Clinical Mental Health Counseling Master of Arts (MA) program

Request InformationGraduates of the MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program will have fulfilled all the educational and pre-master's field experience requirements to qualify for the license as a mental health counselor (LMHC) in Massachusetts.

Clinical Mental Health Counselors provide invaluable assessment, psychotherapy and consultation services to individuals, groups, families, and systems.

Program Overview

This program prepares graduates to qualify to acquire the post-master's supervised experience that leads to the independent practice as a professional mental health counselor.  Graduates of this program will have fulfilled all educational and pre-master's field experience requirements to qualify for independent licensure in the state of Massachusetts as a Mental Health Counselor (LMHC).

The program can be completed full-time in 5 semesters (2 years that include the summer session) or part-time in 3 years.  Degree completion requires 60 credits of course work, a practicum (minimum 360 hours) and an internship (minimum 600 hours).  In addition to the standard coursework, there are opportunities to pursue concentrated electives to acquire knowledge and skills relevant to working in particular settings or with specific populations. We offer departmental concentrations that are included in the 60 required credits (please note that the Couples and Family Therapy concentration augments the requirements to 63 credits), and college-wide concentrations that require credits above the counseling degree requirements.

Although the primary goal is to prepare master's level clinicians, this program will also provide students with some of the necessary foundations for pursuing further graduate study.

Program Philosophy

William James College integrates rigorous academic instruction with extensive field education and professional development assistance. We believe that the best learning comes from integrating classroom knowledge with hands-on experience. The curriculum provides for an understanding of theory, training, and practice of counseling. We emphasize the development of professionals who are committed to the ethical provisions of quality services to culturally diverse clients, agencies, and organizations.

Letter from the Program Chair

Nilda LaboyWe are proud of our clinical mental health counseling program and of the diversity of concentrations we offer. Our graduates are well prepared and find jobs shortly after graduation. Our training has a solid reputation for being rigorous, while at the same time providing a holding environment where students receive personalized attention and mentoring.

We have an outstanding faculty that has been recognized for their integration of diversity into the curriculum, and their academic advising of our students and mentoring of our graduates. They bring their clinical and consulting experience into the classroom. Our experiential education model allows you to put into practice what you learn in the classroom, and to bring to the classroom what you learn in the field.

In a world where mental health services are increasingly needed, choosing this career means that you become an integral part of creating a better society. You will use your assessment and counseling skills to bring clarity to situations and to help others become empowered to change their own lives and the lives of others.

If you are the kind of person who wants to make a difference in the lives of others, who wants to learn about evidence-based and evidence-informed treatments in mental health, and who is willing to engage in self-exploration and increase your awareness of self and what surrounds you, this may be the program for you.

Please explore all of the different options we offer in our departmental and college-wide concentrations. If you have any questions about our programs, please contact our Admissions Office or you may contact me directly.

Sincerely,

Nilda M. Laboy, PsyD
Chair, Counseling Department
nilda_laboy@williamjames.edu

Career Outlook

Employment Opportunities for MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Graduates and LMHCs

Mental Health Counselors work in a wide range of settings. Among these are community mental health centers; hospitals and clinics; residential treatment centers; substance abuse treatment facilities; correctional centers; college and university counseling centers; employee assistance programs; managed behavioral health care organizations; government agencies; elder care facilities; and faith communities.

There are many employment opportunities in the Boston area and throughout the United States for qualified counselors. Once they have completed their post-master's work experience requirements and have passed the national licensing examination (known as the NCMHE), mental health counselors can also pursue independent practice. In Massachusetts, licensed mental health counselors are known as LMHCs.

For more information about getting a job in counseling, please visit the American Counseling Association Career Center page.

Mental Health Counselors held about 120,010 jobs in 2014*

* www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes211014.htm

93% of graduates obtained employment within 6 months of graduation, and an additional 5% obtained employment within 12 months for a total of 98%*

Advantages of a Graduate School Education at William James College

Job Outlook: Percent (%) Change in Employment for 2014-2024 Bureau of Labor Statistics
Marriage and Family Therapist Up 15%
Mental Health Counselor Up 20%
Clinical, Counseling & School Psychologists Up 19%

US News & World Report Best Social Service Jobs US News Best Jobs Logo
School Psychologist No. 2
Marriage and Family Therapist No. 16
Mental Health Counselor No. 33

Median Salaries* Data from 2009 APA Salary Survey and US News & World Report

American Psychological Association Logo
US News Best Jobs Logo
Clinical Psychologist $87,015
School Psychologist $67,760 (for a 10-month contract)
Mental Health Counselor $40,850
* Licensed mental health professionals have the opportunity for additional income through private practice.

For More Information

If you have further questions about applying to the MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program, please contact Admissions at admissions@williamjames.edu or 617-564-9376.

For the general track in MA Clinical Mental Health Counseling you may contact:
Jessica Stahl, PhD
jessica_stahl@williamjames.edu

For administrative questions please contact the Department Coordinator:
Natalie Wallace, MS, EdS
natalie_wallace@williamjames.edu

You are also welcome to contact the Department Chair:
Nilda M. Laboy, PsyD
nilda_laboy@williamjames.edu

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