Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Clinical Military Counseling Certificate (CMCC) Program
- Do I need a certificate in military counseling to counsel active duty service members, veterans, and their family members?
No. A state license (i.e., Psychology, Social Work, Mental Health Counselor) is the primary credential required to practice as an independent practitioner and be eligible for provider panels (i.e., Tricare/Humana Military, Ceridian Military One Source, Magellan Family Life providers). Most codes of ethics in the counseling profession state that counselors shall practice in their specialty areas in which they have had the appropriate education, training, and supervised experiences. Accordingly, the CMCC program assists clinicians in obtaining the needed competencies to serve active duty service members, veterans, and their family members.
- How would the CMCC credential benefit me?
If you are currently certified and/or licensed in your specialty area (i.e., Psychology, Social Work, Mental Health Counseling) you will likely need continuing education credits to maintain your credentials. The CMCC program offers 12 CEs with an all online training option. The Telehealth Certificate Institute, which administers the CMCC certificate, is interested in developing your career which is why a CMCC certificate is granted. Participants will have an actual certificate they can display in their work setting recognizing that they received advanced training in clinical military counseling.
- Am I eligible for the CMCC credential if I am not a licensed professional?
Yes. The Telehealth Certificate Institute allows “other behaviorally-licensed and certified professionals” to earn the CMCC credential; particularly if you already work with active duty, veterans, veterans with disabilities, and military family members. Some examples of professionals who have earned the CMCC under the category of “other professionals” are Chaplains, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners and other prescribers, therapeutic recreational professionals, clinical researchers, and others practicing in a variety of expressive arts. Graduate students are also eligible to earn the CMCC credential.
- Are there professional organizations or other entities that are aware of the CMCC?
Yes. The CMCC credential started in North Carolina where the instructor/developer has trained over 450 licensed professional counselors, graduate students, and other behaviorally-licensed individuals. CMCC workshops have also been provided in NY, SC, GA, TX, IL, and the online training has been taken by professionals across the U.S.. The Telehealth Certificate Institute continues to market the credential to a variety of professional organizations, associations, state and federal government entities that serve the military.
- Who has endorsed the CMCC as a training program in military counseling?
There are many other individuals and professional organizations that have endorsed the CMCC training. The CMCC website and the newsletter will keep you up-to-date on new workshops and organizations that offer CMCC training. Alumni and past participants of the CMCC training are our best marketing tool; many of whom already work with veterans in Federal programs, agencies, and clinics. As more professionals earn the CMCC many more individuals and organizations will become familiar with the quality and comprehensiveness of the training. The CMCC website also offers a free Provider Directory that CMCCs can list their practice and location to market their own business.
- Will I earn CE hours for completing these courses?
Yes. The Telehealth Certification Institute is an approved CE provider of several professional organizations. The continuing education credit details can be found on each course offering page.
- Are there military service members, veterans, and family members that are part of the CMCC training?
Yes. The instructor and developer of the CMCC has 7 family members that have served in the military. There are over six guest presenters (active duty service members, veterans, veterans with disabilities, and military family members) that provide videotape presentations. The primary course instructor/developer has provided mental health and rehabilitation services with active duty Marines, veterans across all branches of the service, and with military families for over 25 years. Additionally, the course instructor and developer has extensive military-related research experiences with over 30 journal articles, 10 book chapters, 9 professional text books, and has provided over 100 seminars, workshops, and conference presentations relating to military mental health, medical and psychosocial aspects of chronic illness and disability, grief, loss, and trauma. He has also taught in graduate-level counselor education programs for 25 years.
- If I am not a veteran – how would I be able to provide services to the military?
We are all drawn to the helping relationship by a variety of life-experiences many of which form our career path. Achieving an optimal therapeutic relationship is essential with any environment or group of individuals you chose to work. Statistically, most professionals that serve veterans are not veterans themselves; rather, many are family members or spouses of veterans. The same is true of professionals that work with persons that have addictions, life-threatening illnesses, trauma survivors, and other mental health conditions. Thus, having survived a specific mental or physical health condition may not necessarily help you achieve a therapeutic relationship with your client/patient. Besides, the military culture is complex. There are many within-group differences between the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, Reserves, men and women, different racial and ethnic groups, enlisted and officer ranks, combat and non-combat service members, as well as many other differences.
- How would the CMCC training assist me in serving military service members?
There is a shortage of mental health counseling and related professionals that are limited in the foundational knowledge and skills to work effectively with military populations. There are few veterans, in comparison to civilians, that have the mental health training, background, and expertise to serve other veterans. The strength of the CMCC program assists professionals in the assessment, diagnoses, and treatment of mental health and co-occurring conditions with an emphasis of providing strategies and techniques focusing through the lens of the military culture. Overall, specialized training is essential to earn the “circle of trust” with your military veteran or a family member. Establishing a therapeutic alliance and relationship with your military service member, like any other client/patient we serve, begins with the core skills of facilitating a high level of attending, listening, and empathic responding. Compassion, motivation, and dedication to work with military service men and women is also of paramount importance to be a partner in the healing process.