September 28, 2018—University of Western States (UWS), a leader in the education of health care professionals, announced the addition of new clinical mental health counseling (CMHC) master’s and doctoral degrees in collaboration with the sport and performance psychology program.
The 90-quarter credit master’s degree in CMHC can be completed in 8-12 quarters. A minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale is required for admittance. The EdD-CMHC can be completed in 14 quarters for a total of 138-quarter credits. A minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.3 or master’s GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale is required for admittance. Entry points for both degrees are fall and spring.
Both degrees emphasize a systems approach in which students consider the influence of families, groups, teams and organizations on individual mental health and performance.
“The need for excellent mental health care is on the rise in the United States,” said Dr. Dana Sims-Barbarick, UWS dean of the College of Graduate Studies. “Our new degree options open doors for UWS to contribute to a much-needed service in our society that complements our focus on integrated health care. Further, these programs integrate sport and performance with mental health training to allow our graduates to utilize their skills to serve a variety of high demand needs.”
The CMHC curriculum is supported by research in the field, evidence-based practices and clinical experiences, and by highly trained faculty. Both the MS and EdD coursework can be completed online with consistent and meaningful contact with faculty and instructors.
The standardized patient program at UWS, in which actors portray clients, is woven into the CMHC curriculum, so students can practice their skills with the actor, who is trained to give specific and useful feedback.
“The standardized patient program allows us the unique opportunity to control the presentation, pace and overall behavior of the client to specifically enhance and challenge student counseling skills,” said Dr. Michelle Cox, director of the CMHC program. “These medically-trained actors bring a quality of truth to each role-played scenario so students feel what it is really like to engage with clients with a mental health diagnosis in exactly the ways they would in the real-world settings. These thoughtfully-designed and well-supervised scenarios, coupled with specific feedback the actors provide, exponentially improve student knowledge and skill.”
Dr. Michelle Cox, holds a PhD in human development and family sciences with doctoral minors in counseling and gerontology from Oregon State University. She earned an MA in counseling from George Fox University. Her doctoral research, on the topic of transcendence, focused on leisure, physical health behaviors and volunteer activities as predictors of mental health in older adults – including those with dementia. Dr. Cox is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Oregon, a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC) and an Approved Clinical Supervisor (ACS), and holds professional memberships with the American Counseling Association (ACA) and the Oregon Counseling Association (ORCA).
Source: University of Western States