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Counseling Acronyms


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M

MA = Master of Arts

Master of Arts
A university graduate degree requiring one or two years of additional study above the requirements for a bachelors degree (BA or BS).

 

MAABS, MA/ABS or MA, ABS
MAABS, MA/ABS or MA, ABS
This should be just an MA, but in the past, graduates of Bastyr University's LIOS Leadership Institute of Seattle often added these extra initials (meaning Applied Behavioral Science) after their names, as in John Smith, MA, ABS. This added "ABS" does not indicate any additional licensure or certification beyond the masters degree and tends to be confusing and misleading to members of the public. October 20, 2006, Jacqueline Hooper, Vice President for Academic Affairs, announced that Bastyr University completed a review of degree acronym designations and determined that the MA designation should be used for the Master of Arts in Applied Behavioral Science degree. Some counselor alumni continue to use the "ABS" acronym despite repeated requests from Bastyr LIOS to discontinue the practice.] [Go to CWA article: Ethical Counselors vs. Unethical Counselors.]
 

MAC = Master Addictions Counselor
Master Addictions Counselor
A speciality certification for addictions counselors offered by the National Board for Certified Counselors, Inc.  The MAC credential is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. The MAC certification is also offered through the NAADAC.

 

MACP = Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology 
Degree Program offered only at Bastyr University.
 

MAN = Master of Arts in Nursing
Master of Arts in Nursing
Masters in Nursing website that lists and discusses the various graduate degrees in nursing (and their acronyms) explains the differences, the colleges and universities that offer the degree programs, indexed by state, and the accrediting agencies for the programs.

 

MBRP = Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention
Mindfulness-Based Relapse Prevention
A program for post-treatment relapse prevention of AOD problems--based on Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression (Segal, Teasdale & Williams, 2002) and incorporating cognitive-behavioral relapse prevention strategies.
Web Link

 

MECD = Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development
Measurement and Evaluation in Counseling and Development
A professional journal of the Association for Assessment in Counseling and Education.
 

MHAP = The Mental Health Access Program
The Mental Health Access Program
A community-based program developed to improve access to basic mental health services in Thurston County. Uninsured and under-insured adults, 18 years and older, are accepted after being screened by a referring medical professional. Volunteer therapists provide counseling (4 sessions), targeting clients who are troubled by anxiety or depressed mood and who will be successful with a brief intervention model.
 

MHC = Mental Health Counselor or MentalHealth Counseling
Mental Health Counselor or MentalHealth Counseling
These are generic initials, in that they are used as a rationalization by some counselors to indicate, "this is what I do." In some cases the person may have a degree with a major in mental health counseling but often this is not the case. I do not know of any jurisdiction in which these initials have any legal or official standing. MHC does not indicate licensure nor certification by a professional organization. So far as we can tell, MHC could be used by anyone--without regard for experience, education, or training standards. The use of these initials as part of the practitioner's credentials is misleading to the general public and therefore unprofessional and unethical under the ACA or AMHCA guidelines. [Go to CWA article: Ethical Counselors vs. Unethical Counselors.]
 

MHCA =  Mental Health Counselor Associate
Mental Health Counselor Associate
NOTE: This is not an official acronym in Washington State and means nothing after a counselor's name. Do not be misled. See: LMHCA.
 

MHF = Mental Health Facilitator
Mental Health Facilitator
A curriculum project under NCBB, intended to bring a basic level of mental health education to parts of the world lacking knowledge and services. [Thanks to The NCC, Volume 23, Number 2, page 15, Spring 2007, a publication of the National Board for Certified Counselors, Inc.]
 

MHLG = Mental Health Liaison Group
Mental Health Liaison Group
A coalition of "National organizations representing consumer, family members, advocates, professionals and providers."
Web Link

 

MHP = Mental Health Professional
Mental Health Professional
MHPs are qualified mental health providers who have been designated by an agency or hospital to meet contractual requirements with the county to perform duties in accordance with Washington State law. It appears that the terminology was CDMHP or County Designated Mental Health Professional (CDMHP)--but since a 2005 revision, it is simply "Designated Mental Health Professional" (DMHP). Legal definition: "Mental health professional means a psychiatrist, psychologist, psychiatric nurse, or social worker, and such other mental health professionals as may be defined by rules adopted by the secretary pursuant to the provisions of this chapter." [Washington State RCW 71.05.020 Definitions] Most of the job postings for an MHP require a minimum qualification of "Masters degree or further advanced degree in counseling or one of the social sciences from an accredited college or university, and having, in addition, at least two years' experience in direct treatment of persons with mental illness or emotional disturbance, such experience gained under the supervision of a mental health professional."  While counselors in private practice may report experience gained as a designated MHP for an identified agency, the acronym should not be used in private practice counselor credentials.

 

MRT = Moral Reconation Therapy
Moral Reconation Therapy
A systematic treatment strategy that seeks to decrease recidivism among juvenile and adult criminal and substance abuse offenders by increasing moral reasoning. Its cognitive-behavioral approach combines elements from a variety of psychological traditions to progressively address ego, social, moral and positive behavioral growth. Traditionally, Moral Reconation Therapy takes the form of group and individual counseling using structured group exercises and prescribed homework assignments. [Reconation is an archaic word that was used before the word "ego" replaced it. In this use the word reconation refers to learning a strategy for consciously making moral decisions--thus helping offenders learn to reevaluate their situation and avoid new offenses.]

 

MSNCHP = Master of Science in Nutrition & Clinical Health Psychology
Degree Program offered only at Bastyr University.

 

MT-BC = Music Therapist--Board Certified
Music Therapist--Board Certified
A credential awarded by the Certification Board for Music Therapists. 
Web Link