Mental Health Counseling

  • Credits: 60
  • Degree:
    Master of Education

Program Description

Mental Health Counseling provides graduate level professional training for mental health counseling licensure with a strong commitment to an evolving multicultural society.  Students are prepared to meet the licensing standards of the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Allied Mental Health Professionals.

Concentration Options

Students have the ability to augment this degree with the concentration options listed below.  Descriptions for some of these options can be found in the School of Psychology and Counseling Certificate offerings.  Options will vary per location. To learn more about the available options contact the Admissions Office at 1-800-829-4723.

  • Addiction Counseling
  • Geriatric Mental Health
  • Trauma Studies
  • Marriage & Family Therapy

Learning Outcomes

Students learn and apply the principles and best practices of counseling including various psychotherapeutic techniques for work with individuals, couples, families and groups; group counseling, and consultation to organizations and communities. They study human development, dysfunctional behavior and mental illness. They learn to assess, diagnose and treat within the scope of the counselor’s practice, and become able to utilize community resources for referrals. They learn and apply strategies for prevention and treatment of substance abuse, domestic violence, the spectrum of mental illnesses; and learn to use psycho-educational techniques aimed at preventing such disorders. They become familiar with state regulations applicable to mental health practice and licensure.

Careers and Further Study

Cambridge College graduates may apply for the following credentials:

  • Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) licensure by the Mass. Board of Registration of Allied Mental Health Professionals. Candidates must also pass an exam and complete two years of post-master’s supervised clinical practice.
  • Certified Alcohol & Drug Abuse Counselor (CADAC) certification by MBSACC, and Licensed Alcohol & Drug Counselor (LADC) licensing by the Mass. Dept. of Public Health (with concentration in Addiction Counseling).

Program Chair

Hugh Ferguson
hugh.ferguson@cambridgecollege.edu

Curriculum


Mental Health Counseling Core Courses
33
Credits

Take CCP 614 or CCP 615.

Take CCP636 Psychological Testing

Research Design and Evaluation
CCP 518 3 credit(s)
This course provides students with a foundation in research and evaluation methodologies and strategies, program evaluation and needs assessment. Students will gain an understanding of different types of research and research design, procedures for data collection and analysis, analysis of both hard and soft data, and ethical and legal considerations associated with research. Students will leave the course prepared to conduct and be discriminating consumers of research.
Personality and Counseling Theory
CCP 540 3 credit(s)
Pre Practicum: 15 hours of directed field-based training required for DESE licensure. This course explores personality and counseling theories, identifying strengths and weaknesses in each theory. Cultural elements are stressed. Theories are approached from an eclectic standpoint, including normal and abnormal, social, intellectual, and emotional development. Students are encouraged to identify an approach or approaches which are compatible with their history, current philosophy, clients and counseling settings. We also explore modern notions of cultural and family identity, increasing our ability to adapt counseling theory to the strengths and needs of individuals in our contemporary, diverse client population. The on-line library is employed in this course to gather evidence and support project development and presentations. Includes the fundamental occupational tasks of assessment, case presentation, case collaboration, team membership and client interaction. This course addresses the following Massachusetts State Standard for School Adjustment Counselor/School Social Worker: b: Theories of normal and abnormal intellectual, social, and emotional development. This course addresses the following Massachusetts State Standard for School Guidance Counseling: e. Theories of normal and abnormal intellectual, social, and emotional development.
Rogerian Person-Centered Therapy: Basic Counseling Skills
CCP 550 3 credit(s)
The basis of therapeutic relationships is seen in Carl Rogers’ theory of personality with its stress of self-actualization, development of the self, phenomenological field, validation, and conditions of worth is the basis for the techniques that are taught, practiced and modeled in this course. These techniques are empathic understanding, unconditional positive regard, and consequence. These techniques are central to any effective relationship from any theoretical perspective. The student will become practiced at these and related aspects of person-centered theory. Includes the fundamental occupational tasks of assessment, case presentation, case collaboration, team membership and client interaction. This course addresses the following Massachusetts State Standards for School Adjustment Counselor/School Social Worker: Standard a: Principles of therapeutic relationships.
Human Development Across the Lifespan
CCP 630 3 credit(s)
This course will address the psychological and biological aspects of human development from conception through childhood, adolescence, early adulthood, mid-life and aging. Familial, environmental and cultural factors will be explored as they impact the development of people across the continuum of life. Theory will combine with application related to physical, emotional, intellectual, learning, social, normal and abnormal development; plus cognitive, moral, and vocational adjustment. The processes of physical and psychological development including ethnic and gender differences will be studied. Includes the fundamental occupational tasks of assessment, case presentation, case collaboration, team membership and client interaction. This course addresses the following Massachusetts State Standard for School Adjustment Counselor/School Social Worker: b: Theories of normal and abnormal intellectual, social, and emotional development. This course addresses the following Massachusetts State Standards for School Guidance Counseling: c. psychology of learning, and e. theories of normal and abnormal, intellectual, social, and emotional development.
Child & Adolescent Psychopathology
CCP 614 3 credit(s)
This course deals with the nature of normal and abnormal intellectual, social, and emotional development and learning in childhood and adolescence. Particular attention is given to ego-defensive, adaptive and socio-cultural aspects of behavior, health and wellness, and ways in which adaptive behavior becomes symptomatic. This course organizes disorders according to DSM IV. Web-based projects involving learning disorders, including emotional issues affecting student achievement and their treatments are investigated. Case studies provide experience in classifying, diagnosing and categorizing various mental and emotional disorders common to children and adolescents. Attention is focused on differential diagnosis, treatment planning and best practices in applied settings. Discussions focus on health and wellness, multicultural issues, plus variables related to resiliency and student learning. Topics in psychopharmacology related to knowledge of medical conditions, and medications related to physical disabilities and learning disorders is presented. Also, the effects of abuse, violence, ADD, childhood depression; theories of normal and abnormal behavior and development are examined. Current research that can assist the school counselor in developing a plan of action for referral and treatment that relates to personal, social, and academic functioning of students will be procured through the online library. Includes the fundamental occupational tasks of assessment, case presentation, case collaboration, team membership and client interaction. This course addresses the following Massachusetts State Standards for School Adjustment Counselor/School Social Worker: b: Learn and be able to apply theories of normal and abnormal intellectual, social and emotional development. c: Learning disorders, including emotional issues affecting student achievement, and their treatment. h: Knowledge of medical conditions and medication related to physical disabilities and learning disorders. This course addresses the following Massachusetts State Standards for School Guidance Counseling: e. Theories of normal and abnormal intellectual, social, and emotional development. c. Psychology of learning.
Psychopathology
CCP 615 3 credit(s)
This course deals with the nature of neurotic behavior, abnormal behavior and the psychoses. Particular attention is given to ego-defensive, adaptive and socio-cultural aspects of behavior and ways in which adaptive behavior becomes symptomatic. These historical contexts in which psychopathology has been diagnosed and viewed historically from early medical concepts through the currently used Diagnostic Criteria, DSM-IV TR, are presented. Discussions focus on psychopharmacology, knowledge of medical conditions and medication related to physical disabilities and learning disorders, prevalent psychotherapies, and theories of abnormal behavior and development. Case studies provide experience in classifying, diagnosing and categorizing various mental disorders. Discussions of treatment of mental illness include psychopharmacology, prevalent psychotherapies used in individual, family, couple and group psychotherapy and current research findings related to treatment. This course utilizes films, tapes, case studies, class presentations, lectures, and group discussions. Includes the fundamental occupational tasks of assessment, case presentation, case collaboration, team membership and client interaction. Includes the fundamental occupational tasks of assessment, case presentation, case collaboration, team membership and client interaction. This course addresses the following Massachusetts State Standard for School Adjustment Counselor/School Social Worker: h: Knowledge of medical conditions and medication related to physical disabilities and learning disorders.
Group Dynamics/Group Counseling & Human Systems
CCP 650 3 credit(s)
Pre Practicum: 15 hours of directed field-based training required for DESE licensure. This course involves the study of the dynamics common to all small groups, through examining their structural and interactional properties and learning the bases for understanding groups as therapeutic, organizational, social, psychological, and collective phenomena. The class will be divided into two groups. All students will participate in an experiential, interactional group for one half of the term and observe another interactional group for one half of the term. Each experiential phase of a group will be followed by a didactic analysis of the process. The instructor will demonstrate various techniques as leader of all experiential sessions. Leadership styles will be examined as they influence group process. Students are required to write journal analyses of group sessions, complete assigned readings, and attend every session. Students are taught to develop self awareness, sensitivity to others, and skills needed to relate to individuals and groups from diverse backgrounds.(No one will be admitted to the course in the event of failure to attend the first session.) Includes the fundamental occupational tasks of assessment, case presentation, case collaboration, team membership and client interaction. This course addresses the following Massachusetts State Standard for School Adjustment Counselor/School Social Worker: a: Principles of therapeutic relationships. This course addresses the following Massachusetts State Standard for School Guidance Counseling: l. group counseling and group leadership.
Career Counseling
CCP 670 3 credit(s)
This course provides an experiential approach to analyzing the stages responsible for successful career development. The course enables students to identify, assess, enhance, and act upon data pertinent to career fulfillment and success in individual and group counseling settings. Topics examined include job values and interests, experiences and skills, specification of career targets, research with the online library, analysis of career targets, and developing a comprehensive plan of action. Students can apply such information to develop and assess career goals and to make use of appropriate career resource materials. Course experiences include worksheets, sub-grouping, completion and study of interest inventories (including an examination of basic psychometric issues and discussion of strengths and weaknesses of standardized instruments), and discussion of computer resources which enhance the career guidance process. Students are taught to advocate for learning necessary to promote career development of students. This includes accessing and consulting with viable resources of community, parents, and schools. Students will also explore multicultural issues connected to career development. All students should have access to the book What Color is Your Parachute? or How to Create a Picture of Your Ideal Job or Next Career. The course stresses a practical approach to career development; underlying career development theories are discussed. Includes the fundamental occupational tasks of assessment, case presentation, case collaboration, team membership and client interaction. This course addresses the following Massachusetts State Standard for School Guidance Counseling: h. Career counseling.
Perspectives in Cross Cultural Counseling
CCP 754 3 credit(s)
This course focuses on the role of culture in the development of psychological health and in psychopathology. Variations among diverse cultures in defining mental health and deviant behavior are discussed. The importance of understanding the cultural context is emphasized, both in the prevention and in the resolution of psychological problems. Students become aware of their own cultural beliefs regarding mental health issues, and the impact of their perspective in working with culturally different people. Techniques for working with families and schools are also discussed. Includes the fundamental occupational tasks of assessment, case presentation, case collaboration, team membership and client interaction. This course addresses the following Massachusetts State Standards for School Adjustment Counselor/School Social Worker: Standard f: Techniques for communicating and working with families and school and community personnel.
Ethics & Professional Issues for School Couns. & Mental Health Prac.
CCP 622 3 credit(s)
This course explores several models of school counseling and mental health counseling and the relationship to relevant ethics, federal, state, municipal, state laws, and standards and regulations. The course emphasizes best practices and strategies for dealing with ethical and legal dilemmas, including the ability to apply and practice ethical and legal standards in school counseling. School counseling and systems models are examined along with consultation, harm prevention and reduction, and the evaluation and utilization of community resources. Focal areas include professional roles and functions, ethical standards including accountability, responsibility, client/student welfare, emotional health, laws and regulations, institutional policies including crisis/disaster preparedness and response, cross cultural, cross social class practices and their impact on mental health and school counseling. Includes the fundamental occupational tasks of assessment, case presentation, case collaboration, team membership and client interaction. This course addresses the following Massachusetts State Standard for School Adjustment Counselor/School Social Worker: i: Federal and state laws and regulations addressing the legal rights of students and families. This course addresses the following Massachusetts State Standard for School Guidance Counseling: i. Federal, state, municipal, and school laws and regulations.
Practicum and Field Experience
6
Credits
Counseling Practicum and SAC Field Experience I
CCP 520 3 credit(s)
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts specifies that this practicum be supervised by an “approved Supervisor” as described in (CMR) 262 in order for students to meet requirements for licensure. (Enrollment limited to 10) This course is intended for students beginning their master’s program fieldwork. Counselor trainees become familiar with following: review the principles of therapeutic relationships and basic professional counseling skills and behaviors; developing techniques for communicating and working with families, agencies/systems, and school and community personnel; the use of supervision; beginning diagnostic skills; and DSM-IV-TR. Participants complete case presentations, process notes, and treatment planning. Students take an active part in the didactic and demonstration parts of the class. This course will stress philosophy, principles, and practice of mental health/school adjustment counseling; therapeutic relationships; and federal, state, municipal and school laws. One contact hour of weekly supervision is required. Includes the fundamental occupational tasks of assessment, case presentation, case collaboration, team membership and client interaction. For SAC students in school sites: Onsite training supervised by a state-approved licensed/certified school adjustment counselor who also has clinical licensure as an LMHC, LICSW, LMFT, clinical psychologist or psychiatrist is required. SAC students in school sites must pass MTEL Communication and Literacy Tests before entry. This course addresses the following Massachusetts State Standards for School Adjustment Counseling: 3: A practicum of 900 hours, 450 of which must be working with children, adolescents, and families in an educational setting. (Cambridge requires Practicum fieldwork of 100 contact hours and Internship fieldwork of 600 contact hours). (Cambridge College recommends that students in the SAC track have 225 site hours for each of the four field experiences). 4: A passing score on the Communication and Literacy Skills test. Standard a: Principles of therapeutic relationships. Standard f: Techniques for communicating and working with families and school and community personnel. Standard i: Federal and state regulations addressing the legal rights of students and families.
Counseling Internship / SAC FieldExperience II
CCP 641 3 credit(s)
Prerequisite: CCP 520. (Enrollment limited to 10). This course provides a real life experience of providing mental health counseling services to clients/students. A minimum of 200 hours of field placement (225 for SAC students in school placements) gives the student intern an opportunity to learn, apply and sharpen diagnostic, treatment planning, counseling and consultation skills under the supervision of a qualified on-site field supervisor and overseen by a Cambridge College internship facilitator. (Students in SAC placements are also visited three times over the course of 2 sequential semesters by the Cambridge College visiting site supervisor). Coursework integrates the practice of mental health counseling from screening through aftercare planning and discharge from treatment, with content areas necessary for appropriate client/student treatment including but not limited to: review the principles of therapeutic relationships, developing techniques for communicating with and working with families, agencies/systems, and school and community personnel; the use of supervision; diagnosis and application of DSMIV-TR treatment planning, application of appropriate counseling theories and related clinical interventions, methods and techniques, documentation of progress, referral and collaboration and treatment of treatment professionals and families. Case presentations, biopsychosocial histories, progress notes and other relevant documentation of the field placement will be presented in class. The diagnosis and treatment of learning and behavioral disorders, when to recommend an educational evaluation, an IEP or a 504 will also be discussed. SAC Interns will learn to develop plans for the prevention, treatment and referral of students engaged in legal or illegal substances, school violence, school crises and other situations. Students will share experiences with their internship seminar cohort. This internship must conform with Massachusetts regulations 262 CMR. Includes the fundamental occupational tasks of assessment, case presentation, case collaboration, team membership and client interaction. For SAC students in school sites: Onsite training supervised by a state-approved licensed/certified school adjustment counselor who also has clinical licensure as an LMHC, LICSW, LMFT, clinical psychologist or psychiatrist is required. SAC students in school sites must pass MTEL Communication and Literacy Tests before entry. The fieldwork experiences in this course address the following Massachusetts State Standards for School Adjustment Counselors: 3: A practicum of 900 hours, 450 of which must be working with children, adolescents, and families in an educational setting. (Cambridge requires practicum fieldwork of 100 contact hours and internship fieldwork of 600 contact hours). (Cambridge College recommends that students in the SAC track have 225 site hours for each of the four field experiences). 4: A passing score on the Communication and Literacy Skills test. Standard a: Principles of therapeutic relationships. c: Learning disorders, including emotional issues affecting student achievement, and their treatment. d: Prevention and treatment of substance abuse, physical and sexual abuse, and violence in PreK-12 students. f: Techniques for communicating and working with families and school and community personnel.
SOPC electives and concentrations
21
Credits

Students may choose one or two concentrations, and/or SOPC electives. The program of study may not exceed exceed 60 credits.

Core Faculty

Senior Instructor

Adjunct Instructor

Pages

Admissions

  • Admission Test:

    Passing grade on TOEFL (English language proficiency test) is required for international students.

  • Admissions Office:
    1-800-829-4723
  • Application:
  • Application Fee:
    $50, nonrefundable ($100 for international students)

General Requirements

Official Transcript
Two Completed Recommendation Forms
Current Résumé
Interview (for graduate and advanced graduate programs)

Learn more about General Requirements

State Requirements

College students are required to comply with state laws regarding individual health insurance and immunization. Compliance requirements currently exist for students in Massachusetts, Virginia and Tennessee. Learn more

International Students – Additional Requirements

International Students will need to complete supplemental documentation when applying. International transcripts must also be translated prior to submission in order to be evaluated for applicability. Learn more about international student requirements.

Transfer Credit Request Form

Only needed if you wish to have prior course work evaluated for transfer credit. Learn more about transferring credits.

 

Tuition

  • Credits:
    60
  • Cost per credit hour:
    $485
  • Application Fee:
    $50, nonrefundable ($100 for international students)
  • Graduation Fee:
    $110 (charged in last term)
  • Health Insurance Fee:
    $1,497 - Required for Massachusetts students only. See waiver details on Tuition & Fees page.)

Note: Rates are as of September 2013, and are subject to change without notice. Rates apply to all students, unless otherwise noted.

Financial Aid

Cambridge College offers financial aid to students in our degree programs who are enrolled at least half time. Undergraduate students must be enrolled in at least 6 credits each term. Graduate and doctoral students must be enrolled in at least 4 credits each term. Learn more

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Cambridge College welcomes the opportunity to support your efforts to pay for college.  Federal, state and local resources in the form of grants, scholarships, loans and work-study, including Cambridge College Scholarships, are available to help defray the cost of tuition. Learn more

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