Counselor Education

Master of Science in Counseling: Clinical Mental Health Counseling Concentration

Practitioners of clinical mental health counseling provide guidance for clients who are experiencing developmental life stress and acute transitional problems, as well as clients interested in enriching their present life through the establishment of greater coherence and well-being.

About the Program

In our Clinical Mental Health concentration, students establish their professional identity through the development of facilitative and interpersonal communication skills. We emphasize a holistic approach with a focus on wellness and prevention, as well as self-care of the counselor.

Our Curriculum:

  • Explores the roles, functions, skills, and professional identity of clinical mental health counselors.
  • Integrates the historical, philosophical, societal, cultural, economic, and political dimensions of the mental health and human service system.
  • Focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental and emotional disorders, psychological trauma, and the general principles and practices for the promotion of optimal mental health.

Many Clinical Mental Health students choose to select an Area of Expertise. These options do not require additional credits; rather, students may use their elective credits toward a specific focus. If you select an Area of Expertise, you will also devote 300 of your 900 internship hours toward a site-specific internship.

Family Systems

This Area of Expertise provides theoretical and practical experience in counseling couples and families. Courses focus on incorporating systemic perspectives.

Substance Abuse

This Area of Expertise focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of co-occurring substance use disorders. Students who complete this area as part of their master's degree will be prepared to sit for the Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC) exam in Maine.

The Clinical Mental Health Counseling Practicum typically begins after you’ve completed 21 credit hours, and lasts for one semester.

During your practicum, you will:

  • Complete 100 practicum hours.
  • Gain 40 hours experience of direct client work.
  • Receive support from an on-site liaison, direct individual supervision from a faculty member, and additional insight from faculty and peers through a small group seminar.

Your internship is a key component of your educational preparation to be a professional counselor. Students typically begin their internship in the semester following the completion of practicum. Depending on whether you are attending part-time or full-time, the internship experience can take 2-5 semesters to complete.

During your internship, you will:

  • Complete 900 internship hours.
  • Gain 360 hours experience of direct client work.
  • Receive on-site supervision; our sites offer a 1:1 ratio of student-to-supervisor.
  • Receive additional supervision and support from our faculty through a small group seminar, which also serves as an opportunity for case review.

Learn more about the Counseling Practicum and Internship

Upon graduation from the MS in Counseling program with a concentration in Clinical Mental Health, you will be qualified for the following exams, certifications, and licensure:

  • National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification (NCE)
  • Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC)
  • With additional coursework through the Substance Abuse Area of Expertise, graduates can also meet the requirements to be a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC) and/or a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC).
  • This program will prepare students to be eligible for licensure within the State of Maine. Visit the UMS State Authorization and Licensure page to learn more about the licensure requirements in other states and territories, and for contact information to inquire further about the licensure requirements associated with this program.