Building a Curriculum: Efforts to More Clearly Define the Skills Counselors Need Could Produce National Education Standards
Osborn, Donald P., Addiction Professional
From the Editor
Addiction counseling certainly has a shorter history as a profession than many other disciplines in health care. So it should come as no surprise that the educational infrastructure for counselors does not yet resemble a fully functioning pipeline feeding the addiction services system. Yet there are many exciting developments in the education of the next wave of clinical professionals. This special section of Addiction Professional outlines the history of addiction studies in higher education and offers a glimpse of how counselor education is adjusting to present demands for the profession.
The articles to follow examine topics such as trends in classroom offerings, opportunities to reach non-traditional students through distance learning, and why some students are opting for a career in addiction treatment despite numerous challenges. This is a time when dramatic developements appear on the horizon, with growing talk of standardizing the addiction studies curriculum and tying it more closely to professional credentialing.
Please give us your thoughts on current trends in, and the future course of, the education of counseling professionals. Send your comments to me at email@example.com.
The most gratifying aspect of this project for us involved hearing from so many students of diverse backgrounds, all of whom share a desire to make a difference for a population with obvious needs. If the enthusiasm of these students offers any indication of how care will be delivered in the future, there is much reason for hope as the counseling field seeks greater legitimacy in the health arena.
The field of addiction counseling currently is without a nationally standardized curriculum. While a good number of certificate and degree programs in addiction exist at the community or junior college level, they vary with regard to hours and content--even within the same state. Very few degree programs or courses exist at the bachelor's or master's degree level. If this remains the case, the profession of addiction counseling will languish. Other helping professions, including social work, marriage and family therapy, and mental health, understand the need to establish national standards in higher education, and they have done so through approved, certified, or accredited degree programs.
Throughout most of the addiction profession's history, the work of counseling has been provided by lay individuals who themselves have battled an addiction.(1)Many individuals in recovery relied upon "what worked for them" in helping others. The presence of counseling skills …
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Publication information: Article title: Building a Curriculum: Efforts to More Clearly Define the Skills Counselors Need Could Produce National Education Standards. Contributors: Osborn, Donald P. - Author. Magazine title: Addiction Professional. Volume: 6. Issue: 3 Publication date: May-June 2008. Page number: 8+. © 2008 Vendome Group LLC. COPYRIGHT 2008 Gale Group.
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