City University of Seattle’s CACREP accredited Master of Arts in Counseling program prepares students to work as counselors in multiple settings. Four tracks are offered so students can choose the path that is right for them:
- Clinical Mental Health Counseling – Meets the educational requirements for licensure as a Mental Health Counselor (LMHC)
- Addiction Counseling – Meets the educational requirements for licensure as a Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and a Chemical Dependency Professional (CDP)
- Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling – Meets the educational requirements for licensure as a Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) or a Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT)
- Professional School Counseling – Meets the educational requirements for the School Counselor K-12 credential in Washington State (This track is not yet CACREP accredited)
All four emphases include core knowledge courses such as research, theory, human development and ethics. Courses cover a broad range of issues to prepare students for real client work, such as:
- counseling techniques and assessments
- trauma and violence, grief and loss, and addiction counseling
- psychopathology and psychopharmacology
- brief therapy, group counseling, family therapy and couples therapy
- practicum and internships with direct supervised client work
A majority of coursework focuses on hands-on, clinical mental health skills so students can start seeing clients and making a difference. In addition, students will complete practica and internships – some of which may be completed at the CityU Counseling Center – so that they can observe and train with skilled counselors, and then put their knowledge into action in real-world settings under the guidance of their instructors.
Effective In-Class and Online Learning
At CityU of Seattle, you’ll complete your Master of Arts in Counseling in a cohort, or start-to-finish learning group. Most learning takes place during face-to-face, in-class sessions. Online learning is used to facilitate in-class sessions. You can opt for a two-year intensive, full-time program or a three-year program that caters more to working professionals. Don’t hesitate to reach out to a CityU advisor to learn more.
Where CityU Can Take You
When you complete the master’s in mental health counseling program or the master’s in marriage, couple and family counseling program, you will be qualified to apply for a Washington state associate license and work toward your Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) or Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) Certification.
You’ll be qualified and trained to work in a variety of mental health settings including nonprofit counseling agencies, private counseling practices, managed care organizations, correctional institutions, residential care facilities and hospitals.
Using a practitioner-scholar model, the MAC program trains well-rounded mental health counselors and marriage, couple, and family counselors for the realities of day to day practice. The MAC program emphasizes: practical application of theory and the development of case conceptualization skills; ethical awareness; appreciation of diversity; and self-awareness. Students are introduced to a broad range of clinical issues through a breadth of course work, delivered by practitioner faculty. Supported clinical experiences focus on the delivery of clinical services, and assist students to develop a coherent theoretical and ethical framework for practice.
Program Learning Outcomes
By the conclusion of their training program, students will:
- Apply sound essential counseling skills derived from a credible knowledge base that encompasses diverse theoretical perspectives.
- Recognize and apply professional ethical standards including clear and appropriate relationships with clients, colleagues, and the community.
- Articulate and apply a range of coherent theoretical approaches that are relevant to clients concerns and aspirations.
- Recognize and positively influence intrapersonal and interpersonal dynamics in counseling with individuals, groups, couples, and families.
- Collaborate with people of diverse ethnicity, culture, gender, sexual orientation, physical ability, religious beliefs and socioeconomic status.
- Establish a commitment to professional development through continuing education, clinical supervision, self-reflection, and consultation with peers.
- Produce written communication that meets professional standards.
- Locate and critically evaluate research related to core areas of counseling practice.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the role of counselors in promoting social justice and the well-being of the greater community.
City University of Seattle’s Master of Arts in Counseling program is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). It has granted accreditation of this program until 2024. For more information on CACREP, please visit its website, www.cacrep.org.
In addition to this special accreditation, CityU is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).
The CityU counseling program has been training future clinicians since 1994. Initially, the degree program offering was a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology. A Canadian program (Master of Counselling) was initiated soon afterwards. Elizabeth Fountain, PhD, LMHC was the Dean of the Program at that time, and also taught in the program. She had significant influence in laying the groundwork for the program. One of the first program graduates, Renee Balodis-Cox, MA, LMHC, still teaches in the counseling program. Michael Theisen, MA, LMHC, joined the faculty in 2003, eventually becoming the Program Director. For the next decade, Michael worked collaboratively with associate practitioner faculty to infuse relevant training into the curriculum.
Ellen Carruth, PhD, LMHC joined the faculty in 2010, and the program began to transition towards a CACREP-model of training to continue providing relevant preparation for students entering the mental health field. In 2013, the program was renamed the Master of Arts in Counseling, with specialization tracks in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling. Thom Field, PhD, NCC, LMHC and Joyce Mphande-Finn, EdD, NCC, LCPC came aboard in 2014, and the program submitted its CACREP application in the fall of 2014.
Get Started Today!
If you have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university, you can apply for the Master of Arts in Counseling program at CityU. If you want to take your interpersonal skills to the next level and make counseling a career, speak with one of our knowledgeable advisors to learn more about the program today.
Clinical Mental Health Counseling Emphasis (90)
Marriage, Couple and Family Counseling Emphasis (90)
Addiction Counseling Emphasis (90)
Professional School Counseling Emphasis (90)
City University of Seattle faculty are highly regarded practitioners who bring real-life experience to the learning environment. They consider students to be collaborative partners in the creation of learning opportunities. To support practitioner faculty in their teaching roles, the institution provides orientation, training, mentoring, and coaching, all designed to foster a respectful and empowering learning environment. Faculty are rewarded for quality teaching and encouraged to continue their development as facilitators of learning.
Cory Viehl, PhD, LMHC, LPC, NCC, ACS
Email | Phone: 206.239.4767
Dr. Cory Viehl is the Academic Program Director and Associate Professor of the Master of Arts in Counseling (MAC) program at City University of Seattle.
- Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Practice from Georgia State University
- M.S. in Community Counseling from University of North Georgia
- B.S. in Psychology from University of North Georgia
Licenses and Certifications:
- Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC), WA
- Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), GA
- National Certified Counselor (NCC)
- Approved Clinical Supervisor (ACS)
- American Counseling Association (ACA)
- Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (ACES)
- Western Association for Counselor Education and Supervision (WACES)
- Association of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Issues in Counseling (ALGBTIC) – President-Elect 2019-2020
Dr. Viehl has been in clinical practice for 11 years in various settings including IOP, college counseling centers, and private practice working with aging adults, adults with disabilities, LGBQI+ and Trans adolescents & adults, and counselors. His work is informed by a constructivist philosophy which he also incorporates into his pedagogical practices.
- Clinical Supervision
- LGBQI+ and Trans Affirming Practices in Counseling and Counselor Education
- Burnout, Compassion Fatigue, and Vicarious Traumatization
- Multicultural Counseling
Cherise Murphy, EdD, LMHC-S, NCC, CCMHC
Dr. Cherise Murphy is a native of Chicago and has an Ed.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision from Argosy University; holds a Master of Arts degree in Professional Counseling Psychology from The Georgia School of Professional Psychology and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Illinois. She has a long history of playing an active role in scholarship and professional service within the field of counseling, as well as teaching in higher education and service to the community. She has been the faculty grant recipient for her work on Keeping Families Safe from LSA-Learn and Serve America; Corporation for National and Community Service sponsored by USA President Obama’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.
Her work history includes clinical leadership roles at several state and private mental health organizations, as well as administrative and faculty roles at several higher education institutions.
Her research interests have focused on human behavior and development in the context of relationships. She has studied blended family structures and partner behaviors that will promote a cohesive family environment and positive outlook for relationship satisfaction. Her interactive style with students focuses on both experiential learning and dialogue about real-life experiences, and how learned skills can be applied to these scenarios. Personally, she enjoys time with her three sons and is a connoisseur of music, art, dance, diversity and all things Creole. Dr. Murphy holds licensure as a Mental Health Counselor and Qualified Supervisor.
Joyce Mphande-Finn, EdD, NCC, LCPC
Email | Phone: 206.239.4778
Joyce is an Associate Professor and core faculty member in the MAC program at CityU. Joyce has more than 15 years of counseling and supervision experience in community mental health agencies, college counseling centers, and private practice settings.
- EdD, Counselor Education and Supervision, University of Montana
Licenses and Certifications:
- Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) in Montana
- Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) in Oregon
- National Certified Counselor (NCC) by National Board of Certified Counselors
- American Counseling Association
- Association for Counselor Education and Supervision
- Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development
- Chi Sigma Iota
Clinical Experience:Over her 15 year counseling career, Joyce has worked in community mental health agencies, college counseling centers, and private practice settings. She specializes in child, adolescent, and family counseling with domestic violence issues, cross-cultural issues, trauma, depression, HIV/AIDS, and the integration of mental health, substance abuse, and chronic illness.Her dissertation was on “The Experience HIV/AIDS Among Rural Women in the Northwestern United States.” She is also an IMPACT-Certified in providing problem-solving treatment of depression. Joyce’s theoretical counseling philosophy is utilizing different approaches that meet the needs of a client with positive self-regard, empathy, and congruence.
- HIV/AIDS’ impact on the Social Support Structure (Extended Family Systems)
- Perspectives on multicultural issues in higher education
- Gender and women issues
- Effects of trauma in women and children exposed to domestic violence
Michael Theisen, MA, LMHC
Michael is an Associate Professor for City University of Seattle. Michael has more than 30 years of counseling, administration, and supervision experience in community mental health agencies, correctional facilities, and in private practice.
- MA, Youth Counseling, North Park Theological Seminary
Licenses and Certifications:
- Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in Washington
- Approved Clinical Supervisor in Washington
- American Counseling Association
- Washington Mental Health Counselors Association
Michael has worked in a variety of mental health settings during his extensive 30 year career, including community mental health agencies, juvenile correctional facilities, social services, inpatient and residential treatment centers, emergency crisis shelters, outpatient counseling centers, and private practice. As a counselor, supervisor, and administrator, Michael understands the value of personnel and the human connection in his work. Committed to social justice and advocacy for underserved populations, Michael’s theoretical counseling philosophy is largely grounded in a family systems perspective. He has taught 12 different counseling courses during his 10 years of teaching at CityU. Michael currently provides counseling services in private practice, where he specializes in adolescent, adult, and family counseling.
- Family systems
- Social justice and advocacy for underserved populations
- Strengths-based interventions
Amy Cummings-Garcia, PhD
- PhD, Clinical Psychology, Seattle Pacific University
- Currently in the process of pursuing licensure
- Washington Mental Health Counselors Association
Amy has built a career integrating clinical education, patient care, program development and community service. Amy’s predominate area of clinical focus is inpatient behavioral health. Her work at Fairfax Behavioral Hospital beginning with psychological assessments and group therapy culminated in the position of Adult Clinical Services Manager. In this role she served as a clinical liaison and consultant to all adult units, interfaced with the mental health court and involuntarily detained patients, provided crisis response and relief to staff, created individualized alternative treatment planning, and provided psycho education and skills training to staff, families, and community networks. Her outreach work in the community at the University of Washington-Tacoma and the University of Puget Sound provided staff representation for the campus LGBT community, training and consultation to colleagues and students, along with therapy to individuals and couples. Student services spanned safe sex awareness, substance abuse, eating disorders, as well as chemical dependency and suicide assessments. She is skilled in individual, couples, family, and group therapy.
- Psychopathology and psychopharmacology
- Couples therapy
- Learning and behavior
The following PDF documents are available for download:
- Program Handbook
- Clinical Training Manual
- Program Outcomes Report
- Comprehensive Assessment Plan Report
- CityU Supervision Training for Site Supervisors (video)
Information About Program Graduates
The program had 36 applications for the 2016-17 academic year, with an average incoming undergraduate GPA of 3.37. During 2016-17, the completion (i.e., graduation) rate for the program was 78.9%. Most impressive, 100% of our graduates were employed within six months of completing their program. Our graduates have been employed in the following settings: private practice, community agencies, corrections, hospital/residential treatment settings, and private schools. The program celebrated its first graduates in 2015, and ten graduates have taken their licensure exam. Nine of the 10 passed.
PROGRAM ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
Students must have and/or complete the following entrance requirements to join the MAC program:
- Hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited or otherwise recognized institution, with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.75 in undergraduate degree program. Students may be conditionally admitted to the program with a GPA of less than 2.75, whereby the student must maintain a GPA of 3.0 in their first two quarters in the program or else be dropped from the program.
- Provide three letters of references including name, email, and phone contact information for professional, academic, or other associates who can attest to the student’s ability to be successful in a master’s-level counseling program.
- A writing sample defining professional goals and addressing past and current experience relevant to becoming a counselor. Guidelines for writing the sample paper will be sent from the academic advising office. The writing sample and interview will be used to determine whether minimum qualifications have been met for admission to the program.
- Completed, signed background information form, with a history free of criminal convictions that would likely result in being denied a professional credential at the state level (see RCW 18.130 for Washington state). The background information form must be submitted prior to the interview process.
- Interview with the program director, coordinator, or designee. The writing sample and interview will be used to determine whether minimum qualifications have been met for admission to the program.
The application for admission can be completed online and the applicant will then need to obtain official transcripts from previous institutions which should be sent directly to the admissions office at City University of Seattle. Each applicant will then need to submit their references, writing sample, resume/CV, and completed and signed background information form. Only when all of these items have been received will the interview with the program faculty be scheduled. Once the materials have been reviewed and the interview has been conducted, the program faculty will make a decision regarding program admission and notify the prospective student. Download the Master of Arts in Counseling admissions packet.
Applications are accepted throughout the year, for matriculation during the fall quarter. Students admitted to the program will begin their studies during the fall quarter, in a cohort model.
The priority application deadline is March 1 and the final application deadline is August 1 of each year. Candidates will be interviewed and admissions decisions will be made as applications are received. All admissions decisions will be completed by September 30. Late applications are taken into consideration on a space-available basis.
Resources for Site Supervisors
Forms, contracts, and documents for practicum and internship experiences in the MAC program are made available to all site supervisors, in the form of a “Clinical Training Manual.”
All MAC site supervisors must complete supervision training before supervising MAC students. For site supervisors who have not yet completed supervision training, a 60 minute video is available for site supervisors to watch and receive basic-level foundational training in supervision. Site supervisors should contact the program faculty member and verify that they have completed this training.
Continuing Education Benefit
The School of Arts and Sciences is pleased to offer 20% discount on workshops and continuing education offerings for clinical supervisors who are working with City University students. To qualify for this discount, the participant must indicate his or her supervisory role during the checkout process. This will be verified by DAS faculty and staff.