1a) Discussion—Assessment and Diagnosis

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1a) Discussion—Assessment and Diagnosis By Saturday, October 3, 2015,

 

Assessment and diagnosis are the first, and most critical, parts of substance use disorder treatment. Without an accurate assessment, the client may not benefit from the treatment options selected.

 

Review the following scenario and address the questions that follow:

 

Julia got into a car accident at the end of her senior year of high school, which resulted in a broken leg and an injured knee, both of which needed surgery to repair. During her recovery, she was in a lot of pain, so her doctor prescribed OxyContin.

 

After several weeks, the prescribed dose of OxyContin was no longer sufficient to completely alleviate Julia’s pain. So, she decided to take more than the prescribed dosage. This not only alleviated Julia’s pain, but it also gave her a feeling of euphoria, which she enjoyed. When Julia ran out of OxyContin and was unable to take it, she experienced a great deal of pain, even in areas of her body that were not affected by the car accident. She also found herself more anxious and agitated on days when she could not take OxyContin than on days when she did take it.

 

Based on your analysis of the scenario and module readings, respond to the following:

 

  • Which assessment tool(s) would you use to help evaluate and diagnose Julia’s substance use? Explain why you made your choice.
  • Based on the current DSM diagnostic criteria, does Julia’s behavior fit into a substance use disorder? Explain the rationale for your diagnosis.

 

Write your initial response in 300–400 words. Apply APA standards to citation of sources.

 

1b). Compare and Contrast Theories of Counseling By Wednesday, October 7, 2015,

 

There are many theories behind the different counseling modalities. Some counselors will adhere to one specific theory, focusing treatment types to the tenets of that theory. Other counselors will adopt a more eclectic counseling foundation, drawing key ideas from multiple theories and combining many treatment types to suit their clients.

 

For this assignment, create a chart that outlines the following counseling theories: behavior theory, psychoanalytic theory, cognitive-behavioral theory, and person centered theory. For each theory, cover the following aspects:

 

  • Goals of therapy
  • Types of treatment
  • Theoretical explanation of where substance use or abuse stems from
  • Characteristics of the client that would be the best fit for this theory

 

Download a copy of the chart template which you can use to create your chart.  Once your chart is complete, address the following questions:

 

  • Describe the similarities and differences between the different therapeutic theories.
  • According to you, which approach or combination of approaches best fits you as a future counselor?

 

Four Counseling Theories Chart

 

 

 

 

Goals of Therapy

 

Types of Treatment

 

Origins of Substance Abuse

 

Client Characteristics for Best Fit

Behavior Theory

 

 

 

 

Psychoanalytic Theory

 

 

 

 

Cognitive-Behavioral Theory

 

 

 

 

Person Centered Theory

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Write a 4–5-page paper (including the chart) in Word format. Apply APA standards to citation of sources.

 

2a) Discussion—Integrating Pharmacotherapy in Treatment By Saturday, October 10, 2015,

 

While numerous psychotherapeutic methods for treating substance abuse are available, some patients also utilize pharmacotherapy to assist them in their recovery.

 

Using the module readings, Argosy University online library resources, and other scholarly resources from the Internet, evaluate the integration of pharmacotherapy in the treatment of substance use disorders. Then, respond to the following questions:

 

  • What are the costs and benefits of combining pharmacotherapy with psychotherapy in the treatment of substance use disorders? 
  • How does abstinence apply to those users who are taking replacement therapy such as methadone maintenance or nicotine replacement treatments? 
  • What counseling theories will work best alongside pharmacotherapies for substance use disorders?

 

Write your initial response in approximately 300–400 words. Apply APA standards to citation of sources.

 

2b) Starting a Group By Wednesday, October 14, 2015

 

 

 

Group therapy represents a large portion of treatment opportunities for clients battling substance use disorders. Groups are an important part of treatment, allowing clients to feel as though they are not alone in facing a problem and that other people have faced similar problems and overcome them successfully. 

 

This particular assignment consists of two parts. For this assignment, assume that you have been working as an individual counselor at a substance abuse treatment center for some time now. Your supervisor has asked you to create a therapy group for a handful of the substance abuse clients that you and the other counselors work with. In order to identify the appropriate clients that can be placed in your group, your supervisor has asked you to prepare a report outlining the important points of the group you are forming:

 

Part I

 

Prepare a 1–2-page report detailing the following items in your group design:

 

  • Goal(s) of group
  • Group norms (such as attendance requirements, privacy, confidentiality, relationships with group members, etc.)
  • Differences between therapy group and self-help groups
  • Procedure for dealing with disruptive and/or resistant clients
  • Form(s) of power to be used
  • Consequences for relapse
  • Procedure for dealing with a member leaving the group

 

Part II

 

For the next part of this assignment, read this passage and address the questions that follow:

 

As the group leader, it is important to take time to look at some of the issues you may need to be aware of in yourself throughout each of the four stages of group development. For example, the second stage of group development includes an opportunity for clients to challenge or critique you. The way you handle criticism is an issue you need to identify and be wary of how you respond. Keeping this in mind, your supervisor has asked you to do the following:

 

  • Reflect on your potential issues for each of the four stages of group development.
  • Present at least two self-care strategies that you will be able to choose from in order to address these issues as they arise in your career.

 

Write a 3–4-page paper that includes both parts of the assignment in Word format. Include a title page in APA format. Use scholarly resources, including your textbook to support your ideas. Apply APA standards to citation of sources.

 

 3a) Discussion—Relapse and Pain By Saturday, October 17, 2015,

 

One of the largest hurdles in recovering from a substance use disorder does not concern getting sober, but rather, staying sober over time. Relapse is a constant threat; clients are consistently battling against their triggers to remain sober. Additionally, many recovering users suffer from pain, sometimes due to the initial conditions that led them to use, or from conditions developed through their chronic substance use. 

 

Keeping this in mind, respond to the following questions:

 

  • Evaluate the most common relapse triggers.
  • Analyze at least two relapse prevention strategies.
  • Explain how pain causes complications in preventing relapse in sober clients.
  • Hypothesize the risks and benefits in sober clients using pain medication as prescribed to help manage their pain.

 

Using information from the textbook, lecture materials, and other scholarly resources, write your initial response in approximately 300–400 words. Apply APA standards to citation of sources.

 

3b) LASA 1—Gregory’s Treatment By Wednesday, October 21, 2015

 

People that abuse substances have individual reasons for what first drove them to begin using these substances in the first place. Some clients started using them through experimentation, peer pressure, or curiosity. However, many users began using substances as a way of dealing with other issues in their lives, such as depression, anxiety, weight loss, or other physical or mental disorders. In still other cases, mental and physical disorders may result in response to chronic substance abuse. In these cases, it is important to determine what the co-occurring disorder is, as well as the substance abuse problem, in order to determine the best course of treatment. 

 

Read the following scenario and then respond to the questions that follow:

 

You are a substance abuse counselor. Gregory, your new client, has come to you for help with his alcohol use problem. Gregory is married with three children and works as a sales representative for a large corporation in the city. In your first meeting with Gregory, you discover that his drinking began as a way to alleviate the anxiety he felt in social situations. Over time, Gregory began using alcohol more often. He found that every time he used alcohol, his anxiety lifted and he was able to be more at ease during work, out with colleagues, and at other such public events. Over time, Gregory realized he needed more alcohol than before to get the same anxiety relieving effects.

 

Two weeks ago, one of Gregory’s coworkers became suspicious that Gregory was drinking at work. That same day, while Gregory was driving home from work, he was pulled over by the police. He passed the field sobriety test and the officer let him off with a warning. These two events served as a wake-up call for Gregory as he realized his alcohol use may be beyond his control.

 

Gregory has made an appointment with you because he sincerely wants to curtail his alcohol use.

 

To help Gregory achieve his goals, write a paper that analyzes the components of his scenario. In your paper, ensure that you include the following information:

 

  • Summarize the history and usefulness of the four major contemporary treatment modalities (crisis intervention, individual counseling, group counseling, and family counseling).
  • Evaluate Gregory’s dual diagnosis (also referred to as “co-occurring disorders”) and the implications for counseling. Keep the following questions in mind:
    • Describe the meaning of dual diagnosis and how it impacts counseling.
    • Classify Gregory’s primary and secondary diagnoses.
    • Analyze the implications in treating a secondary diagnosis.
  • Evaluate the limitations for an alcohol and drug counselor when treating diagnoses other than those to substance abuse. Describe the circumstances where the four treatment modalities might be useful in a dual diagnosis.   
  • Recommend at least one treatment modality for Gregory and explain your recommendation using at least two scholarly references.

 

Write a 4–5-page paper in Word format. Use scholarly resources, including your textbook, to support your ideas. Your paper must be in Word format and include a title page and reference page in addition to the 4-5-pages of content. Apply APA 6th edition standards to the format of the paper, and the citation of sources.

 

4a) Discussion—Barriers and Differences in Treating Women By Saturday, October 24, 2015

 

Treating substance-abusing women can be a completely different entity from treating men. Often, women who abuse substances face significant barriers when seeking treatment, and are often in need of therapeutic techniques specifically tailored to suit their needs.

 

Keeping this in mind, and using the textbook, lecture materials, and other scholarly resources, respond to the following questions:

 

  • Describe the barriers that women face when seeking treatment. 
  • Compare and contrast how these barriers differ from the barriers faced by men.
  • Recommend several treatment modifications that should be made for women in treatment.
  • Explain why these modifications are important and how they are different from treatment for men.

 

Write your initial response in approximately 300–400 words. Apply APA standards to citation of sources.

 

4b) Positive Psychology and Spirituality By Wednesday, October 28, 2015

 

Substance abuse counseling lends itself nicely to the integration of positive psychology and spirituality. While both of these therapy approaches have been explored for many years, the integration into substance abuse counseling is a relatively new development. As such, many clients may not be aware of the techniques in positive psychology and spirituality that can be of use in their recovery.

 

Juanita has been seeking treatment for her marijuana use from you for a month now. While she has significantly cut back on her substance use, she is having difficulty quitting and remaining abstinent for periods that last longer than a few days. In your counseling sessions, Juanita has mentioned that she feels very badly about herself—she feels guilty about being unable to quit and explains that she doesn’t think she is strong enough to quit altogether. She has also expressed nervousness that her boyfriend would no longer like her if she quit smoking, and she has expressed concern that if he leaves her, she wouldn’t be able to find a new boyfriend because she doesn’t believe she is pretty enough. Juanita is also unsatisfied with her job as a cashier at the local grocery store, but has expressed her opinion that she doesn’t think she is smart enough to get a better job. You know from Juanita’s history, that her mother was very critical of Juanita when she was a child and that her father was absent for most of her childhood. In high school, Juanita excelled at classes in biology and math, but she never attended college.

 

To help Juanita overcome her barriers to marijuana abstinence, write a summary of what the counselor should cover in the next meeting with Juanita. Ensure that you cover the following points:

 

  • Explain the concepts of positive psychology to Juanita.
  • Examine the goals of positive psychology and explain how this approach will help Juanita obtain sobriety, focusing specifically on the concerns and dissatisfactions she has expressed.
  • Design at least two exercises based on positive psychology for Juanita to work on in between counseling sessions.
  • Explain spirituality to Juanita, emphasizing the differences between spirituality and religion.
  • Examine how spirituality and positive psychology can work together to help Juanita achieve her goals.

 

Write a 4–5-page paper in Word format. Use scholarly resources, including the textbook to support your ideas. Apply APA standards to citation of sources.

 

 5a) LASA 2—Self-Help Evaluation By Monday, November 2, 2015

 

The self-help movement has swept the world of substance abuse treatment. A new client may not be aware of any treatment options open to them aside from those of self-help group meetings, such as Alcoholics Anonymous. While self-help groups are not a solution for every client, they have been shown to be useful in some cases.

 

As future substance abuse counselors, it is important that you explore and be aware of the different self-help groups and what goes on in these group meetings.

 

Begin this assignment by doing the following:

 

Attend a self-help group to substance abuse. There are multiple options including AA Open Meetings, Al-Anon, Women for Sobriety, and so forth. Information is easily accessible on the Internet. Note that some meetings are closed while others are open. At Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), most weekly groups are closed; however, open meetings are held primarily on weekends when all are welcome to attend.

 

Information for your area can be obtained through “AA Intergroup” at http://aa-intergroup.org/.

 

Introduce yourself and let folks know that you are a student. Remember to follow the guidelines of confidentiality.

 

If you are unable to access a twelve-step group because one is not available in your area, either research an online self-help group or research the implications of self-help groups in general including their strengths and weaknesses.

 

Write a paper about your experience and make sure you cover the following:

 

  1. Evaluate the self-help group you attended and/or researched. Critique the strengths and weaknesses of self-help groups in terms of their value in the treatment of substance abuse.
  2. Hypothesize what types of clients would be a good match for the group that you attended and/or researched. What types of clients would not be a good match? Consider age, gender, culture, race, sexuality, religion/spirituality, and the severity of substance abuse. Include other evaluation criteria for differential treatment. Explain your reasoning.
  3. Predict how self-help groups are evolving over time. How can technology be used to supplement and/or replace face-to-face support groups?
  4. Appraise the effect on the group experience when involuntary clients are present. Include the effect to treatment, counseling, and collaboration.
  5. Recommend several ways to overcome resistance. How may technology be used to overcome resistance to treatment? Include collaboration issues involved in the treatment of involuntary clients using technology.

 

Write a paper in Word format and make sure you include a title page and reference page in addition to the 6–8-pages of content. Apply APA 6th edition standards to the format of the paper, and the citation of sources.

 

5b) Discussion—Licensure, Certification Requirements, and Career Enhancement By Sunday, November 1, 2015

 

Over the course of the past few modules you have learned about the theories of substance abuse counseling. This includes the ethical principles of counseling, ways to apply these principles, and the development of treatment plans, as well as many other areas applicable to substance abuse counseling. You discussed and answered questions about how to deal with specific situations in counseling, how to work with clients, and how to develop a theoretical framework.

 

By now you will have come to the conclusion that your education as a substance abuse counselor does not stop here. There are many career enhancement resources available to substance abuse counselors. To prepare for this final discussion question, explore the following resources for both career enhancement and licensure or certification requirements:

 

  • Addiction Technology Transfer Center National Office (ATTC). (2011).Certification information. Retrieved from http://www.nattc.org/getCertified.asp
  • National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC). (2010). Retrieved from http://www.naadac.org/

 

Using the information you have examined on the recommended Web sites listed above, respond to the following questions:

 

  • Explain which of the treatment techniques discussed in this course you will use the most in your career and why?
  • Identify the areas in substance abuse counseling that you need for future learning to help you in your career and include at least one career enhancement resource available to substance abuse counselors that will help you meet this goal.
  • Explore the licensure or certification requirements in your state. What are the steps to obtain licensure or certification in your state? Identify the continuing education requirements for maintaining your licensure or certification in your state.

 

Write your initial response in approximately 300–400 words. Apply APA standards to citation of sources.

 

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