Counseling and Development

M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Mental health counselors work with individuals, families, and groups to address and treat mental and emotional disorders and to promote mental health. They are trained in a variety of therapeutic techniques used to address issues such as depression, anxiety, addiction and substance abuse, suicidal impulses, stress, trauma, low self-esteem, and grief. They also help with job and career concerns, educational decisions, mental and emotional health issues, and relationship problems. In addition, they may be involved in community outreach, advocacy, and mediation activities. Some specialize in delivering mental health services for the elderly. Mental health counselors often work closely with other mental health specialists, such as psychiatrists, psychologists, clinical social workers, psychiatric nurses, and school counselors. Mental health counselors work in community health and social service organizations, day treatment programs, outpatient mental health clinics, hospitals, or private practice.

The 60-credit M.S. in Mental Health Counseling provides students with core knowledge to be effective helpers in a variety of clinical settings. The program covers professional issues and ethics, counseling theories, human development, counseling skills, group work, assessment and career development. Building upon these core content areas, the mental health counseling program focuses specifically on the development of knowledge and skills necessary to work in a variety of clinical settings, such as: foundations of mental health counseling; research; evidence-based practice; program evaluation; psychopathology and psychopharmacology.

The Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at LIU Post is fully is accredited through the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). By maintaining CACREP accreditation, the program strives to provide the highest quality of faculty and curriculum standards. Furthermore, the program satisfies the educational requirements for the New York State Mental Health Counselors License. Upon completion of educational requirements, 3,000 hours of supervised experience in the practice of mental health counseling and a passing grade on the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE) are required for licensure.

All students have three semesters of fieldwork totaling 700 hours as required by NYSED and CACREP.  Students may select from the list of current schools and agencies which work with the Department or chose a placement of their own (with approval).  Fieldwork supervision is provided by tenured school counselors and licensed mental health professionals.

Students interested in research have been mentored by our faculty and have been accepted to present posters at recent ACA (American Counseling Association) and APA (American Psychological Association) national conventions.  Graduates of the program are qualified for immediate employment as school counselors (with provisional certification) or clinical mental health counselors (with a limited permit).  Students are also able to apply to doctoral programs in a variety of areas including Counselor Education, Counseling Psychology, and Clinical Psychology.

National Certification for Graduates

This program prepares students to fulfill the educational requirements for licensure as a mental health counselor established by the New York State Education Department, Office of the Professions. Graduates of this program will be eligible to take the National Counselor Examination. Successful completion of this examination will qualify the student to become a national certified counselor.

New York State Licensure

The program has been certified by the New York State Education Department as “licensure qualifying.” For more information about mental health counseling and licensure, please contact the coordinator for the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program in the Department of Counseling and Development at LIU Post, or consult the New York Mental Health Counseling Association.

Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services’ (OASAS) Education and Training Program

LIU Post has been approved by OASAS (Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services) as an Education and Training Provider. Our master’s degree program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling meets all the educational requirements for the  CASAC-T (Certified Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor – Trainee Certificate).Graduates of the master’s degree program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling who complete the requisite coursework will meet the 350 hours of education and training required to apply for the Certified Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor-Trainee (CASAC-T) designation.  Graduation from the master’s degree program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling will also meet 4000 of the 6000 hour requirement for full certification as a CASAC. In addition, if the graduate completed their 600 internship hours in clinical mental health counseling at an OASAS affiliated facility, then the number of experiential hours needed for full certification will only be 1400. Upon admission to the Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program those students who are interested in the CASAC-T designation must declared in writing their intention to pursue the CASAC-T to the Chair of the Department of Counseling and Development.


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