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Telehealth Explorer Blog

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Telehealth Explorer Blog

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Telehealth Explorer Blog

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The Graduate Program That’s Revolutionizing Addiction Counseling Education

Dr. Bradley Conner, Associate Professor and Director of Addiction Counseling at Colorado State University (CSU), talks with the CEO of the Telehealth Certification Institute about his university’s innovative approach to training addiction specialists. As a researcher, Dr. Conner studies the etiology and negative outcomes of sensation seeking, emotion dysregulation, and impulsivity across the lifespan. He looks at how personality types influence the course of disorders and engagement with risky behaviors. In the interview, Dr. Conner uses his expertise to describe the unique addiction training model at CSU.

Dr. Conner explains how the grassroots movement in the addiction counseling field has impacted the availability and training of substance-use professionals. Even though many professionals bring valuable lived experience of addiction to their positions, core counseling skills taught through graduate-level addiction counseling degree programs were often lacking in hired staff members. As Dr. Conner put it, his program seeks to “fill the employment gap” by training addiction counselors with job-ready skills and competencies suited for the substance-use environment. According to Dr. Conner, Licensed Professional Counselors who specialize only in addiction “are a rarity in the field.” The underserved addiction population, on average, “has 30 trained counselors for every 1,000 individuals with an addiction,” and requires bold adaptations to enhance the quality of care.

The Master’s Degree in Addiction Counseling at Colorado State University offers a comprehensive course of study. Students dedicate their first year to on-site classes, while the entirety of the second year is spent in a full-time internship. With addiction counseling classes held twice a week during the evening, the program is accessible for students who have work or family obligations. A 3-year dual degree program in addiction counseling and social work is currently under development.

Entering its 5th year, the program already has a healthy track record of success. The program boasts a 100% retention and graduation rate with 90% of graduates working in the field after they complete their studies. Dr. Conner was particularly proud to say that 70-80% of incoming students each year identify with an underrepresented population, diversity that is often missing from the counseling field.  

Dr. Conner is also committed to ensuring that CSU students are prepared to practice both in-person and remotely. According to Dr. Conner, there has been a huge increase in rural and Spanish-speaking patients at the CSU clinic. Because “telehealth creates an immediate confidential environment,” and does not require months or years to develop, it effectively fills a gap in the delivery of care. CSU students can now be part of the solution as they help underserved communities access critical services through telehealth.

You can read more about Dr. Conner here.

By: Michael Tugendhat

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Tomica Horton
counselor/therapist / Jodi Province Counseling Services
Very well done. Encourages active engagement in telemental health process while guiding effectively.
Chris Brotherton
Marriage and Family Therapist / Addiction Counselor / Brotherton Counseling LLC
This course is more comprehensive than all the other HIPAA courses I've taken combined.
Michelle R. Gould, LMHC
Mental Health Counselor
Wonderful free training. Helpful discussion on how to aid clients in breaking out of the negative thought trap.
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This course was very informative and very relevant to today's telehealth practices!
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Housing Case Manager / Bridgeways
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Summer Allan Wilson LCSW-S; Nationally Certified TFCBT
Pediatric Psychotherapist / East Texas Family Guidance Center
This course was eye opening and highlighted some definite areas for improvement to better address emergency management planning.
Nikkita Scott
Director of Counselling & Student Activities / Bbermuda College
It was one of the best courses I’ve attended; clear, well-structured, creative, transparent and professional! Bravo.
Elizabeth Tramonte, PsyD
Private Practitioner / Elizabeth Tramonte PC
Vey helpful and user friendly. Most importantly informative. Very good information to enhance an individual's practice.
La Keicia Boyd
Licensed Professional Counselor / Private Practice
I really gained a deeper understanding of Telehealth. I think this course helps pave the way for success in our field. This was very convenient. I am so blessed to take a course like this during the crisis we are facing as a nation. This course really helps me perform at a high level for my job. THANKS!!!!!!!
Jackie Tanna
Therapist / Region One Mental Health
Very informative. I learned things that I wasn't aware of about state laws!
Tamara Coleman
Counselor / Tamara Coleman Counseling LLC
Very informative! Well organized! Takeaway- protect yourself- know your ethical code and standards/ be insured.
Brenda Staerker
Private practice / Thaxton Holistic Wellness
This course was extremely helpful understanding the legal requirements for interstate telehealth counseling.
Donald Kirk Henderson
Licensed Professional Counselor / Milestone Family Resources
I learned a lot in this course and will put what I learned into practice when I move my home office space.
Raymond Corbo
Clinical Supervisor and Counselor / Redeemer Counseling Services

The course was very detailed and informative. It covered everything that is necessary to work with Tele mental health.

Cynthia Allison
Mental health Counselor / Friendly Therapy LLC
Easily one of the best online or in-person workshops I have ever attended. The information was unbelievably relevant to current practice with our students doing e-learning and having to provide online therapy and support. Thank you so much for this workshop and the information.
Vincent Amador
School Psychologist / Thornridge High School
I took the Board Certified-TeleMental Health Provider Training Certification Course in 2018, I feel so lucky to have found the TeleHealth Certification Institute. It's a top notch training center which has continued to provide me with tools and the knowledge to grow my private teletherapy practice. I recently participated in the TeleMental Health Preparedness Summit 2020 and was definitely not disappointed. The excitement and enthusiasm from the participants and TeleHealth Certification Institute staff is contagious. I've been inspired, since, to look into taking more courses, and joined their FaceBook group. I will likely join their consultation group in the near future. I don't believe there is another training institute out there that is as good as this one for everything telebehavioral health. Thank you Ray! You are a visionary!
Larissa Golloub, LCSW-R
Psychotherapist, solo practitioner / Larissa Golloub, LCSW
This course is providing me with valuable information that will be helpful in providing competent and effective services for clients.
Nancy Sweet-Holp, LMSW
Therapist / Liberty House of Albany
Educational and informative content that was easy to follow and comprehend.
Scott Lipp, Ph.D., LMHC, LAC, NCC
Licensed Mental Health Counselor; Adjunct Professor / Greater Things, LLC; Florida Atlantic University
Very informative training, instruction was clear and easy to follow
Jill Bogan-El
Therapist
Courses were very informative! Extremely helpful!
Carron D. Alexander
LPC / Premier Counseling Services
The training was well structured and presented by a knowledge individual. Information shared in the training was useful, clear, and concise and can easily be incorporated into future practice techniques.
Dora Falls
LPC, MAC Private Practice - / Private Practice
Brillant concept and a great way to support counselors as they transition into on-line therapy/services.
Bianca Abrams
License Professional Counselor / The Wellness Institute of Atlanta
This was quite beneficial. You explained well at a comfortable pace and you provided sufficient details for me to develop an Emergency Management Plan. Thank you!
Dr. STEPHEN KIURI GITONGA
Great, course. Really helped me during this challenging time to connect with students.
Priscilla Robinson
School Counselor / Baltimore County Public Schools
The course was so informative and I was glued to my screen for the entire duration. I received so much knowledge concerning ethics in telehealth and I am greatly encouraged to read about all the standards and policies that pertain to my practice. Thank you!
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Public health consultant / Green and Purple Consultancy Network
Necessary technological guidance!
Frances D Murdock
The training was very informative, there was more in-depth information to the details of privacy and HIPAA on an electronic level that I was not aware of. The more technological part of it was new information to me.
Nellie Decker
Therapist II / Yakama Nation Behavioral Health
This course was very interesting and allowing me to understand the way telementalhealth services need to work correctly.
Patricia A Hill
Mental Health Counselor II and LCDC, MAC / Central County Services
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