Specialist in Military Counseling

Who is this credential for?
These qualified CMHCs possess specialized knowledge of military culture and military service and have a strong background in counseling behavioral health disorders and evidence based therapy approaches, techniques and methods. They help active duty service members, veterans and their families manage a variety of behavioral health issues such as: depression, anxiety, generalized stress, stress-related combat issues, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), substance misuse and service connected disabilities. They also assess and treat for self-harm and the prevention of suicide. In addition, CMHCs with the military counseling specialization will provide support and counseling services for child and family counseling. They have the skills requisite to work as part of a multi-disciplinary treatment team in coordinated care for coexisting physiological and mental health related issues. CMHCs who earn the AMHCA Diplomate, Specialist in Military Counseling provide holistic behavioral health interventions to alleviate emotional and mental distress, enhance physical health, improve quality of life, and promote wellness for active duty military, veterans, and family members.

What does this credential represent?
The AMHCA Diplomate and Clinical Mental Health Specialist in Military Counseling, establishes the clinical counseling knowledge and skills necessary to support and integrate systematic coordination of behavioral health care with other services available to current military service members, veterans with service-connected disabilities, and military family members. To achieve comprehensive health outcomes, Clinical Mental Health Counselors (CMHCs) with the AMHCA Diplomate Military specialization use their unique perspective of treatment. prevention, wellness, and personal growth to coordinate care with primary care providers, other medical providers, other health care professionals, state agencies, and third party payers.


Complete Requirements

Be a Clinical Member of AMHCA

Have completed all of the licensing requirements as defined by the respective state and have been awarded the license to practice independently. As an independent practitioner, the applicant must have practiced independently for a minimum of three years after completing all state licensure requirements. 

To be recognized as a Clinical Mental Health Counseling Specialist, the applicant must complete all of the following requirements for each area of specialization (A, B, C, D): 

  1. Complete professional development in each specialist area by at least 90 hours of professional development specifically related to the specialist area. These 90 hours must be documented by the date, course title, and number of course hours. Please note the following criteria: 
    1. One completed post-master’s degree graduate semester credit hour is equal to 15 professional development hours. 
    2. Presentation hours specifically and primarily related to the specialist area can be counted for up to 60 hours of the required professional development hours.
    3. Graduate courses taught by the applicant specifically and primarily related to the specialist area can be counted for up to 60 hours (a graduate semester hour taught equals 15 contact hours). 
    4. At least 15 of the 90 professional development hours must be earned within the past five years. 
    5. Only professional development hours completed within the past 15 years will be counted toward meeting the specialist training requirement. 
    6. All professional development hours must be completed post-master's degree in mental health counseling or a related counseling field. 
    7. Hours used for one specialist area cannot be applied to an additional specialist area application. 
    8. Alternatively, AMHCA members who are fully licensed for independent practice for five years in an area directly related to the specialty applied can document this license in lieu of documenting professional development hours in the specialty area (e.g., an LCMHC who is also fully licensed for five years as an LMFT can be awarded certification as a Specialist in Couples and Family Counseling).
  2. Applicants must complete at least 100 hours of face-to-face counseling in the specialist area. 
  3. Applicants must attest to having completed a minimum of 10 hours of specialist supervision by a licensed mental health professional who has expertise in the area. Supervision required for independent state licensure cannot be counted toward this specialist supervision requirement.
  4. Applicants must attest that they have the knowledge of the ethics and standards of practice in the specialist area and will abide by all applicable codes of ethics.  
  5. Complete application and pay fee.