Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Master of Science

Lynn University offers an M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Students enrolled in the M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) can earn their 61-credit degree in two years of coursework taken year-round during the fall, spring and summer semesters. Entry into this program is annually in the fall semester. Full-time enrollment in this program is defined by a minimum of 9-credits per semester.

Admission into the program is competitive and requires an interview with the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program admissions committee which is comprised of program faculty. Students will be evaluated and admitted based upon their: Aptitude for graduate-level study; relevance of career goals; potential for developing effective counseling relationships; respect for cultural differences and all prior academic performance. The Clinical Mental Health Counseling program makes continuous and systematic efforts to attract and enroll a diverse body of students.

The program and its faculty have primary responsibility for the preparation of the students in the program. The program provides various opportunities to meet student needs and to foster an environment of inclusivity through faculty-student research projects, scholarly endeavors, attaining sites with varying specializations, and mindful admissions decisions. Students enrolled in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program are provided with a faculty mentor and an academic advisor. Mentors, advisors, and students have direct access to the Coordinator of the Graduate Program and the Practicum and Internship Coordinator. Students are taught primarily by Core faculty with the assistance of experts in the fields of research, individual assessment, neuroscience, experimental psychology, developmental psychology, cognitive psychology, and personality psychology.

During the second year of the program, students enroll in three full semesters of fieldwork experience at which time they have the opportunity to train as counselors in community mental health agencies. Substantial resources are invested in enhancing the learning environment and improving professional skills development. The program’s faculty and students have a multitude of teaching and learning resources at their disposal specific to the field and related specialties.

Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program Mission Statement

The Clinical Mental Health Counseling 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 61-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 & 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.

Goals:

  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 lifespan, including basic theoretical and methodological
      concepts, such as lifespan 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.

As is true of Lynn University, the program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling employs cutting edge technology for training and learning purposes.

Students accepted to the graduate program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling have the opportunity to apply for graduate assistantships within the
department and throughout the University.

Students in the program may have the ability to become a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the State of Florida. Students interested in pursuing
licensure or postgraduate employment are responsible for researching the specific requirements to attain these outcomes. As employment requirements and
licensing requirements may change, it is incumbent upon students to be aware of their specific academic needs.

In the State of Florida, the current requirements and process for licensure as a Mental Health Counselor may include:

  1. Students must graduate with a 60–credit Master’s degree that includes 1,000 hours of fieldwork at an approved site.
  2. Upon graduation, students register as a Mental Health Intern with the State of Florida. This is post-Master’s and must be completed by the Student.
    Part of this process includes verification of practicum and internship hours through a letter generated by the Registrar’s Office at the university.
  3. Students may need copies of their syllabi or course descriptions from the Academic Catalog. This may be true when attempting to become licensed
    in other states as well.
  4. In the State of Florida, once students are Registered Mental Health Interns, they must complete a minimum of two years post graduate work under
    appropriate supervision. Students must check with the Licensing Board for details and specifics on these requirements.
  5. During this two-year post-Master’s clinical experience, students will have the opportunity to sit for the state approved licensing exam.
  6. Upon successful completion of all licensing requirements, students may be approved by the State Board and offered a license as a Mental Health
    Counselor.

The program does not claim to prepare students for licensure in other U.S. 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. Students are expected to explore this information prior to beginning their academic preparation.

International students on an F-1 visa are eligible to work in the U.S. for up to 12 months after they complete their degree through Optional Practical Training
(OPT). Currently, the length of OPT cannot be extended past 12 months for international students in this degree program.

M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Completion Requirements

  1. Students must complete the required course curriculum. Satisfactory completion of these courses must be in compliance with University Academic Standards for Graduate Work as well as Program Competency Standards (See Statement of Competence).
  2. In order to move on to Practicum/Internship students will need to have the endorsement of the faculty and appropriate evaluations on the Professional Performance Evaluation instrument and successfully complete the Practicum Entrance Exam.
  3. Students must satisfactorily complete the experiential components of their curriculum based upon the standards outlined in the CMHC Student Handbook, the Practicum/Internship Handbook, and the University Academic Standards for Graduate Work.
  4. Students must satisfactorily complete a standardized exit exam and skills-based exit exam commensurate with all program expectations and policies. No graduate degree will be conferred without the satisfactory completion of the exit exams.

Statement of Competance: In graduate work, the grade earned in a course not only represents a grade but is also a symbol of mastery of the work and competence in the field. It is for this reason that the Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling has instituted a competence requirement for satisfactory completion of a course. This requirement is stated as achieving a grade consistent with knowledge at the 80 percent threshold (on a 100 percent scale) or higher in a course. This competency requirement applies to a course deemed essential for counseling professionals. Students
who do not achieve this level of mastery are considered to be lacking in the necessary competency for this course and are required to retake the course until they can document appropriate competence (defined as at least a grade of 80 percent). The courses to which this competency requirement applies are:

CSL 510 PROFESSIONAL COUNSELING IDENTITY AND ISSUES
CSL 640 SOCIAL AND CULTURAL FOUNDATIONS
CSL 520 PSYCHOPATHOLOGY
CSL 690 LEGAL AND ETHICAL ISSUES IN COUNSELING
CSL 610 COUNSELING THEORIES
CSL 615 GROUP THEORIES
CSL 680 TECHNIQUES AND INTERVENTIONS IN COUNSELING
CSL 605 PRACTICUM IN COUNSELING
CSL 681 DIAGNOSIS AND ADVANCED COUNSELING TECHNIQUES
CSL 685 CAREER DEVELOPMENT
CSL 660 COMMUNITY COUNSELING
CSL 695 INTERNSHIP IN COUNSELING I
CSL 700 INTERNSHIP IN COUNSELING II

Completion requirements