Is a Career in Clinical Mental Health
Counseling Right for Me?
What is professional counseling?
Counseling is a
professional relationship that empowers diverse individuals, families and
groups to accomplish mental health, wellness, education and career goals.*
A counseling career offers choices. Professionals may decide to
work with specific populations,
such as young children, teens or adults. Other counselors may choose to work in
certain settings, such as
education, private practice or mental health centers.
Do the Following Statements Apply to You?
- I enjoy
variety and a challenging work environment.
- I have a
desire to improve the community and its members.
- I gain
satisfaction in my life from helping others.
- I want a
career in which I will help make a positive difference in people's lives.
- I enjoy
sorting out, understanding and addressing complex challenges.
career goals include professional licensure and a career in counseling.
If so, a Master of
Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling may be the degree to help you
succeed in your career.
What is the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Career Outlook?
Employment of mental health counselors is projected to grow 20 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations.
What Can I Do with This Degree?
Students wishing to compete in the Southwest Florida job market with a clinical mental health counseling degree need to prepare a knowledge and skill set for work with diverse client, family and community populations in the areas of inpatient, residential, intensive outpatient and outpatient treatment for both mental health and substance issues separately or concurrently. A student also may find employment in career counseling and life coaching arenas, among other opportunities.
A student in this area may practice at public agencies, local sites for larger nonprofit agencies, public and private hospital facilities, smaller nonprofit agencies, and private organization and practice settings.
Future trends may include more practice in medical settings, increased use of online counseling, and the use of evidence-based treatment for certain populations and conditions. While a student may eventually specialize his or her focus, a comprehensive understanding of individual, group and family counseling, as well as prevention and community work is crucial in the education process.
Licensure in Florida
The Clinical Mental Health
Counseling program is designed so that graduates are eligible candidates for
licensing as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in the state of Florida
after graduation. Graduates must first register with the state as a Registered
Mental Health Counselor Intern, and complete these requirements before
obtaining full licensure as a LMHC. Florida’s regulations can be accessed
online at: http://floridasmentalhealthprofessions.gov/.
The graduate, in order to obtain
his/her license, must have two years of full-time work experience under
supervision of a Qualified Supervisor for Registered Mental Health Counselor
Interns in Florida. If a Qualified Supervisor is not available at the agency
that the student is hired at post-master’s, then the student will have to hire
and pay a Qualified Supervisor for MHC Interns as a consultant. More
information on this process, as well as all other licensing requirements, can
be found at: http://floridasmentalhealthprofessions.gov/?s=Qualified+Supervisor.
In Florida, the student must also
pass the NCMHCE exam administered by the National Board for Certified
Counselors. The student will become familiar with the exam process while in the
CMHC program. Most states now require the NCMHCE exam for state licensure,
although some states may require the National Counselor Exam (NCE) for
licensure. Check the licensure information in your state for exam requirement
information. More information about the NCMHCE can be found at: http://www.nbcc.org/Exams/NCMHCE.
Licensure in Other
students who reside in states other than Florida, please consult that
particular state’s licensing board to review their regulations. Contact
information for each state’s licensing board is provided on the American
Counseling Association’s (ACA)’s website at: https://www.counseling.org/knowledge-center/licensure-requirements/state-professional-counselor-licensure-boards. Most
states have a similar provisional licensing period that lasts 2 years
post-master's degree before you can be fully licensed as a counselor in
that state. As we are a CACREP-accredited program, the master’s degree coursework
in this program is designed to align with the educational requirements of most
states’ licensing boards. No graduate program, however, can guarantee licensure
after graduation. If you reside outside of Florida or may move after
graduation, review your state’s licensing requirements and contact the state
licensing board if you have questions about the coursework standards for your
What Will I Learn?
The Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program of study consists of three parts, all designed to assist the student to be able to apply for Florida State Licensing as a Mental Health Counselor.
- The State Licensing Content Component provides the essential coursework necessary for a master’s degree prepared therapist.
- The Internship Component allows the student to experience the profession in a community setting with supervision.
- The Elective Component allows the student to select additional courses that will allow further specialization and the continued building of a professional identity.
These three components prepare the student to apply as a Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern with the State of Florida upon graduation. Students will also complete a professional portfolio as a requirement to graduate.
Students attending part-time, six credit hours or two courses per term, will complete the program in 10 terms or just over three years. Courses are taken year-round (winter, summer, and fall semesters) and completed in 15-week terms.
View the Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
How is Hodges University’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program Different?
Our Program is Accredited
The Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at Hodges University is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).
Graduates Prepared for Licensing in Florida
Graduates of Hodges University Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program are eligible for candidacy for licensing as a Mental Health Counselor in the State of Florida.
Our population of students excels in the qualities of having the personality and skills of a "helper". They come from many different countries and backgrounds with varied education preparation and experiences. The personality and skills of a "helper" are further and professionally developed through our emphasis on role play, practical learning and personal growth. Our students have the prerequisite skills and heart but benefit from the added education, practicum and internship experience to hone and advance their skills.
Our program also offers much more individual attention and recognition of the working adult with all the issues that come with these added responsibilities. We offer flexibility and will work with students to facilitate their reaching their goals. The student becomes our priority, and we not only say this, we practice it.
Clinical mental health counseling faculty are highly experienced and qualified in the field. This real-world, applied knowledge is an invaluable resource for students studying to begin or advance their careers. Our faculty members recognize students as individuals and provide personal attention.
To achieve its mission, the Hodges University Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program supports the following principles:
- To develop students’ counseling skills through cognitive, affective and psycho-motor practice informed by professional feedback.
- To develop students’ practice identity through exposure to current theory and best practices, and by adopting the theories and practices for which they have an affinity.
- To integrate students’ lifelong learning approach with their knowledge base through review of the latest writing and research.
- To support students’ continued affective learning by continual personal growth and psycho-motor learning by continual practice and professional feedback.
For more information about our program or Hodges policies and procedures, review our CMHC Annual Report, Student Handbook and our Graduate Bulletin.
Get Started Today and Apply Now!
Need More Information?
You may also contact us to speak to an admissions coordinator who will guide you through the application and admissions process. To speak to an admissions coordinator call us at 1-800-466-8017 (Naples) or 1-800-466-0019 (Fort Myers), use our contact form, email firstname.lastname@example.org or schedule a one-on-one visit to tour one of our campuses.
Your admissions coordinator will:
- Help you complete the application in its entirety.
- Help you obtain necessary transcripts.
- Schedule your admissions test (if necessary).
- Coordinate the financial aid process with a financial aid professional.
- Refer you to your academic advisor for class scheduling.
- Give you information regarding your orientation.
We look forward to welcoming you to the Hodges family!