Professional Mental Health Counseling - Specialization in Addictions

At the graduate school, students interested in pursuing a career as a mental health counselor can choose to formally specialize in the treatment of addictions.

It is estimated that 40-80% of clients in treatment for mental health issues are also experiencing the effects of co-occurring addiction-related problems. Mental health professionals need to be prepared for this clinical reality.

Application Requirements and Deadlines Request Info Apply

Research shows that most counselors working in the field today do not have adequate addiction-specific and dual diagnosis training. The Professional Mental Health Counseling—Specialization in Addictions addresses this essential gap in training found in counselor preparation.

Students in the program receive training to work effectively and professionally with all mental health clients—those with addiction problems and those without. With this knowledge and skill base, students gain broad and complex understanding of mental health problems.

About the PMHC—Specialization in Addictions program

Psychology Background Requirement

The Professional Mental Health Counseling and Professional Mental Health Counseling—Specialization in Addictions programs expect applicants to be familiar with the field of psychology as well as basic concepts about society and culture.

This requirement is usually met in one of three ways: 

1. An undergraduate major in psychology, plus a course in sociology, cultural anthropology, women’s studies, or ethnic studies.

2. An undergraduate major in sociology, anthropology, women’s or gender studies, or other interdisciplinary social science, plus an introductory psychology course.

3. Complete the following MOOC course and present the midterm and final exams to a faculty advisor after admission into the program:

Open Yale Introduction to Psychology Course

Resources for Students

National Board for Certified Counselors
Oregon Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists
Washington Licensing Boards
The Addiction Counselor Certification Board of Oregon
American Counseling Association
American Psychological Association
California Board of Behavioral Sciences (Counselor Licensure)