Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Program information

  • 60-credit master’s in clinical mental health counseling—two-year program (accelerated) or
  • three-year program.
  • Semester-long courses (fall, spring and summer)
  • Offered primarily on campus with select courses available online
  • Students can enter in fall only

Admission to the program is competitive and requires an interview with the counseling program admissions committee to determine eligibility.

  • Completed applications will be sent to the counseling faculty for interview
  • Interviews will be scheduled twice a semester
  • Decisions will be communicated to the Office of Admissions within two weeks of the interview process

Students are provided with fieldwork experience during their second year in the program in keeping with the requirements for licensure in the state of Florida. Licensure involves many variables in addition to completion of a graduate program and therefore it is incumbent upon the student to explore their viability for licensure in the state of Florida or elsewhere.

The clinical mental health counseling program at Lynn University does not claim to prepare students for licensure in other states or countries. Although academic preparation is similar in the field of counseling, licensure requirements are on a state by state basis and can vary in course and credit requirements, hours of practicum and internship and licensure titles.

Clinical mental health counseling program mission statement

The clinical mental health counseling (CMHC) program at Lynn University provides education, training and practice for individuals who are motivated to become professional counselors. The program follows the tenets of the field of professional counseling and trains students to become effective counselors from a strengths-based, competency-based orientation. Counselors are helping professionals who are trained to assess, diagnose and treat clients dealing with a range of issues from minor life challenges to significant mental disorders. Effective counselors develop a strong therapeutic relationship with clients and work collaboratively to identify and build on clients’ strengths and resources.

The Master of Science (M.S.) in clinical mental health counseling prepares students interested in working with clients individually, with couples, families or groups to address social, personal, emotional, vocational and educational issues. The 60-credit hour program includes coursework designed to meet national standards and licensure requirements in the state of Florida. Students will have the opportunity to work in a variety of settings including community mental health agencies, substance abuse treatment centers, private practice, family and group counseling centers, schools and correctional settings among others.

Clinical mental health counseling program goals and objectives

The CMHC program aims to meet the objectives of preparing students for the field of professional counseling. We train students to be prepared to meet goals within the domains of knowledge, skills and attitudes.


  1. To prepare students with the content knowledge required for certification, licensure and to achieve success in their professional endeavors.
    1. Demonstrate an understanding of the history, identity, credentialing and current issues related to the counseling profession.
    2. Describe the influence of gender, race, age, ethnicity, culture, SES, religion, sexual orientation and disabilities in counseling research and practice.
    3. Describe a range of core issues in the development of the life span, including basic theoretical and methodological concepts, such as life span theories of development including physical, intellectual, moral and social development.
    4. Examine career development and build competencies for assisting individuals with career planning and decision-making, including the use of assessment instruments and interventions.
    5. Articulate counseling interventions and acquire basic counseling skills, including building rapport, treating of individuals with trauma, developmental issues and other mental health challenges.
    6. Examine and apply group therapy models and associated techniques.
    7. Demonstrate the capacity to assess, evaluate and diagnose, as well as provide appropriate assessment feedback to an individual via administering, scoring, interpreting and implementing selected educational and psychological assessment methods.
    8. Describe the theoretical and practical interpretations of qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection and program analysis in counseling research and programs.
  2. To provide didactic and experiential opportunities for students to assess, conceptualize, diagnose and treat individuals, groups and families from a strengths-based perspective unique to the counseling profession.
    1. Demonstrate the capacity to assess clients in a clinical setting
    2. Apply a model of case conceptualization to clients in a clinical setting
    3. Provide accurate diagnoses for clients in a clinical setting
    4. Develop and implement a treatment plan for clients in a clinical setting
  3. To train students who become professional counselors to practice within ethical, legal, multicultural, social justice and advocacy competency guidelines of the profession.
    1. Demonstrate behaviors commensurate with ethical guidelines of the profession as outlined by the American Counseling Association
    2. Demonstrate behaviors within the legal guidelines of the profession as outlined by the state of Florida
    3. Demonstrate behaviors within the multicultural and social justice guidelines of the profession as outlined by the American Counseling Association
    4. Demonstrate behaviors commensurate with advocacy competencies as defined by joining a professional counseling advocacy group
  4. To promote student understanding and awareness of self and others within the therapeutic relationship.
    1. Examine interpersonal and intrapersonal experiences in experiential and fieldwork courses
    2. Develop and monitor a self-care action plan as a counselor-in-training
    3. Monitor own performance of clinical practice through client and supervisor feedback

Why enroll in this program?

  1. The program academically prepares students for licensure as a mental health counselor in the state of Florida

2. Students have the opportunity to sit for the certification exam to become a nationally certified counselor (NCC)

3. Offers advanced opportunities to gain experience and intern with community mental health agencies

4. Allows students to work in the counseling field upon graduation

5. Program has an accelerated track which allows students to complete the program in two-years

What can I do with this degree?

  • Licensed mental health counselor in Florida
  • Nationally certified counselor
  • Professional counselor
  • Community counselor
  • Substance abuse counselor
  • Career counselor

From the Occupational Outlook Handbook:

"Employment of mental health counselors is projected to grow 20 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations"

Faculty Information

  1. Core faculty graduated from CACREP accredited counseling and counselor education programs
  2. Core faculty identify as counselors and counselor educators, attend counseling related conferences and research within the field
  3. Faculty are published researchers in scholarly counseling journals. Research work has included counseling supervision, case conceptualization, promoting health behaviors, marriage and family counseling supervision, program evaluation and counseling with special populations
  4. Affiliate faculty hold degrees in counseling psychology, clinical psychology, developmental psychology, personality psychology, social psychology, experimental psychology, psychobiology and cognitive psychology
  5. Faculty work on research projects based on federal grants in the fields of personality development, identity development, SMART Policing (a presidential nationwide initiative), law enforcement and sexual offenders, narcotics overdose prevention and education, parent interventions with college age populations on alcohol use prevention
  6. Faculty collaborate with other R1 research universities such as Penn State University and Florida Atlantic University
  7. Faculty attend state, regional, national and international counseling conferences with students to present their research and increase their knowledge base
  8. Faculty provide students with interdisciplinary experiences working with anthropologists, biologists, counselors and marriage and family therapists
  9. The majority of the faculty teaching in this program are our full time faculty who are available to students and welcome their collaboration on research projects
  10. All faculty hold a Ph.D. in the field of counseling or a related field
  11. Faculty in the graduate program are experienced educators who have taught in the classroom and have taught online course

Master’s in clinical mental health counseling course requirements and course rotation (rotation is subject to change)

Fall (year one)

  • CSL 500 Personality Theories
  • CSL 510 Professional Counseling Identity and Issues
  • CSL 540 Research and Program Evaluation
  • CSL 640 Social and Cultural Foundations

Spring (year one)

  • CSL 520 Psychopathology
  • CSL 560 Human Growth and Development
  • CSL 690 Legal and Ethical Issues in Counseling
  • CSL 610 Counseling Theories

Summer (year one)

  • CSL 615 Group Counseling
  • CSL 620 Testing and Assessment in Counseling and Applied Psychology
  • CSL 680 Techniques and Interventions in Counseling

Fall (year two)

  • CSL 605 Practicum in Counseling
  • CSL 681 Diagnosis and Advanced Counseling Techniques
  • CSL 685 Career Development

Spring (year two)

  • PSY 580 Psychobiology
  • CSL 670 Community Counseling
  • CSL 695 Internship in Counseling

Summer (year two)

  • CSL 650 Human Sexuality
  • CSL 670 Substance Abuse
  • CSL 700 Internship in Counseling II
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