Grand Canyon University

M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with an Emphasis in Childhood and Adolescence Disorders


3300 W Camelback Rd

Phoenix, AZ 85017

United States



Program Information

Degrees Offered:

M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with an Emphasis in Childhood and Adolescence Disorders

Format: Online

Program Description:

Support Children and Adolescents With a Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Degree

Children and adolescents can be susceptible to a wide range of psychological, emotional and behavioral issues. As a future clinical mental health counselor, you may decide to focus your practice on supporting the next generation. Earn your Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with an Emphasis in Childhood and Adolescence Disorders at Grand Canyon University (GCU). You will have the opportunity to develop a strong foundation of knowledge and clinical skills that you can use to support young people at all developmental levels.

The clinical mental health child and adolescent counseling graduate program is offered by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. In this child counseling degree program, there is focus on core areas such as clinical assessment, diagnoses, counseling skills, research methodologies, trauma counseling and treatment of childhood and adolescence disorders. Explore the application of psychological theories as they are applied specifically to children and adolescents. Areas of discussion include school and family life issues, child-parent relationships and developmental disorders.

The courses selected for the child and adolescent counseling graduate program are designed to meet the academic requirements established by the National Board for Certified Counselors for the National Certified Counselor (NCC) credential, the Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor (CCMHC) credential and the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners. A master’s degree is a prerequisite to licensure in all 50 states.1

Identify and Treat Childhood Disorders With GCU’s Counseling Graduate Program

Compassionate and ethical care is at the heart of a career in clinical mental health counseling. GCU is a private Christian university with a focus on integrating spirituality, Christian ethics and the Christian worldview directly into the curriculum. You will have the opportunity to think critically, explore diverse perspectives and develop your counseling skills as you progress through the program.

In courses such as Counseling Couples and Families, Childhood and Adolescent Trauma and Development Through Childhood and Adolescence, you will explore the following core topic areas:

    The structure and dynamics of the family, including methods of family intervention and counseling
    Children in families affected by domestic violence and abuse, including child abuse assessment and reporting
    Theories of childhood and adolescent development
    Assessments and treatments for young people affected by trauma, including parental substance abuse, family trauma and physical, mental, emotional and sexual abuse

All master’s degree students studying child and adolescent counseling are required to complete a practicum and two internships to gain hands-on supervised experience in a clinical setting.

Influence the Lives of Children and Adolescents as a Counselor by Earning Your Child Counseling Degree

As a future mental health counselor who specializes in child and adolescent populations, you may work with clients who struggle with homelessness, childhood trauma, bullying, abuse, neglect, substance use disorders or eating disorders. Clinical mental health counselors can work in a variety of settings, including the following:

    Hospitals and clinics
    Private therapy practice
    Social service agencies
    Juvenile detention centers
    Domestic violence and homeless shelters

GCU’s master’s in clinical mental health counseling with an emphasis in childhood and adolescence disorders degree meets the academic requirements for licensure in Arizona as a Licensed Associate Counselor (LAC) and a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). Requirements can vary from state to state. Students should check the specific requirements for the state in which they plan to practice.

1 ACA. Licensure Requirements. American Counseling Association. Retrieved on June 9, 2023.

2 COVID-19 has adversely affected the global economy and data from 2020 and 2021 may be atypical compared to prior years. The pandemic may impact the predicted future workforce outcomes indicated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as well. Accordingly, data shown is effective September 2022, which can be found here: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors, retrieved on June 26, 2023.


North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

Facts & Figures

Classification: Master's College or University I

Loans Offered: Perkins Loan, Stafford Student Loans, PLUS Loans, Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership (LEAP) State Grant, Arizona Post-Secondary Education Voucher Program State Grant, Federal Pell Grant, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

Locale: Large City

Size & Settings: 0-999

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