Journal Author Guidelines

Guidelines for Authors


The Journal of Mental Health Counseling (JMHC) publishes articles on all aspects of practice, theory, professionalism, and research related to clinical mental health counseling. The American Mental Health Counselors Association consists of clinical mental health counselors (MHCs), educators and supervisors of MHCs, and researchers interested in advancing knowledge and practice in mental health. Therefore, articles should include a detailed discussion of implications for clinical mental health practice.


The JMHC is divided into five sections: Practice, Theory, Professional Exchange, Research, and Neuroscience-Informed Counseling. Although separate descriptions follow, overlaps between sections may naturally occur.



MHCs work in a variety of clinical settings with diverse client populations. Cutting-edge strategies and techniques as well as innovative applications of established clinical practices are emphasized in this section. Critical analyses of the existing literature and descriptive application of clinical approaches, strategies, and techniques are essential.


Explication of theoretical constructs and their application in clinical mental health practice are the emphasis of this section. Theoretical articles must be well grounded in the existing conceptual and empirical literature, delineate implications for practice, and provide illustrative applications (e.g., case studies).

Professional Exchange

This section allows for dialogue among MHCs regarding dilemmas, challenges, divergent perspectives, and other emergent topics relevant to clinical mental health counseling. Points of view should demonstrate an understanding of historical precedents and opposing viewpoints, be grounded in the professional literature, and provide well-constructed arguments.


This section provides MHCs with information related to empirically supported best practices, evidence-based approaches, and new developments in clinical mental health counseling. JMHC accepts for publication both qualitative and quantitative studies. Thorough support for the research should be provided through a detailed literature review. Manuscripts should also clearly delineate the research questions and methodology (i.e., description of the participants, IRB approval, variables and instruments, and data analyses). For quantitative studies of evidence-based treatments, methodologies that allow for comparisons among treatments and control for threats to validity will be given priority consideration. For quantitative manuscripts, authors should report effect sizes; reporting confidence intervals can also be helpful. Authors must describe the clinical significance of the results. All research manuscripts should include implications for professional MHC practice and future research.

Neuroscience-Informed Counseling

Neuroscience-informed counseling refers to the application of neuroscience principles related to the central nervous system and physiological processes to the practice of counseling for the purpose of enhancing effectiveness in counseling and wellness promotion. In this section we encourage manuscripts that emphasize innovative strategies and techniques demonstrating the theory, research, and practice of neuroscience-informed counseling.


Manuscript Preparation

Manuscripts should be prepared in accord with the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th or 7th ed.). In accordance with these guidelines and those specific to JMHC, manuscripts should adhere to the following requirements:

  1. Manuscripts typically should not exceed 25 pages, including references and tables. Margins must be at least 1 inch on all sides, and all content must be double spaced. Times New Roman is the preferred typeface, with 12-point font size.
  2. The title of the article should appear on the first page of the manuscript. The article title should be as short as possible.
  3. The abstract should be between 125 and 150 words in length and clearly summarize the main ideas of the manuscript.
  4. References should follow APA style. Check all references for completeness and accuracy including year, volume number, pages of journal citations, and, if available, the digital object identifier (DOI) in format. Make certain that all text references are listed in the reference list and vice versa. For other style questions, consult the APA Publication Manual (6th or 7th ed.). Consult the APA web site ( for additional information regarding the correct format for electronic references.
  5. Do not use footnotes. Instead, incorporate this material into the text.
  6. Keep tables to a minimum. Include only essential data and combine tables where possible. Refer to the APA Publication Manual for style of tabular presentations. Each table should be on a separate page following the reference section of the manuscript. Final placement of tables is at the discretion of the Editor; in all cases, tables will be placed near the first reference to them in the text. Include figure legends on a separate sheet.
  7. Lengthy quotations require permission from the copyright holder for reproduction. Adaptation of tables and figures also requires reproduction approval from the copyrighted source. It is the author’s responsibility to secure such permission, and a copy of the publisher’s written permission must be provided to the Editor immediately after acceptance of the article for publication.
  8. Manuscripts should be well organized and concise so that the development of ideas is clear. Avoid stereotyped writing and the use of jargon. Aim for clear communication of ideas. Concise headings and subheadings enhance the organizational structure of the manuscript and enable readers to anticipate topics and follow themes.
  9. Authors must reduce bias in language against persons on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, racial or ethnic group, disability, or age by referring to the guidelines in the APA Publication Manual.


Manuscript Submission

All manuscripts are reviewed anonymously. Therefore, authors must take particular care to conceal their identities within the manuscript in order to ensure a blind review. Please adhere to the following steps:

  1. The title of the manuscript should appear on the first page of the manuscript. Also include on this page the name and institutional affiliation of each author as well as their respective addresses, telephone numbers, fax numbers, and e-mail addresses.
  2. A cover letter should be prepared following APA Publication Manual guidelines and include a statement that the manuscript is not under concurrent consideration for publication elsewhere. Address the cover letter to:
    Ingrid Weigold, PhD
    Editor, JMHC
    American Mental Health Counselors Association
  3. The manuscript and cover letter should be submitted electronically as two separate Microsoft Word documents to In the subject line of the email include “JMHC manuscript submission.”
  4. Manuscripts will be acknowledged by email upon receipt. Authors can expect notification regarding the manuscript’s disposition within 12 weeks of acknowledgment of its receipt.


More information about the JMHC....

Sharing Knowledge, Building Knowledge: The Journal as a Community of Practice

Volume 36, Number 4, October 2014


Three "Ps" of Publishing in the JMHC: People, Process, and Product

Volume 33, Number 3, July 2011

Writing for Publication in the JMHC: Follow the Yellow Brick Road

Volume 30, Number 2, April 2008


Theory and Practice Submissions to the JMHC: Keeping the "Mental Health" in Mental Health Counseling

Volume 28, Number 4, October 2006


The Context of Contribution: Publishing Practice Articles in the Journal of Mental Health Counseling

Volume 27, Number 3, July 2005