Mental Health Counseling Curriculum

In the first semester of the Program, students undertake an introductory MHC course in addition to developmental psychology, psychopathology, and clinical assessment, with an assessment practicum. An intensive January course covers ethical and legal issues in counseling.

In the second semester, students undertake coursework in psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioral approaches to counseling, as well as group processes. Students continue to explore the counseling process through role-play and other in-class exercises in their counseling practicum course. Through this course, they have the opportunity to conduct, intake, and counsel a relatively uncomplicated client at the Brooklyn College Personal Counseling Program. They also may continue their counseling practicum at the College’s Personal Counseling Program and may begin their clinical internships.

Over the summer, students participate in a social, linguistic, and cultural foundations of counseling course.

In the third semester, internship experience is the primary focus. Students carry out a 20-hour per week internship at a site of their choosing. MHC faculty members provide group supervision of interns as part of a year-long internship course (6 credits per semester). In conjunction with the internship class, in-depth coursework focuses on experiential approaches and couples and family counseling.

An intensive January course covers career development counseling. In the final semester of the MHC Program, coursework relates to research and program evaluation, along with an advanced elective. Students also continue with their year-long internship and group supervision course.

This is a very demanding, full-time, daytime, year-round program. While it may be possible to work on a part-time basis during the first year, by the second year outside work is generally not possible. The combination of internship and coursework makes it very difficult to work while attending the Program. We wish to stress that this is an intensive, two-year program with coursework in the summer and during the January breaks. Please bear this in mind when deciding whether to apply.

Curriculum

The M.A. Program requires the following courses (60 credits total). Please note that the ordering of specific courses, particularly intersession and summer classes, may vary annually:

First Semester

January Intersession

Second Semester

Summer Intersession

Third Semester

January Intersession

Fourth Semester

Course Schedule

The Program is offered only on a full-time basis at present. The Program may be offered on a part-time basis and/or with Spring admission in future years, depending on Program funding and other considerations.

First-Year Students: Courses are scheduled on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 9:00 A.M.5:00 P.M. Students should expect to be on campus for classes 3–4 days per week (excluding Fridays). In addition, students are expected to be available for substantial, unpaid practicum work in the first year. Mandatory practicum client and supervision appointments may be scheduled for you on Fridays, Saturdays and/or Sundays.

Second-Year Students: Courses are scheduled on Mondays and Wednesdays from approximately 9:00 A.M.5:00 P.M. Students are expected to be available for substantial, unpaid internship work in the second year. Outside employment cannot interfere with students’ ability to meet these requirements.

Comprehensive Examination

Students must pass a comprehensive examination after completing 48 credits in order to advance in the Program. Detailed information about the comprehensive exam is provided to students by the Program Director.

Internship

In addition to coursework, students complete a clinical internship in an approved mental health setting. The 600-hour (approximately one year), unpaid internship is carried out in the second year. Our students have completed internships at various mental health agencies, clinics, hospitals, counseling centers, and specialized programs including domestic violence, substance abuse, and eating disorder settings. The internship is an opportunity to specialize in a treatment approach or client population or gain broad clinical training.

The Brooklyn College MHC Internship Coordinator must approve all sites before students can begin their internship placements. Approval decisions are based on the breadth and depth of experience offered at the site, in addition to the setting. In all cases, on-site supervision is required by a credentialed mental health professional with at least three years of appropriate professional experience. While the Program maintains a list of approved internship sites, we encourage students to apply to additional sites of interest.

Placement Requirements

The Brooklyn College MHC Program requires the following of all internship placements:

Internship students are required to keep weekly logs of their hours, activities, and details of the clinical work being carried out at their practicum sites. These logs are submitted to the Brooklyn College Internship Supervisor on a monthly basis, accompanied by a Supervisor Verification of Internship Hours Form, which certifies the supervision times and content of discussion, signed by the supervising counselor. MHC students who do not complete the minimum number of direct contact hours during the academic year (i.e., 240 hours) are required to complete their hours in the summer following the second year of the program. Internship site supervisors formally evaluate students at the end of each semester. Students are required to keep a copy of this evaluation, which is reviewed and signed by the student, the internship site supervisor, and the Brooklyn College Internship Supervisor.

Teaching Opportunities

While there are undergraduate teaching opportunities, first-year master’s students typically do not have the academic background or experience to teach these courses. It might be possible for an exceptional second-year student with appropriate background and experience to be considered for a teaching position.

Research Opportunities

There are opportunities to participate in research projects, although this is a practice-oriented program and not primarily a research program. You also may arrange to carry out a research project with a Psychology Department faculty member. The MHC Program provides a research course in the final semester, and clinical research is addressed in almost all courses. Applicants who intend to pursue research or university teaching as a significant part of their careers are advised to attend a doctoral program.

Department of Psychology · 2900 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11210-2889 · Phone: (718) 951-5601
MHC Program inquiries email: bcMHCp@gmail.com
Director: Gregory A. Kuhlman, Ph.D. · Deputy Director: Prof. Rona Miles · Admissions Coordinator: Laura A. Rabin, Ph.D.