LMHC Course Policy

Adopted May 18, 2007

To more clearly define content required within the ten Required Course Areas set out in 262 C.M.R. 2.05(2)(d).

It is expected that all courses taken to meet the required course areas of the educational requirements for licensure as a Mental Health Counselor will focus specifically on mental health counseling. The content of courses used to meet the ten required areas stipulated in the educational requirements must include a range of recognized Mental Health Counseling approaches and not be restricted to one specialty area.

For those applicants, matriculating prior to August 1 st 2008, whose syllabi does not set out these standards, the Board will accept a letter of clarification from the DEAN or Department Chair attesting that this course does in fact meet these policy standards. All applications will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

The following are more specific descriptions of the ten required content areas. It is expected that the course descriptions for courses used to meet the educational requirements will reflect this information.

  1. Counseling Theory:
    Examination of the major theories, principles and techniques of Mental Health Counseling and their application to professional counseling settings. Understanding and applying theoretical perspectives with clients.
  2. Human Growth and Development:
    Understanding the nature and needs of individuals at all developmental stages of life. Understanding major theories of physical, cognitive, affective and social development and their application to Mental Health Counseling practice.
  3. Psychopathology:
    Identification and diagnosis and mental health treatment planning for abnormal, deviant, or psychopathological behavior, includes assessments and treatment procedures.
  4. Social and Cultural Foundations:
    Theories of multicultural counseling, issues and trends of a multicultural and diverse society. Foundational knowledge and skills needed to provide mental health counseling services to diverse populations in a culturally competent manner.
  5. Helping Relationships: Understanding of the theoretical bases of the helping processes, mental health counseling techniques, and their applications. Understanding and practice of helping skills necessary for the Mental Health Counselor.
  6. Group Work:
    Theoretical and Experiential understandings of group development, purpose, dynamics, counseling theories, group counseling methods and skills, as well as leadership styles. Understanding of the dynamics and processes of Mental Health (therapeutic, psychosocial, psycho-educational) groups.
  7. Special Treatment Issues:
    Elective areas relevant to the practice of mental health counseling, i.e. psychopharmacology, substance abuse, school or career issues, marriage and family treatment, sexuality and lifestyle choices, treating special populations.
  8. Appraisal:
    Individual and group educational and psychometric theories and approaches to appraisal. Examination of the various instruments and methods of psychological appraisal and assessment utilized by the mental health counselor. The function of measurement and evaluation, purposes of testing, reliability and validity.
  9. Research and Evaluation:
    Understanding social science research and evaluative methodologies and strategies, types of research, program evaluation, needs assessments, ethical and legal considerations.
  10. Professional Orientation:
    Understanding of professional roles and functions of Mental Health Counselors, with particular emphasis on legal and ethical standards. Ethical case conceptualization, analysis and decision making as relates to clinical practice. Knowledge and understanding of the standards set by the code of ethics of the American Counseling Association and the American Mental Health Counselors Association. Understanding of licensure and regulatory practices.