Monday, January 7, 2008

Education level of CA counselors

CAADAC, one of the California addiction professionals' organizations, has released a membership survey showing, among other things, the highest educational level reached by its membership. It shows that 29 per cent, the largest single category, do not have a junior college certificate or college degree; they have completed unspecified drug/alcohol studies only. Another 18 per cent have a junior college degree. Twenty-eight per cent have a B.A. as their highest degree; 20 per cent have an M.A., and 5 per cent have a Ph.D. Altogether, 47 per cent don't have a college degree; 53 per cent do. The association's membership includes counselors and program administrators. Source.


Andy said...

I work in the field in Kansas where, as of July 1, 2007, state dollars for treatment are overseen and authorized by a 3rd party HMO. The result has been, predictably, that admission to treatment has become more difficult for those without insurance or financial means. A number of programs are struggling financially and several have or are in danger of closing their doors. Part of the problem pointed up in this post is that anyone who has invested the time, effort and money to acquire a bachelors or graduate degree can make a lot more money in almost any other field than in addictions. I believe that a few years ago, one state (Minnesota?) attempted to legislatively require counselors to have or be pursuing a masters degree to be certified in the state. They had to retreat from that as, due to the low financial rewards of the job, the end result was actually an exodus of counselors from the state. For your average joeschmoe taxpayer, addicts and alcoholics are a very low priority; and addicts, themselves, represent a very weak politically active demographic. Let's face it, there aren't any candidates out there actively courting the addict/alcoholic vote.

Michael W said...

What does this tell you Marty?

Charles said...

The bar being low for chemical dependency counselors was originally intended to solve 2 problems. One, the shortage of mental health professionals to serve the large population of veterans after WWII. At that time, there were mostly psychologists and psychiatrists and they were few and expensive. To add to that, there were no protocols for treating addiction other than mostly Freudian style insight oriented therapy. Again, expensive and time consuming. Eventually, psychiatric hospitals began adding sober alcoholics to their staffs and calling them "para professionals". They were mainly AA members and they took patients to AA meetings. Eventually, certifications evolved and finally licensure. In the case of Texas, even though the education requirement for licensure are quite low, the supervision and long intern period are more rigorous than other counseling credentials.