Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors
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Also known as:
Addiction Counselor, Addiction Therapist, Alcohol and Drug Counselor, Certified Abuse and Drug Addiction Counselor, Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor, Chemical Dependency Counselor, Drug Abuse Counselor, Drug Counselor, Substance Abuse Counselor
Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors can turn people's lives around. They help people break free of addiction to alcohol, tobacco, drugs, or gambling. Or they may work with clients to develop strategies for coping with other behavioral problems, such as over-eating.
Often this p ...
rofession requires providing evening and weekend hours, to counsel clients who work during the day. Sessions may be one-to-one counseling or in small groups. They can take place in a wide array of locations, from schools to healthcare facilities, even correctional institutions.
Some counselors may also serve as administrators. They might develop education programs, and evaluate the progress of treatment plans. It's a job that calls for patience and empathy. It also requires college level work in a range of courses including psychology, social work, and youth and family services.
Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors might describe their work as sometimes draining and exhausting, but they know they're helping people lead better lives, and that can be exhilarating.
Counsel and advise individuals with alcohol, tobacco, drug, or other problems, such as gambling and eating disorders. May counsel individuals, families, or groups or engage in prevention programs.
Critical decision making
Level of responsibilities
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
Dealing and handling conflict
Competition for this position
Communication with others
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
Comfort of the work setting
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
Exposure to job hazards
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Train or supervise student interns or new staff members.
Follow progress of discharged patients to determine effectiveness of treatments.
Counsel family members to assist them in understanding, dealing with, and supporting clients or patients.
Develop, implement, or evaluate public education, prevention, or health promotion programs, working in collaboration with organizations, institutions, or communities.
Assess individuals' degree of drug dependency by collecting and analyzing urine samples.
Instruct others in program methods, procedures, or functions.
Conduct chemical dependency program orientation sessions.
Confer with family members or others close to clients to keep them informed of treatment planning and progress.
Modify treatment plans to comply with changes in client status.
Develop client treatment plans based on research, clinical experience, and client histories.
Intervene as an advocate for clients or patients to resolve emergency problems in crisis situations.
Assisting and Caring for Others
Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others
Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Therapy and Counseling
Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Law and Government
Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
Sociology and Anthropology
Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Actively looking for ways to help people.
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.