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Master of Counseling Degree (M.Coun.)-Clinical Mental Health Counseling - Pocatello and Meridian

Program Details

The master's degree major in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program specialty is designed to prepare counselors to provide individual, group, family, and marriage counseling in various settings. This major emphasizes wellnessdevelopment, and advocacy related to clients and the community. The goals and objectives of the program include:

  • History and development of clinical mental health counseling.
  • Theories and models related to clinical mental health counseling.
  • Principles, models, and documentation formats of biopsychosocial case conceptualization and treatment planning.
  • Neurobiological and medical foundation and etiology of addiction and co-occurring disorders.
  • Psychological tests and assessments specific to clinical mental health counseling.
  • Roles and settings of clinical mental health counselors.
  • Etiology, nomenclature, treatment, referral, and prevention of mental and emotional disorders.
  • Mental health service delivery modalities within the continuum of care, such as inpatient, outpatient, partial treatment and aftercare, and the mental health counseling services networks.
  • Diagnostic process, including differential diagnosis and the use of current diagnostic classification systems, including the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) and the International Classification of Diseases (ICD).
  • Potential for substance use disorders to mimic and/or co-occur with a variety of neurological, medical, and psychological disorders.
  • Impact of crisis and trauma on individuals with mental health diagnoses.
  • Impact of biological and neurological mechanisms on mental health.
  • Classifications, indications, and contraindications of commonly prescribed psychopharmacological medications for appropriate medical referral and consultation.
  • Legislation and government policy relevant to clinical mental health counseling.
  • Cultural factors relevant to clinical mental health counseling.
  • Professional organizations, preparation standards, and credentials relevant to the practice of clinical mental health counseling.
  • Legal and ethical considerations specific to clinical mental health counseling.
  • Record keeping, third party reimbursement, and other practice and management issues in clinical mental health counseling.
  • Intake interview, mental status evaluation, biopsychosocial history, mental health history, and psychological assessment for treatment planning and caseload management.
  • Techniques and interventions for prevention and treatment of a broad range of mental health issues.
  • Strategies for interfacing with the legal system regarding court-referred clients.
  • Strategies for interfacing with integrated behavioral health care professionals.
  • Strategies to advocate for persons with mental health issues.

For the Master of Counseling (M.Coun.) degree, the student is required to complete the equivalent of at least four full semesters of resident graduate study beyond the bachelor's degree. The minimum for each program must total 60 semester hours.

“Section 150 02. Supervised Experience Requirement. One thousand (1,000) hours of supervised experience in counseling acceptable to the Board. (7-1-93)

  • One thousand (1,000) hours is defined as one thousand (1,000) clock hours of experience working in a counseling setting, four hundred (400) hours of which shall be direct client contact. Supervised experience in practicum and/or internships taken at the graduate level may be utilized. The supervised experience shall include a minimum of one (1) hour of face-to-face or one-to-one (1/1) or one-to-two (1/2) supervision with the supervisor for every twenty (20) hours of job/internship experience. Face-to-face may include a face-to-face setting provided by a secure live electronic connection between the supervisor and supervisee. As stated under Subsection 150.01.a.iii. counseling practicum experienceas opposed to job or internship experience shall be supervised at a ratio of one (1) hour of supervision for every ten (10) hours in the settings. For example: (3-29-12)
    • A person in a twenty (20) hour per week job/internship who is receiving one (1) hour of individual supervision each week would accumulate one thousand (1,000) supervised hours in fifty (50) weeks to equal the twenty to one (20/1) ratio. (7-1-93)
    • A person in a forty (40) hour per week setting with one (1) hour of supervision per week would still require fifty (50) weeks to equal the twenty to one (20/1) ratio. (7-1-93)
    • A person in a forty (40) hour per week setting with two (2) hours of supervision per week would accumulate the one thousand (1,000) hours at the twenty to one (20/1) supervision ratio in twenty-five (25) weeks. (7-1-93)
  • "Supervision must be provided by a counselor education faculty member at an accredited college or university; Professional Counselor, registered with the Board as a supervisor; a Clinical Professional Counselor, registered with the Board as a supervisor; a Marriage and Family Therapist, registered with the Board as a supervisor; a Clinical Social Worker registered as a supervisor with the Board of Social Work; a licensed Psychologist; or a licensed Psychiatrist, licensed by the state of Idaho. Supervision by a professional counseling peer, however, may be acceptable to the Board if the peer/supervisory relationship include the same controls and procedures expected in an internship setting. (See Subsection 150.02.a.) For example, the relationship should include the staffing of cases, the critiquing of counseling tapes and this supervision must be conducted in a formal, professional, consistent manner on a regularly scheduled basis.”

In the Department of Counseling, supervision by doctoral students who have received supervision training are viewed as acceptable to the Board. The Department of Counseling prefers that students seek out practicum and internship settings that have a licensed professional counselor first, before considering a site in which supervision is provided by a different mental health professional. Development as a professional counselor occurs not only while in class at ISU but also during clinical experiences outside of ISU. Mentoring by a professional counselor during clinical supervision is a vital part of an emergent identity as a professional counselor.

Please note: Students are responsible for ensuring a site supervisor is registered with the IBOL prior to accepting a site for practicum or internship.

Some of the settings where students have served practicum and internships are: mental health centers, state hospitals and training schools, rehabilitation counseling offices, juvenile homes and youth ranches, private practices, and alcohol and substance abuse centers.

If you intend to be licensed or certified in a state other than Idaho, you are advised to:

  1. Review the licensing information for the program(s) below; and
  2. Contact the appropriate licensing agency in the U.S. states and territories where licensure is intended to ensure that you have the most up-to-date information about licensure requirements and confirm how an ISU program aligns with those requirements. Because requirements may change during the course of your program of study, we recommend that you check licensing agency requirements regularly to monitor whether any changes may impact your licensure plans.
  3. For more information please see the ISU license disclosure or the Department of Counseling license disclosure.
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