AcademicsGraduate AcademicsClinical Mental Health CounselingMindfulness-Based Transpersonal Counseling

Clinical Mental Health Counseling MA

Mindfulness-Based Transpersonal Counseling Concentration

Gain clinical counseling skills through the lens of world wisdom traditions at a Buddhist-inspired university with on-campus and low-residency options.

About this Concentration

The mindfulness-based transpersonal counseling concentration is designed for individuals who want an overall orientation to the field of Clinical Mental Health Counseling from a transpersonal and humanistic orientation.

The program emphasizes experiential learning with a strong focus on presence in the here and now. This focal point of study is grounded in the counseling relationship, meditation practice, and Gestalt principles. Theory is integrated in classes that emphasize direct learning through personal growth and the guided development of interpersonal skills. A nonviolent approach to communication is part of our fundamental approach.

Whether you choose the on-campus or low-residency program, you’ll experience firsthand the profound effects of interpersonal connection and mindfulness practice. Then, you’ll apply those transformative techniques during comprehensive clinical training. 

This master’s degree program is an opportunity for deep personal reflection and intensive clinical experience. We support your dedication to mindfulness with on-campus meditation halls, group meditation retreats, body awareness work, and more.

A selective admissions process admits up to fifty students into the Mindfulness-Based Transpersonal Counseling concentration every year. Students share a core set of courses with Transpersonal Art Therapy and Nature-Based Transpersonal Counseling students. The mix provides contact with a diverse group of students and a healthy environment for developing friendship and collegiality. Each semester of study involves concentrated learning experiences with small groups of no more than ten to twelve students.

The program offers a range of electives that complement required studies and meet a variety of interests in counseling and transpersonal studies. Coursework is designed to enhance personal and professional awareness and knowledge. Electives include specialized transpersonal approaches, meditation, couples and family therapy, Jungian psychology, body awareness, and Gestalt therapy.

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Quick Facts

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Program Format

We offer learning paths suited to your Personal Journey. The MTC Concentration is one program with two pathways towards degree completion:

  • Residential Program: Our Residential Program is designed for those students who thrive in a learning environment that is primarily in-person with a weekly meeting cadence. Classes are primarily held in person on our Nalanda campus in Boulder, Colorado.
  • Low-Residency Program: Our Low-Residency or Hybrid Program is designed for those students who desire a combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning. Students in this learning path experience most of their learning sessions online. You will also continue to engage in Intensives that will occur 3 times a year—Two will remain in-person and one will be held synchronously in a virtual format.


In addition, the low-residency program offers three starting dates (January, May, and August) via a combination of online coursework and on-campus intensives. 

A mural painted by a Naropa alumnx depicting a person wearing a multicolored coat that depicts scenes of nature. The background shows red, orange and yellow flames.

Course Spotlight

The Mindful Counselor: Applying Mindfulness in the Therapeutic Context

Topics presented through lectures and readings deepen the understanding of essential principles of meditative awareness. The specific focus of the course is the way meditation can support the counseling relationship.

Degree
Requirements

Naropa’s Mindfulness-Based Transpersonal Counseling Program is a 66-credit, three-year concentration. The program consists of regular academic coursework complemented by a counseling practicum during the second year and a 700-hour fieldwork placement during the third year, both at a partnering community agency with on-site consultation supervision.

Given our flexible degree options, degree requirements, and semester schedules differ for on-campus and low-residency students. 

On-campus

Semester 1, Fall Year 1 (11 credits)

  • CMHC 600, Foundations and Orientation of Clinical Mental Health Counseling (3)
  • CMHC 603, Counseling and Helping Relationships I (3)
  • CNST Elective (3)
  • CNST 622, Foundations of Mindfulness (2)


Semester 2, Spring Year 2 (11 credits)

  • CMHC 604, Counseling and Helping Relationships II (3)
  • CMHC 601, Social/Multicultural Foundations (3)
  • CMHC 606, Legal and Ethical Aspects of Counseling (3)
  • CNST 721, Cultivating Mindful Presence (2)

Summer Year 1 (Off, 0 credits)

Semester 3, Fall Year 2 (9 credits)

  • CNST 671, Mindful Counselor (2)
  • CMHC 605, Group Counseling (3)
  • CMHC 602, Human Growth and Development (3)
  • CNST 770, Compassion Training for Counselors (1)


Semester 4, Spring Year 2 (11 credits)

  • CMHC 607, Diagnosis and Treatment Planning (3)
  • CNSM 602, Gestalt I (2)
  • CNST 670, Transpersonal Counseling (3)
  • CMHC 620, Counseling Practicum (3)


Semester 5, Summer Year 2 (8 credits)

  • CMHC 608, Assessment (3)
  • CMHC 621, Initial Internship (2)
  • CNSM 651, Gestalt II (3)


Semester 6, Fall Year 3(8 credits)

  • CMHC 622, Internship I (3)
  • CMHC 609, Research & Program Evaluation (3)
  • CNST 810, Mindfulness-Based Counseling (2)


Winter Intercession (0 credits)

  • CMHC 623, Winter Intercession Internship (0)


Semester 7, Spring Year 3 (8 credits)

  • CMHC 624, Internship II (3)
  • CMHC 617, Capstone I & II (2)
  • CMHC 610, Career Development (3) 

Low-residency

The Low-Residency MTC program provides a similar curriculum as the on-campus version and can also be completed in three years. It has a unique delivery format that makes it a great fit for those with busy lives or who cannot relocate to Boulder.

  • Three semesters per year rather than two
  • The program can be completed from anywhere in the United States
  • Two yearly visits to Colorado
  • Two online or in-person intensives per semester
  • Each semester begins with a 2 or 3-day-long online intensive
  • A five-day intensive during the second half of each semester

To learn more about intensive dates, credit hours, and courses for the low-residency program, take a look at our comprehensive courses & requirements page. 

Why Choose Naropa?

Flexible Delivery Options

Students interested in Mindfulness-based transpersonal counseling can choose between pursuing an on-campus degree or a hybrid, low-residency degree. Our low-residency program offers three starting dates (January, May, and August) to better accommodate student’s busy schedules.

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Partner Agencies

Naropa has a broad network of community agencies where students can carry out their practicum and field placements with on-site supervision and according to their interests. Low-residency students have the option to complete their internship in agencies located in their state of residency.

Licensure Support

Graduates of Naropa’s Clinical Mental Health Counseling MA can obtain licensure in Colorado and throughout the United States. We offer Credentialing and Licensure support for our students, even post-graduation.

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How this Program Prepares You

Clinical Experience

In the final year of your graduate degree program, you will serve as a supervised intern in a community agency, gaining crucial experience in a specialty area such as addiction counseling or crisis intervention. Throughout the internship, you’ll be supported by on-site supervision, faculty mentorship, and career development counseling.

Developing Personal & Professional Identity

Students are encouraged to develop a therapeutic approach that matches each individual’s interests, abilities, and talents. Learning to “know thyself” is a tenet of transpersonal psychology. Students are encouraged to listen within to discover the unique gift each has to offer others. Feedback from faculty and peers enhances growth and personal discovery. 

Application of Contemplative Practice in Clinical Mental Health Counseling

A strong understanding of contemplative practice in clinical mental health counseling is explored through multiple lenses that include meditation, human development, family systems, body awareness, and the interactive field of healing relationships. Students learn to sit with whatever arises as they are exposed to a broad spectrum of problems, emotions, and situations that may be encountered in actual counseling settings.

What You'll Learn

Mindfulness Skills

Recognize and point to moments of brilliant sanity in yourself and others.

Foundation in Transpersonal Psychology

Exercise a humanistic counseling approach that treats the whole person.

Gestalt Approach

Express your understanding of the Gestalt method in a clinical context.

Diversity Awareness

Treat and work collaboratively with people in diverse community settings.