Substance Abuse Counseling

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Counselor Education

The Department of Counselor Education in Fairfield's Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions (GSEAP) offers four Advanced Training Certificates:

Substance Abuse Counseling

This 18-credit, 6-course program is based on competencies established by the Connecticut Certification Board for Drug and Alcohol Counseling. Completion of these courses is required in order to sit for the certification exam that leads to licensing as a licensed or certified alcohol/drug use counselor. NOTE: Required supervised training is not provided through this program.

These courses can also be used to complete annual professional development requirements for many professionals, including licensed professional counselors, marriage and family therapists, social workers, psychologists and addiction counselors.

The 6 required courses are:

  • CN 465 Introduction to Substance Abuse & Addictions: Candidates explore basic information about the history and current use and abuse of various drugs and alcohol. Topics include addiction, 12-step programs, physiological effects, FAS, COAs, and family systems, as well as culturally relevant prevention, intervention, and treatment strategies for individuals and families. Cross-referenced as FT 465. Three credits.
  • CN 466 Substance Abuse Interventions: This course uses didactic and experiential techniques to understand and facilitate interventions with substance abusers and their families. Topics include the role of motivational counseling and techniques developed by the Johnson Institute. (Prerequisite: CN 465 or a basic understanding of the addictions field.) Three credits.
  • CN 565 Substance Abuse and the Family: This course brings together substance abuse studies and family systems approaches. Students are presented with a knowledge base of skills and methods for assessing and treating family systems. The course identifies the addictive and intergenerational patterns within families. Students are encouraged to reflect upon the theoretical frameworks to understand and create interventions for alcoholic and substance-abusing family systems. Relational clinical models including developmental, systemic, solution-focused, and narrative approaches are reviewed and evaluated. The course examines the history and methods of treatment models. Issues of social justice are emphasized in a review of socio-cultural and social policy that influence family behaviors and treatment. Cross-referenced as FT 566. (Prerequisites: CN 465 or a basic understanding of the addictions field.) Three credits.
  • CN 555 Substance Abuse Counseling: Skills & Strategies: This course focuses on learning, practice and developing counseling skills and strategies as it relates to substance abuse counseling. An overview of assessment, treatment planning, relapse prevention and recovery will be explored. The course addresses theories that are fundamental to addiction counseling with emphasis on the relationship between theory and the practice of effective skills. Candidates will reflect on their roles as counselors and define the qualities, knowledge and essential skills to becoming a competent, ethical, culturally aware counselor in training specific to the treatment of substance abuse. (Prerequisite: CN 465) Three credits.
  • CN 455 Group Work: Theory & Practice: This course focuses on the broad methodology of group work and theories and tasks in interpersonal and multicultural contexts. Candidates observe the nature of their interactions with others and enhance their knowledge about the nature of groups and the current theories and models. Understanding of group work with substance abusers will be explored. Three credits.
  • CN 557 Co-Occurring Disorders in Substance Abuse & Addictions Counseling: This course will introduce students to major concepts in the treatment of co-occurring substance use disorders and mental health disorders. Students will develop an awareness of the unique challenges that face clients who are struggling with multiple diagnoses. Students will practice conducting assessments, recovery plans, counseling skills and continuum of care issues relevant to the recovery process for this special population. Combines didactic and experiential learning opportunities. (Prerequisite: CN 465) Three credits.

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