Clinical Mental Health Program

Counseling Program Mission Statement

A warmly lit, welcoming reception area

The mission of the WWU Clinical Mental Health and School Counseling Program is to prepare knowledgeable, skilled, collaborative and ethical  counselors who value diversity, equity and social justice and meet the relevant licensing and credentialing standards for practice in mental health and educational settings in the state of Washington.

We believe this is best accomplished in a small rigorous program in which students have substantive opportunities to acquire evidence-based knowledge and develop their professional and interpersonal skills under the supervision of faculty who are committed to training exceptional counselors.

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 91 quarter credit hours (non-thesis option) or 97 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 counseling. 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

As faculty, we strive to prepare counselors who:

  • Demonstrate the knowledge and skills outlined in the CACREP Basic and Specialty Standards.
  • Think critically about professional issues and engage in ethical, reflective decision-making.
  • Advocate for equity and social justice and demonstrate self-awareness in developing multicultural competence.
  • Utilize current research and evidence to implement and evaluate effective counseling services and programs.
  • Engage in respectful, collaborative relationships with clients, colleagues and community partners.

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.

Download the Counseling Program Student Handbook