Those considering a career in the addiction field often ask which certification is right for them. Of course, there is no right answer, as the decision largely depends on each student’s personal circumstances as well as their goals in the industry. However, we can broadly paint a picture that allows most students to work toward the certification that’s right for them.
Just a few years ago, the Florida Certification Board had three counselor-level certifications including the Certified Addiction Specialist (CAS), Certified Addiction Counselor (CAC) and Certified Addiction Professional (CAP). Eventually the CAS was discontinued. Some time thereafter, the FCB introduced a mandate that CAPs were required to have a bachelor’s degree in a field related to behavioral health. This seriously limited the number of applicants that could ultimately become a CAP.
Many of our students are concerned about reciprocity between two states, however many do not realize that they can parlay their state certification, in some cases, into a national certification that is recognized across the United States.
We often receive calls from prospective students interested in finding out more about career possibilities in the field of addiction once they have received their certification. It is a very difficult question to answer, but in this blog post, we will discuss the various considerations students should understand when choosing their certification.
Difference Between Certified Behavioral Health Technicians and Certified Recovery Support Specialists
When prospective students call us looking for an entry-level certification in the behavioral health industry, they have more often than not heard of the Certified Behavioral Health Technician or CBHT. Many times, however, they do not know much about the Certified Recovery Support Specialist or CRSS, or are not quite sure what exactly the CRSS does.
The Certified Behavioral Health Technician or CBHT designation is more than a certification to make a few extra dollars in the treatment industry. Rather, it is a tangible manifestation of a person’s willingness and desire to improve themselves and to offer better care.
The IC&RC or International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium is the definitive international and interstate credentialing and examination body for professionals in the treatment and recovery business. Ultimately, oversight bodies such as the IC&RC protect the public by adding a layer of protection by setting minimum standards for professional certification. However, the IC&RC also provides a very important service for treatment and recovery professionals.
You’ve taken your Certified Addiction Professional or Certified Addiction Counselor course and you have passed your Florida Certification Board exam with flying colors! it may have felt like a long time in the making, but now the real work begins.
Substance abuse, addiction and mental health issues do not differentiate between genders, cultures, sexual orientations or any of the traits that make us, as humans, unique. As a result, when you begin your career as an addiction counselor, you will meet clients of all backgrounds. Some will have substance abuse disorders, and others will have mental health issues and some will have both. As you are reading this, you may feel concerned that you won’t be able to be the best counselor to each and every one of these clients. However, as your training will have told you, you have less to worry about than you might think.
With all of the trauma – both physical and emotional, as well as the self-destructive behavior that counselors see on a daily basis, it is, at times, easy to overlook dental issues. After all, while our teeth may be important, do good teeth really enhance the therapeutic process?
The surprising and short answer is YES!
What to do if you don’t yet qualify for certification you want?
Many prospective students ask us about certifications that they do not yet fully qualify for. All certifications required training and work experience to a varying degree. And while our students may not yet qualify for the certification of their choice, they may be pursuing education or work experience that will allow them to qualify in the future.