Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs in Addictions Counseling are ideal for licensed counselors, particularly those who have professional experience in the field of addiction studies. Over the course of these programs, students gain a comprehensive understanding of the social and cultural causes behind addiction. They also learn to conduct research in the field through advanced training in data collection, experimental design and data analysis. Prior to graduation, students must complete a dissertation.
Most programs last five to seven years, and graduates are prepared to hold positions of leadership, perform research, and/or teach at the postsecondary level. In order to apply to a Ph.D. program in addictions counseling, students must hold a bachelor's and a master's degree. Some programs also require previous professional experience in the field of counseling.
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Ph.D. in Addictions Counseling
As with most doctoral programs, the curriculum included in a Ph.D. program in addictions counseling is highly individualized and based on a student's particular area of interest. 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
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the projected job growth rate for substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors is 22% from 2014-2024, which is much faster than average. The mean annual salary for these workers was $42,920 as of May 2015.
A Ph.D. in Addictions Counseling provides experienced counselors with the advanced theoretical knowledge and research skills they need for career success, whether as practicing counselors or academics.