Mental Health Counseling Objectives & Structure
Building on the mission of St. John Fisher College, the Mental Health Counseling program’s mission is to deliver personalized instruction to a diverse student body regarding essential counseling knowledge and skills, as well as facilitating the development and enhancement of personal qualities and characteristics necessary to become an outstanding professional mental health counselor.
Upon graduation from the Mental Health Counseling Program, you will be able to:
- Demonstrate professional skills and personal qualities required for working as an effective counselor in an interdisciplinary mental health setting.
- Demonstrate a variety of differential diagnostic assessment skills consistent with the most current diagnostic manual.
- Demonstrate the ability to use a diverse range of evidence-based intervention strategies.
- Develop appropriate intervention plans based upon knowledge of culturally relevant variables in client care, including ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic levels, gender, sexual orientation, and disability status.
- Demonstrate professional behavior consistent with ethical guidelines of Mental Health Counseling professional organizations and regulatory agencies.
You may take courses on a full-time or part-time basis (see Program Requirements). You are required to complete 60 credit hours of coursework, including a supervised practicum experience with a minimum of 100 clock hours and a supervised internship with a minimum of 900 clock hours. This supervised application of counseling skills in various community sites will gives you the opportunity to grow into an effective mental health counselor.
Because of the demands of our program and sequencing of courses, students are admitted for fall semester only. Our curriculum was developed according to the New York State Department of Education requirements for licensure as a mental health counselor.
St. John Fisher has a good reputation and it is close to where I live. The schedule of two nights a week appealed to me. When you are trying to balance a family and graduate studies, proximity and scheduling are extremely important.
I went into the program not knowing if I would fit in. I had been out of school for over a decade and felt out of touch. That feeling did not last for long. The St. John Fisher program promotes individuality. I was able to draw upon my life experiences, as well as my prior education, in all of my classes.
The Fisher program provides a combination of theory-based and practical knowledge by incorporating lectures, classroom projects and activities with a community internship placement. An added feature, that I was not expecting, was the intense self-exploration. This combination has prepared me well for a career in counseling by teaching me, not only the skills I need, but how to take care of myself while taking care of others.