Certificate in Addictions Counseling


Certificate in Addictions Counseling

Combine knowledge and skills related to addictions with a deeper understanding of healthy development, co-occurring disorders, and counseling techniques with BGSP’s Certificate in Addictions Counseling.   Approved by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Bureau of Substance Abuse Services as an Approved Addiction Education Program, this unique curriculum provides an exceptional level of individual and group supervision on working with addictions.

The Certificate in Addictions Counseling program prepares graduates for positions as addictions counselors and satisfies the educational requirements for the Massachusetts License in Alcohol and Drug Counseling (LADC).  In the ten-course curriculum, students learn about specific addictions and assessment techniques.  They study the biological, social, and emotional factors underlying addictions and co-occurring disorders and examine counseling techniques, including professional ethics.  Unlike other programs, BGSP also gives students the tools to use their own responses to the work to understand their clients and intervene effectively in their lives.

Students gain practical experience at an internship, performing each of the state-defined 12 core functions of addictions counseling for a minimum of 10 hours.  (The core functions are screening, intake, orientation, assessment, treatment planning, counseling, case management, crisis intervention, client education, referral, reporting and record keeping, and consultation with other professionals.)  BGSP’s program uniquely supports and coaches the student during the internship through the two-semester Case Management Seminar, individual supervision, and group supervision on addictions counseling, in addition to supervision received at the internship. 

Also unique to BGSP’s training, all students engage in a personal analysis experience during the program.  This helps the students to deepen their understanding of course material through personal experience and to tolerate the feelings aroused by their work.

Program of Study

To earn the Certificate, students complete ten courses (including the two-semester Case Management Seminar) and the 300 hour internship in an addictions treatment facility. 

Students may enroll either on a continuing education basis (no academic credit) or for graduate academic credit, but all students are expected to complete the coursework.  Courses successfully completed for academic credit may be transferred into the Master’s program in Mental Health Counseling if the student pursues that degree.  Courses taken on a continuing education basis may not be granted academic credit retroactively, so please choose carefully.

Most students will attend part-time.

Employment Outlook

According to the U.S. Department of Labor:

“Employment of substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors is projected to grow 31 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. Growth is expected as addiction and mental health counseling services are increasingly covered by insurance policies….  Demand for substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors may also increase as states seek treatment and counseling services for drug offenders rather than jail time…. Job prospects should be good for substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors, particularly for those with specialized training or education. Employers often have difficulty recruiting workers with the proper educational requirements and experience in working with addiction…. As result, those interested in entering this field should find favorable prospects.”


From the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/substance-abuse-and-behavioral-disorder-counselors.htm (visited July 10, 2015).

Certificate in Addictions Counseling


Required Courses

CP 101 Psychological and Addictions Assessment
CP 102 Theories of Counseling
CP 103 Ethics for Mental Health and Addictions Counselors
CP 104 Multi-Cultural Issues in Counseling
CP 110 Understanding and Treating Addictions
CP 141 Maturation I: Early Development (or a comparable Maturation course)
CP 181 Biology of Mind and Behavior
CP 186 Psychopathology II
CP 182 Case Management for Addictions Counselors (two semesters during internship) 

In addition, students participate in:

CP 350 Counseling Internship
CP 351 Internship Individual Supervision (two semesters during internship)
CP 216 Group Supervision on Addiction Counseling (two semesters during internship)
PT 7 Personal Analysis (throughout the program)


To be eligible for the Certificate program in Addictions Counseling, applicants will have already earned a Bachelor’s degree.   Complete the application process here, or, if you are interested but not ready to apply, submit an inquiry


Students taking the program for graduate credit follow the graduate credit Tuition and Fee Schedule.  Students pursuing the program on a continuing education basis pay:

  • $100 application fee (one-time fee)
  • $50 registration fee per semester
  • $740 per course
  • $740 per semester for CP 351 individual supervision
  • $740 per semester for CP 216 group supervision
  • Up to $2400 per semester for personal analysis