Substance Abuse & Behavioral Disorder Counselors
Also called: Case Manager, Chemical Dependency Counselor (CD Counselor), Counselor, Substance Abuse Counselor (SA Counselor)
Produced by CareerOneStop
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Individuals struggling with mental health issues or substance abuse often need focused help to recover their well-being, and make changes in behavior that will improve their lives. Counselors offer the treatment and support that helps people recover. Substance abuse counselors and behavioral disorder counselors, teach clients how to cope with life’s problems without turning to substances, modify problem behaviors, help them rebuild relationships and, if necessary, reestablish their career. Mental health counselors treat clients with a variety of mental and emotional health issues and relationship problems. They may specialize in a population such as students, children, or the elderly. Substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors work in a wide variety of settings, including mental health centers and hospitals, prisons, and addiction or eating disorder treatment centers. Although rewarding, the work can be stressful, with large workloads, and often limited resources. They also may have to intervene in crisis situations or work with disturbed clients. Most counselors work full time. In some settings, they may need to work evenings, nights, or weekends. All states require mental health counselors to be licensed, which requires a master’s degree, internship, and a period of professionally supervised practice. For substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselor positions, educational requirements can vary from a high school diploma and certification to a master’s degree. Licensure requirements vary by state and position, though all who work in private practice must be licensed.
What they do:Counsel and advise individuals with alcohol, tobacco, drug, or other problems, such as gambling and eating disorders. May counsel individuals, families, or groups or engage in prevention programs.
On the job, you would:
- Complete and maintain accurate records or reports regarding the patients' histories and progress, services provided, or other required information.
- Counsel clients or patients, individually or in group sessions, to assist in overcoming dependencies, adjusting to life, or making changes.
- Interview clients, review records, and confer with other professionals to evaluate individuals' mental and physical condition and to determine their suitability for participation in a specific program.
Math and Science
- sociology and anthropology
- therapy and counseling
- customer service
- administrative services
Arts and Humanities
- English language
- listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
- talking to others
- understanding people's reactions
- looking for ways to help people
- noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
- communicate by speaking
- listen and understand what people say
Ideas and Logic
- notice when problems happen
- use rules to solve problems
- do two or more things at the same time
- pay attention to something without being distracted
People interested in this work like activities that include helping people, teaching, and talking.
They do well at jobs that need:
- Concern for Others
- Stress Tolerance
- Self Control
You might use software like this on the job:
- Addison Health Systems WritePad EMR Systems
- Athena Software Penelope Case Management
Data base user interface and query software
- Database software
- EAG Economic Analysis Group CaseTrack
Electronic mail software