Grand Canyon University

M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with an Emphasis in Trauma


3300 W Camelback Rd

Phoenix, AZ 85017

United States



Program Information

Degrees Offered:

M.S. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with an Emphasis in Trauma

Format: Online

Program Description:

Learn to Assist Others in the Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program

A traumatic experience can result in acute symptoms and long-term complications for an individual. Through intensive trauma counseling, individuals may begin to reclaim their health and wellness. Trauma counselors often choose this field because they are highly compassionate and empathetic people who heed God’s call to serve others. To be qualified to become a trauma counselor, you can earn your Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with an Emphasis in Trauma at Grand Canyon University (GCU).

The MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling for trauma emphasis is offered by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. As a student, you will examine the causes and effects of trauma across the lifespan, as well as the intricacies of human behavior. There is a focus on the application of evidence-based research to assess and treat trauma-related disorders.

Earn Your Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling Online

Designed for working professionals, GCU’s MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling with trauma counseling emphasis is offered both online and through evening classes. For online students, the majority of courses can be taken on a flexible schedule through an innovative digital platform that connects you to our expert faculty.

For those who require scheduling flexibility, but prefer to learn in-person, the evening program offers courses once a week so you can balance your education with other responsibilities. Whether you study online or in-person, this counseling for trauma emphasis program requires all students to complete supervised clinical fieldwork experience.

Course Topics for the Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling for Trauma Emphasis

The courses in this master’s in clinical mental health counseling program with trauma emphasis were selected to meet the academic requirements of 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 required steppingstone for clinical licensure in all 50 states.

This MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program fulfills GCU’s mission of enabling students to be effective communicators, innovative thinkers, transformative leaders and global contributors. As a student, you are inspired to strive for professional excellence through the rigorous Christian worldview curriculum and hands-on, supervised field experiences.

In this program’s courses, you will thoroughly examine the following topic areas:

    Interpersonal violence, including its contributing factors, treatment implications and best practices
    Major counseling theories and principles, including existential psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy and reality therapy
    Culturally responsive counseling strategies and interventions
    Short-term and longitudinal impacts of childhood trauma
    Best practices for working with communities in crisis

In addition, students pursuing a master’s in clinical mental health counseling with trauma counseling emphasis will complete the Counseling Practicum and two internships. These hands-on, supervised experiences in the field round out the students’ coursework and reinforce the advanced skills needed to be an effective professional counselor.

Career Opportunities for Clinical Mental Health Trauma Counseling Graduates

As an aspiring trauma counselor, you may one day assist clients who are struggling with complex trauma, childhood trauma or posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). You might work with victims of natural disasters, mass shooting events, assault or childhood abuse. Trauma counseling can be an emotionally difficult but highly fulfilling career path. Trauma counselors are employed in a range of settings, including:

    Hospitals and clinics, including military hospitals
    Prisons and juvenile detention facilities
    Inpatient psychiatric centers and outpatient psychiatric programs
    Community-based health centers
    Nonprofit and faith-based organizations

This master’s in clinical mental health counseling online program with trauma emphasis meets the requirements to become a Licensed Associate Counselor (LAC) and a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Arizona. These requirements can vary from state to state. Students are responsible for checking the requirements for the state in which they plan to practice.

1 Meyers, L. (2019, March 22). Establishing a Private Practice. Counseling Today. Retrieved on May 23, 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 October 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 April 25, 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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