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Shadowing a Substance Abuse Counselor Essay


Statement of the Problem

The internship experience would focus on investigating drug and substance abuse. It will concentrate on why people use drugs, yet they understand their effects on their health. It will also look at the effects of drugs to one’s health as well as how people with mental issues that result from substance abuse could be assisted to help them to cope with the challenges of daily lives.

In addition, it will focus on in behavioral assessment and intervention, multidisciplinary management, preparation, society, education, program development and execution, and assessment of chemical dependency victims. A study conducted by Babinski, Pelham and Waxmonsky (2013) in the United States showed that counseling for people who depend on chemicals requires some skills for it to be effective.

It also revealed that most clients prefer counseling that is done by specialists. Researchers concluded that the intern should learn how to incorporate clinical practice, employ clinical investigations and hypotheses to guide his clinical thoughts and practice in helping people with mental problem, especially those that have been affected by drugs (Babinski et al., 2013).

Another study revealed that student counselors should be engaged in programs that involve moralistic seminars on various clinical issues, empirical authenticated managements, and pragmatic activities as well as medical supervisions to help the intern (Greenfield & Venner, 2012). It also indicated that they should be equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary in guiding processes.

It also revealed that student counselors monitor carefully what their mentors would be doing. The study revealed that better methods of counseling should be taught to the interns. The researchers concluded that it is critical for the intern to utilize the emerging knowledge to help clients who are drug addicts.

The internship program would stress on chemical dependency and its possible causes, putting more emphasize on how a victim can be helped to heal from it (Dufour et al., 2014). The intern should learn the roles of the mentor through mentor’s supervision.

The researchers brought to a close that it is crucial for the intern to understand the causes before starting the helping process because this would help in choosing the best method to utilize in assisting the client.

Purpose of the Internship

The internship period will aim at helping the intern to gain in-depth knowledge of mental health by acquiring new emerging information from the mentor concerning people who have health impairments (Greenfield & Venner, 2012). It will learn to take an active role in shaping individuals’ lives and assisting people with mental problems and their families.

Emerging information is important in helping clients who have advanced mental problems to improve health care outcomes. He will learn basic counseling skills from the mentor as well as knowledge about ethical issues to be considered during the helping process (Wallace, 2014).

The learner should learn to utilize current data to monitor the progress of a participant of the program using emerging methods of data collection. In addition, he would learn to understand the needs of participants and the possible causes of mental disabilities (Greenfield & Venner, 2012).

Methods and Procedures

The internship site was advertised in the media where the location of the site was described. The performance of workers was indicated as well as the number and qualifications of the specialists who work on the site. Recent and current literature reviews were used. The competency of the authors was considered as well as the topics that they covered.

Sites Specifics


The mentor is Desmond White, MA, M.Ed, LCDC; he is an experienced Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor who helps clients who are referred to his Behavioral and Public Health Department, which helps participants globally. The helper is also a philosopher of mental health, and he utilizes effective skills to help people who are addicted and have become dependents.

The counselor has 15 years of experience and has a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations, Bachelor of Science in Government, Master of Arts in Counseling and a Master of Education Degree. The mentor has good communication skills and creates a good rapport with clients. He dresses modestly, speaks fluently, and sits in an upright posture during counseling sessions.


The facility named is Healthways Services and located at 13831 Northwest Freeway, Suite 171 Houston, Texas 77040. The department has other workers who work in collaboration with the mentor, but in different departments.

Population served

Behavior and Public Health Department serve people of different ages whose behaviors have been affected by and have experienced difficulties in coping with the demands of life, such as both men and women are served in the department. It is notable that young adults and adults are the most affected.

With regard to the population that the intern would be handling in this department, he would be helping the trainer to offer services to about 200 persons in a day. The participants would be alcoholics and persons who abuse other drugs, and who would not able to cope without them (Carroll et al., 2013). The intern would coordinate with his mentor to monitor the progress of participants.

Learning Objectives

By the end of the internship period, the intern would be anticipated to acquire specific skills and knowledge.

  1. The intern will learn to apply emerging basic counseling skills that are crucial in relation to counseling processes (Carroll et al., 2013).
  2. He should learn to help participants cope with the challenges of their daily lives. It is important to indicate that participants experience difficulties in changing from old habits to adopting new ways of living. This is the case, particularly when their needs are not met (Carroll et al., 2013). This could make a participant return to the past ways of life where he would get satisfaction. Therefore, it will be crucial for the intern to learn how to assist them.
  3. He should learn to identify signs and symptoms that are associated with mental problems using modern methods (Wallace, 2014).
  4. The intern should learn to create a good rapport with the participants.
  5. He should learn to respect participants’ information and give them a chance to express themselves without imposing decisions on them (Wallace, 2014). The intern would be required to learn emerging ethical issues that are related to counseling. They include confidentiality, privacy of clients’ information, and dress code.
  6. The intern should learn to monitor participants’ progress from the beginning of the helping process to the end by utilizing the acquired skills. This would be possible if the intern would be following how his mentor would be monitoring.

Schedule of Activities

Internship activities are scheduled to take place from January 12, 2015 to March 20, 2015. Also, all activities will be used to facilitate the learning of the objectives.

Table 1. Schedule of Activities

Week Activity Hours
1 The intern would participate in various group sessions as part of orientation to counseling. Introduction to basic emerging counseling skills would be achieved during this period. 8
2 The intern will learn about modalities of treatment and management of mental issues. 8
3 The intern will learn about emerging counseling ethics. The intern would be taking notes. 8
4 The intern will learn how to diagnose the type of mental problem a participant would have. 8
5 The intern would participate in treatment preparation and conceptualization. 8
6 Carrying out research by utilizing modern methods. 8
7 The director would be learning about types of addictions, how addictions occur, and how to deal with it. 8
8 The director would participate in crisis intervention and primary care integration with mental health. 8
9 Attending seminars to learn about emerging issues in mental health. 8
10 Shadowing of behavioral health and mental health provider, collaborative meetings with multi-disciplinary staff. 8
Total hours 80

Current Employment

The intern is employed as a Director of Health Services and coordinates many programs, for example, behavioral and public health, injury and disability, vocational and employment services. Most of his assignments are conducted domestically; however, he does travel to London from time to time.

In addition to a Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitation Studies and Master of Arts in Human and Health Administration degree. Also, he holds a Post-Specialty Certificate in Life Care Planning and Post-Master’s Certificate in Rehabilitation Counseling.

Plans for Enrolling in DHS 8130

The intern plan is to enroll in the DHS 8130 for the winter 2015 semester The potential intern plans to obtain the experience during the winter 2015 quarter enrollment of DHS 8130.


Babinski, D. E., Pelham, W. E., & Waxmonsky, J. G. (2013). Cognitive-behavioral therapy for pediatric obsessive-compulsive disorder complicated by stigma: A case study. Clinical Case Studies, 15(34), 65-77.

Carroll, J. F., De Leon, G., Joseph, H., & Winick, C. (2013). Reflections on the past, present, and the future of the chemical dependency treatment field: Four unique perspectives. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, 31(1), 107-120.

Dufour, S. P., Graham, S., Friesen, J., Rosenblat, M., Rous, C., & Richardson, J. (2014). Physiotherapists supporting self-management through health coaching: A mixed methods program evaluation. Physiotherapy Theory and Practice, 10(1), 1-10.

Greenfield, B. L., & Venner, K. L. (2012). Review of substance use disorder treatment research in indian country: Future directions to strive toward health equity. The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 38(5), 483-492

Wallace, L. M., Brown, K. E., & Hilton, S. (2014). Planning for, implementing and assessing the impact of health promotion and behaviour change interventions: A way forward for health psychologists. Health Psychology Review, 8(1), 8-33.

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"Shadowing a Substance Abuse Counselor." IvyPanda, 23 June 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/shadowing-a-substance-abuse-counselor/.

1. IvyPanda. "Shadowing a Substance Abuse Counselor." June 23, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/shadowing-a-substance-abuse-counselor/.


IvyPanda. "Shadowing a Substance Abuse Counselor." June 23, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/shadowing-a-substance-abuse-counselor/.


IvyPanda. 2019. "Shadowing a Substance Abuse Counselor." June 23, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/shadowing-a-substance-abuse-counselor/.


IvyPanda. (2019) 'Shadowing a Substance Abuse Counselor'. 23 June.

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