Students who are preparing to specialize as clinical mental health counselors will demonstrate the knowledge and skills necessary to address a wide variety of circumstances within the context of clinical mental health counseling. Counselor education programs with a specialty area in clinical mental health counseling must document where each of the lettered standards listed below is covered in the curriculum.

    1. history and development of clinical mental health counseling
    2. theories and models related to clinical mental health counseling
    3. principles, models, and documentation formats of biopsychosocial case conceptualization and treatment planning
    4. neurobiological and medical foundation and etiology of addiction and co-occurring disorders
    5. psychological tests and assessments specific to clinical mental health counseling
    1. roles and settings of clinical mental health counselors
    2. etiology, nomenclature, treatment, referral, and prevention of mental and emotional disorders
    3. mental health service delivery modalities within the continuum of care, such as inpatient, outpatient, partial treatment and aftercare, and the mental health counseling services networks
    4. diagnostic process, including differential diagnosis and the use of current diagnostic classification systems, including the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) and the International Classification of Diseases (ICD)
    5. potential for substance use disorders to mimic and/or co-occur with a variety of neurological, medical, and psychological disorders
    6. impact of crisis and trauma on individuals with mental health diagnoses
    7. impact of biological and neurological mechanisms on mental health
    8. classifications, indications, and contraindications of commonly prescribed psychopharmacological medications for appropriate medical referral and consultation
    9. legislation and government policy relevant to clinical mental health counseling
    10. cultural factors relevant to clinical mental health counseling
    11. professional organizations, preparation standards, and credentials relevant to the practice of clinical mental health counseling
    12. legal and ethical considerations specific to clinical mental health counseling
    13. record keeping, third party reimbursement, and other practice and management issues in clinical mental health counseling
    1. intake interview, mental status evaluation, biopsychosocial history, mental health history, and psychological assessment for treatment planning and caseload management
    2. techniques and interventions for prevention and treatment of a broad range of mental health issues
    3. strategies for interfacing with the legal system regarding court-referred clients
    4. strategies for interfacing with integrated behavioral health care professionals
    5. strategies to advocate for persons with mental health issues

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