PhD in Addictions Counseling: Info on Doctorate Degrees

Ph.D. programs in addictions counseling are ideal for professionals who are already licensed counselors, particularly those who have professional experience in the field of addictions studies. Enrolled students learn how to conduct research in addictions studies by means of data collection, experimental design and data analysis.

Essential Information

Unlike 2-year graduate programs in addictions counseling, doctoral programs in addictions counseling aren't designed specifically to train counselors to work with afflicted individuals. Instead, programs such as a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Addictions Counseling provide scholars with a comprehensive understanding of the social and cultural causes behind addictions so they can hold positions of leadership, perform research, and/or teach at the postsecondary level.

  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's and master's degrees; may require professional experience working as a counselor.
  • Program Length: 5-7 years
  • Other Requirements: Completion of a dissertation

Ph.D. in Addictions Counseling

As with most doctoral programs, the curriculum included in a Ph.D. program in addictions counseling is highly individualized based on each candidate's chosen field of study. However, some common seminar courses might include:

  • Epidemiology of Drug and Substance Abuse
  • History of Addiction and Human Behavior
  • Relationship between Chemical Dependency and Intimacy Dysfunction
  • Addiction Counselor Clinical Supervision
  • Group Psychotherapy Techniques and Treatment Methods
  • Prevention of Chemical Abuse in Childhood

Popular Career Choices

The majority of students who complete a Ph.D. program make their careers in research and/or academia. Some additional choices available to graduates of a doctoral program in addictions counseling are listed below:

  • Counseling facility director
  • Addictions researcher
  • Addictions counseling professor
  • Addictions specialist
  • Substance abuse counselor

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

The projected growth rate for substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors was 31% from 2012-2022, which was faster than average. The mean annual salary for these workers was $41,870 in May 2014.

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