Remember that Walden’s Title IV Code is 025042.
As the number of individuals dealing with substance abuse and behavioral addictions in the United States continues to grow, the need for qualified addiction counselors is also on the rise. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the demand for addiction counselors will increase by 27% through 2020.* Through Walden’s M.S. in Addiction Counseling General Program, you’ll focus on a range of addiction and behavioral disorders and learn how to provide treatment intervention and develop case management strategies for a broad base of clients.
This program can be completed in as little as 33 months, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at 1-866-492-5336.
*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, “Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012–13 Edition, Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors, on the Internet athttp://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/substance-abuse-and-behavioral-disorder-counselors.htm (viewed online April 25, 2012). National long-term projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.
Students in this course are introduced to Walden University and to the requirements for successful participation in an online curriculum.They are provided with a foundation for academic and professional success as scholar-practitioner and social change agents. Topics include the relation of mission and vision to professional goals; development of the program of study and Professional Development Plan; strategies for online success; introduction to the online library; and introduction to critical thinking, professional writing, and academic integrity. The focus of course assignments is on the practical application of writing and critical-thinking skills and the promotion of professional and academic excellence as they relate to practice in psychology and counseling.
Students in this course are introduced to aspects of professional functioning as an addiction counselor, including but not limited to: role setting of addiction counselors; history, philosophy, and trends in addictions counseling; professional standards for addictions counselors; effects of crises and trauma-causing events on persons with addictions, self‐care; and ethical and culturally sensitive practice of addiction counseling. Students also explore competencies, credentialing, and other professional issues. The student explores the future as an addiction counselor and an overview of the addiction counseling profession.
In this course, students are provided with an introduction to the field of professional counseling and the foundations of mental health counseling. They address the following topics: history, philosophy, client and counselor advocacy with an emphasis on the counselor’s role as social change agent, cultural dynamics, consultation, and trends in professional and mental health counseling. The counseling profession’s ethical standards are also addressed with an emphasis on the American Counseling Association code of ethics and counselor ethical decision-making processes.
This course summarizes the history and explores the primary concepts of the major approaches to counseling and psychotherapy in current use. The empirical foundations of each theory are examined, and examples are supplied showing how each method is applied to clients. Limitations of each approach are also explored.
The focus of this course is on principles and skills related to interviewing and observation, as well as related legal, ethical, and cultural issues. Students gain practice in conducting interviews, making behavioral observations, collecting and interpreting data during an interview, and developing written reports of findings. Note: In addition to the course materials listed by the university bookstore, this course also requires that students have access to a video recording device, a tripod, and an audio recording device, which they will begin using the first week of class.
This course provides students with an overview of development through the lifespan, including childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and aging experiences. Physical, social, emotional, and cognitive issues are covered, as well as the expected developmental milestones during each of these phases of development. The latest research in attachment theory, brain research, and aging is included, and themes of diversity issues related to developmental research are highlighted throughout the course.
Students in this course examine psychological aspects of addictions involving alcohol, prescription medications, and illegal substances. Current research in the field of dependency and addiction is explored. Topics include diagnosis, models of treatment, treatment planning, use of group and family treatment plans, and efficacy of treatment. Strategies to promote change, including the transtheoretical model of behavior change, are discussed.
This course is designed to increase students’ awareness and knowledge of, and skills related to, multicultural counseling and the delivery of psychological services. Students explore diversity and identity issues and discuss their impact on the therapeutic relationship. The application of traditional theoretical orientations and current multicultural theories to culturally diverse groups is addressed. Topics include race and ethnicity, sex and gender, sexual orientation, social class, and age and ability.
This course is an overview of what is commonly referred to as abnormal psychology; however, what constitutes normalcy is considered from multiple perspectives. Specifically, this is an applied course where students explore the application of diagnostic criteria in various mental health work settings such as schools, rehabilitation facilities, community agencies, and private practices. Environmental and biological factors contributing to behavioral disorders are considered, using the scholar-practitioner model. Techniques are reviewed for the diagnosis and treatment of cognitive, emotional, and developmental disorders, as well as for psychophysiological and psychosocial problems. Multicultural factors that complicate diagnosis are reviewed.
Students in this course explore treatment intervention and case management strategies for addiction counseling, using various models of treatment, recovery, relapse prevention, and continuing care for addictive disorders. They learn treatment principles and philosophies of addiction-related programs, and they increase self-awareness as addiction counselors by assessing their own limitations; recognizing when they need additional resources and support; and knowing when and where to refer clients when appropriate. In addition, students examine substance abuse policies and regulatory processes that influence service delivery in addiction counseling.
The potential for addictive disorders to present like a variety of medical and psychological disorders is common. In this course, students examine how to treat addictions that may coexist with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive behavior, and other psychological disorders as described in the DSM-IV-TR. They survey a spectrum of psychotropic medications and their use in the treatment of mental, behavioral, and addictive disorders. Students also explore factors that increase the likelihood for a person, community, or group to be at risk for psychoactive substance use disorders. Through this course, students gain an understanding of the basic classifications, indications, and contraindications of commonly prescribed medications so that they make appropriate referrals within treatment teams.
Students in this course prepare to work with groups in various settings. They examine group theory, process, and dynamics. Using relevant literature, multimedia resources, and a scholar-practitioner model, students develop an understanding of culturally and contextually relevant group practice, group leaders’ roles and responsibilities, the relevance and purpose of group work, and strategies for using groups to foster social change. Students also participate in a group experience in their community.
Students in this course are introduced to evaluation research and are provided with a foundation in the design of qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-method approaches to counseling research and evaluation. Students learn the strengths and limitations of each method and under what circumstances each approach would be the most appropriate research design. They can learn how to identify a topic for research, how to conduct a literature search, and the importance of scholarly writing. Other topics include the history and theory underlying program evaluation, approaches to evaluation, procedures and techniques for entering a group for which one would provide evaluation services and techniques used to perform the evaluation, strategies for getting gatekeepers to be invested in the development of the research and in the outcomes, demonstration of program effectiveness, and dissemination of results to stakeholders. Students can learn to write a research proposal, addressing the following key elements: researching, writing an introduction, stating a purpose for the study, identifying research questions and hypotheses, using theory, defining the significance of the study, and collecting and analyzing data. Students are exposed to legal and ethical issues associated with human subjects’ protection.
In this course, students examine major career development theories, assumptions, and implications for practice. Career information programs and systems in terms of their application to personnel assessment, counseling, development, and placement are reviewed. Focus is placed on the implications of individual differences in culture-, gender-, and age-related issues. Students obtain a theoretical and practical basis for supporting individuals in vocation selection and career development.
This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of the personal and systemic impact of crises, disasters, and other trauma-causing events on individuals, couples, families, and communities. Students examine theories and response models as they relate to sexual trauma, crisis in individuals and families, crisis in the community, and crisis in the nation and in the world. They explore topics including crisis assessment, counselor competencies, vicarious trauma and countertransference, specific related diagnoses, and advocacy. Students consider cultural, legal, and ethical issues related to crisis, trauma, and disaster events and response.
Based on professional standards for testing, this course provides students with an overview of the different types of diagnostic and assessment tools used in addictions counseling. Students engage in a comprehensive examination of psychometric properties used to develop and evaluate these instruments. They learn various models and approaches to clinical evaluations for addictive disorders and examine the appropriate use of assessments for addictions. Moreover, students learn how to assess for a biopsychosocial and spiritual history, and they address ethical, legal, and sociocultural issues, including cultural bias and fairness.
Students in this course are provided with an inquiry into prevention and intervention programs for individuals, groups, and communities. Students consider cultural, social, psychological, family, organizational, and political factors bearing on the mental health and development of people in various settings, including schools, communities, and organizations. Theoretical frameworks guiding prevention and intervention are explored, including constructivist and ecological-developmental perspectives. Students gain experience in developing prevention-oriented programs within diverse systems.
The focus of this course is on experiential learning, which is an essential component of applied professional training. Students complete a supervised practicum experience at an approved site with a minimum of 100 hours, allowing them to develop their counseling skills and professional knowledge while under supervision. Students communicate their learning at the site with their colleagues and instructor in the practicum course and gain additional knowledge regarding clinical practice by interacting with their colleagues and instructor. There is an off-line requirement of a triadic supervision teleconference once a week with the practicum instructor or another university supervisor. (Prerequisites: Approval of the field experience coordinator.)
Students in this course focus on experiential learning, which is an essential component of applied professional training. Students complete a supervised practicum experience at an approved site for a minimum of 100 hours, allowing them to develop their counseling skills and professional knowledge while under supervision. Students communicate with the class and the practicum faculty members at least twice a week during the quarter to discuss cases and present videos of student-client sessions. Through these exchanges, students demonstrate learning and acquire feedback and additional knowledge in regard to clinical practice. This course requires students to engage in a face-to-face residency. (Prerequisites: Approval of field experience coordinator.)
This course is a continuation of COUN 6682a Internship I. During this second term of internship, students focus on refining clinical and professional skills while working to complete their 600 hours of clinical instruction. Under clinical supervision, students continue to perform a variety of counseling activities, including but not limited to counseling individuals and groups, keeping records, writing reports, and administering referrals. Students also complete weekly assignments and attend weekly group supervision teleconferences to further refine their clinical and professional skills. (Prerequisites: COUN 6682a.)
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