Addiction Studies Program

Villanova University

How long?

  • 3 days
  • online

Villanova University


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About the course

Villanova's Addiction Studies program provides substance use disorder specific education for professionals interested in the subject or seeking a certification. Courses within this program can be applied to a variety of Pennsylvania Certification Board (PCB) certifications detailed below.

Students can choose to take individual courses or the full certificate. To earn the Certificate in Addiction Studies, students must complete 13 courses (or 104 educational hours), which each count for .80 CEU's. Students must declare intent to earn the full certificate by the seventh course.

Eight of the required courses are core courses and the remaining five courses are topical and rotate each semester. Check the upcoming course schedule to see which topics courses are being offered.

Note: All Villanova Addiction Studies courses are approved education hours by the Pennsylvania Certification Board (PCB). Students can apply courses and hours towards other PCB certifications if they choose or use the education hours towards recertification


  • Explain the psychopharmacology of addiction including how addictive substances behave in the body and the effect that addiction has on the brain
  • Explain addiction in social context and recognize the impact of social factors such as poverty, stigma, oppression, and trauma.
  • Identify the progression from non-use, to use, to abuse of a substance and identify warning signs of abuse and triggers for relapse
  • Demonstrate effective communication and counseling skills with diverse clients
  • Explain the role of assessment and diagnosis in the treatment process
  • .Demonstrate a basic understanding of prominent theories of counseling and how they apply to addiction counseling
  • Recognize and be able to apply ethical principles (including confidentiality and boundaries) to their practice


Addiction Counseling

This seminar explores the skills and abilities necessary for those seeking the credential of Certified Addiction Counselor (CAC) in the state of Pennsylvania. Counseling methodologies will be reviewed as well as agency settings in which substance abuse counseling takes place.

Drug & Alcohol Education

This course provides an introduction to the physiological mechanism underlying the effects of alcohol and other drugs on the brain, the individual and society. Topics covered include basic pharmacology, placebo and an overview of the nervous system.

Relapse Prevention

This class will focus on methods that counselors can use to assist clients in the final stages of treatment and to make post-treatment plans to maintain sobriety. Participants will also learn to recognize the early signs of relapse and address these issues with intervention techniques.

Cultural Competency

This seminar investigates treatment considerations in diverse populations based upon ethnic, cultural and racial differences. The importance of these differences will be explored in terms of substance abuse and substance abuse treatment.

Substance Abuse Treatment for People with Co-Occurring Disorders

This course is designed to introduce the most common mental health disorders. This includes a review of the relevant signs, symptoms and diagnostic criteria. Students will see how substance related problems as well as barriers to maintaining sobriety interplay with the mental health diagnosis. Participants will practice various techniques that apply to both mental health and substance related disorders, seeing how to best address client’s complex needs. Responding to suicidality will also be emphasized.

Interviewing & Counseling Techniques

This seminar will walk the counselor from the initial meeting with the client to their involvement in an ongoing counseling relationship. The essential ingredients for counselor skill-building will be explored as well as practiced in this core seminar.

Ethical Decision Making

This course will provide an operational model for identifying, problem solving, and resolving relevant ethical issues confronting the substance abuse treatment staff member.

Group Counseling with Substance Abusers

Being able to work with groups in counseling is a critical skill. Topics covered in this class include observational methods in groups, supportive vs. self-awareness group therapy, an overview of group therapy approaches and how to lead a therapy group. Through this core class, students are able to develop their overall skills in group counseling.

Intake/Assessment/Record-Keeping with Substance

Documentation skills are a critical component in the field of substance abuse counseling. This seminar reviews the essential elements of record-keeping as it relates to effective treatment and further defines the standards by which agencies are reviewed for compliance in this regard.

Countertransference & Boundary of Self

The therapeutic relationship is not an ordinary social exchange. Instead, the key differentials are ultimately aligned around issues of power and control. This workshop explores the use of clinical self while establishing and maintaining appropriate boundaries thus assuring that the client benefits maximally in the therapeutic exchange while the counselor maintains a healthy psychic distance as a means of assuring objectivity and avoiding burn out.

Creativity and Coping

Creativity is an important source of connection to our emotions, our experiences and our body. Many people in early recovery have a multitude of experiences they need to process and a need to develop helpful coping strategies for challenging emotions. Through voice, movement, art and symbology these practices are meant to assist the individual in truly centering oneself in the body and mind. Artistic expression helps process challenging or traumatic material which may make the difference between struggling through or thriving in recovery. This will be a highly experiential training so come prepared to sing, dance and play!

Counselor Wellness

Counselor Wellness: Due to the demanding nature of the job of working with substance abusers, burnout is a real & damaging possibility for counselors. This course will explore techniques for maintaining a sense of well-being even amidst the chaos that is often a part of our daily routine. This seminar is a must for those of us who somtimes feel overwhelmed by the ongoing pressures of dealing with dependent personalities.

Medication Assisted Therapies

Addiction Studies Program at Villanova University

From  $250

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Coursalytics is an independent platform to find, compare, and book executive courses. Coursalytics is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or otherwise affiliated with any business school or university.

Full disclaimer.

Because of COVID-19, many providers are cancelling or postponing in-person programs or providing online participation options.

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