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Performance Domains for Alcohol and Drug Counselors. Study Guide for the Alcohol and Drug Counselor exam.
Learn more about the 4 Performance Domains for Alcohol and Drug Counselors, and prepare more effectively for the IC&RC certification exam.
Whether you are an undergraduate student considering a career in substance abuse counseling, or a graduate student contemplating the possibility of changing careers, this video will give step-by-step instructions to become a substance abuse counselor in the US.
You can follow the instructions while watching the video. Simply open a new tab where you can do each step.
For substance abuse counselors in Texas (LCDC), visit the Eligibility Criteria and Application Requirements, in the LCDC page under the Counseling Licenses tab.
I know many of you have visualized yourselves in the role of a counselor. You’ve imagined what it would be like to be in this role of helper. You might have even thought about what your life in general will be like once you’ve earned your master’s degree and taken the state exam. One thing I often hear from students after they’ve completed their intro to counseling class is ” I didn’t know that!” This article will cover some of the things that are important to know but that you usually wouldn’t find out until it is too late.
1.) It actually takes 4-10 years to become a fully-licensed counselor. Master level counseling programs are moving towards becoming 60 hour programs. A full-time student could finish a graduate program in counseling in as little as two years, if they also go over the summer. A part-time student, on the other hand, may take as many as four or five years to complete the program. Some individuals don’t realize that once you’ve completed your master’s degree and taken the National Counselor Exam, you’re still considered an intern and are required to train under a licensed supervisor for another 2-5 years. Students looking to pursue a degree in counseling need to realize that graduate level counseling programs are different than most other graduate level programs. The amount of training required to become a licensed counselor goes well beyond what is listed in the college catalog.
2.) The cost of training is a lot more than you think it is. In addition to the cost of your graduate program, you’ll incur costs for association fees, supervision fees, insurance fees, exam fees, and licensing fees. By the time you become fully-licensed you could have spent a total ranging anywhere from $ 25,000 to $ 50,000. The cost that most often catches students off guard is the $50-100 weekly supervision fee they are charged by licensed professional counselor supervisors. Students usually aren’t aware of the necessity to have a paid position after graduation so that they can afford to pay the supervision fees for their required 2-5 years of interning after school.
3.) Most employers want you to be fully-licensed. While getting a paying job is extremely important after graduation, students need to realize they probably won’t be qualified for many of the jobs they see advertised. If you take a look at the positions most employers are advertising, you’ll notice that they all have one common theme-LPC, NCC, LMFT, etc. preferred or required. Despite the great report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics that counseling is expected to grow, there just aren’t many counseling jobs opening in Texas. This means that you are competing with licensed counselors for these jobs; unless you have something really great to offer as a new grad, you likely will not be chosen over a licensed professional. You may consider leaving Texas to move to a state where counseling is more in demand. Other options are to start off at a very low paying agency, take a part-time position as a counselor, or take a position that involves counseling but is given a different title (usually at a lower wage), such as case worker.
The bottom line is that becoming a counselor requires a big investment and sacrifice of both time and money, and one should not expect to see a return on their investment right away. However, given time, you’ll become fully licensed, find a position that you love and earn a decent wage without having to shell out money to pay for supervision.
Some of you may be wondering what to expect during your first session with a client. In this article, I am going to share my personal knowledge and experience with you on this topic. There are two main goals for the first session–to establish a therapeutic relationship and to gather information.
The most important thing to remember during the first session is, simply put, to be with the client. What I mean by this is that you must focus on what the client is saying at all times. Do not try to think of what to say next. You actually don’t have to. If you are with the client, this will come naturally. It may help to tell yourself you are going to have a conversation with the client. During the first session, you will employ everything you learned in your counseling skills course. Using these skills will not only help you stay in tune with what the client is saying, but it will also convey to the client that you hear, understand, and empathize with them. In turn, you’ll accomplish one of the most important tasks of the first session. That’s right! You’ll build rapport and establish the therapeutic relationship.
At many agencies, the first session consists of an intake and assessment. Most agencies will have a structured intake form and some may even have a structured assessment form for you to follow as well; others, however, will want you to use your own judgement to guide you through the assessment process. If this is the case, you’ll want to make sure you prepare some questions to ask ahead of time. Some people choose to ask about the client’s family, relationships, support system etc. Some agencies will perform a risk assessment for every client while others will only do so when there is reason to.
As a beginning therapist, you may find it helpful to create a list of assessment questions with the risk assessment built in, but do not let that assessment question list take over the session.You guide the session by asking questions at the appropriate times– let the conversation with the client guide you. For instance, lets say I asked the client what brought him/her in to counseling and the client tells me that he/she came because they were having problems with their significant other. Lets assume that they stop a moment to cry. I’m not going to go on to the next question on the list which states, “how long has the problem existed?” Instead I am going to acknowledge the client’s feelings with a statement such as, “I can see this is painful for you to discuss.” That may get the client talking more or the client may respond with a simple “yes, it is”. If that happens, I’d continue to probe for more information i.e.,”can you tell me more?”
Whether it is provided by the agency or created by yourself, let the list serve only as a guide. If you are required to ask every question on the list, do so at the appropriate time. Remember your second goal, when completing an intake/assessment session, is to gather as much information as is needed to get a complete picture of the client’s problem.
I hope this article has been helpful to you.
Candidate Preparing for IC&RC’s ADC examination should note that starting in March of 2016, the ADC examination will have questions with either three (3) or four (4) choices.
The questions on the ACD/LCDC (Substance Abuse Counselor exam) are multiple choice, just as before, but with either three (3) or four (4) choices. The structure of the questions is the same….read more
Visit: lcdcexamreview.com – Online Study Guide for the Alcohol and Drug Counselor exam
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Hello everyone, this is a free event open to all CIs in the field of substance abuse counseling. In this webinar I will be sharing tips to study more effectively for the exam. I will be answering questions from the audience and I will talk about how my online study guide can help you prepare for the certification exam.
If you are preparing for the IC&RC Alcohol and Drug Counselor certification exam, I invite you to attend this webinar.
I hope to see many of you there!
When I tell individuals that I just graduated with my master’s degree in counseling but that I am currently working in higher education, specifically as an academic advisor, I often get the question what does advising have to do with counseling? This article touches on one of the ways counselors apply their skills in advising.