Clinical Mental Health
The Clinical Mental Health Concentration
The program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). In 2013, we changed the name of this concentration to Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Community Agency Counseling.
The clinical mental health concentration is designed to prepare students for counseling in community mental health centers, private practice, substance abuse centers, psychiatric hospitals, correctional facilities, religious organizations, and hospice services. Students may design their program to prepare them for eligibility as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).
Higher Education: College Counseling/Student Affairs Coursework
Who: Individuals who professionally identify as counselors and whose work environment is an institution of higher learning.
Where: Higher education settings including colleges, universities, and community and technical colleges. Specific offices include but are not limited to: student affairs, campus counseling centers, residential services, career service centers, campus crisis response teams, admissions offices, academic advisement offices, financial aid, disability services, and campus diversity and multicultural programs. Click here to go to the ETSU Student Affairs website to find out more about these offices/departments.
What: Professionals in higher education advocate for and work to meet the needs of students. The focus of counselors in higher education is supporting and encouraging academic, social, personal, and career development and success of students. Provision of services for students is a collaborative effort, and professional social workers, medical practitioners, therapists, counselors, clergy, career counselors, psychologists, and personal counselors all play a role in supporting student success.
Why are counselors and other service professionals specializing in higher education important on campus? College is a very unique time in ones life. Traditional aged students are young and may be away from their homes for the first time. Nontraditional students may be restarting their education with a family at home and the responsibility of beginning a new career. Whatever reason students have for being in college, there is great potential for growth during the time they are enrolled. Service professionals in the college environment are in unique positions to advocate for students needs and welfare.
We continue to work on developing partnerships with college and university offices to serve as internship sites for our higher education concentration students. Our students intern at various sites on the ETSU campus (Counseling center, Office of Disability Services, academic advising, peer career center, athletic department). In addition, students may intern at Northeast State Community College, and other area institutions. There are great opportunities available! The ETSU Counseling program has several graduates employed at ETSU and surrounding community colleges and universities.
Students can design their program to prepare them for eligibility as a Licensed Professional Counselor with the Mental Health Services Provider designation (LPC-MHSP).
Now What? If this is of interest to you, you can pursue educational opportunities in college counseling/student affairs as part of the clinical mental health concentration. Students can choose to take elective coursework in this area; faculty advisors are happy to help you design our program of study accordingly.
Couple and Family Counseling Coursework
Working with families has been part of therapeutic practice for almost 100 years.
Starting with Alfred Adlers family and community interventions in Vienna, systemic perspectives have gradually taken hold in almost all of the helping professions. The fields of family counseling, family therapy, social work with families, family psychology, psychiatric nursing with families, and family psychiatry have really come into prominence. It promised greater effectiveness than had been achieved with either individual or group counseling and therapy. Because these relational approaches sought to change the very systems in which individuals actually lived, many professionals hoped that the changes enacted would be more enduring and that both individual and system relapse would decrease. While these hopes have not been fully realized, family practice has had enormous success, and it is now a fully integrated part of most treatment programs.
Couples and family practice is fundamentally different from individual counseling and therapy. While it shares some similarities with group interventions, the intimacy and intensity of couples and family systems make it a treatment unit unlike any other. Individual therapy tends to focus on the development of the individuals self, coping responses, and problem-solving. People are seen in isolation from the systems in which they live. Family system therapists, in contrast, see individuals as part of larger systems, heavily influenced by their social context. They focus on transactions, sequences of interaction, interdependence, recursion, and mutual influence. It involves seeing the purpose and systemic logic in what often appear to be paradoxical processes. It is learning to see how a problem affects the family and how the family maintains the problem. In short, couples and family practitioners seek to address systems embedded in systems that are embedded still further in other systems. They seek to explore the meaning and purpose of interactions and transactions, and engage in processes that support the kinds of solutions that individuals and families seek for their own lives.
Systemic therapists do not deny the importance of the individual in the family system, but they believe an individual’s systemic affiliations and interactions have more power in the person’s life that a single therapist could ever hope to have.
If systemic thinking and interventions intrigue you, if you would like to learn to work with larger therapeutic units in an effort to embed change in the lives of your clients, or if you would like to engage in relational work as much or more than individual work, then training in couples and family therapy may just be what you are looking for.
We offer coursework in couple and family counseling that can be completed as part of the clinical mental health counseling concentration. Completion of this coursework, in addition to obtaining relational hours during your counseling internship, provides a pathway for becoming an LMFT in Tennessee. Additional post-graduate client contact and supervision is required in order to be licensed by the state.
Licensed professional counselors and licensed marriage and family therapists work in human service agencies, mental health centers, psychiatric and general hospitals, religious organizations, counseling agencies, substance abuse centers, and private practice serving the emotional and relational needs of individuals, couples, and families.