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How To Become A Military or Veterans Counselor

INTRODUCTION
There is a paucity of literature in counseling and psychology that addresses how to facilitate therapeutic interactions with the military culture particularly in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of issues related to military mental health. The question becomes “How can I take what I know in counseling and psychology, as a civilian or community mental health counselor, and apply this to facilitating military mental health strategies and techniques?” This is a dilemma particularly for those who have had little or no opportunity to provide counseling and related-services to active duty personnel, veterans, veterans with disabilities, and family members. The following material describes credentials offered in the clinical military counseling area, occupational characteristics of different professions and settings that provide military counseling services, and our Clinical Military Counselor Certificate (CMCC) program.


MILITARY COUNSELING CREDENTIALS
Licensure, certification, accreditation, and certificate programs are distinct forms of professional credentialing and are often confused by professional counselors and consumers alike. Credentialing standards in the general counseling and psychology professions are developed by senior members of the profession who define and promote essential guidelines for practice, and offer the foundational knowledge and skills required to practice competently in a specialized area of counseling. There are distinct differences between certifications and certificates. Certifications are a more specific indication of professional expertise, typically created by professional organizations and groups to convey which counselors can competently and ethically provide specialty counseling services (e.g., National Certified Counselors (NCC) [administered by National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC)]; Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) [administered by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certificate]. Whereas, certificates are an instructional training program that awards a certificate to recognize the mastery of a specific knowledge domain, set of skills, and participation in a training program (e.g., certificates in Motivational Interviewing (MI), Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR); Certificate Disaster Mental Health Responder- American Red Cross]. Much like certification programs, it is common for some certificate programs to have an evaluation component to assess and evaluate the mastery of the intended learning outcomes and competencies required to attain the foundational knowledge and skills within a specific discipline. The common core in all credentialing relates to consumer protection and establishing minimum standards of knowledge and skills for effective practice.
In recent years, the field of counseling and psychology has become specialized with a variety of therapeutic practice areas. However, few organizations offer a credential that recognizes counselors and psychologists to provide competent services to military populations. Counselors and Psychologists are typically recognized by a specialized area of practice. Also, most counseling professionals are recognized by their occupational setting (e.g., military bases, VA clinics, private practices, university research settings). Some insurance panels and employee assistance programs require a few hours of training within the clinical counselors’ specialty area (e.g., military family counseling, career counseling for veterans, clinical counseling within the military culture).
THE MISSION OF CMCC CERTIFICATE
The Clinical Military Counseling Certificate (CMCC) is much like other professional “certificates of achievement” that practitioners earn in other specialties. Certificates such as the CMCC, offers professional development to facilitate therapeutic techniques, approaches, and strategies specific to the military populations. The intention is to acquire training and understanding of the military culture as it related to the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of mental health conditions and provide competent treatment with optimal levels of professionalism.
The CMCC program promotes and achieves a high standard of excellence providing best practices for the competent and ethical practice of serving the military community across a variety of military branches and settings. The mission of the CMCC is to provide training and development for professional counselors, psychologists, social workers, and other behaviorally-licensed and certified professionals who serve, or want to serve active duty service personnel, veterans, veterans with disabilities, and family members across the different military branches in a variety of service-related settings. Participants will increase their knowledge, awareness, and skills of the unique cultural differences in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of military vs. civilian or community mental health and related services.
Five modules in the CMCC Program offer participants comprehensive material related to the service member and veterans’ medical, psychosocial, behavioral, mental health, family life, vocational, and career transition needs. Completion of the CMCC credential includes 12 contact hours of continuing educational credit in a Five Module training sequence. The CMCC credential can be earned all online (12 CEUs) or taken in either a one-day face-to-face workshop (6 CEUs) or as a 6-hour webinar spread across a two day period, with an additional 6 hours of online training to complete the total 12 hours of training. The Five Module all online training is a self-paced program and include didactic presentations by professionals that have extensive experience dealing with the medical, physical, psychosocial, behavioral, mental health, family life, vocational, and career transition needs of military cultures.
Overall, the military community has become an emerging and major priority for mental health counseling and related services. It is clearly a unique culture because of its language, rituals, organizational structure, values, mission, as well as the differences that exist within each of the various branches of the Armed Forces (e.g., Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, National Guard, Reservists). All active duty service members will eventually transition to civilian-life and will require intensive ongoing medical, psychosocial, vocational, and mental health support. The CMCC approach will assist professionals in training-up for the mission of offering military counseling and related services.

by
Mark A. Stebnicki, Ph.D., LPC, DCMHS, CRC, CCM, CMCC

I learned a lot in this course and will put what I learned into practice when I move my home office space.
Raymond Corbo
Clinical Supervisor and Counselor / Redeemer Counseling Services
The training was very informative, there was more in-depth information to the details of privacy and HIPAA on an electronic level that I was not aware of. The more technological part of it was new information to me.
Nellie Decker
Therapist II / Yakama Nation Behavioral Health
This course is providing me with valuable information that will be helpful in providing competent and effective services for clients.
Nancy Sweet-Holp, LMSW
Therapist / Liberty House of Albany
I took the Board Certified-TeleMental Health Provider Training Certification Course in 2018, I feel so lucky to have found the TeleHealth Certification Institute. It's a top notch training center which has continued to provide me with tools and the knowledge to grow my private teletherapy practice. I recently participated in the TeleMental Health Preparedness Summit 2020 and was definitely not disappointed. The excitement and enthusiasm from the participants and TeleHealth Certification Institute staff is contagious. I've been inspired, since, to look into taking more courses, and joined their FaceBook group. I will likely join their consultation group in the near future. I don't believe there is another training institute out there that is as good as this one for everything telebehavioral health. Thank you Ray! You are a visionary!
Larissa Golloub, LCSW-R
Psychotherapist, solo practitioner / Larissa Golloub, LCSW
This course was very interesting and allowing me to understand the way telementalhealth services need to work correctly.
Patricia A Hill
Mental Health Counselor II and LCDC, MAC / Central County Services
It was one of the best courses I’ve attended; clear, well-structured, creative, transparent and professional! Bravo.
Elizabeth Tramonte, PsyD
Private Practitioner / Elizabeth Tramonte PC
The course was so informative and I was glued to my screen for the entire duration. I received so much knowledge concerning ethics in telehealth and I am greatly encouraged to read about all the standards and policies that pertain to my practice. Thank you!
Bridgette Nalumu
Public health consultant / Green and Purple Consultancy Network
The training was well structured and presented by a knowledge individual. Information shared in the training was useful, clear, and concise and can easily be incorporated into future practice techniques.
Dora Falls
LPC, MAC Private Practice - / Private Practice
Very informative training, instruction was clear and easy to follow
Jill Bogan-El
Therapist
Very well done. Encourages active engagement in telemental health process while guiding effectively.
Chris Brotherton
Marriage and Family Therapist / Addiction Counselor / Brotherton Counseling LLC
This course was extremely helpful understanding the legal requirements for interstate telehealth counseling.
Donald Kirk Henderson
Licensed Professional Counselor / Milestone Family Resources
Wonderful free training. Helpful discussion on how to aid clients in breaking out of the negative thought trap.
Jaime Wright
This course was eye opening and highlighted some definite areas for improvement to better address emergency management planning.
Nikkita Scott
Director of Counselling & Student Activities / Bbermuda College

The course was very detailed and informative. It covered everything that is necessary to work with Tele mental health.

Cynthia Allison
Mental health Counselor / Friendly Therapy LLC
This was quite beneficial. You explained well at a comfortable pace and you provided sufficient details for me to develop an Emergency Management Plan. Thank you!
Dr. STEPHEN KIURI GITONGA
Thank you for an informational, relevant course to help me obtain my TMH certificate. Excellent presentation.
Tomica Horton
counselor/therapist / Jodi Province Counseling Services
Necessary technological guidance!
Frances D Murdock
This course is more comprehensive than all the other HIPAA courses I've taken combined.
Michelle R. Gould, LMHC
Mental Health Counselor
Great, course. Really helped me during this challenging time to connect with students.
Priscilla Robinson
School Counselor / Baltimore County Public Schools
Very informative. I learned things that I wasn't aware of about state laws!
Tamara Coleman
Counselor / Tamara Coleman Counseling LLC
Very informative! Well organized! Takeaway- protect yourself- know your ethical code and standards/ be insured.
Brenda Staerker
Private practice / Thaxton Holistic Wellness
Courses were very informative! Extremely helpful!
Carron D. Alexander
LPC / Premier Counseling Services
Easily one of the best online or in-person workshops I have ever attended. The information was unbelievably relevant to current practice with our students doing e-learning and having to provide online therapy and support. Thank you so much for this workshop and the information.
Vincent Amador
School Psychologist / Thornridge High School
Vey helpful and user friendly. Most importantly informative. Very good information to enhance an individual's practice.
La Keicia Boyd
Licensed Professional Counselor / Private Practice
Amazing and relevant information conveyed over excellent format. This is a professional organization worth joining.
Summer Allan Wilson LCSW-S; Nationally Certified TFCBT
Pediatric Psychotherapist / East Texas Family Guidance Center
This course was very informative and very relevant to today's telehealth practices!
Keith Ayson
Housing Case Manager / Bridgeways
Educational and informative content that was easy to follow and comprehend.
Scott Lipp, Ph.D., LMHC, LAC, NCC
Licensed Mental Health Counselor; Adjunct Professor / Greater Things, LLC; Florida Atlantic University
I really gained a deeper understanding of Telehealth. I think this course helps pave the way for success in our field. This was very convenient. I am so blessed to take a course like this during the crisis we are facing as a nation. This course really helps me perform at a high level for my job. THANKS!!!!!!!
Jackie Tanna
Therapist / Region One Mental Health
Brillant concept and a great way to support counselors as they transition into on-line therapy/services.
Bianca Abrams
License Professional Counselor / The Wellness Institute of Atlanta
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