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Being a Golden Hawk means more than just cheering on our (really good) varsity teams – it means being a student who cares about your community, who works hard in the classroom, and who takes advantage of all the learning opportunities that can happen outside the classroom, too.


The Addictions certificate is designed for anyone who wants to build on their knowledge and skills in the field of addictions. Two required workshops provide a solid foundation of knowledge about substance use, abuse and addiction. A variety of electives allow you to create a program of study that fits with your career path and interests. Some of the topics covered in this program include:

  • An understanding of what an addiction is and what causes addictions.
  • Factors that can impact an addiction, such a families, trauma and concurrent disorders.
  • The various types of addictive substances and how they affect the body and brain.
  • Tools and skills that can be used in assessment, intervention and relapse prevention.

Upon completion, participants will be better able to assist clients facing addiction issues.

To complete the Addictions certificate, you must take a minimum of 84 course hours, including two required courses and 60 hours of electives. You can complete this certificate in as little as one year or take up to seven years.

You do not have to be working toward the Addictions certificate to take any of these courses.

The Addictions certificate can be completed online, in-class or through a combination of both.

Online Workshops

There are currently seven Addictions workshops available online, allowing you to complete the certificate program on your own schedule and from your own location. Each online workshop takes six weeks to complete and will require approximately two hours of work per week. Instructors will use a variety of learning methods, such as discussion boards, videos, quizzes and PowerPoint presentations to provide a rich learning experience.

Required courses (24 hours)

Fundamentals of Addiction

Sessions

Brantford
Kitchener

This two-day workshop offers an overview of addiction and addiction treatment to assist you in developing a holistic understanding of the bio-psycho-social nature of this universal phenomenon. Participants will be introduced to the common psychoactive drugs and their effects, the range of treatment options available to assist those with an addiction issue including harm reduction and the stages of change model along with an overview of the addiction treatment continuum of care.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this training, participants will:

  • Have a holistic understanding of the phenomenon of addiction.
  • Be able to distinguish between the various families of psychoactive drugs and their effects.
  • Be aware of the interventions that are currently in use with people with addiction issues in North America.
  • Understand the stages of change model.
  • Have an understanding of the treatment continuum in the addiction field including harm reduction options, methadone maintenance, withdrawal management, outpatient counselling, residential treatment, addiction supportive housing, relapse prevention and self-help/mutual aid support groups.
  • Have an understanding of the association between oppression and addiction.

CACCF: 6 core continuing education hours.

Fundamentals of Addiction (Online)

This workshop offers an overview of addiction and addiction treatment to assist you in developing a holistic understanding of the bio-psycho-social nature of this universal phenomenon. Participants will be introduced to the common psychoactive drugs and their effects, the range of treatment options available to assist those with an addiction issue including harm reduction and the stages of change model along with an overview of the addiction treatment continuum of care.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this training, participants will:

  • Have a holistic understanding of the phenomenon of addiction.
  • Be able to distinguish between the various families of psychoactive drugs and their effects.
  • Be aware of the interventions that are currently in use with people with addiction issues in North America.
  • Understand the stages of change model.
  • Have an understanding of the treatment continuum in the addiction field including harm reduction options, methadone maintenance, withdrawal management, outpatient counselling, residential treatment, addiction supportive housing, relapse prevention and self-help/mutual aid support groups.
  • Have an understanding of the association between oppression and addiction.

CACCF: 6 core continuing education hours.

Pharmacology

Sessions

Brantford
Kitchener

This workshop will provide the participant with a solid foundation on the unique attributes of the range of psychoactive drugs, from alcohol and cannabis to bath salts, crystal meth and OxyContin, and how each in turn affects the brain and human behaviour. The four groupings of psychoactive agents depressants, including opioids, stimulants, hallucinogens and psychotherapeutic agents, will be examined, including the active effects on a user along with withdrawal. The social context of drug use will also be discussed, providing a frame regarding how drugs are deemed licit or illicit in Canada.

CACCF: 12 core continuing education hours.

Pharmacology (Online)

This online workshop will provide the participant with a solid foundation on the unique attributes of the range of psychoactive drugs from alcohol and cannabis to bath salts, crystal meth and OxyContin and how each in turn affects the brain and human behaviour. The four groupings of psychoactive agents depressants, including opioids, stimulants, hallucinogens and psychotherapeutic agents will be examined including the active effects on a user along with withdrawal. The social context of drug use will also be discussed providing a frame regarding how drugs are deemed licit or illicit in Canada.

CACCF: 12 core continuing education hours.

Electives (60 hours)

Addiction and the Family

Addiction affects everyone in the family. Family system theory suggests that individuals in families cannot interact without impacting the whole. This learning opportunity will explore just how each member may be impacted by addiction. At times, loved ones may resort to using coping skills that aremaladaptive and are not helpful to them or to their family members struggling with addiction. Family members who have lived with addiction may learn to not feel, not trust and not talk. Working with both family members and the addicted individual can be a challenge. This workshop will provide various tools to help facilitate this process in an interactive and practical manner.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this training, participants will:

  • Be able to discuss various family theories, including family roles and rules and how addiction can interfere.
  • Have insight into the various treatment modalities and tools to help support families.
  • Know how to assess substance abuse/dependence in families and provide treatment planning.
  • Understand how family involvement and recovery can help prevent relapse for both the family members and the addicted individual (including how to support families when the addicted individual is pre-contemplative about changing).
  • Have an increase in knowledge about the various supports and resources available for family members.

CACCF: 6 core and 6 related continuing education hours.

Addiction and the Family (Online)

Addiction affects everyone in the family. Family system theory suggests that individuals in families cannot interact without impacting the whole. This two-day workshop will explore just how each member may be impacted by addiction. At times, loved ones may resort to using coping skills that are maladaptive and are not helpful to them or to the addicted individual. Family members who have lived with addiction may learn to not feel, not trust and not talk. Working with both family members and the addicted individual can be a challenge. This workshop will provide tools to help facilitate this process in an interactive and practical manner.

Learning objectives

  • Discuss various family theories, including family roles and rules and how addiction can interfere.
  • Learn about various treatment modalities and tools to help support families.
  • Know how to assess substance abuse/dependence in families and provide treatment planning.
  • Investigate how family involvement and recovery can help prevent relapse for both the family members and the addicted individual (including how to support families when the addicted individual is pre-contemplative about changing).
  • Increase knowledge about the various community supports available for family members.

CACCF: 6 core and 6 related continuing education hours.

Behavioural Addictions: Gambling, Gaming and Internet Overuse

  • Date: April 19, 2018 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Cost: $175 ($275 if taken with Behavioural Addictions: Shopping and Sex Addictions)
  • Instructor: Lisa Pont, BSW, MSW, RSW
  • Hours: 6

Behavioural addictions are garnering increasing attention in both clinical contexts and in the addiction literature. The current reclassification of pathological gambling from an impulse control disorder to an addiction in the DSM 5 exemplifies an evolving understanding and acknowledgement of behavioural processes as having similar features when overused to that of substance abuse.

This one-day workshop, the first of a two-day series on behavioural addiction, will provide participants with an overview of gambling, gaming and Internet overuse, including what makes people at risk of becoming addicted to these behaviours and how the addiction is similar and different to substance abuse. This workshop will include information on screening, common concurrent disorders and co-occurring issues associated with behavioural addictions, and evidence informed treatment. This interactive workshop will include case examples to reinforce participant learning. 

Learning Objectives

After this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the overlap between gambling, gaming and Internet overuse.
  • Identify the signs and consequences associated with gambling, gaming and Internet overuse problems.
  • Utilize screening methods to identify gambling, gaming and Internet use problems in clients.
  • Discuss treatment options and approaches.
  • Make referrals to treatment.

CACCF: 4 core and 2 related continuing education hours.

Note: This course can be taken alone or with Behaviour Addictions: Shopping and Sex. If both workshops are taken, the cost is $275.

Behavioural Addictions: Shopping and Sex Addictions

  • Date: April 20, 2018 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Cost: $175 ($275 if taken with Behavioural Additions: Gambling, Gaming and Internet Overuse)
  • Instructor: Lisa Pont, MSW, RSW
  • Hours: 6

There are certain pleasurable behaviours that are necessary parts of daily living; however, when engaged in excessively, these behaviours can have a negative impact on people’s lives. This workshop will explore the etiology of two of these behaviours: sex and shopping, including risk factors as well as signs, consequences and implications for treatment. This training will address screening and assessment tools and strategies along with the current treatment landscape for shopping and sex addiction.  

Learning Objectives

After this workshop participants will be able to:

  • Describe how people can become addicted to sex and shopping.
  • Identify risk factors for developing sex and shopping addiction.
  • Understand signs and consequences of sex and shopping addiction.
  • Identify screening and assessment tools for these client populations.
  • Discuss the current treatment options available for those concerned about sex and shopping addiction.

CACCF: 4 core and 2 related continuing education hours.

Note: This course can be taken alone or with Behaviour Addictions: Gambling, Gaming and Internet Overuse. If both are taken, the cost is $275.

Concurrent Disorders

Experiences of individuals living with concurrent disorders are complex and differ significantly from those who may be struggling with only one of these concerns. Given this, it is imperative to have a nuanced understanding of the ways in which mental health disorders and addiction issues co-exist in order to provide appropriate support and treatment. This two-day workshop examines the intersection of mental health disorders and addiction issues, with a focus on assisting participants in developing an increased awareness of concurrent disorders including how they are understood and detected, as well as which therapeutic approaches are best suited to effective treatment.

Learning Objectives

  • Examine theory, assessment, and intervention commonly used to address concurrent disorders.
  • Review which mental health disorders have a strong co-morbidity with various addiction concerns.
  • Explore best practices in working with concurrent disorders.
  • Recognize the ways in which concurrent disorders impact vulnerable groups.
  • Increase awareness of oppression and stigma experienced by individuals/families living with concurrent disorders.

CACCF: 6 core and 6 related continuing education hours. 

Concurrent Disorders (Online)

Concurrent disorders are a significant health issue in Canada. It is estimated that 70-80% of people seeking help for substance use, and 15-20% seeking help for mental health, are experiencing concurrent disorders (CCSA, 2013). Co-occurring substance use and mental health problems present challenges for people in accessing comprehensive support and services as, historically, the treatment options have been largely compartmentalized. This course is designed to help participants gain the skills and knowledge to better provide an integrated treatment approach for people with concurrent disorders, ensuring a more positive and effective experience for clients.

In this course, participants will:

  • Develop an understanding of the complex nature of concurrent disorders.
  • Identify needs and barriers as a special population.
  • Learn to screen and assess next steps in treatment.
  • Start to assess risk and how to intervene in crisis.
  • Explore strategies to facilitate recovery, prevent relapse and maintain optimal mental health.
  • Be informed of best practices and increase clinical knowledge.

CACCF: 6 core and 6 related continuing education hours.

Counselling Techniques in Addiction Practice

This interactive two-day workshop explores counselling techniques for treating addiction in an individual counselling setting. We will learn about the ways in which the treatment of addiction was conceptualized over time and consider our own theoretical leanings around the nature of addiction. Participants will have an opportunity to augment their counselling skills with hands-on practice in a variety of techniques with emphasis on brief solution focused therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy. The focus of this workshop is on the application of theory to the counselling setting and there will be many opportunities for participants to practice face-to-face skill development.

Learning Objectives

  • To become aware of personal beliefs of the nature of addiction and understand how this has an impact on treatment.
  • To practice various counselling techniques.
  • To learn a variety of skills in order to tailor treatment to the individual.

This workshop will not include detailed information on Motivational Interviewing, Relapse Prevention orthe Indigenous population, as these topics are covered in other workshops offered in the Addictions Certificate program.

CACCF: 12 core continuing education hours. 

Counselling Techniques in Addiction Practice (Online)

This interactive workshop explores counselling techniques for treating addiction in an individual counselling setting. The ways in which we think about addiction impact the way we treat addiction and so we will learn about the ways in which the treatment of addiction was conceptualized over time and consider our own theoretical leanings around the nature of addiction. Participants will have an opportunity to augment their counselling skills with practice in a variety of techniques using Brief Solution Focused Therapy and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. The focus of this workshop is on the application of theory to the counselling setting and there will be many opportunities for participants to practice skill development.

Learning objectives

  • To become aware of personal beliefs of the nature of addiction and understand how this has an impact on treatment
  • To provide an overview of BSFT and CBT and the use of interventions in treating addiction
  • To practice, practice, practice various counselling techniques
  • To learn a variety of skills in order to tailor treatment to the individual

This workshop will not include detailed information on Motivational Interviewing, Relapse Prevention or the Aboriginal population, as these topics are covered in other workshops offered in the Addictions Certificate program.

CACCF: 12 core continuing education hours.

Engaging Challenging Clients: Working with Specialized Populations in Addictions

This two-day workshop will provide participants with a comprehensive understanding of specialized populations as well as practical tools to engage and successfully support these clients across a broad range of settings. Issues of addiction treatment with mandated clients including forensics, older adults, the homeless, those with trauma and borderline personality disorder will be discussed in an interactive forum. Using case examples this workshop will explore ways of working with pre-contemplative clients creatively and effectively. By combining stages of change, motivational interviewing and brief solution focused concepts, participants will come away from this workshop with new tools to engage challenging clients, whether leading to lasting change or "planting a seed." Attend this two-day workshop and become "complex competent" in working with those struggling with addiction issues.

CACCF: 6 core and 6 related continuing education hours. 

Engaging Challenging Clients: Working with Specialized Populations in Addictions (Online)

This online course is designed to provide participants with a deeper understanding of the needs of complex clients and the challenges they face in accessing support. This course will be subdivided into six weekly modules that will use various methods to facilitate meaningful dialogue and learning. Upon completion of this course individuals will have the knowledge to help generate foundational skills in ensuring a client-centred practice.

Topics of the course will include: delivering addiction work through a trauma informed lens, engaging mandated clients in a change process, how to use harm reduction as a therapeutic intervention tool in addictions work, and working with individuals experiencing complex mental health.

This course will use a stages of change informed approach in helping clinicians develop effective clinical engagements with a wide range of clients experiencing complex needs.

CACCF: 6 core and 6 related continuing education hours.

Group Counselling in Addictions

This two-day workshop will focus on helping participants cultivate their group counselling skills. Through an interactive forum participants will have the opportunity to discuss the importance and challenges of implementing groups in the addiction recovery process. Participants will become more aware of the group process and understand how this relates to addiction recovery. Learners will have the opportunity to acquire skills through a variety of forums to engage all learning styles.

Learning Objectives

  • Selection of group members.
  • Characteristics of effective groups.
  • The stages of group development and how these relate to the addiction recovery process.
  • Understanding the role of the group leader in the group counselling process.
  • Types of groups used in the addiction recovery process and linking these to specific theoretical approaches.
  • Challenging issues in group dynamics.

CACCF: 12 core continuing education hours.

Indigenous Peoples: Addiction and Recovery

This workshop is facilitated by Indigenous social workers with many years of practice in Indigenous communities. Participants will gain an overview of the issues Indigenous peoples experience with addictions by exploring the cultural and historical contexts. Further to the challenges of addictions, this workshop will add personal touches with the stories and experiences of both Kathy and Hilton.

Participants will have opportunities to engage in culturally based methods of learning about addictions and recovery. Participants will take away an understanding of reasons why addictions are so prevalent in Indigenous communities. This understanding will aid social workers or service provides to more effectively service Indigenous peoples. Participants will also be provided with resources and materials on Indigenous treatment approaches and healing centres.

CACCF: 4 core and 8 related continuing education hours.

Motivational Interviewing in Addiction Treatment

Motivational interviewing (MI), developed by clinical psychologists William Miller and Stephen Rollnick, is a person-centred approach used to elicit and strengthen clients’ motivation for positive behaviour change while addressing the common problem of ambivalence about change. This approach has been established as an evidence-based practice for the treatment of individuals with addiction problems. Clinical trials have found that clients exposed to motivational interviewing (vs. more directive treatment interventions) are more likely to enter and complete addiction treatment, and have substantially higher abstinence and reduction rates in their substance use. This two-day interactive workshop will introduce participants to the clinical method of motivational interviewing and provide opportunities for hands-on practice with applying this approach to motivate clients to change problematic substance use and other addictive behaviours.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this training, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the basic concepts of motivational interviewing, including its spirit and essential strategies.
  • Understand the relationship between motivational interventions and the stages of change.
  • Implement motivational interviewing strategies to resolve clients' feelings of ambivalence or resistance to changing addictive behaviours.
  • Recognize fundamental client language cues indicating readiness to change.
  • Strengthen empathic counselling skills. 

CACCF: 12 core continuing education hours.

Trauma and Addictions

Sessions

Fall
Spring

Recent research has confirmed what addiction treatment providers already knew to be true: the large majority of people who suffer from addiction issues also have a history of trauma and/or victimization. Experiences of trauma can cause lasting psychological and physiological effects, including deficiencies in emotional regulation, problem solving and impulse control. This, in turn, can lead to the use of alcohol, drugs and/or addictive behaviours as a "functional fit" to cope with overwhelming emotions, physical dysregulation and other post-traumatic symptoms.

This two-day workshop explores the connection between trauma and addiction with a focus on providing knowledge, tools and resources to effectively serve clients who are dealing with both trauma and addiction issues.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this training, participants will be able to:

  • Explain the link between trauma and addiction, including the neurobiology, physical and emotional responses of trauma and how they intersect with addictions.
  • Understand the role of compassion fatigue when providing treatment to individuals with trauma/addictions.
  • Understand addiction as a survival/coping strategy for traumatic memories and symptoms.
  • Describe best practices for treating trauma.
  • Teach clients tools and practical strategies to regulate autonomic arousal and trauma-related emotions and body sensations without resorting to addictive behaviours.
  • Explain and demonstrate strategies for flashback management.
  • Trauma treatment models.
  • Review of seek safety model.
  • Review of CBT, prolong exposure and cognitive processing models for trauma therapy.

CACCF: 8 core and 4 related continuing education hours.

Trauma and Addictions (Online)

Recent research has confirmed what addiction treatment providers already knew to be true: the large majority of people who suffer from addiction issues also have a history of trauma and/or victimization. Experiences of trauma can cause lasting psychological and physiological effects including deficiencies in emotional regulation, problem solving and impulse control. This, in turn, can lead to the use of alcohol, drugs and/or addictive behaviours as a "functional fit" to cope with overwhelming emotions, physical dysregulation and other post-traumatic symptoms.

This workshop explores the connection between trauma and addiction with a focus on providing knowledge, tools and resources to effectively serve clients who are dealing with both trauma and addiction issues.

Upon completion of this training participants will be able to:

  • Explain the link between trauma and addiction, including the neurobiology, physical and emotional responses of trauma and how they intersect with addictions.
  • Understand the role of compassion fatigue when providing treatment to individuals with trauma/addictions.
  • Understand addiction as a survival/coping strategy for traumatic memories and symptoms.
  • Describe best practices for treating trauma.
  • Teach clients tools and practical strategies to regulate autonomic arousal and trauma-related emotions and body sensations without resorting to addictive behaviours.
  • Explain and demonstrate strategies for flashback management.
  • Trauma treatment models.
  • Review of seek safety model.
  • Review of CBT, prolong exposure and cognitive processing models for trauma therapy.

CACCF: 8 core and 4 related continuing education hours.

Understanding Relapse Prevention

Relapse Prevention (RP) is a broad term that refers to a wide range of therapeutic techniques that aid in the prevention of lapses and the relapse of addictive behaviours. The term "relapse" was initially used in the medical field to refer to those people who re-experience a disease stage (Marlatt and Donovan, 2005). In the addiction field, this term is commonly associated with returning to addictive behaviours/substances after a period of abstinence. Relapse prevention is essentially cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) with a focus on the maintenance stage of addictive behaviour change that has three main goals:

  • To prevent a return to addictive behaviours/substances.
  • To prevent a lapse or slip from turning into a relapse.
  • To stop relapse quickly should it occur.

Relapse prevention aims to increase the client's awareness of high-risk situations and increase coping skills, self-efficacy and control of internal and external triggers that may make the client more vulnerable to relapse. Relapse prevention is highly educational and a specialized skill set that is integral to addressing all types of addictions.

Learning Objectives

After this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Create an understanding of relapse as an unfolding process rather than an event.
  • Develop an understanding of relapse terminology.
  • Review key philosophies and theoretical approaches in relapse prevention (Gorski, Marlatt, Gordon, Annis and Davis).
  • Understand the role of relapse in the Stages of Change model.
  • Identify the three most common high-risk situations that precipitate relapse.
  • Understand the role that Seemingly Unrelated Decisions (SUD) and Apparently Irrelevant Decisions (AID) play in the relapse chain.
  • Explore how healthy lifestyle changes aid in relapse prevention.
  • Increase understanding about the power of distraction in coping with cravings.
  • Increase the helping provider's confidence in engaging in a discussion about the essential components of relapse prevention: high-risk situations, urges and triggers.
  • Learn about the value of a support system.
  • Address common myths associated with relapse.
  • Learn and apply practical skills that will assist the client in developing an individualized relapse prevention plan.

Note: For additional learning, the book Structured Relapse Prevention: An Outpatient Counselling Approach (2nd Edition) by Marilyn A. Herie and Lyn Watkin-Merek is recommended by the instructor.

CACCF: 6 core continuing education hours.

Understanding Youth and Addictions

  • Date: April 16, 2018 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Cost: $175
  • Instructor: Julia Read, MSW, PhD (c)
  • Hours: 6

This one-day workshop aims to help participants gain an understanding of the unique considerations of working with youth who are experiencing addiction issues. This workshop will explore how substance abuse can influence the developmental stages from adolescence to young adulthood. Through interactive learning modules and case studies, an overview of bio-psycho-social approaches to assessments, interventions and treatment modalities will be discussed. Participants will be provided with information about resources and treatment options currently available.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the difference between youth substance use, misuse, and abuse.
  • Describe the developmental stages from adolescence to young adulthood.
  • Understand different treatment modalities.
  • Understand the stages of change model for youth.

Costs

The cost to complete the Addictions certificate will range from $1,925 to $2,175, depending on the electives that you select.

  • Two-day workshops: $275
  • One-day workshops: $175

CACCF Credits

All courses in the Addictions certificate program are approved for a specified number of continuing education hours (CEUs) through the Canadian Addiction Counsellors Certification Federation (CACCF). See course descriptions for the number of core CEUs and related CEUs each course is eligible for.

For information about the CACCF or how to become a certified Addictions Counsellor, visit www.caccf.ca.

Contact Us:

Lynne Jordan, Coordinator, Professional Development

E: ljordan@wlu.ca
T: 519.884.0710 x5265


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