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Addiction Counseling Skills

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What's Addiction?Addiction Counseling

Addiction can be defined as any behavior or the use of any substance that is controlling a person's life. These include alcohol, drugs, sex, and eating disorders. Effective addiction counseling skills can help treat addictions.

Addiction Counseling Skills

Of all the addiction counseling skills, the most important is the ability to listen. But it's not as simple as it may seem. When talking with others, do you find yourself really listening, or do you immediately jump in with advice and/or your own stories? Are you able to listen to people without judging them, no matter what they say? As social and analytical beings, it takes practice and skill to become effective listeners.

An addiction counselor should also have an enhanced sense of intuition and empathy. This follows the initial task of being a good listener. Intuition is needed to know where and when to probe a certain subject with a client; empathy is needed to fully understand where the client is coming from. Contrary to what some believe, intuition and empathy can be learned skills, if one is determined to work at it.

Acquiring Addiction Counseling Skills

You can begin to acquire these skills through a bachelor's degree program at an accredited university. A master's degree in the field will not only enhance these skills, but will also increase your chances of finding a rewarding job. Many employers in the field require it. Of course, your skills will further develop with experience and maturity.

Jobs Available To People With Addiction Counseling Skills

Addiction counselors are found in schools, hospitals, prevention programs, prisons, and in group or private practices. They work with individuals, as well as small and large groups. Those with an M.S. in the field will experience greater job choice and salaries than those with a B.S.