Professional Mental Health Counseling
The Professional Mental Health Counseling program at Lewis & Clark has a long-standing reputation in the community for educating professional counselors who are well-grounded in theory and skillful in providing sound clinical interventions. We train empathetic and compassionate practitioners who through their creative leadership and advocacy contribute to the advancement of the counseling profession and the cause of social justice.
Our core mission is your development as a professional counselor who can provide effective individual and group counseling/therapy in diverse community settings. Your professional preparation includes knowledge, skills and supervised clinical experiences, as well as development of your professional identity as a counselor who addresses social justice as a key factor in the well-being of clients.
We currently offer two programs in Professional Mental Health Counseling:
We also offer Professional Mental Health Counseling - Specialization in Addictions.
For more information about this specialized addictions program, visit the PMHC-A page.
Graduates of our programs understand that the following aspects of a person’s life are essential when reflecting upon how power, privilege, and oppression affect the well-being of individuals and their relationships: physical ability, culture, race/ethnicity, social and political processes, socioeconomic status, exile/migration status, religious and spiritual beliefs, language, education, gender, sexual orientation and age.
Psychology Background Requirement
The Professional Mental Health Counseling and Professional Mental Health Counseling—Specialization in Addictions programs expect applicants to be familiar with the field of psychology as well as basic concepts about society and culture.
This requirement is usually met in one of three ways:
1. An undergraduate major in psychology, plus a course in sociology, cultural anthropology, women’s studies, or ethnic studies.
2. An undergraduate major in sociology, anthropology, women’s or gender studies, or other interdisciplinary social science, plus an introductory psychology course.
3. Complete the following MOOC course and present the midterm and final exams to a faculty advisor after admission into the program:
Graduates become mental health counselors who work in a variety of settings. Read more about our program outcomes here.
During my graduate study journey, I was welcomed, encouraged, and challenged by Lewis & Clark’s faculty, as well as my fellow students. From the building blocks of theory to the scaffolding of practical application, I was supported by my mentors and peers to keep asking tough questions, keep up with or ahead of best practices research, and to give back to the counseling community.Erin Parker, M.S. ’09
Our programs are designed to meet the needs of students from diverse backgrounds who have a wide range of professional goals. Undergraduate degrees from a variety of disciplines in addition to psychology (e.g. communication, sociology, anthropology, foreign languages, religion, philosophy, education, business) can serve as the foundation for your new identity as a professional counselor. As you learn professional skills and enhance your own personal qualities, you gain the ability to make a real difference in the world, helping to change lives for the better.
This program is accredited by the 2009 Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) standards for Clinical Mental Health Counseling programs.