Clinical Mental Health Counseling


CMHC Program

The Counselor Education program grants a Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC). The 60-hour-program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

The CMHC program prepares students as knowledgeable, ethical and culturally sensitive counselors through a course of study that includes classroom, online, and field-site training. The program includes a two-semester internship. Interns deliver counseling services, under supervision, in the community.

The CHMC degree is designed to prepare students with professional competencies required for the professional counseling field. Our graduates provide counseling services in various settings such as public and private counseling agencies, government service agencies, family court systems, college development centers, substance abuse centers, and private practice.

Students in the program take the Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Exam offered by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC). They are also eligible to become members of the American Counseling Association (ACA) and/or the American Mental Health Counselors Association.

Note: See Counseling Programs main page for admissions procedures


Clinical Mental Health Counseling Emphasis Area Goals

The USA Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program prepares students to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the foundations of clinical mental health counseling to include history, current trends/issues, roles, functions, professional identity, leadership/advocacy strategies, and laws/legislation effecting the counseling profession.

  2. Facilitate clients’ growth and development over the lifespan within a strengths-based and wellness framework.

  3. Utilize technology as applied to clinical mental health counseling.

  4. Demonstrate cultural sensitivity, competency, and responsiveness with all individuals, couples, and families.

  5. Demonstrate the ability to develop, implement, and evaluate comprehensive needs assessments.

  6. Demonstrate effective and meaningful individual counseling, couples and family counseling, and group work with diverse clients with diverse needs.

  7. Serve as culturally responsive and empowerment-based advocates with individuals, families, and communities to promote optimal growth and wellness to meet the needs of diverse clientele.

  8. Demonstrate skills related to clinical assessment and interpretation of assessment results to clients.

  9. Demonstrate appropriate use of multi-axial diagnosis in a manner that promotes the optimal well-being of clients.


Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program of Study

Year Fall Spring Summer
1

Foundations of Clinical
Mental Health Counseling

Principles and Theories
of Counseling

Seminar in Ethical &
Legal Issues in Counseling

Tests, Measures &
Evaluation in Counseling

Diagnosis &
Treatment Planning

Group Counseling,
Theory & Process

Counseling Skills. & Process

Research and Evaluation

Human Growth &
Development (Maymester)

Multicultural Counseling

Supervised Practicum
in Counseling

Elective

 
2

Internship

Career Development,
Assessment & Intervention

Crisis & Trauma Counseling

Elective

Internship

Addictions Counseling

Elective

Elective

 

 


Practicum & Internship Sites

The CMHC program maintains longstanding relationships with multiple field placement sites in the Mobile area. Students do not select their own sites and are matched with one of the existing sites below. Each site is closely evaluated for its capacity to meet CACREP accreditation requirements and provide the highest quality of clinical supervision. 

 


Alumni

CMHC alumni work in a variety of mental health and related professional positions. Below are some examples of our alumni and their professional experiences.

 

  • Jo Lauren Weaver, M.S.Jo Lauren Weaver

    Jo Lauren is currently completing their Ph.D. in Counselor Education at the University of Florida. She previously earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at USA in 2017. While a masters' student Jo Lauren completed her internship in the Mobile Juvenile Court Collaborative project and completed a formal thesis project focusing on cyberstalking. 
  • Lukas Presley, M.S.

    Lukas is currently completing his Ph.D. in Counselor Education & Supervision at the University of Missouri - Kansas City. He completed his M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at USA in 2016 and completed his internship through the Mobile Juvenile Court Collaborative project. His interest focus on mental health issue affecting LGBTQIA+ client populations
  • Saundra Tabet, Ph.D.Saundra Tabet

    Dr. Tabet is a 2014 graduate of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. They completed their Ph.D. in Counselor Education from the University of Central Florida. They are currently an Assistant Professor at the University of San Diego in the Department of Counseling & Marital and Family Therapy. 
  • Courtney East, Ph.D.Courtney East

    Dr. East is a 2014 graduate of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program and also earned her doctoral degree in Counselor Education &
    Supervision from Auburn University. They are currently an Assistant Professor of Counselor Education at Doane University in Nebraska. Dr. East teaches a variety of courses including Group Processes, Counseling Theories, and Career Counseling. They also facilitate Group Supervision of Practicum and Internship students. Primary research and scholarship areas include sexual and gender identities, specifically with youth and teenagers. Other interest areas of research include exploring multiracial identities.

  • Sarah Fucillo, Ph.D.Sarah Fucillo

    Dr. Fucillo is an Assistant Professor of Counselor Education & Supervision at Lindsey Wilson College in Columbia, Kentucky. Dr. Fucillo earned her M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at USA in 2014
    and then her Ph.D. in Counselor Education & Supervision from Auburn University. While in the CMHC program she completed her internship through the Mobile Juvenile Court Collaborative team. Her research has focused on vicarious trauma, trauma-informed care and juvenile offenders.

  • Kassie Terrell, Ph.D.

    Kassie TerrellDr. Terrell is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Mental Health Counseling at the University of North Florida. Dr. Terrell earned her Ph.D. in Counselor Education & Supervision at the University of Mississippi and her M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at USA in 2014. Dr. Terrell's research interests focus on assessing counseling competencies in working with LGBTQIA+ clients and understanding how sex, gender, sexuality and minority stress affect mental health.  

  • Kristine Ramsay-Seaner, Ph.D.
    Kristine Ramsay-Seaner

    Dr. Ramsay Seaner is an Assistant Professor of Counseling & Human Development at South Dakota State University. Dr. Ramsay Seaner earned  her M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling in 2013. Their research interests focus on gerontology as well as diversity, inclusion and empathy development to support the mental health needs of underserved populations. They serve as the Clinical Experiences Coordinator for her academic department.  

  • Laventrice Ridgeway, M.S.
    Laventrice Ridgeway

    Mr. Ridgeway is a 2013 graduate of the Clinical
    Mental Health Counseling M.S. program. They currently serves as the director of the University of South Alabama's Office of Student Disability Services. Mr. Ridgeway is currently earning his doctoral degree in Higher Education Leadership at USA as well and
    serves as the president of the Black Faculty & Staff Association. 
  • Danny McCarty, Ph.D.

    Dr. McCarty is currently an Assistant Professor of Clinical Mental Health Counseling at the University of South Alabama. He earned his doctoral degree in Counselor Education & Supervision at the University of Arkansas, and previously earned his master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at USA in 2013. Dr. McCarty's scholarly interests are in the areas of Adlerian Counseling and lifestyle assessment, psychological meaning behind tattoos and the utility of wilderness and experiential counseling techniques. 
  • Brenton Vance, LPCBrent Vance

    Brent completed his master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at USA in 2011. He has previously worked as a therapist for Lifelines Counseling Inc. and as the Oil Spill Distress Hotline Coordinator. He later was transferred to serve as a therapist at the Child Advocacy Center and eventually was appointed as the clinical director at the CAC. Brent has lead efforts to implement trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy services at CAC.
  • Sheree Bodiford, Ph.D.
    Sheree Bodiford

    Dr. Bodiford completed her Ph.D. in Integrated
    Clinical & Counseling Psychology at the University
    of South Alabama in 2014 after completing her predoctoral internship at the Lawrence Hall Youth Services agency in Chicago, IL. After completing her doctorate she worked at the Center for Child and Adolescent Development in Montgomery, AL and currently works as the staff psychologists at a multidisciplinary psychiatric practice in Montgomery, Alabama Psychiatry. Dr. Bodiford earned his master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from USA in 2010 and completed her internship in the Mobile Juvenile Court Collaborative project.
  • Elizabeth Wood, Ph.D.

    Elizabeth WoodDr. Wood is currently  a Licensed Professional Counselor serving clients at AltaPointe Health System's Bayview Associates Clinic in Mobile, AL. Dr. Wood earned her masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from USA in 2011 and her Ph.D. in Advanced Studies in Human Behavior from Capella University in 2015. She has been credentialed as a Board Certified TeleMental Health Provider and is a Diplomate and Clinical Mental Health Specialist of the American Mental Health Counseling Association in the area of Child & Adolescent Counseling and a board certified EMDR therapist.
  • Terri Duck, Ph.D.
    Terrie Duck

    Dr. Duck is a staff psychologist at the Florida State University Counseling Center. She earned her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Louisiana Tech
    University, and her M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from USA in 2009. Her areas of expertise are Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and
    Positive Psychology. 

 

  • Jennifer Gregory, LPC

    Jennifer GregoryMrs. Gregory completed her master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from USA in 2009. She has since worked as a child outpatient therapist at AltaPointe Health Systems, and later as
    coordinator of AltaPointe's children's outpatient program. Presently she works as the assistant
    director of AltaPointe's Care Pointe program, which
    is the first point of contact for individuals seeking mental health services.

  • Jennifer Davis Burns, M.S.Jennifer Burns

    Mrs. Burns currently works as Research Specialist
    and previously as the Operations Manager of the University of Alabama Medicine's Family Medicine Center in Huntsville, AL . She has previously worked as the Program Coordinator of the BayPointe
    LeMoyne School and Day Treatment Program at AltaPointe Health Systems, and prior to that as the Community Relations Representative and Staff Therapist for Lifelines Counseling Inc. She completed her master's degree in Community Counseling in 2009 at USA.
  • Aimee Varr, Ph.D.Aimee Varr

    Dr. Varr currently works as an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Mobile. Previously
    she completed her doctorate in Integrated Clinical
    & Counseling Psychology at the University of South Alabama. Prior to completing her doctorate she was an intern at Georgia Souther University's Counseling Center and had earned her master's in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from USA in 2008. 

  • Gena D. Richardson, M.S.Gena Richardson

    Ms. Richardson graduated from the Clinical Mental Health Counseling master's program in 2007. After working as a therapist for Southwest Alabama Behavioral Health Care Systems,  they served as Executive Director of St. Anne's Homes Inc., a residential treatment facility for women, and later
    as the Executive Director of The Arc of Alabama, a state chapter of a national non-profit organization that provides services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

  • Ashleigh Dillon, M.S.
    Ashleigh Dillon

    Mrs. Dillon currently serves as the Clinical Director of the Bridge Inc. in Mobile, AL providing addictions and mental health services to adolescents. She previously worked as a therapist at Catholic Social Services Clinical Counseling Center in Mobile. She earned her master's degree in Community Counseling in 2003 at USA. 
  • Chandra Brown-Stewart, M.S.Chandra Brown-Stewart

    Mrs. Brown-Stewart is Executive Director, Lifelines Counseling Inc. and serves on the Board of Trustees for the University of South Alabama. She previously earned a master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from USA in 2004 and a bachelor's in psychology from Xavier University of New Orleans. She has been recognized as one of Mobile Bay Monthly magazine's "40 Under 40 - Mobile's Best and Brightest" in 2010, a past president of the Junior League of Mobile, and a recipient of the Community Awareness Award from the Mobile Press Club and the Rising Star Award from the YWCA. 

  • Vaughn Millner, Ph.D., LPCVaughn Millner

    Dr. Milner currently serves as an adjunct instructor
    in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling M.S. program at USA. She previously served as the Dean of the School of Continuing Education & Special Programs at USA, and prior to that as Chair of the Interdisciplinary Studies Department, and as an Associate Professor of Counselor Education at USA. She earned her Ph.D. in Counselor Education & Supervision from Auburn University in 1998 and her master's in Community Counseling from USA in 1994. Her research focuses on sexual wellness and sex education concerns as well as body modification practices.

 


 

Counseling Programs Coordinator &
CMHC Practicum & Internship Coordinator:

Yvette Getch, Ph.D.

Ph: (251) 380-2885

ygetch@southalabama.edu