Students considering an online degree to train for a career in addictions counseling will learn concepts in psychology, communication, and health science. In addition to core classes, practicum training in a real-world environment will help students develop the interpersonal skills and expertise they need to work as counselors.
This type of curriculum is focused on helping students learn about concepts in mental health as well as important counseling techniques. Depending on the specific position and requirements in your state, anything from a certificate to a master’s degree may be required to work in this field. At the graduate level, students may also be required to conduct advanced research. Distance learners can arrange field work and/or practicum courses remotely.
As an addictions counselor, you will be in charge of evaluating patients’ mental and physical health. This includes assessing addictions and behavioral problems and determining treatment options. They will continue to work with clients throughout their recovery and also meet with families to work on creating a supportive home environment. They often work with clients one on one and in group settings. With all this in mind, strong communication and listening skills are essential.
Addictions counselors who work in private practice will need to be licensed in their state. Specific requirements will vary locally, but usually require a master’s degree, between 2,000 and 3,000 hours of supervised clinical training, and the passage of a state-recognized exam. Some states may then require licensed counselors to take a certain number of continuing education courses each year to stay up to date with current issues and techniques in the field.