Counseling Clinical Experiences & Careers

Counseling Clinical Experiences & Careers

Clinical Experiences

In addition to the rigor of classroom learning, you will be required to complete two clinical experiences before you graduate from the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program: the practicum and internship. The practicum is a one-semester, 180-hour on-site placement in which you develop basic counseling skills and integrate classroom knowledge into your counseling practice.

The internship is a two-semester, 600-hour placement in which you will grow professionally, expanding your clinical skills in both individual and group settings.

The practicum and internship are completed at a wide variety of agencies including private practice, outpatient treatment programs, intensive outpatient programs, residential treatment, inpatient hospital settings, crisis counseling, and community agencies. Some of these agencies have included:

  • The Women’s Center
  • Community Residences
  • Green Door
  • Vanguard Services
  • The Salvation Army
  • The Kolmac Clinic
  • Virginia Hospital Center
  • Inova Kellar Center
  • Barston Acres Children’s Center
  • Prince William Family Counseling
  • Phoenix House

School Counseling Internship sites include:

  • Fairfax County Public Schools
  • Arlington County Public Schools
  • Loudoun County Schools
  • Prince William County Schools
  • as well as some independent schools.

For more information on the internship experience contact Bonnie Kuo.


The goal of Marymount’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is to prepare you for a job as a counselor in a community agency. Marymount graduates have gone on to roles such as:

  • Counselors in substance abuse centers, hospitals, rehabilitation programs, and clinics
  • Crisis intervention counselors
  • Family, group, and individual counselors
  • Residential directors for shelters and homes for mentally handicapped children and adults
  • Counselors working with emotionally disturbed/learning disabled youth
  • Case managers
  • Vocational trainers and counselors
  • Employee assistance counselors
  • Private practice counselors

Some MU students go on to doctoral work, and Marymount’s M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling offers an excellent foundation and preparation for advanced study.


Becoming licensed or certified as a counselor is a goal of many of our graduates. There are several different credentials you can obtain.

Many of our students take advantage of becoming a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC). Because of the University’s CACREP-accredited status, Marymount is able to offer the NCE or National Counselor’s Examination twice a year to students towards the end of their program. The NCC does NOT mean you can practice independently in any state.

The Counselor Preparation Comprehensive Examination (CPCE) is administered to students in the first semester of their internship. This exam follows the format of the NCE very closely. Using it allows the faculty to gain an objective view of the knowledge level of students in the program and allows you to gauge your strengths and weaknesses as you prepare for the exam. You can learn more about the NCE and the NCC by visiting the NBCC Web site.

Most MU Clinical Mental Health Counseling students also want to obtain state licensure. Licensing requirements vary from state to state. To find out the requirements for any state, go to the NBCC Web site.

This degree meets the academic requirements of licensure in Virginia, Maryland, and DC. For students interested in working in the substance abuse field, the state of Virginia now offers licensure as a Substance Abuse Treatment Practitioner (LSATP). The Virginia Board of Professional Counselors makes a final determination on applications for licensure. For more information about licensure in the District of Columbia, go to the DC Department of Health site. For more information about licensure in Maryland, go to Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene site.