As more agencies compete for state and federal dollars, they are moving toward hiring professionals that are trained both as Licensed Professional Counselors as well as Certified Addiction Counselors. In many agencies, being a certified addictions counselor can increase your rate of pay between $1.50 and $3 per hour or $3000 to $6000 per year, and make you eligible for a variety additional positions in addictions counseling.
The Florida Certification Board, for example, has certification programs for Certified Addictions Counselors (CAC), Certified Addictions Professionals (CAP), Certified Online Counselor, and Certified Mental Health technician. Many of these certifications have different levels based on your education. For example, persons in Florida who are already licensed professional counselors, licensed mental health counselors, or licensed clinical social workers through the Florida Board of Mental Health Counseling can take online training in addiction counseling from a FCB or NAADAC approved provider in order to become a Certified Addictions Counselor. AllCEUs provides affordable online continuing education credits for counselors, and NBCC approved continuing education and online training for addictions and mental health professionals.
In Iowa, people are allowed to get all of their certified addiction counselor training hours online; however, once you are certified, you can only get up to 50% of your continuing education courses from online resources.
Want to get certified? You can get all of your required training through AllCEUs click here to go to our addictions counselor training portal.
Check with your state addiction counselor certification board to see what their requirements are. In many cases, the hours you have already worked in community mental health can count towards your contact hours for certification.
Based on the book: Treating Pornography Addiction by Dr. Kevin Skinner
Instructor: Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes
Understand the creation of pornography addiction
Assessing the levels of pornography addiction
Learn how to activate and deactivate addictive behaviors
Learn to help people rewrite beliefs that keep them trapped
Identify the characteristics of people most likely to relapse.
Course is available at: http://allceus.com
A 20 CEU using the book the ACT Matrix
Available at http://allceus.com
Based on The ACT Matrix by Dr. Kevin L. Polk (New Harbinger Publications) Don’t forget to use the coupon 1168SNIPES to get a 25% discount off the book purchase from New Harbinger.
Instructor: Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes LPC-MHSP, NCC, LMHC
Sign up: http://allceus.com
- Develop an understanding of the Matrix
- Identify basic processes underlying the Matrix
- Explore methods and reasons for utilization of the Matrix with the general public, in therapy for addiction, pain, eating disorders, PTSD, and in settings such as business and education.
This TIP serves as one of the foundation texts for our upcoming Certificate in Trauma Informed Care. It is available for free from the SAMHSA store. The first two classes have been released. We are adding a new class each week.
Course 2: Trauma Informed Care: Trauma Awareness (Currently being uploaded to the ala carte system. Available for persons with an unlimited membership)
After working with veterans for the last 8 years, I believe four of the biggest problems working with civilian counselors have been: Their lack of understanding of chain of command and the military way of doing things; their lack of knowledge about terms (You can find a short list here: http://www.itstactical.com/intellicom/language/military-acronymsterminology-and-slang-reference/), an excessive focus on talking about feelings and lack of understanding regarding the need to compartmentalize those feelings in order to function.
In the military, there is a definite chain of command. Subordinates are expected to do what they are told, whether they like it or not. It is not a democracy. There is no suggestion box for improving workplace conditions. Subordinates do not question superior officers. Asking a patient: “Did you tell him how that made you feel?” or “What would have happened if you had suggested…” and sometimes “Maybe you should talk to someone higher up the chain of command” would be completely inappropriate and destroy any rapport. Understanding this hierarchical culture is essential to working with a veteran or active duty soldier. (As an aside, helping significant others embrace this concept is crucial as well.) Understanding the terminology is vital to understanding what is being said. While it may not destroy rapport, it can disrupt momentum when a patient is recounting what happened. Growing up in a family of law enforcement and military people, I always thought everyone knew 10-codes. They were part of my vocabulary. I would find myself stumbling through conversations sometimes to try and back up and explain in civilian terms what I was saying. You can imagine how a patient in crisis, who is immersed in recounting what happened, might get frustrated. Remember that terminology differs to an extent between branches of the military.
Finally, the focus on feelings. We do want our patients to identify their feelings, but many soldiers are not comfortable talking about the “F-word” right away. Replacing the term “feeling” with “reaction” can be somewhat helpful. Labeling feelings in your paraphrases can also be quite helpful. For many veterans, talking about feelings is also difficult because they have compartmentalized for so long. Imagine storing stuff in boxes in your attic for years. Some of the boxes are labeled. Some of them are not. You are not quite sure what you’ll find in any of them. Accessing feelings and reactions can be much like exploring a dark, crowded attic. It can be very intimidating to open those Pandora’s Boxes for fear that something they did not want to remember would be in there, or they will be overcome and not able to close the box again.
It is important for people (veterans or not) to understand the function of their emotional reactions. There is a purpose. This can help them feel the feeling, then make an educated decision about what (if anything) to do with it. Dialectical Behavior Therapy approaches are very useful as is Cognitive Processing Therapy. You can watch an introduction to the course AllCEUs recently did on the new PTSD criteria in the DSM V and an overview of Cognitive Processing Therapy.
These will provide just a few tips for working with veterans. Look here for additional resources, and stay tuned for more helpful information.