Make a Positive Impact With a Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
Do you want to empower others to overcome difficult emotional challenges? Take the next step with Walden's CACREP-accredited MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program.
As one of the largest programs of its kind in the U.S.,1 our master’s in clinical mental health counseling program is designed to help you become the competent, compassionate counselor you were meant to be. Practice your skills in virtual simulations and hands-on field experiences as you engage with a diverse community of faculty and peers. Graduate from your program feeling confident, inspired, and ready to help your clients lead happier, more productive lives.
An MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program academically prepares students to seek state licensure or certification as a professional mental health counselor.
From the start of your program, you’ll get personalized guidance and inspiration from faculty who want to see you succeed.
Build your confidence through cutting-edge simulation technologies and other opportunities to practice and refine your skills.
Engage with faculty and peers and participate in coursework designed to help you work with people from different backgrounds.
Choose our General Program or one of five specializations to tailor your coursework to the career you want.
Receive your tech fee waived for your first term and pay no tuition for 9 credits of Practicum and Internship, if you reside in the U.S. and start this program on August 30, 2021. Contact one of our Enrollment Specialists to learn more.Get Started Now
Gain the insights, confidence, and practical skills to help clients cope with mental and emotional challenges.
Prepare to address the emotional challenges of individuals and families as they cope with substance abuse issues.
Build your knowledge of mental health law, with a specific focus on juvenile justice and delinquency.
Learn to empower people to resolve marriage and family conflicts related to divorce, mediation, child-rearing, and other matters.
Help families cope with the complex emotional challenges of military life, such as prolonged deployments and PTSD.
Gain the counseling skills and theoretical foundation to help individuals heal from trauma and assist communities in managing crisis.
Program Admission Considerations: A bachelor's degree or higher.
General Admission Requirements: Completed online application and transcripts. Please note that the materials you are required to submit may vary depending on the academic program to which you apply. More information for international applicants.
Master Professional Counseling Skills
Walden’s master’s in clinical mental health counseling program prepares you to make a positive social impact as a competent, confident counseling professional. Explore the latest counseling theories; evidence-based research; and tools for preventing, diagnosing, and treating mental health disorders. You’ll also have ample opportunities to apply new skills and concepts through virtual simulations, role-playing activities, a practicum, and supervised fieldwork.
Engage in Virtual Simulations With Theravue
Walden is one of the few institutions to fully integrate the counseling simulation software Theravue into our master’s program curriculum. This technology empowers you to develop your counseling competencies through intensive practice, opportunities for reflection, exploration of alternatives, and faculty assistance. Master critical skills in an authentic yet safe environment and be ready for real scenarios you’ll face in the field.
MS Dual Degree Program
You have the opportunity to switch to our MS Dual Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling program at any point during your studies. This option can give you greater career flexibility by allowing you to earn two counseling master’s degrees at the same time.
International Counseling Honor Society
Omega Zeta—Walden’s chapter of Chi Sigma Iota, the international counseling honor society—offers many ways to get involved and make your voice heard. This includes participating in Learning Communities—groups of students and faculty who meet biweekly to talk about counseling topics such as play therapy, private practice, and telemental health. Learning Communities are one more way to practice your skills, develop your professional school counselor identity, and forge lasting connections with like-minded peers.
Tracy SenstockSenior Academic Program Director
Dr. Senstock has been training counselors and counselor educators since 1988. She has served in program administration since 1990 and has helped achieve CACREP accreditation for many programs. Dr. Senstock is a licensed professional counselor in Colorado and a National Certified Counselor.
K. Elizabeth McDonaldProgram Director
Dr. McDonald has worked in a residential setting for juveniles, a county jail, university counseling and psychological services settings, and community agencies. She is a licensed professional counselor in Minnesota, a National Certified Counselor, and a Board-Certified TeleMental Health Provider.
Dr. Carmichael is a licensed professional counselor in Mississippi. She has devoted more than 15 years to providing clinical services to underserved populations, working with individuals in all stages of development and with a range of clinical presentations.
As a graduate of our master’s in clinical mental health counseling program, you will be prepared to:
- Analyze the different roles and settings of a counselor.
- Apply sound ethical and legal practices in the work of a counselor.
- Analyze cultural development theories and models.
- Examine empirically based theories of human development.
- Evaluate approaches of career development appropriate to diverse needs and life experiences.
- Examine appropriate evidence-based counseling practices for prevention and intervention.
- Apply essential counseling skills across multiple settings.
- Select group facilitation strategies that are culturally and ethically relevant.
- Analyze assessment procedures to support planning for appropriate counseling interventions.
- Evaluate research methods commonly used in the counseling profession.
Read our MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program Outcomes Report and Annual Data Report on the School of Counseling DATA webpage.
Mental health counselors play a valuable role in helping people cope with life’s challenges—and demand for these professionals is rising. Employment for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counseling professionals is expected to grow by 25% through 2029, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).2
A master’s in clinical mental health counseling academically prepares you to pursue licensure as a counseling professional in your state, which can open the door to opportunities in a variety of environments. From counseling individuals and families in times of crisis to helping people overcome addiction, you’ll be positioned for a meaningful and rewarding future changing lives for the better.
25%job growth for mental health counseling professionals through 2029.2
An MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree can prepare you to work in settings such as:
- Outpatient and inpatient mental health and substance abuse centers
- Individual and family service organizations (private practice)
- Public or private hospitals
- Courts/government agencies
Career positions may require additional experience, training, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this degree program.
If I did not attend Walden University, I would not have the counseling skills required to work with populations affected by mental illness.
Mechele Landin-Hurt MS in Mental Health Counseling Graduate
I always enjoyed my classes at Walden, which is why I decided to re-enroll for my PhD.
Jennifer Erickson MS in Mental Health Counseling Graduate
While attending Walden University, I had the most valuable education that led to me opening my own business.
Dorothy Butts-Valentine MS in Mental Health Counseling Graduate
FAQ About Walden’s Online MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program
A master’s degree is typically needed to work in the mental health field as a counselor in the United States. Walden’s MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling degree meets the academic licensure requirements of many state counseling boards. Graduates work as mental health counselors in agencies, universities, hospitals, trauma centers, shelters, correctional facilities, employee assistance programs, community churches, and private practice. Mental health counselors provide counseling to individuals of all ages, couples, and families. Mental health counselors also serve as advocates for the mental health needs of their clients and their communities.
Walden students come from all over the world, which brings a wealth of diverse perspectives to the online classroom. Our faculty are also diverse. Walden has more than 3,000 faculty members from various cultures, religions, ethnicities, sexual orientations, areas of expertise, etc. All our counseling faculty members hold doctorates and are licensed practitioners. We also adhere to Walden’s mission of social change and as such, students and faculty engage worldwide in endeavors that create change and make our world a better place for all. Finally, Walden faculty are available to provide one-on-one support for students in their development of the required skills and dispositions to be confident and competent professionals. We are committed to graduating every student admitted.
Walden’s MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling has been accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) since 2009. Walden is also accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Yes—all of Walden’s programs are online. Walden has been a leader in distance learning since 1970. As a pioneer in the field, Walden University is structured to meet the needs of working adults who want a quality professional education in a flexible format.
Students who take one or two courses a term can complete the MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling in 33 months to three years. Students who are eligible to enroll in three courses a term can potentially finish their program in 27 months.
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