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My counselor seems to be aggressive, could that indicate poor training?

answered 10:35 AM EST, Fri June 29, 2012
anonymous anonymous
Is a certified addiction counselor a very well trained professional? The person I am working with is not very inspiring to me and I wonder just how much education it takes to become this kind of counselor. I know I should just ask but the person is a little confrontational and I am kind of intimidated by her. It’s probably not good when you’re scared of your therapist? It’s weird because she has this really good reputation at the hospital but I am not having a very good experience.

Art Matthews Says...

The requirements for a CAC certification are low by professional licensing standards, but that may not be an indicator of this professional's training and experience. Depending on state or local jurisdiction, the CAC may only have a high school diploma or associates degree in addiction counseling, 6,000 hours of experience, minimum supervised practice, 250 clock hours of training and passage of a written certification exam. Continued education credits are required to maintain the certification. The minimum requirements are listed for you here.

Most mental health professionals are required to have a minimum of a master's degree in a counseling related field, professional internships, supervision and supervised practice hours. Many states are going to a higher standard for addiction counselors and require that they also hold mental health counnseling degrees, but licensing usually allows those with a certification or licensure under lower standards to continue to pactice based on "grandfathering".

The main issue for you sounds to be more a matter of match, rather than of the therapist's education and experience. If you are not mandated to counseling with this therapist, I would suggest considering a change in counselors after you have voiced you concern to the therapist about the way the counselor communicates with you. When a client does not feel some affinity for and from their therapist, recovery becomes complicated. Part of the issue in your own substance use may be that you have a passive nature and try to avoid cconfrontation and escape through your use. By approaching this situation directly with the counselor, you will be standinng up for yourself, learning new communication and interpersonal skills by letting the therapist know how you perceive of them. This situation is rife with therapeutic potential for you.

If you are met with hostility and aggression when you approach your feelings about their communication style and you continue to feel frightened, then I would look for another program or therapist to work with. When you entered into this therapy, you would have been given a client rights and responsibilities handout. Review that for further assistance or talk to the hospital administration. If you are mandated to therapy, talk to your court appointed advocate and talk to them about your concerns and the process you have taken to minimize problems.

Best of luck to you.

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Page last updated Jun 30, 2012

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