Health and Behavioral Medicine - Clinical Mental Health Counseling Master of Arts (MA)

Request InformationThis area of emphasis prepares graduates to work as clinical mental health counselors, in both general practice and medical settings. Massachusetts has quickly become the cutting-edge state in the country to lead the implementation of health care reform and maximize integration of services. Specifically, there is a movement toward using integrated behavioral health models within primary care and other medical settings. Through a series of several courses, our graduates will gain a solid background in Health and Wellness Counseling, Behavioral Medicine interventions, and Integrated Behavioral Health in medical settings. Students will learn to function as members of interdisciplinary teams and in the treatment of chronic illness, mental health issues and other behavioral health and medical specialties. This program, and specifically this area of emphasis utilizes the bio-psycho-social-spiritual frame to understand health and human behavior. With the understanding of the Mind/Body connection, the mental health professional will be exposed to Behavioral Medicine interventions including evidence-based approaches to care, motivational interviewing, brief treatment models, biofeedback, hypnosis, and other relaxation techniques. Graduates of this program will have developed basic competencies in being a key member of a team, ready to conduct brief assessments, consult with colleagues from other health care disciplines, and treat patients and families in both brief and extended models of care.

Full-time Course Sequence (2 years)
Part-time Course Sequence (3 years)

We enroll new students into our Clinical Mental Health Counseling MA program evey January and late AugustClick here to see our timing and deadlines.  

Career Outlook

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

Our graduates will be among the first group of professional counselors trained to specifically work effectively in clinical mental health  settings. We anticipate that our graduates will be quite competitive to land good jobs in this emerging area with their background in primary care and health psychology with a public health perspective. Our graduates will also be well trained generalists as mental health counselors

Mental Health Counselors work in a wide range of settings. Among these are community mental health centers; hospitals and clinics; residential treatment enters; substance abuse treatment facilities; college and university counseling centers; employee assistance programs; managed behavioral health care organizations; government agencies; elder care facilities; and faith communities. Once they have earned licensure, they can also pursue independent practice. There are many employment opportunities in the Boston area and throughout the United States for qualified master's level clinicians. 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.

Advantages of a Graduate School Education at William James College

Job Outlook: Percent (%) Change in Employment for 2019-2029 Bureau of Labor Statistics
Marriage and Family Therapist Up 22%
Mental Health Counselor Up 25%
Substance Abuse & Behavioral Disorder Counselor Up 25%

US News & World Report Best Social Service Jobs US News Best Jobs Logo
School Psychologist No. 19
Marriage and Family Therapist No. 2
Substance Abuse & Behavioral Disorder Counselor No. 1
Mental Health Counselor No. 7
Student Ambassadors

Ariel Axelrod-HahnAriel Axelrod-Hahn
Wellesley College
Clinical Mental Health Counseling MA
Health and Behavioral Medicine Area of Emphasis
Class of 2017
Learn more about Ariel

For More Information on Our Counseling Programs

Would you like to learn more about our counseling programs or the admissions process? Request information here and select the track that most interests you.

Want to hear more and have the opportunity for a live Q&A with faculty and staff? Sign up for the next webinar.

Prefer to talk to someone who's been there, done that? Contact one of our Student Ambassadors for the counseling program to get a student's views.

Our Counseling Department faculty and staff are available to answer your questions. Prospective students are welcome to contact directly the Area of Emphasis Directors or the Department Chair with questions about the program or to discuss your career and academic goals.