Create space for support and empathy - Begin your journey towards becoming an Addictions or Substance Abuse Counselor
Becoming an addiction or Substance Abuse Counselor requires patience, empathy, and a passion for helping others. Addiction Counseling is providing support and treatment for people who are dealing with substance use and the mental health disorders that come with it.
Introduction to Addictions Counseling explores the core functions of assessing and treating substance abuse disorders and gives an overview of the tactics, knowledge, and attitude needed to be an effective substance abuse counselor. The course teaches therapeutic communication skills such as active listening, empathy, reflection, and affirmation. You will also explore the implications of culturally diverse populations during the counseling process and treatment outcomes.
After completing this Introduction to Addictions Counseling course online over the course of 8-weeks, you will be ready to continue to a certificate or degree in Human Services and Counseling at MSU Denver or be equipped with basic skills and knowledge that can help you or a loved one struggling with addiction.
Course is 8 weeks long, entirely online, and self-paced.
Receive a personal advising session with an industry leader.
High job demand
You will enhance your resume with critical skills.
Career Pathways for Addictions and Substance Abuse Counseling
Approximate return on investment for each academic pathway
After taking the course, you can immediately enter the workforce or continue onto a degree through MSU Denver and increase your earning potential.
Pathway 1: Complete the Introduction to Addictions Counseling course and immediately enter the workforce.
- The median salary is $31,500 a year.
Pathway 2: Continue your education by earning a bachelor’s degree in Human Services at MSU Denver. The Introduction to Addictions Counseling course can count toward the required courses.
- The median salary is $47,000 a year.
Pathway 3: Expand your learning and add a certification to your resume as a certified substance abuse counselor.
- The median salary is $57,000 a year.
Pathway 4: Enhance your earning power with MSU Denver’s Master of Science in Clinical Behavioral Health. The Introduction to Addiction Counseling course can count toward the degree’s required courses.
- The median salary is $67,000 a year.
About Introduction to Addictions Counseling
The Introduction to Addictions Counseling course will review the required knowledge, skills, and attitudes to be an effective addiction counselor. In addition, students will examine the etiology, assessment, and treatment of substance use disorders. Students also examine ethical and multicultural issues, trauma-informed care, and clinician self-care.
This course also teaches the practicals of active listening, showing empathy, reflections, and affirmations — which are all important aspects of addictions counseling.
The course is $395, with a $35 transaction fee per payment. There are no books to purchase.
- Course begins – February 1, 2024
- Last day to register – March 1, 2024
- Course ends – April 1, 2024
Note: due to the course being self-paced, you can register up until March 1 and still complete the course by April 1.
Once you successfully complete the Intro to Addictions Counseling online course, you can immediately enter the workforce with newly learned skills. You will receive a digital badge embedded with the competencies learned. You can include this badge on your resume, LinkedIn page, portfolio, or share it with an employer. Students will also receive a certificate of completion.
Students can also convert the course to three credits and continue to an MSU Denver certificate or degree. See FAQs for more information.
- Identify ethical and legal challenges in the counseling profession
- Analyze the implications of culturally diverse populations on the counseling process and treatment outcomes.
- Demonstrate therapeutic communication skills such as active listening, empathy, reflection, affirmation and summaries.
- Critique models regarding the etiology, assessment and treatment of substance use and mental health disorders.
- Evaluate tools and instruments for the assessment of substance use and mental health disorders to be used by addictions counselors and substance abuse counselors.
- Describe the key elements of Trauma Informed Care and how it is used to address trauma in individuals, agencies and communities.
- Discuss the importance of counselor self-care and develop a personalized self-care plan
Patrick Griswold has 20+ years experience in the behavioral health field as a clinician, administrator, and educator. In addition to being a licensed mental health and addiction counselor, he is a RN with a specialty in mental health nursing. Patrick is the former director of North Charles, a Harvard Medical School-affiliated substance abuse treatment program in Cambridge MA. He has provided training and supervision for Harvard Medical School residents, he is currently on faculty at Metropolitan State University of Denver, Human Services and Counseling, and Nursing Departments.
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Metropolitan State University of Denver
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Denver, CO 80217-3362