Clinical Mental Health Counseling


Stephanie F. Hall, Department Chair

David Burkholder

Jessica Burkholder

Matt Tirrell, Program Chair




CMHC 500: Professional Counselor Identity and Ethics

Credits 3.0

This course provides an overview of the profession of counseling including professional identity, roles and functions of counselors across specialty areas, the American Counseling Association code of ethics and ethical decision making modes. In addition, students will learn about processional organizations, certification and licensure. Professional liability risk management and managed care service environments will be discussed. 

CMHC 515: Psychopathology

Credits 3.0

This course will include the diagnostic process, differential diagnosis and the use of current diagnostic classification systems including the Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental Disorders (DSM), the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) and the Diagnostic Manual Intellectual Disability (DM-ID). Offers an intensive investigation of current thinking regarding the etiology and development of aberrant behavior; theory in the light of experimental findings and clinical applications. 

CMHC 520: Counseling Theories

Credits 3.0

This course provides an in-depth review of theory, evidence based practices, and research associated with theories of counseling and psychotherapy. Students will develop competency in a prescribed theoretical orientation to counseling and psychotherapy. It will also include a comprehensive review of factors that facilitate change in counseling with regard to a particular theoretical approach.

CMHC 525: Group Counseling

Credits 3.0

This is a didactic and experiential course that includes a focus on group dynamics and theories/techniques of group counseling. Students will learn therapeutic factors and how they contribute to group effectiveness. Students will participate as group members in a small group activity, approved by the program, for a minimum of 10 clock hours over the course of one academic term. The experiential component facilitates understanding of one's own personality, biases and impact upon others in professional interactions. Legal and ethical issues relevant to group counseling are also examined.

CMHC 530: Multicultural Counseling

Credits 3.0

While embracing the values of Advocacy and Social Justice, this course will expose students to issues of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic-status, culture, gender, sexual orientation, physical/psychological ability, religion and age as they relate to the counselor, client and counseling process. Throughout the course, the concept of culture will be used as an overarching term inclusive of the above categories. The course will also review how the mental health delivery system is based on Eurocentric traditions that often disenfranchise cultural minorities. Culturally sensitive counseling and advocacy strategies will be introduced to provide students with a conceptual and practical framework for working with clients in a respectful way.

CMHC 535: Diagnosis and Treatment of Addictive Disorders

Credits 3.0

This course will focus on theories and etiology of addictions and addictive behaviors including strategies for prevention, intervention and treatment. In addition, students will learn strategies to assess substance use, understand continuum of care and case management skills. The recovery process, relapse prevention models and substance abuse counseling treatment approaches will also be introduced.

CMHC 540: Career Counseling

Credits 3.0

Career counseling is a cornerstone of the counseling profession and forms the historical basis of the profession's emphasis on normal development, decision-making, and assessment. Career theories, techniques for fostering career awareness and assessment instruments used in career counseling are reviewed. The interrelationships among work, family and other life roles including multicultural and gender issues will be addressed.

CMHC 545: Human Growth and Development

Credits 3.0

This course will provide an overview of human development, with comprehensive coverage of all major developmental stages (prenatal period and infancy, childhood, adolescence, early adulthood, middle adulthood, and late adulthood) focusing on both normal and abnormal physical, mental health and social development. The change process, helping relationships, and strategies for facilitating development appropriate to various phases of the life span will be addressed. The course will also address legal, ethical, and multicultural issues related to human development and research.

CMHC 550: Appraisal and Evaluation

Credits 3.0

This course is an introduction to historical perspectives concerning the nature and meaning of assessment and testing in counseling. We will cover underlying psychometric issues having to do with tests and measurement. These issues include measurement design and instrumentation, scale construction, reliability, validity, and normative analysis. We will introduce psychological tests that are commonly used in counseling. Ethical and multicultural issues in testing will be a focus throughout the course, in addition to use of assessment results to diagnose developmental, behavioral, and mental disorders.

CMHC 600: Practicum

Credits 3.0

Students integrate theory and practice in the counseling profession through an off-campus practicum. In addition to the requirement of 100 hours of supervised clinical work in an approved counseling agency, students also attend class each week which consists of group supervision. During class the students also review relevant professional, ethical and legal issues in counseling (for example assessment procedures, treatment planning, best empirically proven interventions, confidentiality, etc.). Registration is by application.

CMHC 625: Crisis Intervention and Trauma Counseling

Credits 3.0

This course addresses the impact of crises, disasters, sexual assault and other trauma-causing events on individuals and communities, as well as the treatment of trauma related disorders. Trauma is examined through the impact on the brain regions, impact on memory, variations of emotional regulation and somatic responses. The course will also address operations of an emergency management system within clinical mental health agencies and in the community. Trauma informed treatment approaches and adverse childhood experiences (ACES) will be discussed. Attention is also given to vicarious traumatization and caring for the caregiver.

CMHC 650: Special Topics in Counselor Education

Credits 3.0 3

Study of selected topics in counseling. Includes areas of knowledge and skills not covered in the core curriculum. The subject matter will vary given the interest of students and the expertise of the professor teaching the course. The exact topic will be indicated on the student's transcript. This course may be repeated for credit. 

CMHC 675: Grief Counseling

Credits 3.0

Regardless of the practice setting, counselors inevitably work with clients who are coping with loss. This course will address the relevant knowledge and skill base needed to provide intervention to individuals and families coping with a range of loss experiences including death, dying and bereavement. Students are presumed to have a knowledge base in human development, various models of personality and human behavior theory, systems theory and multicultural counseling. Students will explore the dynamics of attachment and loss, life cycle reactions and needs of the dying and bereaved. A number of contemporary practice models (including Worden’s framework for grief therapy) will be presented. The assessment of complicated grief reactions and counselor’s roles and tasks in facilitating the grief process will be a focus.

CMHC 676: Couples and Family Counseling

Credits 3.0

This course is designed to provide students with an introduction to conducting couples and family therapy. The primary objective of the class is to assist the beginning clinician in translating theories into action. At the completion of this course the student should be able to: formulate hypotheses about couples and family structure and process, develop goals for couples and family therapy, identify problematic patterns of interaction and communication in families and couples, design and practice therapeutic interventions, and respond with cultural humility. Particular emphasis will be placed on communication issues, betrayal, domestic violence and substance abuse.

CMHC 680: Advanced Treatment of Substance use Disorders

Credits 3.0 3

This course builds on learning objectives from CMHC 535 Diagnosis and Treatment of Addictive Disorders and provides students with an opportunity to integrate clinical data into treatment planning for individuals with addiction and co-occurring disorders. Comprehensive treatment planning involves collaboration with the client, support systems, other professionals, agencies, and community resources. Focus on assessment, diagnostic processes, interventions, and treatment planning. 

CMHC 690: Clinical Supervision

Credits 3.0

This course will provide students with theoretical and practical knowledge of clinical supervision models and methods. This course will explore supervisory roles, evaluation methods, research, legal and ethical issues and sociocultural issues in supervision. Supervision sessions will involve direct observation and/or recording and feedback on development of supervision competencies. The content areas required for the Approved Clinical Supervisor (ACS) credential are included in this course.

CMHC 690: Trauma Informed Addiction Treatment

Credits 3.0 3

Trauma-informed care promotes understanding of symptoms from a strengths-based approach and identifies strategies and supports that are designed to be sensitive to the presence of symptoms of trauma. This course explores the link between addiction and trauma with a focus on using trauma-informed approaches to therapy and designing culturally relevant interventions. The role of wellness and spirituality in addiction counseling will be explored. Advanced techniques and interventions are a critical part of the learning in the course, with a strong focus on Motivational Interviewing (MI). 

CMHC 695: Internship

Credits 3.0

Designed to provide students intensive experience where they can integrate their academic learning during clinical experience. In addition to the requirement of 300 hours of supervised clinical work in an approved counseling agency, they also attend class each week. The weekly class consists of group supervision and a review of relevant professional, ethical and legal issues in counseling (for example assessment procedures, treatment planning, best empirically proven interventions, confidentiality, etc.). May be repeated for credit.