The Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) program, a 60 hour program, is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) and meets educational requirements for licensure as a professional counselor in Tennessee and many other states.
The program prepares professionals to use strong professional identity and relationship skills across diverse counseling settings including community agencies, nonprofits, and private practice. Our program includes a special focus on work with at-risk children and youth. Throughout our program, we work to embrace our core values–Commitment, Openness, Respect, Integrity, and Self-Awareness–and to attend to culturally sensitive, developmentally appropriate, and ethical relationships. Our program is completely face-to-face; most students enroll on full-time basis, and part-time options are available by advisement.
About Clinical Mental Health Counseling
We aim to make the world a better place for persons in need through educating excellent counselor-scholars. Our graduates excel in providing healing therapeutic relationships, optimally efficient and effective counseling services, and leading our field to better help persons in need through their work in clinical mental health counseling settings and beyond.
- Graduates will have foundation knowledge necessary for success as professional counselors
- Graduates will be able to develop therapeutic relationships that are deeply healing, culturally sensitive, developmentally appropriate, and ethical.
- Graduates will demonstrate professional dispositions including Commitment, Openness, Respect, Integrity, and Self-Awareness.
- Graduates will be culturally sensitive and ethical advocates for self, clients, and profession through counseling interventions, programming, and professional and community engagement.
- Graduates will be well-skilled in the full range of tasks needed for clinical mental health counseling including interventions for prevention and treatment of a broad range of mental health issues; roles of mental health counselors; and settings and service delivery models.
Core CACREP-Accredited Program Faculty
Casey A. Barrio Minton*
Pamelia E. Brott*
Joel F. Diambra*
Laura S. Wheat*
*Designated as core faculty members for this program.
Our faculty and student embrace a strong counselor-first identity. This includes ongoing engagement in the following professional associations:
- American Counseling Association
- Chi Sigma Iota International
- Tennessee Counseling Association
- Tennessee Licensed Professional Counselors Association
In addition, a number of our faculty members and students have held leadership positions in the following associations
- Association for Assessment & Research in Counseling
- Association for Counselor Education & Supervision
- Association for Death Education & Counseling
- Association for Humanistic Counseling
- American Mental Health Counselors Association
- American School Counselor Association
- National Career Development Association
- Southern Association for Counselor Education & Supervision
Information for Potential Applicants
Applications are due each year on February 1 for fall or summer admissions.
CMHC students complete a one semester, 100-hour practicum in a clinical mental health counseling setting. During practicum, students focus on developing counseling relationships. This work is closely supervised on site and on campus.
After practicum, CMHC students complete a 900-hour internship over one calendar year. During internship, students focus on developing counseling relationships and assuming responsibilities of entry-level professional counselors. As with practicum, this work is closely supervised both on campus and on site.
Practicum and internship sites are carefully selected in collaboration with the program faculty. Additional details regarding field experiences are located in the MS in Counseling Handbook.
All 50 states require a license to practice as a professional counselor. These licensure requirements tend to feature the three Es: education, examination, and experience (2000-4000 supervised hours post-graduation). You can learn more on the American Counseling Association’s licensure requirements page.
Our CMHC program is designed to exceed the educational requirements for licensure as a professional counselor with mental health service provider designation (LPC-MHSP) in the state of Tennessee. In addition, accreditation by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) helps ensure a smooth path to licensure in many other states. If you plan to practice in a state other than Tennessee, a faculty advisor can help you customize electives to meet educational requirements.
As a CACREP accredited program, our program is able to offer a fast-track to the National Certified Counselor Credential offered by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC).
Students admitted to the Clinical Mental Health and School Counseling programs have the opportunity to complete dual-track licensure preparation requirements. The completed coursework will provide the student with a structured method for meeting the academic requirements for licensure as a Professional Counselor (LPC) and as a Professional School Counselor in the state of Tennessee. The dual licensure preparation requires a total of 63 hours. Faculty permission and an application are required, and students must declare their intentions during the first semester in their program. Faculty will make a determination of all submitted applications and inform students before the Fall semester ends. Selected students remain in the program for which they were admitted (i.e., school or clinical mental health) but agree to and are expected to complete the dual licensure preparation requirements.
CACREP Accreditation Information
COUN 480 Skills for Counseling
COUN 504 Special Topics
COUN 525 Assessment and Testing in Counseling
COUN 535 Orientation to Counseling and Ethics
COUN 540 Psychopharmacology for Mental Health and School Settings
COUN 545 Critical Issues in Counseling
COUN 550 Foundations in School Counseling
COUN 551 Theory and Practice of Counseling
COUN 552 Career Development: Vocational Theory, Research, and Practice
COUN 554 Group Dynamics and Methods
COUN 555 Practicum in Counseling
COUN 556 Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Related Professional Issues
COUN 558 Internship in School Counseling
COUN 559 Internship in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
COUN 560 Practicum in Grief Support
COUN 562 Child Centered Play Therapy
COUN 563 Crisis Intervention for Counselors
COUN 565 Counseling Children and Adolescents
COUN 570 Cross-Cultural Counseling: Theory and Research
COUN 604 Special Topics
COUN 645 Foundations in Counselor Education and Supervision
COUN 650 Seminar in Counselor Education
COUN 655 Practicum in Counselor Education
COUN 659 Internship in Counselor Education
COUN 662 Advanced Theory and Practice of Counseling
COUN 664 Systems and Issues in Counseling Children and Youth
COUN 665 Advanced Group and Systems Theory and Interventions
COUN 670 Theory and Practice of Counseling Supervision and Consultation
COUN 675 Theory and Practice of University Teaching in Counselor Education
SCHP 690 Psychopathology in School and Mental Health Settings