Getting a Job in Addiction Treatment
Many addiction therapists and counselors are either in recovery themselves or have a loved one who was addicted. They generally have a better understanding of the disease, an ability to relate to the addicted person, and personal experience to help others recover.
An addiction therapist or counselor must be emotionally stable and have substantial sobriety time. They should maintain excellent professional judgment and be able to engage in healthy relationships. Good listening skills are imperative. They must be patient and loving towards all. Addiction therapy is no place for a judgmental attitude.
Working in the field of addiction is rewarding, but it can be emotionally draining. This kind of work requires the ability to leave work at the office. With out implementing stress relieving techniques many drug counselors become burnt out. Take up activities like yoga, mediation, exercise, and running to decrease stress.
Education and Credentials
Most addiction counselors have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in psychology or social work. In this field, however, experience is just as beneficial as conventional education. Education ranges between high school graduates and doctors.
Experience in addiction counseling, as well as extensive 12-step model application are the basic credentials for a counselor specializing in the field of addiction. Professional certifications and affiliations are encouraged and can be obtained at the state or national level. Comprehensive experience is required for certification, so many therapists work in the field long before and during the certification process.
Preparation and Directions for Becoming a Drug Counselor
Volunteer at a local addiction treatment center or hospital detox unit. This will give you some experience working with addicts, and you will see if this kind of work is a good fit for you.
Study the 12-step model and attend meetings.
Apply for a job as a behavioral health technician at your local treatment center. This position usually requires substantial sobriety time, but minimal experience in substance abuse counseling.
Take college courses in psychology, sociology, social work, and nursing. It is imperative that you understand the physical, as well as the mental repercussions of the disease of addiction.
Contact the Board for Addiction Professionals in your state about getting your certification. In most states, you have to complete a certain number of work hours before you can take the exam.
The Watershed Addiction Treatment Programs, Inc. is currently accepting applications in several areas in the field of addiction treatment.
Want to be a part of the Watershed Recovery team? Apply online now: Careers at The Watershed