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CHRD-Clinical Mental Health Counseling (M.S.)

The clinical mental health counseling course of study is designed to meet the requirements of the South Dakota Board of Counselor Examiners. Once graduates complete an approved supervised clinical experience and pass the appropriate examinations, they are eligible for licensure as a licensed professional counselor (LPC) initially, and eventually a licensed professional counselor – mental health (LPC-MH) in the state of South Dakota.

This program specialization is accredited by CACREP under the 2009 standards for community counseling. Students who successfully complete this 60-credit hour specialization will earn a Master of Science in counseling and human resource development specializing in clinical mental health counseling.

The following statement is intended to identify the specific endorsement for students entering Clinical Mental Health Counseling: Upon successful completion of the core requirements, and those of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling specialization and with the successful completion of the comprehensive written and oral examinations, graduates are endorsed as having constructed appropriate entry level knowledge and as having met appropriate skill acquisition to be recognized as professional clinical mental health counselors. Students in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling specialization are also responsible for having taken supporting area courses which supplement or enhance their chosen specialty.

Program Objectives

Each program objective aligns with one of the eight core CACREP standards and with one college counseling and student affairs specialty track standard.

Students will:

  1. Demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary for competent ethical practice.
  2. Demonstrate skills, knowledge, and awareness to counsel within a diverse society.
  3. Describe and explain the process of change as expressed by individual and family counseling theories across the lifespan.
  4. Identify and describe theories and models of career development, counseling and decision-making
  5. Demonstrate essential interviewing, counseling, and conceptualizing skills
  6. Identify and apply approaches used for various types of group work.
  7. Demonstrate knowledge of the basic concepts of standardized testing and other assessment techniques.
  8. Discern evidence-based counseling practices

Clinical Mental Health Counseling

  1. Develop and demonstrate basic counseling skills including verbal and non-verbal attending, observation, paraphrasing, reflection of feelings, questioning, summarizing and confrontation.

Career Opportunities

Opportunities include work as a licensed counselor in community mental health organizations, outpatient care centers, residential mental health and substance abuse facilities, psychiatric hospitals and private practice.

For more information about this program, please contact Chris Briddick (Brookings campus) or Moneik Stephens (Rapid City campus).


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