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The Right Candidate for an Addiction Counseling Certification

Here at the Academy, we believe that addiction counseling is a critically important profession in a fast-growing industry. It can help both former addicts and those who have never been affected by drugs, learn valuable skills that will help them not only within this industry, but also in their daily lives and careers.

Becoming a certified addiction counselor however is a rigorous process that may require between 10 and 14 months of education. That combined with hands-on work experience as well as previous institutional education is necessary to become certified. The goal, of course, is to certify those who are best able to provide a life-changing service to others in their greatest time of need.

While there is no perfect counselor personality or style, we do expect that every student have the following characteristics and capabilities:

  • Empathy. Counselors will have to relate to their client, whether they themselves have been addicted to drugs or not.
  • Trust. From the very first day of counseling their client, counselors will have to build trust. The ability to do so sincerely, cannot be overstated.
  • Each and every student coming to the Academy should want to help others and not look at the addiction counseling as more than just a job.
  • Ethical standards are a huge part of the addiction counseling industry. While ethical standards are enforced, it requires a counselor with a true moral and ethical compass to be successful. This industry is a small one and a counselor’s reputation precedes them. Unethical behavior is punished and rightly so.

The Academy has a wide cross-section of students just as drugs and substance abuse affects a wide swath of the population at large. Counselors can be in recovery. They can also come from a background that has never been touched by drugs – it is truly a personality driven career.

What will determine a counselor’s success is their ability to put the clients’ interests at the forefront. They must be creative in their treatment plan, while following tried-and-true practices of addiction treatment. They must build trust honestly and sincerely. All the while, they must communicate effectively with the client and family as well as their own supervisors and staff.

Addiction treatment is no easy task, but it is by every measure, rewarding.