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Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) Concentration

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“Counseling is a professional relationship that empowers diverse individuals, families, and groups to accomplish mental health, wellness, education, and career goals.” (


Students completing this concentration will meet academic and clinical experience requirements to apply for the Texas Licensed Professional Counselor Associate (LPC Associate) license after graduation, and certification as a National Certified Counselor (NCC).  Completion of select courses may count toward play therapy registration (RPT) requirements. 


Since students in our program must be residents of Texas, academic requirements for professional counselor licensure in other states is not guaranteed. As a CACREP accredited program, our program is closely aligned with what most states require for licensure. To explore requirements across different states, you are encouraged to explore them on the ACA Licensure Requirements page.   

Clinical Settings for LPCs/ CMHCs


There are a variety of clinical settings in which professional counselors with a concentration in the CMHC track may work. These include but are not limited to:

  • Private practice working with individuals – adults and youth
  • Community mental health centers working with individuals – adults and youth
  • Residential treatment centers
  • Private practice or community agencies specializing in the following areas (not an exhaustive list):
    • Addictions Counseling
    • Child / Adolescent Counseling and/or Play Therapy
    • Child Advocacy Centers/ Trauma
    • Gerontological Counseling
    • LGBTQIA Counseling
    • Counseling Military/Veterans

CMHC Degree Plan

Foundational Courses

  • COUN 5301 - Professional Counseling Orientation
  • COUN 5305 - Assessment in Counseling
  • COUN 5307 - Theories of Counseling & Personality
  • COUN 5316 - Counseling Diverse Populations
  • COUN 5344 - Substance Abuse and Counseling
  • COUN 5350 - Advanced Counselor Ethics
  • COUN 5355 - Career Counseling
  • COUN 5359 - Psychopathology CMHC
  • COUN 5367 - Marital, Couple, & Family Theories
  • COUN 5368 - Developmental Issues in Counseling
  • COUN 5391 - Research Methods

Intermediate Courses

  • COUN 5354 - Basic Skills in Counseling
  • COUN 5358 - Dynamics & Processes in Group Counseling
  • COUN 5369 - Child & Adolescent Counseling
  • Elective - 3 credit hours

Clinical Courses

  • COUN 5366 - Intermediate Methods Adults
  • COUN 5370 - Intermediate Methods Adolescents
  • COUN 5373 - Intermediate Methods Play Therapy
  • COUN 5689 - Clinical Practicum (6-credit hour course)
  • COUN 5389 - Site-Based Internship I
  • COUN 5389 - Site-Based Internship II

Degree Plan is posted at the bottom of the degree concentrations main page.

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    • If you think you may want to counsel individuals, groups, or families in the future, this degree track provides the appropriate clinical training for working with a broad spectrum of clients. If you are planning to work with children, you should strongly consider this track, as you can explore training in play therapy, working with adolescents, and training in working with parents.

    • This is probably the most often asked question by MCFC students. First, ask yourself this question, "How do you want to be identified as a professional?" If you want people to know that you have specific training in working with couples, and families, then having an LMFT is ideal. If you want people to know that you have training working with clinical mental health issues across various modalities and populations, then the LPC is the best option. Only MCFC concentration students can work toward academic requirements for both licenses, so that they have a professional identity as both an LMFT and LPC. 

    • The real issue with this question is competence. The American Counseling Association Code of Ethics (C.2) maintains that counselors are responsible for having competence in their field. This means that all counselors, whether they are LPCs or LMFTs, must have sufficient knowledge, skills, practice, and supervision to work with different populations.

      The MCFC track provides 270 hours (4 courses) of MCFC-related course work and supervision in all four clinical classes in order to help students develop competence to work with couples and families. The Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) track requires one MCFC theories course and does not specify any amount of clinical training or supervision in working with couples and families. So CMHC students would need additional training and supervision in working with couples and families in order to develop competence. The LPC license's scope of practice does allow for work with couples and families.

    • First of all, you chose a great program if you're interested in becoming a play therapist! We offer several play therapy-related courses and we even have our own Institute for Play Therapy (see below).

      Practitioners who would like to become a Registered Play Therapist (RPT) must meet RPT requirements set out by the Association for Play Therapy. This includes 150 hours of play therapy training, 35 hours of supervision by an RPT-Supervisor, and 350 direct play therapy hours with children. Practitioner can earn training and clinical hours for the RPT during their graduate program and as an LMFT-Associate or LPC-Associate, but cannot apply to become an RPT until they have earned a clinical license, such as an LPC or LMFT.

      The CMHC track has one class, COUN 5369 - Child & Adolescent Counseling Methods, that provides 50 hours of training in play therapy. If CMHC students would like additional training in play therapy, we encourage them to take COUN 5373 - Intermediate Methods in Play Therapy as an elective. This course provides a strong foundation for working as a play therapist and also provides 67.5 hours of play therapy training.

      Students can also participate in play therapy training before and after graduation through:

LICENSURE as a Licensed Professional Counselor in Texas

The LPC is a clinical license that demonstrates that a practitioner has sufficient knowledge, clinical practice, and supervision to work with individuals dealing with mental health issues in private practice and clinical settings. The LPC is regulated by the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors (also referred to as the "LPC Board"). During the Professional Counseling program, student must:

  • Complete all courses on the CMHC track, 
  • Complete all clinical courses, and
  • Apply for and take the National Counselor Exam. (You can take the NCE after graduation, if you choose.) Review our NCE page for more information about this exam.

After graduation, students have additional requirements in order to become an LPC. These include:

  • Find an LPC-Supervisor to meet with on a weekly basis to supervise post-graduate clinical hours for licensure.
  • Identify a site to complete clinical hours. This site must be approved in advance by the LPC Board as part of your licensure application.
  • Apply for LPC Associate licensure with the LPC Board.
  • If you haven't already, apply for and take the National Counselor Exam. If you take the NCE after graduation, you will have to apply through the LPC Board, and NBCC, not Texas State University.
  • Complete 3,000 post-graduate clinical hours under the supervision of an LPC-Supervisor. The clinical hours include:
    • 1,500 direct counseling hours
    • 1,500 indirect hours (e.g., supervision, case notes, training)
  • Turn in all required documents to the LPC Board to upgrade from LPC Associate to LPC licensure.


CMHC Faculty

The CMHC faculty want to support you in the CMHC degree track! Please contact your assigned faculty advisor to set up a time to discuss your degree plan. If you don't know who your advisor is, contact our wonderful admin Jacqui Todd.  

Dr. Cheryl Fulton, Ph.D., MBA, LPC, NCC; CMHC Track Coordinator

Dr. Maria Haiyasoso, Ph.D., LPC-S, RPT, NCC

Dr. Katie Purswell, Ph.D., LPC-S, RPT, CCCPT Trainer

Dr. Tracy Chiles, Ph.D.

Dr. Kathy Ybañez-Llorente, Ph.D.,LPC-S; Program Coordinator

CMHC Resources