Monday, March 6, 2017 - 16:30

Assumption Announces Program to Combat Addiction

One-year Graduate Certificate in Addiction Counseling program, created in collaboration with community leaders, will raise the standard of addiction counselor preparation

Classroom shotAssumption College has announced that beginning in fall 2017, it will offer a new Certificate in Graduate Studies (CGS) in Addiction Counseling, which aims to raise the standard for the educational preparation of addiction counselors. The new certificate program is a one-year, six-course curriculum that consists of four content courses and two addiction counseling internships.

“In Massachusetts and elsewhere, addiction has become a public health crisis that destroys lives and families,” said Leonard A. Doerfler, Ph.D., professor and director of Assumption’s Counseling Psychology program. “Assumption has created this program to train individuals to provide effective treatment to those who have succumbed to addiction to help them regain control of their lives and make meaningful contributions to their communities. One unique aspect of this program is that the curriculum was developed in collaboration with community partners who are treating those struggling with addiction. In order to create the best program that fills the needs of well-trained addiction counselors, the courses and syllabi were shaped, revised, and endorsed by leaders of four non-profit substance abuse and behavioral health agencies in Worcester.”

In addition to the community-endorsed curriculum, there are three defining aspects of Assumption’s Addiction Counseling certificate:

  • The curriculum emphasizes evidence-based interventions. Currently, the most common treatments when it comes to substance abuse have not met the minimum scientific evaluation, however, the new CGS breaks that mold; interventions students will learn to use are based on research that has examined what is likely to be helpful or effective.
  • The CGS curriculum is a skills-based model. Students will develop practical skills to provide treatment to assist individuals who struggle with alcohol or drug abuse problems.
  • The curriculum is designed to prepare students to "treat the whole person." Individuals battling substance abuse often struggle with a number of other challenges including anxiety, communication difficulties, and depression, among others. The CGS curriculum will prepare students to recognize these challenges so that they can assist individuals in overcoming issues connected to alcohol or drug use. 

Individuals interested in the CGS in Addiction Counseling must have a bachelor's degree. Preference will be given to those with knowledge or academic preparation in a field related to the behavioral sciences (such as psychology, rehabilitation studies, economics, sociology/criminology, management, marketing, education, or similar disciplines); those with significant volunteer or work experience in similar fields will be given strong consideration for admission to the program.

Kimberly Dunbar, Director of Public Affairs, Assumption College @AssumptionNews