Course Introduction: Counseling People Who Use Substances

Welcome to the Counseling People Who Use Substances course. In this course you will learn about commonly used substances, how substances impact people's physiology, how to assess, diagnose, and treat substance use, and so much more. This information is designed for all counselors in training, and all counselors will likely encounter clients who use substances or clients who are in systems that are impacted by substances.

Course Resources

During this course we will be using a number of different external resources including:

Initial Exploration Questions

Everyone develops their own values, biases, and beliefs. Psychoactive substances can be a particularly loaded topic, with some condemning all people who use substances, while others advocate for complete decriminalization and acceptance of substances. One of our aims in developing this course is to structure activities that encourage you to explore the ways in which your personal values, biases, beliefs, & culture intersect with your identity as a counselor and your professional work with people who use substances.

Before beginning this course, please reflect on the following:

Language & Perception

Research has demonstrated that language significantly impacts one's perceptions and behaviors. Read through this article before considering the following reflection prompts.

Language & Perception Exploration Questions