M.S. in Mental Health Counseling

This 60 credit master's degree program prepares students to work in mental health and social service agencies, clinics, hospitals and in private practice. The integrated CASAC curriculum track enables students to pursue a wide variety of employment opportunities in the substance abuse field.

Students learn individual and group counseling techniques, and consultation skills found to be effective with a variety of clinical issues ranging from life adjustment problems to serious mental illnesses. Students are trained to be multiculturally competent and sensitive to the needs of diverse populations. This program offers broad training and leads to eligibility for New York State licensure as a Mental Health Counselor. Students are given personalized advisement about the internships and electives that will best serve their professional goals.

Inquiries may be directed to:

For Rockland
Dr. Thomas Nardi,
Program Director, Rockland and West Point
845-450-5406
thomas.nardi@liu.edu

For Westchester
Dr. Beth Weiner,
Program Director, Westchester
914-831-2717
beth.weiner@liu.edu

For CASAC please contact:
Dr. Susan Goldman
LIU Hudson Graduate Programs in Counseling, Psychology and Therapy
susan.goldman@liu.edu
914- 831-2718


Admission Requirements

  1. B.A. or B.S. degree from an accredited college, with a GPA of 3.00
  2. Written statement of professional goals
  3. An academic writing sample
  4. Two professional letters of reference from academic instructors or professional supervisors
  5. Current Resume
  6. Personal Interview with Program Director or designated faculty member may be required.

Degree Requirements

  1. Completion of all coursework with G.P.A. of 3.0 or better
  2. Passing the comprehensive examination
  3. Demonstration of interpersonal competencies and emotional maturity associated with effective counseling outcomes

Course Descriptions

All courses are three credits unless noted.

CPT 500 Introduction to Mental Health Counseling

This course examines the role of the Professional Mental Health Counselor in clinical settings, social agencies, vocational and rehabilitative settings. The course explores the nature and scope of counseling and the relationship between the counselor and other members of the interdisciplinary team. Students will be introduced to concepts such as preventative work, community outreach, and psycho-educational approaches. There is a focus on the contemporary social issues which impact on the world of the counselor.

CPT 501 Counseling Theory and Practice I / SPC 652 Understanding Human Development I

Theories and research in various analytic schools of counseling. In addition, analytic theories of personality dynamics and development are studied. Emphasis is on understanding the individuals and their values in the context of their particular reaction mechanisms and experiences. Experiences related to sociocultural environment. Unconscious phenomena considered. Transference and counter- transference reactions are studied and also the importance of childhood reactions and experiences in the life of the individual.

CPT 502 Counseling Theory and Practice II / SPC 653 Understanding Human Development II

An overview of theories and research in various schools of non-analytic counseling. Emphasis on understanding the individual in the context of his or her experiences and particular environment. An understanding of the goals and methods applied to the client by various nonanalytic schools of counseling.

CPT 503 Adult Psychopathology

This course covers the most recent psychiatric diagnoses in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (APA, 2002) which are typically first diagnosed in adulthood. Students will learn how to make a full 5-axsis diagnosis using the DSM-IV-TR.

CPT 504 Ethical, Legal and Professional Issues in Counseling

This course is designed as an orientation to the counseling profession, including a history of professional counseling; the social, economic, philosophical, and economic bases of the profession: the major legal and ethical issues facing counseling; and current and future trends such as the use of technology in counseling, licensure reciprocity, training standards, etc.

CPT 600 Clinical Methods in Counseling

This is an introductory skills course that is designed to teach students the basic counseling skills required to become an effective counselor. The course features both didactic learning experiences and experiential learning to assist the student in acquiring both a knowledge of basic concepts in the field of counseling and increased self-awareness and mindfulness.


CPT 600A Fieldwork: Directed Observation and Practice in Agency Settings

This course is designed to enable the prospective school counselor to become familiar with the environmental and sociological aspects of the urban community; a fuller understanding of the various dimensions involved in working in the urban setting is stressed. Field experience will consist of guided and supervised experiences in various community settings. Pass/Fail only.

CPT 601Group Counseling Theory and Practice

Contemporary theories and historical perspectives pertaining to group counseling will be presented. Students will identify factors in group processes which promote growth and development in multicultural school and family environments. Students will also examine and practice techniques appropriate for the resolution of personal, social and academic conflicts. A portion of the class time will involve participation in a group and analyzing its dynamics.

CPT 700C Counseling Internship Practicum I (Mental Health Counseling) / CPT 700F Counseling Internship Practicum I (Marriage and Family Therapy)

The internship requirement is equivalent to 600 client contact hours during the year in an agency setting under the dual guidance of an on-site clinician and a university-based clinical supervisor; 300 hours will be completed each semester of the internship course. Participation in the intake and screening process, individual evaluations, interdisciplinary staff conferences, and professional meetings is required. Students will evaluate individuals, write reports and practice short-term counseling and consultation under the supervision of the clinician. Students will also attend weekly meetings with the university clinical supervisor in which professional and ethical issues related to the practice of counseling will be discussed. Students must apply for the internship in the semester prior to registration. Prerequisites: satisfactory completion of first two years of coursework and departmental approval.

CPT 701C Counseling Internship Practicum II/ SPC 701 F

Continuation of internship in CPT 701C in either the same or another university-approved setting.

SPC 502 Substance Abuse Prevention and Intervention

This course is designed to equip the counselor with the knowledge to help persons with substance-abuse problems. The focus of the class will be to review the historical background of substance abuse and dependency; study the psychological, social, pharmacological and legal aspects of substance abuse; recognize that alcohol dependency can become an adaptive response; and develop an awareness in the student of the important role of prevention. Textbooks, films and speakers will be used. Offered on occasion.

SPC 504 Approaches to Human Sexuality

An examination of the origins, forms and applications of human sexuality, alternative sexual preferences and lifestyles, psychological and sociological implications of the sexual drive, sexual dysfunction, research in human sexuality, applications to the counseling and mental health service settings. Offered on occasion.

SPC 518 Play Therapy

A survey of methods, materials and techniques for working with children. The major theoretical models and modalities will be emphasized.  

SPC 519 Dynamics of Marital Interaction

This course offers an examination of current issues and approaches concerning marriage, which includes a study of marital interaction and approaches to treatment of marital disorders.

SPC 633 Developmental Psychology I

The focus of this course will be on children from birth to age 6. Students will study the cognitive, social, emotional and physical aspects of development and their interrelationships within biological and cultural contexts. Historical and contemporary theories of development will be considered. Implications for teaching and curriculum will be addressed.

SPC 634 Developmental Psychology II

The focus of this course will be on children from age 6 to young adulthood. Students will study the cognitive, social, emotional and physical aspects of development and their interrelationships within biological and cultural contexts. Historical and contemporary theories of development will be considered. Issues stemming from the individual's expanding relationships and the emergence of adult roles and demands as well as implications for learning and curriculum will be addressed. 
Prerequisite: SPC 633.

SPC 639 Youth Culture and the Urban Setting

An overview of the problems faced by today's youth in the urban environment, with particular emphasis on individual and group counseling techniques available for dealing with drug-abuse problems. The sociology of youth culture, methods of spotting drug abuse, treating the immediate problem, prevention and community health will be explored. Offered on occasion.

SPC 650 Developmental Psychopathology

Students will understand the major diagnostic categories of psychopathology in children and adolescents. Case studies will be used to illustrate disorders such as pervasive developmental disorders, depression, anxiety, conduct disorders, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder. Consideration will be given to cultural and social factors in the areas of diagnosis and therapeutic intervention. Psychopharmacology and the use of the DSM IV will be discussed. Prerequisite: Undergraduate or graduate course in Personality.

SPC 668 Diagnostic Tools for Measurement

The function of measurement and evaluation; purpose of testing in schools, agencies and colleges; uses and abuses of tests in our society; achievement, aptitude and psychological tests; use of resource materials; validity, reliability and norms, statistical and clinical procedures, administration and interpretation of tests, role-playing; communication of test results.

SPC 675 Introduction to the Techniques of Substance Abuse Counseling: Treatment and Rehabilitation

Introduces basic alcoholism and substance abuse counseling techniques. Treatment approaches and their role and function in the recovery process will be examined. Includes assessment; treatment planning; care management; individual, group and peer counseling. Also includes methods for guiding recovering individuals towards appropriate vocational choices. Offered on occasion.

SPC 682 World of Work: Assessment of Individual Needs and Needs of Society

The importance of work to individuals during their life span and its implication for society; psychological, economic and social factors that affect vocational development and choice; relationship of vocational counseling to personal/social counseling; the counselor's role in clients' vocational development; scope and sources of occupational information; application of vocational development theories to school, college and agency settings; visits to job settings, interviews with employees, employers and agency representatives; analysis of job satisfaction.

SPC 732 Research Methods

Students will learn to analyze research in psychology and education. Major statistical and measurement concepts will be applied in order to understand how research problems are systematically investigated using experimental and quasi-experimental designs. Surveys and qualitative research will also be discussed. Students will evaluate professional literature, discuss its implications for the practice of school psychology and design research proposals.

SPC 745 A The Family of the Substance Abuser

This course will deal with the issues for family members, significant others and friends of substance abusers. Identification of these individuals as “hidden victims” is important for the educator to understand the impact this has on the school environment. Students will be expected to gain a theoretical and practical understanding of the resulting behavior(s) and how to deal with this through lectures, independent research and special events.  

SPC 745 M Multicultural and Diversity Issues in Counseling

This course will explore issues in multicultural counseling. There will be a review of the theory and research necessary to work more effectively with culturally diverse people. Students will develop cultural awareness and apply new insights in multicultural situations. The course will increase students' multicultural counseling and development knowledge, with a focus on communication problems when contact is made with persons from differing cultural, ethnic and racial backgrounds and how these factors impact on the counseling relationship.

SPC 745 O Dealing with Loss and Grief

This course will utilize a variety of teaching methods including lectures, therapeutic art and writing activities, creative games, role-playing, group discussion and other interactive exercises designed for students experiencing loss and grief. Session topics will include grief affecting educators and students; age appropriate classroom curricula, school based grief support groups; crisis intervention plans and community resources. The sessions will attempt to help the participants understand their personal response to loss and grief, as well as understand and respond to the grief that follows all kinds of losses in students’ lives.

Plan of Study

This program leads to eligibility for New York State licensure as a Mental Health Counselor.

All courses are three credits unless noted.

Required Courses (51 credits)

  • SPC 600C Fieldwork: Directed Observation and Practice in Agency Settings 100 hours
  • SPC 633 Developmental Psychology I
  • SPC 634 Developmental Psychology II
  • SPC 650 Developmental Psychopathology
  • SPC 668 Diagnostic Tools for Measurement
  • SPC 682 World of Work: Assessment of Individual Needs and Needs of Society
  • SPC 732 Research Methods
  • SPC 745 M Multicultural and Diversity Issues in Counseling
  • CPT 500 Introduction to Mental Health Counseling
  • CPT 501 Counseling: Theory and Practice I
  • CPT 502 Counseling: Theory and Practice II
  • CPT 503 Adult Psychopathology
  • CPT 504 Ethical, Legal and Professional Issues in Counseling
  • CPT 600 Clinical Methods in Counseling
  • CPT 601 Group Counseling Theory and Practice
  • CPT 700 and CPT 701 Counseling Internship Practicum I and II 600 hours total.

Elective Courses: (9 credits)

Three electives on mental health counseling or clinical knowledge from the following or an approved equivalent.

  • SPC 502 Substance Abuse Prevention and Intervention
  • SPC 504 Approaches to Human Sexuality
  • SPC 518 Play Therapy
  • SPC 519 Dynamics of Marital Interaction
  • SPC 639 Youth Culture and the Urban Setting
  • SPC 675 Introduction to Techniques of Substance Abuse Counseling: Treatment and Rehabilitation
  • SPC 7450 Dealing with Loss and Grief
  • SPC 745A The Family of the Substance Abuser

CONTACT

LIU Hudson
Westchester@liu.edu

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ADMISSIONS

Rockland
845-574-4356
Westchester
914-831-2700