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Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling, M.S.

Program Mission

The master’s program in counseling at West Virginia University advances the land grant mission of the University in a rural state by providing a strong practitioner training program focused on the unique needs of the Appalachian region and other diverse communities. We are committed to preparing entry-level clinical mental health, school, and rehabilitation counselors to work competently and ethically within a pluralistic society. Our central organizing approach to counseling rests in understanding the cultural and human development needs of individuals, couples, families, families, groups, and those experiencing disability or social inequality across the lifespan.

Program Objectives

Professional Orientation and Identity
Students will demonstrate an understanding of counseling as a profession, develop a professional identity, and demonstrate their ability to function effectively within the ethical guidelines established by both the American Counseling Association and the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification, in settings rendering counseling and related services to diverse populations.

Counseling Theory
Students will learn a range of counseling theories that are applicable when working in a pluralistic society with individuals, groups, couples, families, children, and those experiencing disability in the counseling process, and demonstrate the ability to apply this knowledge in a therapeutic manner within rural and diverse communities.

Helping Relationships
Students will develop skills to work with individuals, groups, couples, families, children, and those experiencing disability that promote therapeutic change and demonstrate their ability to evaluate progress in meeting counseling objectives.

Social and Cultural Diversity
Students will develop an awareness of the impact of social and cultural factors on human behavior and recognize the role of individual differences in establishing and working toward counseling objectives.

Human Growth and Development
Students will learn stages of development throughout the life span and the importance of assessing and considering developmental goals when working with both children and adults.

Career Development
Students will learn the role of career development theory as applied to working with both children and adults and the impact of economic and cultural factors on career decisions, job performance, and lifestyle.

Group Dynamics
Students will learn the purpose and function of groups, group dynamics, and the application of counseling theories and leadership skills within the group setting to promote decision making and growth.

Assessment
Students will learn to determine appropriate assessment techniques when working with individuals, groups, couples, families, children, and those experiencing disability and to utilize relevant information within the counseling process.

Research and Program Evaluation
Students will develop the ability to read and evaluate professional research literature and incorporate such information into their professional development.

Specialization
Students will develop specific knowledge relevant to the student’s area of interest (e.g., addictions, mental health, children, school, rehabilitation) and will learn from their area of interest how to provide professional services including assessment, prevention, referral, and program development, implementation, management, and evaluation.

Experiential Learning (Professional Practice)
Students will demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary to be an effective professional counselor through supervised practicum and internship experiences.

Personal Growth and Understanding
Students will be provided the opportunity to explore values and beliefs as they pertain to their evolving roles as professional counselors and develop a level of self-understanding that leads to an integrated personal approach to counseling and client advocacy.

Accreditation

The Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling Program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

CACREP logo

The CRMHC program was accredited as a dual specialty program in clinical rehabilitation counseling and clinical mental health counseling by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) in July 2017. One of only 24 such programs in the country, the WVU program was awarded full accreditation until 2024.