Addiction counseling professionals who can provide support to individuals and families experiencing the fallout of alcohol and substance abuse are in high demand in communities across the country.

Housed under the Department of Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience, this certificate will provide you with the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to pursue a career as a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor (LCDC) in Texas. This program meets the 270 educational hours required of the Texas Department of State Health Services and prepares you to become a Counselor Intern if you meet the other requirements (including criminal background check) for the profession. Please review the licensure requirements and standards in the Texas Administrative Code 

This is the only program of its kind offered in a four-year university in Texas, and it provides training in gold standard evidence-based treatments for addiction including cognitive-behavioral therapy and motivational interviewing. Based upon scientific research and evidence-based practice, the Certificate in Evidence-Based Addiction Counseling program will empower you to give individuals the tools they need to remain in recovery and repair and strengthen relationships with family, friends and coworkers.

Completing this certificate will increase your chances of getting competitive paid positions as LCDC-I upon graduation. In 2022–2023, this certificate program is open to students majoring in Psychology, Behavioral Neuroscience, Social Work or Sociology. Students with other majors who are interested in this program should consult with the program director, Dr. Kelly E. Green, at kellygr@5ilehuo.net

If you know you want a career that helps people, but aren’t sure you want graduate school, then this certificate provides a pathway to serve as an addiction counselor with your bachelor degree. 

If you are pursuing a degree in Psychology, Behavioral Neuroscience, Sociology or Social Work, consider adding a certificate in Evidence-Based Addiction Counseling. The 19-credit-hour certificate overlaps with many courses already required for Psychology and Behavioral Neuroscience. 

Outcomes

This certificate gives students the opportunity to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for addiction counselors and the transdisciplinary foundations that guide evidence-based addiction treatment, including (1) Understanding Addiction, (2) Treatment Knowledge, (3) Application to Practice and (4) Professional Readiness.

This certificate program helps students forge a career path in the helping professions that doesn’t require graduate training. 

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 23% job growth for substance abuse counselors from 2020 – 2030, which is much higher than the average 11% projected growth rate for other professions. The growth in this field is partially due to the Affordable Care Act that requires insurers to include substance abuse treatment coverage in all medical plans. There is also increased focus on addiction as a public health issue, and decreasing stigma about addiction and recovery are decreasing barriers that have prevented people from seeking help when needed. Given these trends, it is likely that job growth will continue for addiction counselors, who had a median income of $47,660 in 2020. 

For students who may want to attend graduate school, completing this certificate improves their applications to graduate programs, and becoming a LCDC-I gives them a way to work part-time while attending graduate school and gaining valuable experience in the field.