This academic graduate-level course is designed to meet three-semester units of addictions counseling for LPCC licensing in California.
This course is oriented to the clinician in private practice; however, those working in private and public sector programs have found it gives them a framework to think about how to improve their work or how their organization addresses challenges. The course begins an overview of the substance abuse treatment field, to give the clinician a context for understanding available resources. We will examine evidence-based principles and practices, the profound impact of stigma, and emergent problems such as the opioid crisis, challenges of expanding marijuana use, and behavioral addictions. We will review screening, assessment and diagnosis and considerations in addressing the needs of clients with co-occurring mental disorders.
As a background for understanding treatment, we will review harm reduction and abstinence-oriented principles, and describe treatment modalities in order to make appropriate referrals when needed. Private practitioners often find they can handle mild to moderate substance abuse problems effectively, but clients with high severity will likely need additional help.
Finally, we will address treatment issues, from a recovery-oriented approach, in which the clinician addresses the clients tasks at different stages of the process. This entails goal setting, breaking the addiction cycle, maintaining gains (relapse prevention) and working on quality of life issues.
This course is designed for adult learners. It is offered in an online instructional format that is both instructor- and peer-driven.
Learning activities include:
1. Video lectures, which have been recorded and organized into a topical sequence of brief segments.
2. Reading Assignments, from the textbook and handouts provided.
3. Writing Assignments, based on the video lectures, textbook, handouts and a Self-Help Group assignment.
Course Learning Outcomes:
CLO1: To understand the social context in which decisions about addiction treatment takes place;
CLO2: To describe emergent problems (opioids, marijuana, behavioral addictions) and how they are approached;
CLO3: To transmit basic principles of diagnosis and assessment, with emphasis on detecting manifestations of alcohol and drug problems in patients who appear for help in a variety of systems (including private practice);
CLO4: To understand the numerous possible relationships between addictive behavior and psychopathology;
CLO5: To understand basic principles of selecting appropriate treatment;
CLO6: To recognize the serious health and life threatening medical complications of alcohol and drug use (e.g., hazards of withdrawal) and address them appropriately;
CLO7: To be familiar with major treatment philosophies and modalities in order to enhance collaborative efforts;
CLO8: To become familiar with basic clinical principles, strategies and dilemmas of working with alcohol and drug using patients in order to integrate these into their current treatment;
CLO9: To understand the principles of effective treatment based on existing research;
CLO10: To understand motivational enhancement strategies; how and when to utilize them;
CLO11: To understand how to formulate and implement and appropriate treatment contract;
CLO12: To acquire psychosocial strategies for facilitating detoxification/cessation of drugs;
CLO13: To understand relapse and be able to specify appropriate interventions for types of relapse;
CLO14: To understand how to facilitate the use of the mutual-help system.
Washton, A. M., & Zweben, J. E. (2006). Treating Alcohol and Drug Problems in Psychotherapy Practice: Doing What Works. New York: Guilford Press
Joan Zweben, PhD, is a clinical psychologist with over 30 years of experience treating addictions and training practitioners. She has an unusually broad background in both alcoholism and drug dependence, as well both out patient and residential modalities. This class is full of her hard-earned wisdom.