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 Contemplative Art–Based Counseling 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. 

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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.


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 at a partnering community agency with on-site consultation supervision.

Counseling Experiential Requirement

Each student must participate in a counseling/therapy relationship with a qualified psychotherapist of their choice. A minimum of fifteen 50-minute face-to-face sessions (via telehealth or in person) within the first two years of the program is required. (The term “psychotherapist” is used to be inclusive of licensed providers from a variety of professional mental health backgrounds. The Student Guidebook outlines specific parameters of a qualified psychotherapist.) 

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) 

The Low-Residency MTC program provides a curriculum similar to the on-campus program but with courses disbursed to be more of a part-time program.  It is a three-year program like the on-campus program but provides 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
  • Five or six visits to Colorado
  • Two 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

For details on the delivery format, and 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.

Counseling Experience

Begin your clinical career with professional competence in counseling.

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Career Opportunitites for Mindfulness-Based Transpersonal Counselors

Whether you aim to open your own private practice, become a mindfulness teacher, or gain the skills to become a clinical mental health counselor, Naropa can help you get there. Through deep introspection and interpersonal connection with faculty and fellow students, you’ll find your unique path within mindfulness counseling.

Career opportunities for mindfulness-based transpersonal counseling graduates include: 

Discover Career Pathways for Mindfulness-Based Transpersonal Counselors

Hear from a Graduate

Naropa has prepared me for the future as well as the present by teaching me to keep my seat in the eye of any storm. I am able to access an equanimity that was not available to me before I attended Naropa. I know when I am being my authentic self, I can make decisions based on my true values and I can access self-compassion and compassion for others. These invaluable lessons deepen and enhance all my relationships, professional and personal.

Audrey Godell

Mindfulness-Based Transpersonal Counseling

Discover Career Pathways for Low-Residency Mindfulness-Based Transpersonal Counseling Graduates

FAQS about
Mindfulness-Based Transpersonal Counseling

Transpersonal psychology integrates the spiritual aspects of human experience within the modern psychology framework. The transpersonal approach to counseling uses transpersonal psychology to improve patients’ lives through meditation, mindfulness, and other spiritual practices that pursue contemplation of and beyond the ego.

As the country’s first Buddhist-inspired university, Naropa has a long tradition of teaching, researching, and experimenting with mindfulness practices. Our campus and resources support students pursuing a contemplative education. Our mindfulness-based transpersonal counseling program is informed by our deep and thorough knowledge of the field, both academic and experiential.

Learn more about mindfulness-based transpersonal counseling in our suggested reading list for this concentration.

Low-residency students participate in in-person/live experiential sessions called Intensives throughout the program. Our Intensives are truly the hallmark of this learning pathway as it provides students with an opportunity to complement their asynchronous learning online with a live or in-person experience. We offer Intensives in two formats: We have live virtual sessions that occur over a multi-day period and in-person one-week retreat-style experiences that happen each semester during the program. The focus of the Intensives are to provide students with opportunities to form connections with their peers and faculty, bring application to the coursework through experiential practice and provide opportunities for contemplative practice through group meditation sessions.
Transpersonal therapy can adopt different approaches. At Naropa University, students of our Clinical Mental Health Counseling can pursue concentrations in transpersonal art therapy, mindfulness-based transpersonal counseling and nature-based transpersonal counseling.
Transpersonal therapy engages with the spiritual and transcendent side of human experience. This particular orientation differs from traditional forms of psychotherapy, which aim to improve people’s well-being and mental health without dwelling on the spiritual but focusing alternatively on behavior, the unconscious or group dynamics, for example.

Learn More About the Program

Matt Powers

with your counselor

Matt Powers

Assistant Director of Graduate Admissions

Ready to Apply?

Admission Requirements

Naropa University’s admission process follows our contemplative education principles. We value academic excellence as well as the commitment to introspective work.

Learn more about admission requirements, current deadlines, and the application process for the mindfulness-based transpersonal counseling program. 

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To apply to the Mindfulness-based Transpersonal Counseling program, students must submit the following documentation as part of their online application:

  • Transcript of all post-secondary, undergraduate and graduate (if applicable) coursework
  • Statement of Interest
  • Resume/CV
  • Two letters of Recommendation

The application concludes with individual and group interviews. Students also have the opportunity to apply for financial aid when submitting their initial application. Discover all admission requirements. 

Students with undergraduate degrees from foreign universities are required to provide additional documentation as part of their application process. Discover admission requirements for international students. 

Costs and Financial Aid

Naropa students may be eligible for several forms of federal or financial aid to help cover the costs of their education. Over 75% of graduate students are recipients of some form of financial aid.

You can learn about costs and financing options at our costs & aids page, which breaks down direct and indirect costs, such as tuition, housing, materials, transportation, and more. Use our cost calculator to estimate your total costs at Naropa. 

Graduate Scholarship Opportunities

Scholarships are a great way to help with the costs of going to school. Naropa University offers an array of scholarship opportunities to graduate students. Students may be eligible to receive scholarships through their admissions application, by applying for scholarships, or by being nominated for a scholarship. For more detailed information about the different scholarships available and how to receive them, please review our graduate scholarship page. 

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Naropa Campuses Closed on Friday, March 15, 2024

Due to adverse weather conditions, all Naropa campuses will be closed Friday, March 15, 2024.  All classes that require a physical presence on campus will be canceled. All online and low-residency programs are to meet as scheduled.

Based on the current weather forecast, the Healing with the Ancestors Talk & Breeze of Simplicity program scheduled for Friday evening, Saturday, and Sunday will be held as planned.

Staff that do not work remotely or are scheduled to work on campus, can work remotely. Staff that routinely work remotely are expected to continue to do so.

As a reminder, notifications will be sent by e-mail and the LiveSafe app.  

Regardless of Naropa University’s decision, if you ever believe the weather conditions are unsafe, please contact your supervisor and professors.  Naropa University trusts you to make thoughtful and wise decisions based on the conditions and situation in which you find yourself in.