School of Health Sciences
Addictions Counselling - Diploma

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Program Overview

Location(s):
  • SIAST Woodland Campus, Prince Albert
Length: 65 weeks: 

Year 1 - 32 weeks (on campus); Year 2 - 33 weeks (14 weeks at practicum locations)

It takes emotional maturity, good people skills and a strong sense of self to become an addictions counsellor. If you’re interested, the Addictions Counselling program at SIAST will provide the training you need. The program is also the first in Canada to integrate mental health, addictions and First Nations philosophy.

Extensive training hours and experiential learn qualify you for jobs with community-based agencies, health regions, non-profit organizations, school systems and private companies. Look for a position as a treatment counsellor, addictions educator, group home worker, case manager or employee/family assistance counsellor.

Our Program

Addictions Counselling is a two-year diploma program offered at SIAST Woodland Campus in Prince Albert. Some classes are also available through distance education. You’ll study cross-cultural and gender issues, gambling, pharmacology, drug abuse history in communities and more. Instructors with real-world experience provide practical training in:

  • administrative and communication skills
  • integrated case management, motivational interviewing
  • one-one and group counselling
  • community mobilization, prevention and development projects
  • community-based public education, health promotion sessions
  • screenings, assessments, treatment plans and referrals
  • suicide intervention and crisis intervention

Experiential Learning

You’ll apply what you learn in class during role-play sessions in experiential labs. Skilled instructors provide coaching and monitoring as you practice suicide and crisis intervention skills, one-on-one counselling techniques and group counselling.

On-the-Ground Training

You’ll get on-the-ground training in the community, including a two-week work experience in a detoxification setting and a 12-week work experience in an addictions program setting. SIAST’s extensive training hours and real-world experience provide professional skills and confidence, enabling you to transition smoothly into a counselling position on graduation.

Get a Degree

If you add an introductory course in corrections to your studies, when you graduate you’ll be eligible to transfer into third year of the four-year Bachelor of Applied Arts in Justice Studies at Lethbridge College in Alberta.

Nationally Recognized Training

The program is sanctioned by both the Addictions Professionals Association of Saskatchewan (APASK, www.apask.org) and the Canadian Addictions Counsellor Certification Federation (CACCF, www.caccf.ca). It also exceeds national workforce competencies developed by the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA). This means your training is relevant in today’s job market.

On graduation, you’ll be eligible for membership in the APASK. You’ll also be able to apply your training hours as recognized clinical supervision to achieve full certification as an addictions counsellor or prevention worker through the CACCF.

Your Career

Look for career opportunities with provincial and federal health agencies, non-profit organizations, school systems, private companies and with community-based agencies such as the National Native Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program and the Metis Addictions Council of Saskatchewan.

For more information, contact the Student Employment Services at the SIAST campus nearest you.

Program Details

Start Date(s): September

Tuition and Fees

Estimates are based on current rates and are subject to change. Amounts for a program may vary by campus. Totals shown here include all mandatory fees as well as books and supplies. For a complete breakdown of tuition and fees for this program, click here to access the SIAST campus Tuition and Fee Schedules.

 

$7,500

Admission Information

Admission Requirements

  • Grade 12 with English Language Arts A30 and English Language Arts B30
  • Satisfactory assessment for chemical dependency (the assessment is made up of two parts; evaluation of the assessment and interpretation of results)*
  • Satisfactory Criminal Record Check
  • English Language Requirement



* The assessment must be completed by an addiction service provider in accordance to the standards and methodology of SMRS (Saskatchewan Model of Recovery Services).
A Personal Information Package that provides more detail on the program's admission requirements is available from Registration Services.

Note


Standard First Aid and CPR HeartSaver "A" AED or equivalent are required for occupational and/or clinical placement.

Special Admission

Applicants who do not possess the academic qualifications for a program may be admitted if evidence of probable success can be established through a special admission assessment. Interested individuals should still apply. Applicants are automatically considered for special admission. However, some specific admission requirements may still need to be met. Refer to the ACCUPLACER© cut scores and Post Secondary Success Requirements for this program below, and review additional details concerning Special Admission.

ACCUPLACER©

  • 75 Reading
  • 75 Sentence
  • 4 WritePlacer

Admission Method

First Qualified/First Admitted

The First Qualified/First Admitted (FQFA) process is used for the majority of SIAST programs. When we determine that you meet the program's admission requirements, you will be offered admission based on the date you fully qualify for the program. The earlier you provide the appropriate documents and information that qualify you for admission to the next intake, the earlier you might begin your studies. Your application, once qualified, is always considered for the next intake. 

Applicants to programs with multiple intakes in an academic year remain in the application pool until the last intake for that academic year has begun. Programs using the FQFA process receive applications year round and maintain an application pool for each academic year. Qualified applicants who are not offered a seat must reapply for the next academic year. 

Sponsored programs or programs targeted to specific groups do not accept applications year round or maintain an application pool.

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition

SIAST recognizes that adults learn in many different ways and through many different means. This includes acquiring knowledge and skills through life and work experience or non-formal training. Frequently asked questions regarding PLAR for this program are answered in the Factsheet. A detailed Candidate Guide, which includes a self-audit for all PLAR-ready courses, has been developed for this program. This information guides a candidate through all steps in the PLAR process.


Transfer Credit

Many SIAST students benefit from transferring credit. You may be eligible to transfer credit from or to another college or university. To learn more, visit our transfer credit web page.

 


Transfer credit options vary over time; this information is subject to change. Transfer credit options for this program include:

  • block transfer of 60 credits, Bachelor of Professional Arts, Human Services, Athabasca University
  • 13 credit hours transfer, Faculty of Social Work, University of Regina
  • course transfers, considered on an individual basis, Addictions Counselling Program, Health and Sciences, University of Lethbridge

Courses

Year 1

CodeCourse Name/DescriptionCredits
CAPL 144

Academic Management

The course focuses on designing academic management plans that take adult learners and their personal/academic well being into consideration. You will review the whole person model, time management, neurolinguistic programming accessing cues, learning styles and study techniques. You will then use the results to create the individualized study plan needed to complete the program.


Credit Units: 2

Course Hours: 24.0

Learning Methods: Online, Lecture/Lab

2
CAPL 145

Writing Skills

The course provides instruction and practice in written communication skills. You will review basic grammar and the mechanics of writing. You will also produce examples of technical writing (including basic reports, research papers using the A.P.A. format and using reference materials).


Credit Units: 3

Course Hours: 45.0

Learning Methods: Online, Lecture/Lab

3
CAPL 146

Personal and Professional Development

You will explore personal and professional development as it relates to the addictions and mental health industry. You will be introduced to the concepts of personal and professional development in a holistic and multifaceted approach. You will also be introduced to practical ways of exploring self-concept, self-esteem and raising one's self-esteem using "focusing" and a values clarification process to develop personal and professional goals.


Credit Units: 3

Course Hours: 45.0

Prerequisites: CAPL 144

Learning Methods: Online, Lecture/Lab

3
CDEP 155

Behaviour and Drug Dynamics

The course will introduce you to the pharmacological and physiological effects of drugs on the body. You will also discuss six major drug classifications. You will examine, in detail, key drugs of abuse encountered as addictions workers. You will also practice presenting information on drugs to education groups.


Credit Units: 3

Course Hours: 45.0

Prerequisites: HLTH 151

Learning Methods: Online, Lecture/Lab

3
CDEP 158

Chemically Dependent Persons

You will discuss the theories, etiology and best practices of working with chemically dependent clients. You will also review the addictions and recovery processes for alcohol, cocaine and marijuana for adults and adolescents.


Credit Units: 3

Course Hours: 40.0

Prerequisites: CDEP 157 or CDEP 174

Learning Methods: Online, Lecture/Lab

3
CDEP 160

Family Systems

Your studies will focus on the structure, functions, individual roles and values within the institution of the family. The Canadian family, the influence of family background and family dynamics within a "systems theory" will be emphasized.


Credit Units: 2

Course Hours: 23.0

Learning Methods: Lecture/Lab

2
CDEP 161

Erosion of Addicted Families

You will examine the progressive erosion of family functioning as chemical dependency progresses. The effects on the addicted person's spouse, children, parents and adult children of alcoholics will be given specific attention.


Credit Units: 2

Course Hours: 36.0

Prerequisites: CDEP 159, CDEP 160

Learning Methods: Lecture/Lab

2
CDEP 162

Abuses in Families

You will examine the types of abuses that occur in a family. You will also be introduced to various referral strategies for families entering into the healing process.


Credit Units: 2

Course Hours: 24.0

Prerequisites: CDEP 161(concurrent)

Learning Methods: Lecture/Lab

2
CDEP 163

Concurrent Disorders Clients

You will examine the mental and psychiatric disorders that coexist with the chemically dependent client and the problems that occur in assessing and designing treatment and follow-up plans for them. You will also discuss philosophical differences in referral resources and strategies for specialized assessments and treatment plans. You will practice using brief screening instruments and referral procedures.


Credit Units: 2

Course Hours: 31.0

Prerequisites: CDEP 161

Learning Methods: Lecture/Lab

2
CDEP 164

Gender Issues

You will study basic addictions issues specific to the sub-group populations of homosexual men and women, heterosexual men and women, bisexuals, and transgendered individuals. You will also study the role sex and sexuality play in addictions.


Credit Units: 1

Course Hours: 18.0

Prerequisites: CDEP 161

Learning Methods: Lecture/Lab

1
CDEP 165

Special Needs Clients

You will be introduced to a number of basic issues surrounding special needs clients and the addictions assessment/treatment planning process. Special needs clients include the elderly, physically challenged, grieving, AIDS clients, clients on probation or parole and street youth.


Credit Units: 3

Course Hours: 40.0

Prerequisites: CDEP 161

Learning Methods: Online, Lecture/Lab

3
CDEP 167

Cross Cultural Counselling

You will examine diversity, Canadian Aboriginal cultures and the special factors an addictions worker must consider when assessing and assisting clients from various cultures. You will also participate in Aboriginal culture awareness activities.


Credit Units: 2

Course Hours: 30.0

Prerequisites: CDEP 161

Learning Methods: Lecture/Lab

2
CDEP 171

Human Relations in Addictions

You will examine the importance of interpersonal competence and communication in one’s personal and professional life. You will study self-disclosure and the various levels needed as a person and as a professional. The course content includes trust building, active listening, verbal and nonverbal communication, and effective verbal responses linked to neuro-linguistic programming.


Credit Units: 2

Course Hours: 30.0

Learning Methods: Lecture/Lab

2
CDEP 172

Communications in Addictions

You will practice the communication skills needed to develop effective interpersonal communication. These include verbal and nonverbal communication, self-disclosure, trust building, demonstrating respect, summarizing, giving and receiving feedback, and paraphrasing. You will also examine the role addictions, co-dependency and cultural diversity play in communications from a client’s view and the skilled helper’s view. All activities are video recorded and analyzed.


Credit Units: 3

Course Hours: 45.0

Prerequisites: CDEP 171

Learning Methods: Lecture/Lab

3
CDEP 173

Addictions and Conflict Resolution

The course provides theory and skills development for effective anger, fear and conflict management. The course content includes identifying sources of anger, fear and conflicts. It also provides opportunities for you to practice assertiveness, conflict resolution, confrontation and negotiation skills. You will also explore the implications that arise when working with people affected by addictions and from various cultural backgrounds. All activities are video recorded and analyzed.


Credit Units: 2

Course Hours: 30.0

Prerequisites: CDEP 172

Learning Methods: Lecture/Lab

2
CDEP 174

Detoxification Management

You will examine various detoxification programs across Canada. You will examine special considerations needed for withdrawal management, including clients with concurrent disorders and issues related to concurrent disorders in working with clients who may be mandated for services such as those on probation or parole, youth clientele and clients infected with Hepatitis C, HIV or AIDS. You will also be introduced to the detoxification management process that is done by qualified medical personnel.


Credit Units: 1

Course Hours: 18.0

Prerequisites: CDEP 155

Learning Methods: Online, Lecture/Lab

1
CDEP 178

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

You will be introduced to the basic issues of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) and Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE). The course emphasizes the importance of early intervention and strategies for working with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) clients and their families.


Credit Units: 1

Course Hours: 16.0

Prerequisites: MHA 143

Learning Methods: Online, Lecture/Lab

1
COUN 149

Assessments and Recovery Plans

You will examine and practice conducting various basic comprehensive assessment instruments, the process of assessing clients using the whole person model in treatment modalities, case management procedures, risk assessment, best practices, and documentation and record keeping.


Credit Units: 2

Course Hours: 30.0

Prerequisites: CAPL 146, CDEP 162, CDEP 163, CDEP 164, CDEP 165, CDEP 166, CDEP 167, CDEP 168, CDEP 173, HUMD 143, HLTH 151

Learning Methods: Lecture/Lab

2
COUN 150

Motivational Interviewing

You will examine the elements and process of motivational interviewing. You will also explore what motivates a person to change, in particular to seek and maintain recovery from addictions. You will practice the motivational interviewing process and working with resistant clients.


Credit Units: 2

Course Hours: 24.0

Prerequisites: COUN 149(concurrent)

Learning Methods: Online, Lecture/Lab

2
COUN 151

Brief Screenings

You will examine and practice various brief-screening instruments. You will practice administering, scoring and presenting brief screening results.


Credit Units: 1

Course Hours: 18.0

Prerequisites: COUN 149 or COUN 158

Learning Methods: Online, Lecture/Lab

1
COUN 152

Suicide Interventions

You will receive information on suicide, and suicide prevention and intervention. The course content includes recognizing suicidal behaviour, assessing risk and practicing prevention and intervention techniques. You will also discuss addictions centre protocol.


Credit Units: 1

Course Hours: 15.0

Prerequisites: COUN 151(concurrent)

Learning Methods: Online, Lecture/Lab

1
COUN 154

Addictions Counselling Theory

You will receive an orientation to the complete skilled helping process. You will examine establishing rapport, foundational counselling skills, assessing client problems, the process of facilitating client self-exploration, assisting a client in developing new perspectives and setting goals. You will also examine the skills of challenging clients when they are stuck, the role of challenging denial in co-dependent and addicted clients, and the process of facilitating clients in designing their treatment plans.


Credit Units: 3

Course Hours: 45.0

Prerequisites: COUN 150, COUN 152, ETHC 140

Learning Methods: Lecture/Lab

3
ETHC 140

Ethics in Human Services

You will examine the purpose and ethical basis for being a skilled helper with particular emphasis in the addictions industry and be introduced to the problem management approach to helping. The course content includes how to apply the codes of ethics and confidentiality in the human services industry, notably the addictions industry.


Credit Units: 2

Course Hours: 24.0

Learning Methods: Online, Lecture/Lab

2
HLTH 151

Stress Management in Helping Profession

You will examine the various types, causes and effects of stress on an individual. You will learn how to assess stress levels and apply stress management techniques personally and for those experiencing stress as a result of mental health and chemical dependency. You will explore the use of cultural activities to manage stressors.


Credit Units: 2

Course Hours: 24.0

Prerequisites: CAPL 146

Learning Methods: Online, Lecture/Lab

2
HUMD 143

Lifespan Issues

You will examine changes in human development and the development of social roles across the lifespan


Credit Units: 3

Course Hours: 42.0

Learning Methods: Lecture/Lab

3
MHA 142

Recovery and Wellness Models

You will examine addictions and treatment processes as they relate to non-First Nations and First Nations traditional healing practises in recovery. You will also explore the dynamics of relapse and methadone programs in the recovery process.


Credit Units: 2

Course Hours: 24.0

Prerequisites: CDEP 158

Learning Methods: Online, Lecture/Lab

2
MHA 144

Process Addictions

You will examine the nature and extent of process addictions, problem gambling and Internet use, the phases of problem use, and the signs and characteristics of individuals who experience problem use. You will be introduced to introductory level screening and assessment tools used for compulsive gambling and Internet use, and the relapse recovery process and referral sources for problem gambling and Internet users. You will recognize the differences, similarities and relationships between gambling, other addictions and mental health issues and concerns.


Credit Units: 1

Course Hours: 18.0

Prerequisites: MHA 142, MHA 143

Learning Methods: Online, Lecture/Lab

1
PRAC 247

Detox Practicum

You will apply the theory and skills you learned in the program in a real-life social/medical detoxification setting. You will be evaluated based on the core functions an addictions worker performs in a detox setting and on your ability to monitor and assist clients in the withdrawal management process.


Credit Units: 4

Course Hours: 60.0

Prerequisites: COUN 155

Equivalent Courses: WORK 250

Learning Methods: Clinical/Practicum-Individual

4

Year 2

CodeCourse Name/DescriptionCredits
ADMN 251

Administrative Functions

You will become familiar with the administrative functions required of addictions service agencies. You will examine organizational structure, working with community-based organizations measuring outcomes and management styles. You also practice time management and job search skills.


Credit Units: 3

Course Hours: 45.0

Learning Methods: Lecture/Lab

3
ADMN 253

Industry Documentation

You will learn how to write formal business letters and memos, and agency reports for staff presentations. You will also prepare other types of reports to government and various human service agencies. You will examine the function of public relations when working in human services agencies and/or as a community prevention worker. You will practice writing news releases.


Credit Units: 2

Course Hours: 24.0

Learning Methods: Lecture/Lab

2
CDEP 169

Community Mobilization and Development

You will examine the process of change, community mobilization and development. Emphasis will be placed on problem-solving and tools for working with people in communities.


Credit Units: 2

Course Hours: 27.0

Prerequisites: ADMN 251, ADMN 253, COUN 245

Learning Methods: Lecture/Lab

2
CDEP 170

Prevention Programs

You will examine the major forces and perspectives that have shaped our current addictions policies, laws and practices. Your studies will focus on prevention programming and strategies that can be used to help individuals and communities regain or maintain healthy lifestyles without substance abuse.


Credit Units: 2

Course Hours: 30.0

Prerequisites: CDEP 169

Learning Methods: Lecture/Lab

2
CDEP 246

Presentation Skills

You will apply various presentation delivery formats ranging from formal speeches, and media interviews, to interactive educational presentations.


Credit Units: 3

Course Hours: 40.0

Prerequisites: CDEP 162, CDEP 163, CDEP 164, CDEP 165, CDEP 166, CDEP 167, CDEP 168, CDEP 173

Learning Methods: Lecture/Lab

3
COUN 153

Crisis Intervention Techniques

You will investigate various types of crisis and crisis intervention models. The course content includes critical incident stress debriefing, follow-up, community involvement and traumatic events occurring in treatment centres and communities as a result of alcohol and drug abuse.


Credit Units: 1

Course Hours: 15.0

Prerequisites: COUN 155

Learning Methods: Lecture/Lab

1
COUN 155

Addictions Counselling Practice

The course focuses on the application of one-to-one counselling skills. You will apply the theory and skills you learned in ETHC 140 (Ethics in Addictions) and the Egan Three Stage Problem Management Approach to Helping. You will practice foundational counselling skills, assist addicted clients with identifying, exploring, clarifying and setting recovery goals, and create treatment plans. You will also practice challenging denial, establishing rapport, closing helping sessions and using the addictions worker code of ethics. All sessions will be videotaped and critiqued.


Credit Units: 8

Course Hours: 120.0

Prerequisites: COUN 154(concurrent)

Learning Methods: Lab/Practical

8
COUN 156

Addictions and Interventions

Your studies will focus on the goals and philosophy of interventions. You will examine and practice intervention techniques and processes as they apply to initiating the addictions recovery process. You will also examine the role of employee and family assistance programs as a form of intervention. You will also study harm reduction.


Credit Units: 2

Course Hours: 24.0

Prerequisites: COUN 155

Learning Methods: Lecture/Lab

2
COUN 239

Addictions Group Counselling

You will examine the principles of designing, facilitating and evaluating personal growth groups. Addictions education and recovery groups will be emphasized. The areas that you will explore include the nature and purpose of group counselling, models and stages of group growth and development, leadership/facilitator styles and skills, critical incidents, intervention techniques and designing groups using the Developmental Model of Recovery.


Credit Units: 2

Course Hours: 28.0

Prerequisites: CDEP 246, COUN 155

Learning Methods: Lecture/Lab

2
COUN 241

Counselling Modalities

You will be introduced to various counselling techniques that can be used to accompany the Egan Three Stage Counselling Model. Approaches vary and include Rational Emotive Therapy, Neurolinguistic programming, Transactional Analysis, Reality Therapy, and Solution-Focused Therapy. You will examine the techniques as they would apply to addictions counselling.


Credit Units: 3

Course Hours: 40.0

Prerequisites: COUN 155

Learning Methods: Lecture/Lab

3
COUN 244

Addictions Group Design

You will examine, design, present and evaluate various addictions and personal growth group designs. The course will emphasize the developmental model of recovery and the trans-theoretical model of change.


Credit Units: 2

Course Hours: 30.0

Prerequisites: COUN 239

Equivalent Courses: COUN 240

Learning Methods: Lecture/Lab

2
COUN 245

Addictions Group Facilitation

Your studies will focus on the skills needed to facilitate a group process, manage critical incidents, conduct third-party mediations, present planned theory inputs, facilitate structured experiences and assess group progress. The activities are designed to replicate a typical addictions education/counselling group according to a developmental model of recovery. All activities will be videotaped with extensive feedback on your participation and facilitation skills.


Credit Units: 6

Course Hours: 90.0

Prerequisites: COUN 244

Equivalent Courses: COUN 240

Learning Methods: Lecture/Lab

6
HLTH 240

Health Promotion

You will examine health promotion history, and a variety of health promotion models, processes, strategies, activities, and programs relating to community health and wellness. You will examine the connection between community development, prevention programs, cultural influence, and health promotion activities. You will evaluate health promotion activities based on current health-related topics/issues.


Credit Units: 2

Course Hours: 28.0

Prerequisites: CDEP 170

Equivalent Courses: WORK 251

Learning Methods: Lecture/Lab

2
PRAC 248

Developmental Model Practicum

You will be evaluated on the 14 core functions an addictions worker performs within a clinical and community education setting. You will also examine and design activities based on the Developmental Model of Recovery.


Credit Units: 24

Course Hours: 360.0

Prerequisites: COUN 153, COUN 156, COUN 241, HLTH 240, PRAC 247

Equivalent Courses: WORK 252

Learning Methods: Prior Learning, Clinical/Practicum-Individual

24

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SIAST is Saskatchewan's primary public institution for post-secondary technical education and skills training. A member of Polytechnics Canada, SIAST's programs range from certificates to degrees. The institution serves 26,000 distinct students through campuses in Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Regina and Saskatoon, and through extensive distance education opportunities.

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