Jun 12, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog Archived Catalog

Clinical Mental Health Counseling, M.S.

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Master of Science and Graduate Certificate Programs in Clinical Mental Health Counseling


The Department of Clinical Mental Health Counseling offers a 60-credit Master of Science degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling as well as certificate programs for advanced study (CAS) and in the category of Certificate for Pastoral Care Specialist (CPCS). The programs stand on a solid foundation that respects the dignity of each person and stresses a developmental understanding of individuals and groups.  The aim of each is to prepare students to meet the unique mental and spiritual demands of a culturally diverse world.


The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), has granted accreditation to Neumann University’s Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree program, under the standards in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, 1001 N. Fairfax Street, Suite 510, Alexandria, VA 22314; Telephone: 703-535-5990; Fax: 703-739-6209; or, cacrep@cacrep.org. The Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program is also approved to be a provider of contact hours by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC), 3 Terrace Way, Greensboro, NC 27403; Telephone: 336-547-0607, Fax: 336- 547-0017; or, www.nbcc.org.

Admission Requirements

Applicants with a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited, degree-granting institution with a 3.00 GPA are eligible for entrance to the Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program, subject to the approval of the program director.

Candidates are required to submit: 

  • A completed Graduate Student Application, in print or online through www.neumann.edu/apply.
  • Official transcripts from all institutions attended. 
  • Writing prompt
  • Three professional letters of reference.
  • Interview

Once admission materials have been received and processed through the Office of Admissions, faculty will review the candidate materials and arrange for an interview, if appropriate.    

Limitation on Transfer Credit

The program has set a limit of seven years for the acceptance of transfer credit for which a minimum grade of “B” has been earned from any regionally accredited, degreegranting institution to Neumann University. This time limitation applies to all required courses.  Exceptions to this policy can only be made with the written approval of both the Dean of the School of Education and Human Services and the Director of Clinical Mental Health Counseling.

Non-Matriculated Students

A maximum of nine credits earned over no more than three semesters may be taken as a non-matriculated student. To transfer non-matriculated credits to a degree or certificate program, a student must receive permission from the director of the program.

Course Schedule

Clinical Mental Health Counseling courses meet on weekdays in the late afternoon and into the evening. Courses are held in the Fall, Spring, and Summer Semesters.

Progression/Retention/Graduation Requirements

For the Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, continued progress requires that the student maintain a “B” average, receive no more than two grades of “C” or more than one grade of an “F”, and a satisfactory rating in all characteristics judged necessary for the profession. Students in practicum and internship courses must demonstrate competence in technical performance and professional attitude in the clinical setting. Failure to meet and maintain the requirements listed above may result in dismissal from the program. All degree requirements for the program must be completed in no less than two years and not more than five years. Students who wish an exemption to this time frame must submit a written request to the director of the program. Graduation from the program is contingent upon: (1) submitting a signed Application for Graduation form to the Registrar on or before the date specified in the Academic Calendar, (2) completion of the program with at least a cumulative 3.00 GPA, with no more than two grades of “C,” or more than one grade of “F,” and (3) successful completion of a final seminar paper in which the student integrates the practice of counseling, using both theological and psychological resources.

Professional Membership and Liability Insurance

Students are required to carry student liability insurance throughout their clinical sequence (i.e., practicum through internship).  Proof of insurance is kept on file in the clinical files in the department office. Information on purchasing insurance may be obtained from the clinical coordinator.

Master of Science in Pastoral Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (60 credits); Certificate of Advanced Study (18 credits); Pastoral Care Specialist Certificate (18 credits).

The Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling prepares individuals to integrate spirituality and clinical mental health in a holistic manner. Students enroll in courses that focus on eight common core areas: professional counseling orientation and ethical practice, social and cultural diversity, human growth and development, career development, counseling and helping relationships, group counseling and group work, assessment and testing, and research and program evaluation. In addition to these eight areas, the program provides courses on addressing spirituality in counseling from a holistic perspective and a clinical course sequence. The program is designed to help students meet the course requirements for state licensure in the Tri-State area and the eligibility requirements for certification by the National Board for Certified Counselors.

Clinical Mental Health Counseling: The Neumann Approach

Clinical Mental Health Counseling is taught at Neumann University as a holistic approach to mental health counseling which affirms the active and ongoing interrelationship between clinical experience, spiritual reality, and mental health outreach. The program educates students to see the sacred in ordinary experiences and to integrate psychology and spirituality in a rigorous, informed, and clinically responsible way. The program, grounded in the holistic spirit of Saints Francis and Clare of Assisi, welcomes people of all faiths and spiritual practices.

Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program Learning Outcomes

At the completion of the programs in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, students will have accomplished the following learning objectives under each the following categories of proficiency:

Professional Identity and Growth
  • Demonstrate a comprehensive overview of the evolution, structure and expansion of the field of professional counseling, both mental health based and pastoral, and the responsibilities for practice and accountability;
  • Evidence a professional competency in recognizing key ethical principles, their application to core therapeutic issues and an ability to apply a hermeneutical decision making process in their judgment;
  • Apply a theological reflection process to the development of and all processes within personal integration and therapeutic relationships;
  • Extend skills and service in areas of human engagement that entail advocacy, outreach and consultation;
  • Recognize critical points of development and maturation and the processes involved in these, both within themselves toward personal transformation and in their clients to support and foster such growth;
  • Develop an openness to feedback in the course of learning and practice that allows for self-examination, theologically-based reflection and articulation of pastoral/spiritual character.
Theoretical and Skill Areas
  • Be able to differentiate characteristics and skills in working with diverse populations in this post- modern age and support ongoing efforts to promote cultural awareness and reduce factors that denigrate human worth and freedom;
  • Evidence knowledge of both state and stage theories of progress through the lifespan with particular attention to supporting theories, with attention paid to recent neurobiological research;
  • Recognize the etiology, symptomology, progression of pathologies, consider effective treatment modalities and report on persons dealing with these competently and comprehensively;
  • Apply knowledge of career assessment protocols and theories of career development for both selves and others seeking life directions;
  • Identify for themselves an orientation to a major counseling theory that can allow them to create a framework for therapeutic assessments, interaction, and outcomes that combine clinical skill and compassionate presence;
  • Be able to apply and interpret necessary methods and analyses in terms of research writing, needs assessment, statistical results and program evaluations;
  • Employ strategies and interventions for both small and large group dynamics that will allow clear communication within and among members and engage persons in healing practices;
Clinical Counseling Skills

 Through four semesters (one pre-clinical and three onsite working with clients), students will compose a practice strategy and process that is clinically competent and pastorally focused. They will

  • Formulate working diagnosis and treatment goals;
  • Integrate the higher skills of therapeutic intervention within clear multicultural and ethical guidelines for practice;
  • Integrate spirituality and psychology in the assessment of various cases and therapeutic interactions;
  • Demonstrate knowledge and use of theoretical approaches consistent with client issues;
  • Attend to clients in empathic and non-judgmental way;
  • Be able to reflect theologically in counseling relationships that facilitate understanding their roles as pastoral counselor.


Clinical Mental Health Counseling Clinical Sequence

There are four clinical courses beginning with Pre-Clinical Preparation and Orientation and continuing through to the completion of Internship II.  Students are strongly advised to remain in the clinical sequence without interruption for the four semesters.  Exceptions to this must be discussed with the clinical coordinator.

Prior to beginning the clinical sequence, students must successfully complete PCC 500, 505, 510, 700, 720, 730, 760, and 786. PCC 740 is the beginning course in the clinical sequence and may be taken concurrently with clinical prerequisites listed above, provided the student will have completed all other clinical prerequisites by the end of that semester.

After completing the necessary prerequisite courses, students interview for and secure their clinical sites with assistance from the clinical coordinator. Settings may include counseling agencies, prisons, hospitals, hospices, parishes and other approved settings. The clinical site must provide students with the opportunity to practice clinical mental health counseling, adequate supervision and allow taping of sessions. Individual supervision is provided by an approved on-site supervisor, while group supervision is provided by a Neumann University faculty supervisor in the small class settings. Clinical courses are taken in the following sequence:

  • Pre-Clinical: In the semester before beginning site based counseling training, students meet with an instructor in a small group seminar to work on skills, forms, clinical policies and procedures necessary for meeting with clients.
  • Clinical Practicum: During this semester, along with working at an approved clinical site, students meet in a small group seminar with a faculty member to discuss clinical work. The student’s caseload consists of three to five client hours per week, along with one hour/week on-site supervision. A total of 100 clinical hours is required during the practicum semester, 40 of which need to be direct client contact.
  • Internship I-II: Students continue to work at an approved clinical site while seeing clients in counseling. Students typically carry a caseload of six to eight client hours per week over the course of two semesters. A total of 600 clinical hours, 240 of which are direct client contact, is required. Along with on-site supervision, and weekly in-class small group supervision, a minimum of 8 hours of individual (dyadic or triadic) supervision is provided by an approved programmatic supervisor over the two semesters.

Professional Certification and Licensure

The program is designed to help students meet the course requirements for state licensure in the Tri-State area and the eligibility requirements for certification by the National Board for Certified Counselors.

Personal Growth and Self Care

Personal growth and self-awareness are essential in the professional development of counselors. All Clinical Mental Health Counseling program students are required to experience ongoing counseling throughout the program. This counseling is mandated and tracked throughout clinical placement.

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