The philosophy of the BS degree in alcohol and drug counseling is to provide students with a foundation in the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to become competent in the practice of alcohol and drug counseling.
The following five principles underpin this philosophy:
- Competent practice in alcohol and drug counseling has evidence of effectiveness, is fundamentally research-based and encourages critical thinking (that is, objective versus subjective) on the part of the counselor. This reflects depth of scholarship.
Evidence-based practices include:
- Treatment approaches (see Nathan & Gorman, 2007; Miller & Hester, 2003)
- Therapeutic Relationship approaches (see Norcross, 2002)
- Competent practice in alcohol and drug counseling recognizes addiction is a multivariate phenomenon and, as a result, it is not explained by one main model/theory. This reflects breadth of practice.
Competent practice recognizes there is not a typical chemically dependent person. Each client is a unique human being whose addiction is influenced by age, gender, culture/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, family, sexual orientation, mental health, and/or other unique personal characteristics, as well as the drugs being used. (see Thombs, 2006)
- Competent practice in alcohol and drug counseling encourages social change directed at improving the practice of alcohol and drug counseling by:
- enhancing the continuum of care and array of services available
- improving treatment services and the process of change
- improving outcomes for clients
- improving cultural competence of counselors