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Counseling Women: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (10 hours)

Counseling Women: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (10 hours)


This 10 hour course by Susan Cheatham is intended to help counselors increase both awareness and skills in dealing with clients with an FASD, or women who wanted to have a healthy child but weren't given the basic help they needed before and during pregnancy.  It is presented to help treatment professionals offer hope to these individuals when they present in treatment settings. It is not intended to ask counselors to implement a whole new way of treating clients - rather, it asks you to see people who have or may have an FASD as you see any individual in your care with a significant co-occurring life issue that should be recognized and incorporated into treatment planning. It also asks you to see pregnant women who consume alcohol not through a lens of judgment but as women in need, for whom even a few minutes of information and education can make a lifetime of difference for their health and the health of their babies.

This course is also about hope for you as a substance abuse or mental health treatment professional because it gives you another way to view the clients who “just don't get it” or who seem to want to succeed in treatment but can't follow directions, don't make it to appointments, grow restless in group sessions, or generally seem “resistant” with no clear explanation. You can “reframe” your thinking about these clients. Not all of these cases will be explained by FASD, obviously, but making FASD awareness a part of the culture of your agency widens the net of understanding that you can offer to your clients and increases your staff's capabilities for achieving positive outcomes with a higher percentage of them.


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

  • Discuss approaches to preventing FASD.
  • Identify methods to assist women who are in treatment settings and are pregnant or may become pregnant to remain abstinent from alcohol.
  • Recognize models for prevention of FASD.
  • Learn ways to incorporates treatment and maintenance for FASD.
  • Explore methods for identifying individuals in treatment who have or may have an FASD.
  • Discover methods for referring clients for diagnosis where possible,
  • Establish understanding for how to provide appropriate interventions to meet client’s needs.
  • Use clinical vignettes in order to understand the provider–client interactions that might take place when providing FASD prevention or interventions.

Susan Cheatham, M.Ed, completed her graduate and undergraduate work at the University of Southern Mississippi, obtaining a Master’s in Education, with an emphasis on community counseling. She has worked in the substance abuse field for more than 20 years, and is a supervising LPC and certified substance abuse counselor and SAP provider. She has worked with child welfare services providing substance abuse assessments and counseling for their clients. She currently works at a non-profit facility providing individual and family counseling, marital and couples counseling, and with clients who have mood disorders, PTSD, anxiety disorders.

In addition, she has developed the curriculum and program for women who have been arrested for domestic violence and is facilitating five groups for this population. She has developed and implemented a survivor of suicide support group and facilitated crisis debriefing groups in her area. She provides onsite supervision for students in master level programs completing their practicum and internship hours. In addition to this Series on Women's issues, she is the author/instructor for the DLCAS course entitled “Trauma and Substance Abuse.”

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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