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Standards of Practice: Section II
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II. Educational and Pre-Degree Clinical Training Standards

Required Education: Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (60 semester hours)

A. Program
CACREP-­accredited clinical mental health counseling program – based on 2009 standards (endorsed by AMHCA Board) or master’s degree in counseling (minimum of 48 semester hours) from a regionally accredited institution. The 48 semester-­hour minimum will increase to 60 semester hours in January 2016.

B. Curriculum
Consistent with 2009 CACREP standards, clinical mental health counseling programs should include the core CACREP areas and specialized training in clinical mental health counseling. The core CACREP areas include:

  • Professional Orientation and Ethical Practice;
  • Social and Cultural Diversity;
  • Human Growth and Development across the lifespan;
  • Career Development;
  • Helping Relationships;
  • Group Work;
  • Assessment;
  • Research and Program Evaluation.

C. Specialized Clinical Mental Health Counseling Training:
These areas of Clinical mental health counselor preparation address the clinical mental health needs across the lifespan (children, adolescents, adults and older adults) and across socially and culturally diverse populations:

  • Ethical, Legal and Practice Foundations of Clinical Mental Health Counseling;
  • Prevention and Clinical Intervention;
  • Clinical Assessment;
  • Diagnosis and Treatment of Mental Disorders;
  • Diversity and Advocacy in Clinical Mental Health Counseling; and
  • Clinical Mental Health Counseling Research and Outcome Evaluation.

The current AMHCA standards also recommend additional standards related to faculty, supervision and the following:

  • Biological Bases of Behavior (including psychopathology and psychopharmacology);
  • Trauma and;
  • Co-­occurring Disorders (mental disorders and substance abuse).

This training may be completed as part of the degree program, in post-­master’s coursework, or as part of a certificate or continuing education or CCMHC credential.

D. Pre-­degree Clinical Mental Health Counseling Field Work Guidelines

  • Students’ pre-­degree clinical experiences meet the minimum training standards of 100 Practicum and 600 Internship hours.
  • Students receive an hour of clinical supervision by an independently and approved licensed supervisor for every 20 hours of client direct care. This field work supervision is in addition to the practicum and internship requirements for their academic program.
  • Students are individually supervised by a supervisor with no more than 6 (FTE) or 12 total supervisees.
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