Online Mental Health Counseling Courses and Classes

Online mental health counseling courses and classes teach students how to identify and effectively treat patients' mental health needs in a knowledgeable and ethical manner. The most popular online mental health counseling courses are profiled in this article.

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Essential Information

Mental health counseling courses and classes are offered by many colleges and universities through their distance learning programs. Although the classes themselves may be fully online, students typically must participate in on-site field experiences or residencies to be eligible for state licensure. Students might have to purchase course-specific software and textbooks to take these courses. Learners typically are required to log on to course sites at specific times for tests, assignments, lectures or group discussions.

Mental health counseling courses are usually parts of a degree program, such as a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Community Psychology, Master of Science (M.S.) in Mental Health Counseling or Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Counselor Education and Supervision. Graduates of mental health counseling programs often find career opportunities with hospitals, private clinics or nursing homes.

Popular Online Mental Health Counseling Courses

Provided below are the descriptions of the most common types of online mental health counseling courses.

Legal Issues and Ethics in Counseling Course

This course introduces the fundamentals of mental health and professional counseling. Topics addressed include trends in mental health and professional counseling, the counselor's role in social and cultural settings, counselor and client advocacy, counselors' professional standards of ethics, and philosophy and history of mental health counseling.

Mental Health Counseling Introduction Course

Students learn the principles of the mental health counseling profession, including theories, philosophy and history, with emphasis on professional issues, credentials and the actual practice. This course focuses on professional competencies of mental health counseling and the role students will play as mental health counselors.

Substance Abuse Counseling Course

This course focuses on psychological aspects of addictions, such as dependency on prescription medications, alcohol and illegal substances, with discussion of current research. Students learn various methods of diagnosis and treatment plans, including behavioral change. They also are taught to evaluate treatment methods.

Counseling Skills Course

This course utilizes video and audiotape, role-playing and other training methods to help students develop skills that are useful in mental health counseling, including communication, sincerity and empathy. Emphasis is on using interpersonal skills to develop a beneficial relationship with clients.

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