ADC403: Clinical Addiction Counseling Skills
Instructor & Contact Information
The People tab in Canvas provides information on the course instructor and you can send a message to your instructor following these instructions. Faculty are expected to: 1) grade and return assignments, with feedback, within 7 days from the date of submission; 2) reply to your Canvas messages within 72 hours; 3) reply several times each week in total in the discussion forums (not to each individual student); and 4) demonstrate the core values of City Vision University.
This course serves as a step-by step approach to treat clients with substance use disorders. While many students want to jump right to the “counseling” stage, several steps must be performed including screening, assessment, and treatment planning before “counseling” can even begin. Each of these areas will be detailed with specific steps, which fall into the total scope of practice for the addiction professional, including an emphasis on proper documentation. This course also addresses the clinical thinking skills required in professional counseling settings. Fully revised to include DSM-5, the text discusses diagnosis, case conceptualization, treatment planning and the interplay of various clinical tools and their application.
After completing this course, you will be able to:
- List and implement various methods of beginning and maintaining the therapeutic alliance.
- Select and implement various screening and comprehensive assessment instruments that will be sensitive to the client’s needs and best determine client pathology and severity of addictions.
- Summarize findings from the implementations of the screening and assessment instruments into a narrative format.
- Plan and document the proper course of treatment for individual clients which will include identifying and defining the client’s problems and devising goals, objectives, and interventions to help return the client to normal functioning.
- Understand clinical thinking skills required for diagnosis and treatment planning.
- Learn how to utilize the DSM-5 in assisting with client diagnoses.
- Learn a process of case conceptualization that includes identifying problems, grouping those problems into themes, and selecting a theoretical approach for treatment and counseling.
- Learn how to design a custom treatment plan for diverse client presentations.
- Review a “popular culture” caseload to implement and reinforce learning concepts.
Degree Program Outcomes
Degree outcomes are the overall skills and knowledge we expect you will have after successfully completing a degree program at City Vision University. This course supports the following program outcomes, marked with an asterisk (*). After completing the degree, you will be able to do the following in each of the listed domains:
- Christian Integration. Integrate Christian principles and counseling theories in an ethical manner in both Christian and secular counseling environments.
- Certification Exam Prep. Identify the key concepts needed to take a licensure exam either to apply to be a peer support specialist or certified addiction counselor.
- Case Management. Develop case management plans to help clients identify areas where they need help and connecting them with personal and community resources that will help them.
- Chemical Dependency. Describe foundational concepts of chemical dependency including a range of psychoactive drugs and how they work.
- Psychology. Describe the foundational concepts of psychology and apply that in both Christian and secular counseling environments.
- Clinical Counseling Skills. Utilize foundational skills for clinical addiction counseling. *
- Multicultural Counseling. Utilize effective methods to counsel diverse clients in both Christian and secular counseling environments.*
- Specialized Skills. Apply knowledge and skills in specialized domains related to Addiction Counseling.
Students are required to purchase these texts before the first day of classes.
- Robert R. Perkinson. (2021). Chemical Dependency Counseling A Practical Guide, 6th Ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. ISBN:
- Schwitzer, A. & Rubin, L. (2015). Diagnosis & Treatment Planning Skills: A Popular Culture Casebook Approach, 2nd Ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Guidelines for Written Work
All written work must follow our Writing Format and Forum Requirements. You must read these to understand how to cite sources appropriately.
Critical Policies to Read for This Course
Note: These policies are critical for all students to read. In case of change, we have linked to the versions on our website to make sure you have the latest version.
This syllabus is subject to change without notice up until the first day of the semester. Last updated: April 22, 2022
The syllabus page shows a table-oriented view of the course schedule, and the basics of course grading. You can add any other comments, notes, or thoughts you have about the course structure, course policies or anything else.
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