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Counseling Functions: Basic Counseling Information - Group Counseling Skills for the Substance Abuse Professional (15 hours)


This 15 hour course by Vic Shaw provides introductory information on the core function of counseling, specifically individual counseling skills. This course will give the student an opportunity to explore some basic group work theory and to apply this theory to working with substance abusers in both outpatient and inpatient settings. The first section of this course provides an overview of general group work theory and the second section explores the application of group work theory to practice in outpatient and inpatient settings.


By participating in this Distance Learning Course, the trainee will:

  • Identify the three stages of normal group development.
  • Identify and define the different types of groups used in treatment of substance abusers.
  • List the primary limitations and advantages of group work in treatment.
  • Describe at least six cues for intervention into the group process.
  • Describe at least three essential principles utilized in the formation of effective counseling groups.
  • Identify three kinds of Outpatient groups used in the treatment of substance abusers.
  • Describe the limitations of group work with chronic addicted patients in both Outpatient and Inpatient settings.
  • Identify several helpful techniques for starting counseling groups.
  • List the benefits of using Whether-Or-Not groups in treatment of substance abusers.
  • Describe how the concept of “field dependence” influences group behavior in treatment.
  • List at least four reasons for the utilization of group counseling in addiction treatment.
  • Distinguish the benefits and limitations of both open-ended and closed-ended group counseling.

Vic Shaw is a graduate of Southern Methodist University's Perkins School of Theology with a M.Th. and specialization in pastoral counseling. He has been active in the addiction field since 1970. During the past twenty-seven years he has worked as an Educational Specialist for the Dallas Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, as Director of Alcohol Education for the Dallas County Community College District, as an addiction counselor for The Texas Rehabilitation Commission, and as founding director of a thirty (30) bed inpatient addictions treatment center at Hurst-Euless-Bedford Hospital.

Vic was instrumental in the early formation of the Texas Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors (TAADAC) and led efforts to implement licensure standards in Texas. He has been a certified addiction counselor in Texas as well as a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor. He is former chairman of the Education Committee for TAADAC and former chairman of the Texas Task Force for Addictions Manpower Development. Vic also served on the Board of Directors for the Dallas and Tarrant County Councils on Alcohol and Drug Abuse. Since 1983 he has devoted most of his time and energies to developing a model addictions counselor's training program that has been implemented throughout Texas, Florida, Mississippi, and Southern California. Vic is one of the founders of the Distance Learning Center for Addictions Studies and ReadytoTest.com.

Internet Format - Coursework that is available immediately via a downloadable PDF file (a popular online format that requires you to have the Adobe Reader program, or one similar, installed on your computer). Many websites already use this very user friendly file format, so chances are you already have a PDF reader installed on your computer. This format allows faster downloading, easier reading, and easier printing. All course materials will be included, as will the link to the post-test required for course completion. Access and downloading information will be immediately sent to the email address you provide at checkout. There is no additional charge for this format.

USB Flash Drive Format - Different computers, processors, ISP's, and software make it sometimes difficult or time-consuming to capture materials provided via the Internet. As a result, we've added the Flash Drive format to our list of options. With this format we will send you a Flash Drive by Priority Mail that can be used on any computer, laptop, tablet with a USB port. The drive will include a PDF copy of the course or courses ordered along with the test link needed to complete your course using our online test system. This option will include additional per course costs for materials/shipping/handling.

Hard Copy Format - Coursework that is delivered to you by Priority Mail in book form. All course materials will be included, as will the post-test required for course completion. For immediate results and faster certificate processing an email containing instructions on how to access your post-test online will be sent to the email address provided at checkout. Should you not want to submit the test yourself, a mail/fax form is also included that will allow you to mail or fax your test responses to us for processing. Hard copy courses will include additional per course costs for materials/shipping/handling.

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