Substance abuse and behavioral counselors work closely with people struggling with alcoholism, drug addiction, or other behavioral problems such as eating disorders, depression, and anxiety. In Tennessee, these professionals can be involved in various stages of a patient's treatment, covering a number of responsibilities -- from prevention and risk assessment to treatment and recovery. Counselors may also work with individuals who have become involved with the criminal justice system.
Tennessee Substance Abuse and Behavioral Counselor Schools
There are a number of behavioral and substance abuse counselor schools in Tennessee that prepare individuals to work with those struggling with addiction and mental health issues. Following is a list of schools - both on and offline - that offer preparatory programs for behavioral counselors.
- Memphis Seminary: Memphis Seminary offers a certificate program in drug and alcohol abuse counseling. The program consists of three sessions, with two classes per session. Students will be expected to attend class every Friday evening and Saturday throughout the program, which lasts a total of 30 weeks.
- Southwest Tennessee Community College: Southwest Tennessee Community College also provides a program for students to earn a technical certification in behavioral counseling. The eight-course, 23-credit hour program counts as a prerequisite for working toward state licensure.
- University of Memphis: The University of Memphis' Bachelor of Professional Studies program offers a concentration in alcohol and drug abuse services. The program includes general studies in behavioral sciences, as well as an internship and a senior capstone project.
- Argosy University (Online): Argosy University's BA in Psychology - Substance Abuse is a full-length program consisting of over 70 credit hours of coursework. Throughout the program, students will be responsible for assessing and treating substance abuse and behavioral issues, as well as understanding how these issues affect the home and family dynamic of individuals involved.
- Drexel University (Online): After earning a Bachelor's degree in a related human services field, students can continue their education online at Drexel University. The post-baccalaureate graduate certificate program consists of 18 credit hours offered in four 10-week quarterly sessions.
Coursework for Tennessee Substance Abuse and Behavioral Counselor Programs
As mentioned, the substance abuse counselor programs in Tennessee listed above prepare students to work closely with those suffering from a variety of behavioral issues. Students will learn how to assess and treat these issues through many different counseling methods. Of course, working as a substance abuse and behavioral counselor requires those in the field to exhibit a number of qualities, such as:
- Professional demeanor
Before entering into a substance abuse counselor program, prospective students should decide if their personal qualities fit well with the profession.
Tennessee Substance Abuse and Behavioral Counselor License
Individuals aiming to become Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors in Tennessee will, in addition to completing the above-mentioned coursework, need to become licensed through the NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals. To become licensed, students will need to sit for and pass both written and oral exams.
Students can also earn National Certification in Addiction Counseling, as well. There are a few different levels of certification, all of which require professionals to have a specific number of hours of both training and experience. For example, Level One certification requires 270 contact hours of training, as well as 6,000 hours (or three years) of full-time experience as a substance abuse counselor.
Resources for Substance Abuse and Behavioral Counselor In Tennessee