This basic counseling skills class teaches a client-centered, counselor-directed model using a motivational style. The training is designed to provide counselors with a framework for working with clients with substance use disorders. The counselor will experience and learn the counseling skills to support the client to move through identifying and changing behaviors. Videotaping and feedback will assist the participants in developing a standard level of counseling skills proficiency.

(Prerequisite is Motivational Interviewing.) This advanced training will serve as a booster session for Motivational Interviewing skills as well as introducing advanced motivational interviewing skills.

This class is designed to provide the counselor with an understanding of the client clinical record. Participants in this training will learn how to properly document for the clinical record including intake documents, assessments, referrals, releases of information, treatment plans, progress notes, and discharge summaries as well as report writing for mandated referral sources.

(Prerequisite is Client Record Management) Participants in this clinical assessment and treatment planning class learn how to conduct effective and appropriate assessments using a biopsychosocial foundation, how to use the DSM-IV-TR for behavioral health disorder diagnosis, and how to create individualized approaches to treatment planning. It will include an introduction to the ASAM Patient Placement Criteria and the DSM-IV-TR.

This training is designed to help a counselor learn the models of supervision and tools necessary to use as a standard of supervision practice. In this course the counselor will be exposed to supervision that is tailored to the supervisee’s developmental level of experience. Ethical supervisory practices, including supervision contracts and work verification practices, will be discussed. Videotaping and feedback will assist the counselors in developing a standard level of supervisory skills proficiency.

(Prerequisite is Clinical Supervision I and Motivational Interviewing) Clinical supervision II is designed to highlight the ethical, legal, multicultural and crisis management issues that arise when supervising addiction counselors. Specialized techniques, coaching, consulting, teaching, and use of video or audio in supervision will be discussed. MIA: STEP (Motivational Interviewing Assessment: Supervisory Tools for Enhancing Proficiency) will be utilized as a format of supervision.

CBT is an evidenced-based treatment and is foundational to the addiction treatment field.  Participants will learn the theoretical foundations of CBT and how to incorporate CBT skills in a comprehensive treatment strategy that includes intake, assessment, case conceptualization, treatment planning, therapy and supervision. Counselors will learn and practice effective ways to utilize the tools specific to CBT with their clients.

(Prequisite is Clinical Assessment and Treatment Planning.) In this training, the focus will be on the differential diagnosis and treatment of substance use disorders occurring concurrently with other behavioral health disorders. The participants will learn about the diagnosis of addiction-based disorders and other mental health disorders. Models of co-occurring disorders treatment will be presented.

(Replaces Diversity in Treatment Populations.) This class provides an introduction to aid the counselor in working with culturally diverse individuals, explores barriers to treatment and recovery, and presents recommended treatment approaches for special populations. Diversity factors discussed include racial and ethnic diversity, gender, language, folk beliefs, socioeconomic status, spirituality versus religiosity, sexual orientation, drugs of choice, trauma, and health-related issues.  This class will provide an opportunity for aspiring counselors to explore their biases and outlooks.


This experiential training covers the process of change as it relates to the dynamics of an effective group experience and the qualities of group facilitation. Models of group therapy, the use of observation and feedback, group relational experience, and cultural diversity within groups will be discussed and experienced in classroom group exercises. Videotaping feedback may be used.

(Expanded from 14 hours.) Motivational interviewing is an evidence-based practice with widespread use in addiction counseling. The class will focus on learning the motivational interviewing model. In this training, participants will learn the transtheoretical model of stages of change, the tools for creating an environment where positive change can occur, and practice of the skills. 

Videotaping and feedback will assist the participants in developing a standard level of counseling skills proficiency in MI.

(Moved from CAC II class previously, new description.) Pharmacology I will explore basic human anatomy and physiology, with a special emphasis on the impact of addictive substances on brain functioning. The effects of licit and illicit drugs of addiction will be taught, the impact on the body and methods of monitoring substance use.

(Prerequisite is Pharmacology I.) Pharmacology II will explore the influence of contextual variables on addiction and recovery from a neuropsychological and cultural framework. Functional changes to the brain and the brain’s ability to recover after exposure to drugs of addiction and process addictions, medical problems associated with substance abuse, and the use of pharmacological assists in recovery will be discussed.

In this training, the focus will be on the complex relationship between the client’s drugs of choice, lifestyle choices, and physiological health.  Discussions will include immune system health, liver function, harm reduction and specific diseases such as HIV and hepatitis. Strategies will be presented for screening to determine level of risk, referral, and education about disease prevention and treatment.

This training presents the history and theories of addiction, the competencies required of an addiction counselor and scope of practice, and the NIDA principles of effective treatment. There will be an exploration of current evidence-based practices, addiction counselor certification and licensure in Colorado and levels of care offered for addiction treatment.

This class focuses on ethical practice in counseling clients with substance use disorders and other behavioral disorders. It includes an overview of ethical decision making models, confidentiality, code of ethics and the federal confidentiality regulation 42 CFR, Part 2. The Colorado Mental Health Practice Act will be discussed to include disciplinary procedures and prohibited activities.

(Prerequisite is Professional Ethics I.) This class will provide participants with a comprehensive introduction to ethical and risk management issues related to addiction treatment and services.  It will focus on three key topics: 1) ethical dilemmas encountered by addiction professionals with the use of case studies; 2) ethical decision-making strategies; and 3) risk management concepts designed to prevent ethics complaints and ethics-related lawsuits pertaining to professionals’ handling of confidential information, informed consent, boundary issues and dual relationships, conflicts of interest, service delivery, supervision, consultation, referral and termination of services.

This training will focus on administrative supervision, organizational issues, DBH-licensed treatment agency requirements, challenges of the current treatment environment, confidentiality concerns, measuring performance treatment outcomes, role of program director, policies and procedures and other topics to be determined. In addition, the expectations of the addiction professional interacting with other mental health professionals in treatment settings as well as in the community will be explored.

(Prerequisite is Culturally Informed Counseling.) The focus of this training will be an overview of what the addiction counselor needs to know to work effectively with specialized treatment populations, including women, men, adolescents, criminal justice, PTSD and trauma survivors, families, recovery management, relapse prevention, creating trauma-informed treatment environments and others as determined.