About the Program
The MSMHC program—accredited under CACREP—offers a broad curriculum that meets or exceeds national standards as well as Utah licensure requirements for clinical mental health counselors, and balances professional knowledge with practical experience and skill development. Based on a scientist-practitioner model, the program helps students understand the relationships between counseling theory, research, and practice as they relate to effective mental health counseling.
What You'll Learn
- Articulate the fundamental knowledge of research, theory, and practice in the field of counseling in areas including professional counseling orientation and ethical practice, social and cultural diversity, human growth and development, career development, counseling and helping relationships, group counseling, assessment and testing, and research and program evaluation.
- Assess clients and apply appropriate intervention strategies to help clients resolve their problems of living.
- Establish your professional identity as a clinical mental health counselor.
- Engage in critical thinking and demonstrate a heightened self-awareness.
- Counsel clients in a manner that is informed by your preferred counseling theory.
- Practice counseling with an acute sensitivity to issues of diversity.
Plan of Study
Students must complete at least 60 hours of graduate course work. The 60-credit hours fulfill Utah licensure requirements as well as CACREP requirements. It is a planned program of study that requires full time enrollment for 3 years (except summers).
Throughout the program, your studies will revolve around 8 core curricular areas:
Professional counseling orientation and ethical practice
- Social and cultural diversity
- Human growth and development
- Career development
- Counseling and helping relationships
- Group counseling and group work
- Assessment and testing
- Research and program evaluation
To complete your degree, you’ll participate in clinical training. During clinical training, you’ll receive supervised training from licensed mental health professionals and expand your applied counseling knowledge and skills.
Practicum must total a minimum of 100 hours, of which 40 hours must be completed in direct service. An internship must total a minimum of 900 hours, of which 360 must be completed in direct service. The combined hours from practicum and internship meet Utah licensure requirements and exceed the requirements of CACREP.
Students are required to take and pass comprehensive exams during their third year. You must earn a satisfactory score on the CPCE exam and write an adequate case conceptualization that follows program guidelines.
Graduates generally pursue licensure as a Clinical Mental Health Counselor (CMHC) after a few years of work under a supervisor. Licensing requirements vary by state. To become licensed as a CMHC in Utah, students must apply with the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing.
An appreciation and understanding of diverse cultures and systems is critical to all mental health counseling fields. This course explores the complexities of culture and its influence on the client/counselor relationship. You’ll develop cultural sensitivity, learn culturally responsive intervention strategies, and increase your awareness of how cultural backgrounds, experiences, belief systems, attitudes, values, and biases influence the counseling process.
Human Sexuality and Counseling
This course examines the role of sexuality in human life, including the influences of cultural, familial, psychological, biological, and spiritual factors. We’ll explore the dynamic complexities of sexuality through a variety of mediums from text and film, to dialogue and experiential exercises.
Psychopathology and the DSM
In this course, we’ll provide an overview of adult psychopathology, including major psychological disorders, associated symptom clusters, etiological factors, accepted treatments, and relevant research findings. We will also examine the empirical challenges to diagnostic accuracy and the social and cultural factors that affect diagnosis and counseling.