Courses in Substance Abuse Counseling

Four courses on Substance Abuse Counseling are now offered at WCSU to meet the academic requirements for Certification of Substance Abuse Counselors (CADC) as defined by the Connecticut Certification Board Connecticut Certification Board .The certification board of New York provides reciprocal certification for Connecticut CADCs. These courses at WCSU have already received certification by the Connecticut Certification Board.

Prerequisites for these courses are Introductory Psychology and Abnormal Psychology. These prerequisites provide the background necessary for students to begin this sequence and were kept to a minimum so those students with majors other than psychology would not be excluded. Students are encouraged to obtain a broad undergraduate education and this is consistent with the recommendations of the Connecticut Certification Board.

The Connecticut Certification Board  has recommended additional professional education for CADCs at the graduate level. As of October 1, 1998, Connecticut has licensed substance abuse counselors who meet requirements for the CADC certification and have Masters degrees in an area of human services. It is expected that substantial numbers of students who complete this sequence of courses in substance abuse counseling will pursue Masters degrees in human services.

Need more information?
Please contact Dr. Nicholas Gallucci, 203 837 8472, for further information.

Students should check the homepage for Connecticut Certification Board  at for the most up to date information about certification.

Summary of the four Substance Abuse Counseling courses

PSY 392 Substance Abuse Counseling: Assessment and Counseling 4 SH
This course provides four hours of academic credit and is divided into four equal parts. The first two parts concern the assessment of substance abuse and treatment planning. This will include: reviews of the prevalence and etiology of substance abuse, the assessment of substance abuse by interviews and psychometric instruments, individual differences among substance abusers, comorbidity, the determination of the level of care necessary for substance abusers, and assessments of patients’ readiness to change. The third and fourth parts will address these issues in assessment and treatment planning with adolescents and children, and ethnic minorities. Alternate spring semesters. Prerequisite: PSY 100 and PSY 202.

PSY 394 Substance Abuse Counseling: Counseling Techniques 4 SH
This course provides four hours of academic credit and is divided into six equal parts. The first two parts will concern the pharmacology of the classes of psychoactive substances and of the most commonly used substances within each class. This discussion will also address tolerance, withdrawal, and protocol for detoxification from psychoactive substances. The third part will focus on HIV/AIDS, especially within populations of substance abusers. The fourth part will be devoted to the ethical requirements for substance abuse counselors. The fifth and sixth parts will be devoted to studying counseling that is consistent with the traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), and alternative self-help groups. Alternate fall semesters. Prerequisite: PSY 100 and PSY 202.

PSY 395 Substance Abuse Counseling: Applied Counseling 4 SH
The topic of this course will be counseling substance abusers. The theories and techniques of the major schools of individual and group counseling and psychotherapy with substance abusers will be studied. Empirical research comparing the effectiveness of these schools of counseling and psychotherapy will be evaluated. The counselor’s role in supporting the 12-step fellowships of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA), and in preventing and managing relapse will be considered. Counseling issues with women, ethnic minorities, adolescents and children, and HIV/AIDS patients will be evaluated. Students will demonstrate an understanding of how to implement treatment plans in individual and group counseling. Alternate spring semesters. Prerequisite: PSY 100 and PSY 202.

Psychology 395: Substance Abuse Counseling: Applied Counseling
The focus of this course will be counseling techniques with substance abusers. Techniques endorsed by divergent schools of counseling and psychotherapy will be emphasized. Methods for engaging uncooperative and resistant clients will be reviewed. The application of these techniques in counseling couples will be studied. Counseling issues related to gender, ethnicity, and age groups will be examined. Relapse will be examined from the viewpoint of a stages of change model, and interventions appropriate to specific stages of change will be evaluated. Alternate fall semesters. Prerequisite: PSY 100 and PSY 202.

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