Graduate Programs in Mental Health Counseling
The Warner School’s mental health counseling programs are designed to prepare graduates to work effectively as counselor educators and/or counselors offering services to people challenged by emotional, behavioral, and relationship problems. Well-grounded in counseling theory, research, and practice, our master’s and doctoral degree programs prepare qualified, license-eligible mental health counselors for practice in a variety of settings, including health care facilities and hospitals, human service agencies, community mental health centers, universities, and private practice.
At Warner, faculty and students are united in the commitment and passion to assist others in successfully dealing with life’s changes. Throughout the program, there is a strong emphasis on research aimed at the study of human development and change in real-world contexts. Our unique integrative approach grounds students in the research and theory of mental health counseling.
Coursework and clinical training prepare students to provide a range of services—including assessment, diagnosis based on DSM-V, psychotherapy, treatment planning, alcoholism and substance abuse intervention, psych-educational and prevention programs, and crisis management—to families, couples, adolescents, children, and groups. Supervised clinical placements and internships in community and health settings help develop essential skills and create the environment within which novel dissertation ideas develop. Both programs may be completed on a part- or full-time basis.
Individuals who are seeking to prepare for a career in mental health counseling will find Warner’s master’s program a great way to jump start their career. Our master’s program is registered with the Office of Professions in New York State, and our graduates are eligible to be licensed as mental health counselors in New York. (An exam and 3,000 hours of post-graduate experience are also required for licensure.) Students are introduced to the fundamentals of diagnosis, assessment, treatment planning, and intervention. The contribution of developmental and contextual forces to mental health challenge is emphasized and students are encouraged to explore a critical understanding of contemporary systems of mental health delivery. The curriculum underscores the importance of intervention, wellness, advocacy, and diversity in counseling. Graduates work as mental health counselors in various health, human and social service, and community agencies, and possibly after gaining experience, in private practice.
Programs for individuals preparing for entry-level mental health counselors
(leading to NYS licensure eligibility in Mental Health Counseling):
Our doctoral program is designed to broaden and deepen skills in mental health counseling while preparing for professional advancement, leadership, or private practice in the counseling field. This program can also provide qualified students with the coursework needed to begin the New York State Mental Health Licensure process. Doctoral applicants should have background preparation as a counselor or other evidence of basic professional understanding covering aspects of counseling as a profession. Coursework balances theoretical knowledge and experiential learning in which students develop skills in active listening, empathic understanding, problem solving, and other individual and group counseling skills.
Doctoral program (leading to NYS licensure eligibility in Mental Health Counseling):
Mental Health Counseling Licensure
Warner’s programs are registered with the New York State Office of Professions, and graduates are automatically eligible, following the successful completion of coursework and internship requirements, to begin taking steps toward a New York State license in Mental Health Counseling. Upon graduation and successful completion of a background check, graduates of the mental health counseling program receive a limited permit to practice mental health counseling. Graduates must then complete state licensing exam and 3,000 hours of post-degree supervised work to become licensed mental health counselors. Licensed mental health counselors are qualified health care professionals, and can work in community, health and social service agencies and in private practice. The new licensure status allows most clients to use health insurance for services offered by the licensed mental health counselor.
The Mental Health Counseling programs are now among a handful of programs in New York State to receive accreditation from the national Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), the most rigorous accrediting body in the field of counseling education. Schools with accredited programs agree to provide high-quality counselor training, continually evaluate their own performance, and revise curricula as necessary to respond to the changing needs of society and the counseling profession. Learn more about Warner's CACREP Accreditation