School of Education - George Mason University

Counseling and Development

The Counseling and Development Program prepares counselors to promote the social, psychological, physical, and spiritual health of individuals, families, communities, and organizations for the advancement of global well being.

The Counseling and Development Program offers Master's Degree Programs in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling, as well as Post-Master's Licensure Programs for aspiring Licensed Professional Counselors and School Counselors.

The program infuses the following key tenets throughout the curriculum: social justice, multiculturalism, internationalism, advocacy, and leadership.

Program Mission

The Counseling and Development Program is committed to preparing counselors who promote the social, psychological, physical, and spiritual health of individuals, families, communities, and organizations in order to contribute to the advancement of global well being. The program strives for national and international excellence in implementing a counseling perspective which provides a foundation in basic counseling skills and focuses on social justice, multiculturalism, internationalism, advocacy and leadership. It is our belief that a global perspective on development across the life span, and an understanding and appreciation of multiculturalism, diversity, and social justice are integral to the preparation of professional counselors, requiring that professional counselors are prepared to assume leadership roles, be proactive change agents and become advocates for social, economic and political justice. The program is committed to accomplish this mission by working through interdisciplinary teams as well as promote the interconnectedness of teaching, research, service and professional practice. Through this mission faculty will facilitate a continued tradition of international, national and regional leadership through the development of collaborative partnerships and projects, research, publications, presentations, consultation, and training.

Program Goals and Objectives

Goal A: To equip students with the knowledge and skills to become ethical and effective counselors in a complex society with diverse populations, with a concentration on practicing either as a clinical mental health counselor or a school counselor

Objective 1: Professional Counseling Orientation and Ethical Practice

  • Students will be able to apply ethical practices and applicable ethical standards to their roles as clinical mental health counselors or school counselors and apply as appropriate.
  • Objective 2: Social and Cultural Diversity

    • Students will articulate multicultural and pluralistic characteristics within and among diverse groups.
    • Students will generate strategies for identifying and eliminating barriers, prejudices, and processes of intentional and unintentional oppression and discrimination, including power and privilege.

    Objective 3: Human Growth and Development

    • Students will demonstrate knowledge of systemic and environmental factors that affect human development, functioning, and behavior, as well as an understanding of ethical and culturally relevant strategies for promoting resilience and optimum development and wellness across the lifespan.

    Objective 4: Career Development

    • Students will formulate strategies and methods of identifying and using tools to assess abilities, interests, values, personality and other factors that contribute to career development, planning, and decision making.
    • Objective 5: Counseling and Helping Relationships

      • Students will evaluate counselor characteristics and behaviors that influence the counseling process and develop personal model of counseling.
      • Students will develop essential interviewing, counseling, and case conceptualization skills to provide counseling and treatment/intervention planning to clients/students from diverse backgrounds.

      Objective 6: Group Counseling and Group Work

      • Students will analyze the dynamics associated with group process and development and the characteristics and functions of effective group leaders for leading diverse groups.

      Objective 7: Assessment and Testing

      • Students will recommend assessments relevant to academic/educational, career, personal, and social development for diagnostic and/or intervention planning purposes.

      Objective 8: Research and Program Evaluation

      • Students will summarize designs used in re-search and/or program evaluation, including how to analyze data.

      Objective 9: Professional Concentrations

      • 9-CMHC: Clinical Mental Health Counseling (CMHC) Professional Concentration
        • Students will summarize theories, principles, models, and documentation formats for mental health counseling, including biopsychosocial case conceptualization and treatment planning.
        • Students will design techniques and interventions for prevention and treatment of a broad range of mental health issues, including relevant cultural factors.
      • 9-SC: School Counseling (SC) Professional Concentration
        • Students will summarize school counselor roles as leaders, advocates, and systems change agents in P-12 schools and in multidisciplinary teams.
        • Students will assess the design and evaluation of school counseling programs that promote equity in student achievement and/or college access.

      Goal B: To prepare students with appropriate dispositions to engage in counseling, to appreciate and understand diversity, and to engage in social justice action and advocacy.

      Objective 1: Professional Dispositions

      • Students will develop professional dispositions that are appropriate for professional counselors.

News and Announcements

School Counseling Student Meg Moody Creates Food Partnership Program to Help Students in Her Community

When schools closed suddenly due to COVID-19, first year School Counseling student Meg Moody knew that the elementary school where she is PTA President needed help. Read more...

Counseling Program Student, Jamar Burrell, recognized as WGMU Announcer of the Year!


Please join us in congratulating Counseling Program student Jamar Burrell. He has been recognized as the WGMU Announcer of the Year by the George Mason Department of Communication in the Annual Read more...

Please join us in congratulating Mr. Martin Abruzzo on his recent recognition as one of the top 10 Academic Advisors at GMU!


Marty Abruzzo is an alumnus of the Counseling Program and now serves Mason as the Student Services Coordinator with the School of Integrative Studies in the College of Humanities and Social Read more...