Master's in Mental Health Counseling (with intent to work in NYS)

Discussion in 'Nursing and medical-related degrees' started by joanie, Jul 9, 2011.

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  1. joanie

    joanie New Member

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    Hello,

    I'm currently looking at programs for a master's in mental health counseling to be done primarily via distance (although I know residencies and internships are required).

    Based on the language on the New York State professions page, I'm unsure if it's even possible to do the internships as a student of an out-of-state school. It seems like only in-state students are allowed to complete internships in the field.

    Does anyone have experience with this, or know if there's some kind of work around?

    I am specifically referring to question no. 8, on this page: NYS Mental Health Practitioners:FAQ Education Requirements.

    Thanks,

    Joanie
     
  2. Garp

    Garp New Member

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    This is unfortunate but it seems it is possible for out of state programs to get approved, etc. A work around would be if NY had reciprocity with an adjoining state and you could become licensed there (eg NJ) and then transfer that permit to NY.

    Liberty University had a well developed Masters in Counseling that could be done mostly by distance with some short summer session classes in Virginia. They also at one time produced a great book that detailed licensure requirements in most states. If I were you I would call them and speak to the dean or someone who might be able to answer your questions. Liberty University Christian College Education
    They may be able to work with you or help you in some way. Liberty is a religious school but their distance learning programs do not push religion and they are affordable. Also a bricks and mortar school with a football team, law school and so on.

    Keep us up to date as it is an interesting situation.
     
  3. Hadashi no Gen

    Hadashi no Gen New Member

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    Unfortunately NY State has not yet approved online counseling programs.

    Below is what the New York State Mental Health Counselor Licensing Packet has to say. I don't notice anything about needing to attend an in-state school to complete a practicum/internship. It simply states that you need to have a minimum of one year/600 hours in a graduate clinical internship. However, it also states that the state of New York has not approved any on-line programs. It might be best to find a program near you, or seek out one of the online MSW programs that are out there and become a therapist/counselor that way. That is, if NYS accepts CASWE-accredited online MSW programs... which definitely do exist.


    Packet: http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/mhp/mental_health_counselor_application_packet_october2010.pdf

    Other NY State MHC licensing information: http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/mhp/mhcforms.htm
     
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  4. Hadashi no Gen

    Hadashi no Gen New Member

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    Here are the licensing requirements to practice Masters-level Social Work in the state of New York. It does not mention anything about online education, like it does for Mental Health Counseling. All it states is that the school needs to be accredited by CASWE.

    Read the education requirements here: http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/sw/lmsw.htm#edu

    Fine CASWE-accredited online MSW programs here: http://www.cswe.org/cms/39516.aspx

    Good luck!!
     
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  5. Hadashi no Gen

    Hadashi no Gen New Member

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    Er... "Find".
     
  6. joanie

    joanie New Member

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    The way I understood it is that since NYS does not approve out-of-state programs, neither do they approve online. They evaluate them on a case-by-case basis if they contain the required coursework.
     
  7. joanie

    joanie New Member

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    This is from the link I posted above:
    . Can I complete a distance-learning program to meet the education requirements for licensure in New York?

    At this time, the Department has not registered any distance-learning program in these professions as leading to licensure in New York. If you complete a distance-learning program at a regionally accredited school outside New York we will review the transcript, course syllabi and internship to determine whether the program is equivalent to a New York licensure-qualifying program after the application for licensure and fee have been received
     
  8. Hadashi no Gen

    Hadashi no Gen New Member

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    Occupation:
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    The link that you posted above is to the FAQ for NYS "Mental Health Professionals," where Mental Health Counselors are categorized (along with Creative Arts Therapists, Marriage and Family Therapists, and Psychoanalysts). View the list of "Mental Health Practitioners" here.

    Social Workers are listed in their own category. View the entire list of NYS licensed professions here. According to this Social Work FAQ (NYS Edu. Dep. Office of Professionals), enrollment in a "licensing-qualifying program" is all that you need to secure a graduate-level Social Work internship. According to the link that I posted above, a "license-qualifying program" is one that is CASWE-accredited. Again, you can view the list of online CASWE-accredited MSW programs here: www.cswe.org/cms/39516.aspx.

    As a LICSW, you will be able to perform most (or more) of the same functions as a Mental Health Counselor. Licensed Counselors, Social Workers, and Marriage and Family Therapists are all able to practice "counseling" and psychotherapy at the masters level... and Social Workers often have better reciprocity.

    BTW... Just in case you may think that I may have some sort of profession bias here (as it could seem), I am a Mental Health Counseling Student. I hope that you are able to find a program that works for you and your situation!! Mental Health Counseling is a somewhat new license in NYS... so the regulations might change in the future and allow online programs. As a counseling student, though, I really feel like a face-to-face learning environment is the best. As a former online student, though, I also understand that online learning is sometimes better for some people. Good luck!!
     
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  9. Hadashi no Gen

    Hadashi no Gen New Member

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    OOPS!!!... it does not need to be CASWE-accredited, just registered with the state as "licensure-qualifying." However, most online MSW programs that I have seen are CASWE-accredited. I guess you would obtain a full list of licensure-qualifying programs by contacting your state.
     
  10. joanie

    joanie New Member

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    Thanks for the advice. I am a recruiter for allied health professionals, including LCSW and LMHC, and while I know LCSW can also counsel, I haven't found an MSW program with a strong counseling focus that would match what I hope to do in the future. I may end up doing a B&M, but some hybrid would have been best.
     
  11. Hadashi no Gen

    Hadashi no Gen New Member

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    Regarding B&M programs... since NY State identifies CACREP as an "acceptable accrediting agency," here is a list of all of the CACREP programs in the state: Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs - Directory.

    I am sure there are others around that are non-CACREP but are still good programs, leading to licensure. Fordham, NYU, and other schools in the state have high quality counseling programs, but are not CACREP-accredited.
     
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  12. Hadashi no Gen

    Hadashi no Gen New Member

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  13. joanie

    joanie New Member

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    Thanks Hadashi. I'm considering Touro as a last resort, but Brooklyn doesn't do part-time (as much as I'd love to go there since it's 5 min from my home). Touro got into some trouble for selling degrees, and also, in the area in which I live and work, Touro grads are a dime a dozen.

    I wish there were something formated like Medaille College's program,just not 7.5 hours away from me. It's online with one weekend (Friday-Sunday) of butt-in-seat courses per month.
     
  14. Hadashi no Gen

    Hadashi no Gen New Member

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    I did a google search in Mental Health Counseling programs in New York City and came up with quite a few results. Maybe there is one that can work for you!

    Considering where you are in Brooklyn, this might be close to you: M.S. in Mental Health Counseling - Long Island University

    Good luck!
     
  15. joanie

    joanie New Member

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    For future reference to any students looking for something similar:

    It seems most of the colleges in NY offering the mental health counseling degree want full-time students only.

    Two programs in the NYC area that offer many online courses are Touro College and Mercy College. (Mercy offers all but 4 of the courses online, not including internships). Neither is CACREP accredited, and Mercy is much more expensive than Touro, but I am going to go with Mercy because they have a director of clinical internships that assists in internship placements, whereas Touro told me that they prefer students who are already working in clinical positions with access to supervision because they do not provide assistance in this. Neither is a great school, and both have low admission standards.

    Hope that helps any future folks.
     
  16. japhy4529

    japhy4529 House Bassist

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    I would contact NYS MHC department. The above statement (in bold) doesn't jive with reality, as there are now several online CACREP-accredited Masters in Counseling programs available. I believe that this regulation is outdated, as it was probably written before there any CACREP programs were available online.

    Also, while not CACREP accredited, Touro University Worldwide (accredited as a division of Touro College Los Angeles, e.g. WASC) now offers an online MA in MFT. Given Touro's connection to NY, perhaps the NYS MHC dept would accept this program. It's worth a shot!
     
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  17. joanie

    joanie New Member

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    Thanks, that's what I had originally thought. I was hoping to do the Alpine State program, which is inexpensive and CACREP, too. The problem I found was that it seems it would be impossible to complete the clinical internship hours in New York if I am enrolled in an out-of-state program. I spoke to a Touro grad from the MHC program, and what he said about not being able to find an internship or limited permit-friendly placement scared me, so I wouldn't think Touro Worldwide would be able to offer any more assistance than the local program. :(

     
  18. Hadashi no Gen

    Hadashi no Gen New Member

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    Marriage and Family Therapy programs are generally accredited by COAMFTE, whereas CACREP accreditation is reserved mainly for Counseling programs. The only "marriage & family counseling" program that I can think of which is accredited by CACREP is at Capella. I would be careful recommending MFT programs that are not accredited, since a large percentage of states require MFT grads to have graduated from COAMFTE-accredited programs.
     
  19. Hadashi no Gen

    Hadashi no Gen New Member

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    This is something that you should talk to someone at the state level about. It seems like it's really holding you back from what you think could be best for your situation.
     
  20. Hadashi no Gen

    Hadashi no Gen New Member

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    "Students may attend part time"

    State University of New York at New Paltz: Psychology Department - M.S. in Mental Health

    New Paltz is not within walking distance, but if you have a car it's not rediculously far from Brooklyn... especially if you're attending part time. My program delivers classes as a "low-residency" program (all classes one day per week), and there are classmates who drive as far as four hours away. Anyway, I hope that you find something that works for you. It seems like there are a lot of mental health counseling programs for in your area... so I am sure that you are bound to find one that works eventually!
     
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