Clinical mental health counselors have master’s degrees in mental health counseling or a related major. Depending on the school and coursework, these programs range from about 1-3 years. Coursework focuses on mental health themes including human development, counseling techniques, assessment, and multicultural issues.
While many professionals have undergraduate degrees in psychology or other related majors, this is not always required for graduate school admissions.
Mental health counseling graduate programs with accreditation, such as the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), may increase chances of employment opportunities after graduation and helps with licensure.
All mental health counseling students must also engage in practicum and internship experiences under the supervision of a licensed counselor. These experiences provide students with the opportunity to apply theory and begin initial stages of performing therapy and clinical services.