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Mental Health Counseling: Mission Statement

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Mission Statement

The mission of the Mental Health Counseling program at Central Washington University is to select, educate, and supervise individuals to become competent mental health counselors.  Our Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs (CACREP) - accredited counselor-training program balances rigorous academic course work with a 3-4 part personalized clinical experience in our on-site training clinic.  Through individualized supervision, client data collection, evaluation, and reflexivity, we provide support and feedback to facilitate students’ development of counseling knowledge, skills, practice, dispositional qualities, and personal growth.  Our goal is to prepare students with strong professional identities as counselors, researchers and advocates to best meet the needs of diverse clients. 

After our accreditation lapses in 2023, our program will maintain the rigorous standards for training, including personalized clinical training, rigorous academic expectations and a supportive environment in which to learn and develop strong professional identities as counselors, researchers, and advocates.

Program Objectives

1. Professional Counseling Orientation and Ethical Practice

Students will be knowledgeable about the profession of mental health counseling including the history of the profession, roles and functions of counselors, professional organizations and credentialing, ethical standards, and the role of technology.

2. Social and Cultural Diversity

Students will have an understanding of the social and cultural foundations of diversity.  They will also develop an awareness of the ongoing nature of multicultural competence in order to increase their effectiveness in a multicultural and diverse society.  Students and will provide services responsive to the unique needs of individual clients.

3. Human Growth and Development

Students will develop a broad overview of human growth and development across the life span by understanding essential concepts related to each developmental stage and the major developmental theories.  Students’ understanding of human developmental theory is infused with intersectionality, which is intended to deepen the students’ knowledge of the in-depth nature of human development and competent counseling practice with diverse populations.

4. Career Development

Students will assess and integrate career related issues in a comprehensive understanding of clients.  As appropriate students will utilize career development theories and skills into their counseling practice.

5. Counseling and Helping Relationships

Students will develop an academic, professional, and personal knowledge of counseling and consultation models, theories, and processes.  This knowledge will be applied to real-life treatment modalities and aid students in developing their counselor identity.

6. Group Counseling and Group Work

Students will be knowledgeable about the theoretical foundations of group formation, dynamics, therapeutic factors, and ethical and culturally appropriate leadership across a range of types of groups.

7. Assessment and Testing

Students will understand and be knowledgeable about individual approaches to assessment and evaluation, and utilize appropriate assessment tools for diagnosis, and treatment planning.

8. Research and Program Evaluation Students will be knowledgeable of various research methods, statistical analyses, needs assessments, and program evaluation.  Students will understand how to critically evaluate research to inform their clinical practice.  Students will also learn how to integrate data collection into their clinical practice

9. Psychological First Aid 

Students will develop an understanding of how to apply the core actions outlined for working with people coping with disaster and crisis situations utilizing a psychological first aid framework.

10. Advocacy

Students will understand and utilize social justice and advocacy strategies on behalf of the counseling profession and to address institutional and social barriers that impede access, equity, and success for clients.

11. Self-care

Students will develop an understanding and appreciation of the role of self-care and wellness in their identity as counselors.  Students will actively apply self-care strategies while enrolled in this graduate program.

Professional Objective:

Students will obtain appropriate state licensure as professional counselors.

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