Participation in the Group Interview
  • NH Residency Verification form (NH residents only)
  • $75 application fee

Deadlines

Students pursuing the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program can apply for admission to any of the upcoming semesters. Here are the deadlines for 2023-24:

  • Fall 2023 – August 1, 2023
  • Spring 2024 – December 1, 2023
  • Summer 2024 – April 15, 2024

*We suggest submitting your documentation at least two weeks prior to the posted date to ensure your application is complete and can be reviewed by the deadline. 

2023-24 Estimated Graduate Per Credit Tuition and Mandatory Fees

  New Hampshire Resident
Tuition Mandatory Fees Per Credit Total
Master’s Degrees/Certificates $570 $42 $612
CAGS $610 $42 $652
EDD $665 $42 $707
  Out-of-State Resident
Tuition Mandatory Fees Per Credit Total
Master’s Degrees/Certificates $789 $42 $831
CAGS $763 $42 $805
EDD $845 $42 $887

More information is available through the Student Financial Services Office

Graduate students are eligible for financial aid in the form of student loans only. You will need to complete the FAFSA at least 30 days prior to the start of the semester you wish to begin taking classes. International students are not eligible for federal financial aid – please review our international admission requirements to learn more.

More information can be found on the Student Financial Services website.

Each year, Plymouth State offers a limited number of merit-based scholarships to admitted graduate students. Selection criteria include academic and professional achievements, commitment to graduate study, and achievement or pursuit of personal or professional goals. Visit the PSU Scholarship Opportunities webpage for additional information.

Explore Program Details

Methods of Instruction

Courses are taught primarily in person, with some hybrid (partially online) and some fully online options offered each semester. Classes commonly include lecture, small and large group discussions, role-play experiences, group projects, multimedia, guest speakers, and a variety of experiential activities.

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).

Licensure Requirements

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.

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.

For the 2022-2023 academic year, approximately 70 students were enrolled in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program.

In the 2022-2023 academic year there were 21 graduates of Plymouth State University’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling master’s degree program.   Over the past several years, approximately 76% of initially enrolled students completed the program in 3-4 years.

Clinical Mental Health Counseling students take the PSU Counseling Comprehensive Exam (CCE).  During the 2022-2023 academic year, 100% of all students successfully passed the exam on the first attempt.

The NH State License Exam is the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Exam (NCMHCE).  During the 2022-23 academic year, informal polling of students indicated an continuing 75-80% pass rate on the first attempt.  Formal polling of students will be added to future surveys of alumni.

Among all program graduates, the current three-year job placement rate remains at approximately 100% of those actively seeking positions.

The linked report below is compiled on a yearly basis, and outlines the assessment data gathered for both the CMHC and School Counseling programs, an analysis of this data, an overview of current program strengths, and specific plans for change in response to this data over the next academic year:

2022-23 Counselor Education Assessment Report

Graduate assistants are an important part of Plymouth State’s collaborative learning community. They work alongside faculty, staff, and students to help achieve the University’s goals, while gaining valuable experience as assistants, researchers, and teachers.

Graduate Assistant positions are available on a limited basis to highly qualified graduate students who’ve been fully accepted into a graduate program at Plymouth State. Applications for assistantships should be returned to the Office of Academic Affairs by April 1 for the upcoming year.

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