Mental Health Counseling (Adv. Cert.)

Do you have a master’s level counseling degree? Would you like to be eligible to become a Licensed Mental Health Counselor?

The Department of Counseling, School, and Educational Psychology (CSEP) at the Graduate School of Education at the University at Buffalo has developed an Advanced Graduate Certificate for students to "bridge the gap" to gain a license in Mental Health Counseling in New York State.

Completion of this program results in student eligibility to take the New York State licensing exam in Mental Health Counseling. Coursework includes Legal and Ethical Issues in Counseling, Human Growth and Development, Introduction to Mental Health Counseling, Psychopathology and Evidence-Based Interventions, and Assessment in Mental Health Counseling. This coursework is followed by clinical instruction and a supervised internship. In this program you will study with both scholars and practitioners alike.

What is Mental Health Counseling?

It is a profession that requires both a Masters degree and license in New York State. Mental health counselors provide services such as assessment and evaluation, treatment planning, completing psychosocial histories and progress notes, individual counseling, group counseling, psychotherapy, and consultation in relation to their work with people with mental illness.

Who should apply?

Those of you who hold a master’s degree in counseling and aspire to earn a license to counsel people with mental health diagnoses, the University at Buffalo’s Advanced Graduate Certificate in Mental Health Counseling can give you these skills to transform the lives of your clients and advance your career goals. Apply here.

What can you do?

Mental health counselors are trained in the principles of positive psychology, counseling, psychotherapy and prevention. Practitioners are dedicated to the optimal functioning of individuals, families and organizations. Licensed mental health counselors may practice individually but typically as part of a professional team. The LMHC establishes and implements treatment plans to address the patients’ needs. Not only may they work in a private practice, but also they may practice with other licensed professionals in a setting authorized to provide services.

Mental health counselors use assessment instruments, treatment planning and case management and prevention, discharge and aftercare services. After the identification and evaluation of the mental health problems the mental health counselors effectively employ methods to treat individual conditions. This might include depression, eating disorders, personality disorders, dementia, adjustment disorders, or substance abuse. Also, counselors assist patients in the development of skills and strategies to address a variety of issues. These might include parenting, career skills, family communication and functioning.

Job outlook?

According to the United States Department of Labor and Department of Labor Statistics, employment of mental health counselors is expected to grow by 24 percent, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. Under managed care systems, insurance companies increasingly are providing for reimbursement of counselors as a less costly alternative to psychiatrists and psychologists. In addition, there has been increased demand for mental health services as individuals become more willing to seek help. Counselors held about 665,500 jobs in 2008 with 113, 300 as Mental health counselors. Job opportunities should be favorable because job openings are expected to exceed the number of graduates from counseling programs, particularly in rural areas.