Clinical Mental Health Program

Counseling Program Mission Statement

A warmly lit, welcoming reception area

The mission of the Mental Health and School Counseling Programs at Western Washington University is to prepare knowledgeable, skilled, culturally sensitive, and ethical professional counselors who meet the relevant licensing or credentialing standards for practice in mental health and public and private educational settings in the State of Washington.

We believe this is best accomplished in small rigorous programs in which students have substantive opportunities to practice their developing counseling skills and knowledge under the supervision of faculty who are active contributors to the profession through research and service.

Clinical Mental Health Program

Director: Dr. Christina Byrne

We have an excellent program for training Mental Health Counselors at Western Washington University. The program involves a two-year full-time package of academic courses and supervised practica and is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).

The program requires 92 quarter credit hours (non-thesis option) or 98 credit hours (thesis option). The information below presents some of the characteristics of the program and information on applying to the program. For further information contact the Psychology Department graduate programs coordinator at 360-650-3184.

The Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program prepares students for careers in federal, state, and local clinics, privately funded agencies, colleges and universities, and other mental health counseling positions. The program provides a general foundation in theoretical and applied perspectives of counseling in addition to offering the student a solid background in psychology. Special emphasis is placed on skill development, supervised practica, and on-site internships in various community and mental health clinics.

Learn more about the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program outcomes and view recent program evaluation annual reports.


Counseling Program Objectives

  • To prepare professional counselors who demonstrate the knowledge and skills described in the CACREP core and specialty standards.
  • To prepare professional counselors who utilize current research to evaluate professional services and make professional judgments.
  • To prepare professional counselors who think critically about professional issues and who engage in ethical and reflective practice.
  • To prepare professional counselors who communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, with clients, peers and the community and demonstrate competence in the use of technology.
  • To prepare professional counselors who value diversity, educational equity and social justice.

The Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is one of three graduate programs in the Department of Psychology. The other two programs are School Counseling and Experimental Psychology. In addition, the Center for Cross-Cultural Research is located at Western Washington University.