May 24, 2024  
University Catalog 2023-2024 
University Catalog 2023-2024 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Counseling, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, MA

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Master of Arts in Counseling: Clinical Mental Health Counseling
AU Seattle
Credits for Degree: 90 quarter credits
Standard Mode of Instruction: Classroom
Standard time to completion: 51 months

Program Overview

Students in the MA in Counseling CMHC program acquire comprehensive skills for the practice of counseling in a diverse society. The MA in Counseling CMHC program provides a structure and set of experiences to help students develop the intellectual and relational capacities needed to understand and work with others in the professional practice of counseling. These goals are accomplished through a combination of required coursework, electives, practical experience and a supervised internship. The MA in Counseling Program also demonstrates its commitment to the advancement of social justice by preparing counselors to think critically about power, privilege, and multicultural issues in order to best serve clients and communities around the world. We believe that by empowering our students with relevant knowledge as well as clinical and advocacy skills, the requirements of social justice will be served for individual clients and within the larger community. Aspiring to multicultural competence is a lifelong process of examining one’s own cultural and social biases, as well as understanding of the critical role that privilege, marginalization, and oppression play in perpetuating mental illness and social injustice. As such, ethical counseling involves the development of clinical skills that (a) facilitate the effective treatment of clients from a variety of cultural contexts, and (b) assist clients to address the impact of privilege and oppression personally and in their relationships. A clear vision of social justice and multicultural global competence are embedded aspects within all CMHC course offerings. This clinical program meets the educational requirements for Washington state licensure in MA in Counseling Clinical Mental Health Counseling as well as the national standards of the counseling profession and is Counseling Compact eligible program which allows for increased portability based on participating states. The MA in Counseling CMHC program is also professionally accredited through the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

Addictions Studies Concentration/Certificate

Housed within the MA in Counseling CMHC Program and with the ability to fit entirely within the required CMHC electives sequence, the Addiction Studies courses are available to MA CMHC, CFT or CAT students, community members and alumni and have been designed to meet the Washington State Department of Health education requirements for the alternative training track to become a CDP (Chemical Dependency Professional) now available to licensed mental health counselors and licensed marriage and family therapists, as well as several other professions. This certificate/concentration is an opportunity to deepen understanding and skills for effectively treating addiction. Students must successfully complete Survey of Addiction to take the other courses.

Multicultural Counseling Concentration

Housed within the MA in Counseling CMHC Program and with the ability to fit entirely within the required CMHC electives sequence, the Multicultural Concentration is available to MA CMHC, CFT or CAT students the Multicultural Counseling concentration is designed to provide advanced knowledge and skills related to the multicultural competencies applied in clinical and community settings. The intent of this elective concentration is to equip students with an advanced understanding of multicultural dynamics and strategies when promoting clinical change and social advocacy within diverse communities. The primary objectives are to increase students’:


  1. Awareness of their own cultural values and biases in developing empathic and culturally sensitive counseling relationships as well as their social impact on others;

  2. Understanding on how race, culture, ethnicity, oppression, and so forth may affect personality formation, vocational choices, manifestation of psychological disorders, help seeking actions, and the appropriateness or inappropriateness of counseling approaches;

  3. Skills in adapting to the cultural values of various diverse groups as well as addressing barriers that prevent minorities from accessing mental health services as well as other discriminatory practices;

  4. Confidence in applying culturally appropriate intervention strategies, especially in the context of internalized oppression/privilege within the counseling relationship in order to promote client and community resilience. 

Coordinator:  Dr. Mariaimeé Gonzalez, PhD

Prerequisites: Graduate Status and Coordinator Permission. Earned Intermediate Competency in COUN-5040 Multicultural Perspectives (3 quarter credits)

The 15 quarter credit multicultural counseling concentration incorporates courses currently available within the MA degree offerings in the School of Applied Psychology, Counseling, Couples and Family Therapy. 

Current Tuition and Fees

University Tuition and Fees    

Elective Courses (16 quarter credits)

  • Complete at least one elective from the Multicultural Counseling Series*

  • The remaining electives may be completed from any of the following areas

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