Clinical Mental Health Counseling (M.A.)
During the COVID-19 emergency, we will not always be able to help you in-person, but we can still help you virtually! Please use this contact list to stay in touch:
Dr. Lu Oprea, Associate Professor
Dr. Cynthia Greer, Associate Professor
Dr. Diane Reese, Assistant Professor
Dr. Samantha Knox, Director of Clinical Training
Dr. Mary Romanello
Do you want to pursue professional counselor licensure in the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia or another state?
Our Master of Arts (M.A.) graduate program in clinical mental health counseling provides for comprehensive study as well as supervised field training dedicated to preparing you for entry into the counseling profession.
You will be prepared to take the examination to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (L.P.C.), which would authorize you to work in schools, communities and private practices. At Trinity, you will receive individual attention to your interests and goals and will encounter learning experiences that emphasize an integration of theory, research and ethical practice in counseling children, adolescents and families of diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. Like all of our graduates, you will be qualified to provide individual and group counseling, to implement assessment and consultation services, and to develop, direct and evaluate comprehensive counseling services.
Featured CoursesCOUN 540 Principles and Theories of CounselingExamines the history, philosophy, practices, and principles of the counseling profession, including the professional roles and functions and the application to various settings, populations, and problems. Topics include current issues and trends, advocacy, ethical and legal standards, professional organizations, credentialing, and technological advances in counseling. The course reviews the major affective, cognitive, and behavioral theories of counseling and psychotherapy, including historical foundations and applications. Current models of counseling are reviewed and students begin to develop a personal model of counseling. A grade of B or higher is required to advance.
3 credits COUN 550 Multicultural CounselingExplores practical and theoretical issues of counseling individuals, couples, groups, and families from diverse cultural backgrounds. Emphasis is on development of attitudes, values, and skills which promote effective interpersonal relations and counseling across cultures. Consideration is given to the impact of historical, social, and political forces on the behavior of the individual.
3 credits COUN 555 Counseling Children and AdolescentsExamines the theories and methods of counseling interventions with children and adolescents, with emphasis on systems theories and the impact of family, school, and community. Topics include analyzing and remediating classroom-related problems, recognizing serious disorders in early stages, consulting with professional staff and families, play therapy, parent education strategies, and community referral.
Prerequisites: COUN 540 and COUN 560 COUN 561 Principles and Practices of School CounselingExamines the philosophy, history, principles, practices, and current trends of school counseling and educational systems. Topics include the role and functions of school counselors; organizing, administering, and evaluating data-driven programs; advocacy; outreach; prevention and intervention; guidance approaches; consultation; technological competence; and and the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) Mindsets and Behaviors Standards for Student Success.
Prerequisite: COUN 540 and COUN 560 COUN 570 Diagnosis and Treatment in CounselingExamines theoretical and cultural perspectives, research, etiology, diagnosis, treatment, referral process and presentation of types of maladjustments, and mental health disorders. Topics include assessment using current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) diagnostic categories, implementation of appropriate therapeutic strategies, psychopharmacological medications, strategies for promotion of optimal mental health, and situational and systemic factors affecting behavior. Treatment Planning includes development of wellness treatment models and culturally relevant interventions.
Prerequisites: COUN 540 and COUN 560 COUN 604 Expressive Arts in CounselingThis course examines the theoretical foundation of expressive therapies and their application in the counseling of individuals and groups. Students will be introduced to the study and practice of working with art, dreams, journaling, music, movement, poetry, bibliotherapy, psychodrama, and play as counseling approaches. This course provides both didactic and experimental learning.
Prerequisites: COUN 540 and COUN 560 COUN 606 Trauma & Crisis Intervention in CounselingThis course is designed to introduce candidates to the impact of crises, disasters and other trauma causing events on individuals, families, and communities. Candidates will have opportunities for both theory and skill development by examining crisis and trauma counseling, including crisis theory; multidisciplinary responses to crises, emergencies, or disasters; cognitive, affective, behavioral, and neurological effects associated with trauma; brief, intermediate and long-term approaches; assessment strategies for clients in crisis and principles of intervention for individuals with mental or emotional disorders during times of crisis, emergency, or natural, man-made, and technological disasters. Topics such as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), Trauma-informed, and Trauma-responsive will be addressed in the course. Finally, candidates will review issues affecting counselors working with trauma populations and self-care strategies to prevent compassion fatigue.
Formerly titled as Loss and Bereavement Counseling
- Mental Health Counselor
- Substance Abuse Counselor
- Private Practitioner
- Child and Adolescent Counselor
- Marriage and Family Counselor
The Initiative on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Trauma: Becoming Trauma-Informed and Trauma-Responsive
The faculty in the Counseling and Mental Health programs is compiling research evidence-based information about the physical, emotional, and cognitive effects of toxic stress and trauma on children and to identify systemic and individual best practices. When children do not receive the support and appropriate interventions that are needed, the research sates that there is a likelihood of long term impacts on physical and mental health into adulthood. Therefore, the mission of this initiative is to create curriculum reform to ensure that students are graduating from a professional counseling program that is ACEs and trauma informed and responsive. The core research team of counselor educators works collaboratively with other academic programs in the institution and with community partners. A primary goal of this initiative is to focus on prevention and to be proactive while acknowledging the historic and systemic issues of collective and intergenerational trauma. The goals of this collaborative effort are to recognize and define these issues and provide strategies and interventions through an interdisciplinary and collaborative approach.
To ensure social justice, the purpose of this faculty research initiative is to ensure that best practices are identified and shared so that our Trinity community and external community partners are able to address and respond to issues of trauma that include: racism, and all other “isms,” poverty, homelessness, unstable family relationship food insecurity, physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, and the resulting lived experiences of children and adults.
The Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs (CACREP), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), has granted accreditation to the following programs in the Counseling Graduate Program at Trinity Washington University: Clinical
Mental Health Counseling (M.A.) and School Counseling (M.A.).
The Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling programs are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, and meets state certification requirements of the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia..