Addictions Counselling Syllabus

Certificate in Addictions Counselling

Module 1: Introduction to Addictions

Topics Studied

• Defining and categorising addictions
• Who is at risk of developing addictions?
• The stages of an addiction
• The effects of an addiction
• Consequences for the family
• The Preoccupation and Impact Scale
• Treatment options
• The role of counselling in recovery from addictions
• Examining the core counsellor qualities
• Practicing counselling microskills
• Developing effective listening skills

Learning Outcomes and Summary of Objectives

Upon successful completion of this learning module, the student should be able to:

• Determine who might develop an addiction
• Explain how a habit becomes an addiction
• Analyse the basic conditions for effective counselling

Module 2: An Alcohol or Drug Addiction

Topics Studied

• Alcohol and alcoholism
• Contributing factors to developing an alcohol addiction
• The addict, the family and co-dependency
• Symptoms of an alcohol dependency
• Diagnosing an addiction
• Contributing factors to developing a drug addiction
• Symptoms of a drug dependency
• Symptoms of a drug addiction
• The effecta and consequences of a drug addiction
• Prescription drug addiction and abuse
• Counselling skills practice

Learning Outcomes and Summary of Objectives

Upon successful completion of this learning module, the student should be able to:

• State how alcohol works on the body
• Discuss the possible causes of an alcohol or drug addiction
• Appraise the consequences of a drug addiction

Module 3: A Gambling Addiction

Topics Studied

• Exploring different forms of gambling
• Counsellor self-awareness questionnaire
• What is compulsive gambling?
• Different types of problem gambler
• The phases of problem gambling
• Contributing factors to developing a gambling addiction
• Diagnostic and assessment tools
• Treatment options
• Essential counsellor skills: Developing a feelings vocabulary

Learning Outcomes and Summary of Objectives

Upon successful completion of this learning module, the student should be able to:

• Review the different forms of gambling
• Connect the different phases of problem gambling
• Propose possible causes of a gambling addiction

Module 4: Eating Addictions and Compulsive Spending

Topics Studied

• What is a food addiction?
• Anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder
• Symptoms of an eating disorder
• Contributing factors to developing an eating disorder
• Health consequences
• Treatment options (Eating disorders)
• Sypmtoms of compulsive spending
• Developing preventative strategies
• Treatment options (Compulsive spending)

Learning Outcomes and Summary of Objectives

Upon successful completion of this learning module, the student should be able to:

• Discuss the warning signs of anorexia and bulimia nervosa
• Describe the health consequences of anorexia and bulimia nervosa
• Appraise what is meant by binge eating disorder

Module 5: A Sexual Addiction

Topics Studied

• The causes of a sexual addiction
• The role of genes and biochemistry
• Identifying the warning signs
• The addiction cycle
• The consequences of a sexual addiction
• Treatment options
• Cybersex

Learning Outcomes and Summary of Objectives

Upon successful completion of this learning module, the student should be able to:

• Recognise the cyclical nature of a sexual addiction
• Present the consequences of a sexual addiction
• Critique the key components of cybersex

Module 6: Internet and Gaming Addictions

Topics Studied

• Symptoms of an internet addiction
• What needs are being met on the internet?
• Different types of internet addiction
• How male and female addicts differ
• Factors which increase the risk of addiction
• Children and the internet
• Tips and guidelines for parents
• Treatment options

Learning Outcomes and Summary of Objectives

Upon successful completion of this learning module, the student should be able to:

• Review the different types of internet addiction
• Interpret the differences between male and female addicts
• Compile tips for parents who are dealing with an internet or gaming addiction

Required reading for the course

Rasmussen, S. (2000). Addiction treatment: Theory and practice. London: Sage.

Duration of the course

Successful completion of this course is estimated to be approximately 200 hours. Students should allocate approximately eight hours a week for reading, personal study, completion of reflection activities and submission of assignments. There is one marked assignment per module. Courses are offered on a part-time basis and are designed to be completed within six months.