At Merrimack, both the on-campus and online master’s programs in clinical mental health counseling share the same rigorous curriculum, taught by the same expert faculty.
The program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling features a combination of coursework and fieldwork and provides a comprehensive framework in counseling theory and clinical methods.
Students in the program will complete:
- 60 credit hours of classroom-based learning
- A 700-hour fieldwork placement, including 100 practicum hours and 600 internship hours
As you explore advanced counseling techniques, you’ll have the opportunity to apply your skills by working with clients both individually and in groups. During the 700-hour field placement, on-site supervisors will help you refine your clinical approach as you develop treatment plans to meet the needs of populations dealing with substance abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault, substance abuse, grief and other challenges. You’ll learn to advocate for clients and maintain ethical principles as they develop their own self-care practice.
Practicum and Internship
The practicum and internship field experience provides the opportunity to integrate theory and practice. Students are placed in a variety of mental health agencies and hospital programs. The field experience takes place during the second year of the program. The student must complete a minimum of 700 hours on-site with supervision by a licensed professional in the field. The first 100 hours are the practicum and the remaining 600 hours are considered the internship. Students work in a wide variety of clinical settings and engage in on-site clinical supervision. In both the online and on-campus programs, students meet weekly with a faculty clinical supervisor to discuss their clinical training experiences in group supervision with fellow interns.
The director and advisor of the program have the authority to determine a student’s readiness for practicum and internship. The student’s overall progress and performance in courses are key in determining eligibility for the field experience. All first-year courses are prerequisites for practicum and internship and students must have a 3.0-grade point average.
The capstone project is completed in CMH 6020/CMH 6020-OA. The capstone project consists of a comprehensive formal written client case study in which the following components are addressed:
- Assessment and diagnosis
- Conceptualization of the client
- Treatment plan
- Theoretical framework used to work with the client
- A tape-recorded session is required in which the student is demonstrating a specific intervention.
A formal presentation of the client’s case is required.