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Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Program Mission

The mission of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program Specialization is to prepare highly competent professional counselors with an integrated counseling style, characterized by the recognition of the need to work with a client in a variety of areas including cognitive processes, feelings, and behavioral processes.

Program Objectives

Successful completion of the clinical mental health counseling specialization prepares students to:

  1. Become familiar with the requirements for a professional counselor, the body of literature and research that is central to the field, and professional preparation standards which impact the field as a whole.
  2. Become familiar with the typical characteristics of individuals and communities served by a variety of institutions and agencies that offer clinical mental health counseling services.
  3. Develop knowledge and understanding of models, methods, and principles of program development and service delivery for a clientele based on assumptions of human and organizational development, including prevention, implementation of support groups, peer facilitation training, parent education, career/occupational information and counseling, and encouragement of self-help.
  4. Learn to develop effective strategies for promoting client understanding of and access to community resources.
  5. Develop knowledge and application of principles and models of biopsychosocial assessment, case conceptualization, theories of human development and concepts of normalcy and psychopathology leading to diagnoses and appropriate counseling plans.
  6. Acquire knowledge of the principles of diagnosis and the use of current diagnostic tools, including the current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual.
  7. Learn to develop effective strategies for client advocacy in public policy and other matters of equity and accessibility.
  8. Develop knowledge and application of appropriate individual, couple, family, group, and systems modalities for initiating, maintaining, and terminating counseling, including the use of crisis intervention, and brief, intermediate, and long-term approaches.
  9. Acquire an understanding of ethical and legal considerations related specifically to the practice of clinical mental health counseling.


The clinical mental health counseling specialization includes coursework in professional, ethical and leagl issues in counseling theory and techniques, appraisal, human development, research methodology, and group counseling, consiststent with CACREP professional standards. Additional coursework in four clinical areas is required for licensure as a professional counselor. All students must complete a supervised practicum and internship experience. Upon successful completion of the academic requirements in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program, the Counselor Education program will formally endorse the student for the Professional Counselor (LPC) license and/or employment appropriate to the clinical mental health counseling program. Graduates of the program are eligible for certification as National Certified Counselors.

Program Outcomes

For the 2015 - 2016 academic year, a total of 12 students graduated from the program. The Ohio University pass rate was an 83.3% on the National Counselor Exam with 15 of 18 students passing the NCE on the first attempt. The National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Examination (NCMHCE) pass rate is 61.5%. 

Of the 2015 graduates, approximately 90% were employed within six months of graduation or are pursuing advanced academic degrees. Graduates are employed in a wide variety of settings, including the state-federal public rehabilitation system, non-profit community-based rehabilitation programs, private rehabilitation centers, mental health centers, university disability services, and other specialized rehabilitation centers. Some graduates work in employment settings where a license is not required (Public School System, Veteran’s Administration, Community Mental Health, and Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission), while others move to a different state or outside the country. The number of graduates remaining in Ohio is expected to increase with the availability of more job opportunities.


The Clinical Mental Health Counseling program specialization of the M.Ed. Counselor Education degree at Ohio University is fully accredited by the Council of Accreditation for Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) through 2016 and the department will be seeking reaccreditation for the program during that time. By maintaining CACREP accreditation, the program strives to provide the highest quality of faculty and curriculum standards

For more information, please contact:

Adrienne Erby, PhD, NCC
Counselor Education Program Coordinator
Lecturer and Interim Director of the George E. Hill Center
McCracken Hall 437A