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Course Description

Multi-ethnic group of people in counseling session with therapist

Explore the fundamentals of the addictive process, and standard and systemic treatment procedures.

Examine epidemiology, risk and resiliency factors, genetic and environmental issues related to addiction, and the longitudinal course of addiction, along with its effect on couples, families and communities. Concurrent disorders, detoxification, addictions in special populations (e.g., children, women, elderly, indigenous people), as well as legal/ethical, cultural, and spiritual issues in addiction are also addressed.

Learn how to screen for addictions and use motivational interviewing and the transtheoretical model (stages of change) to formulate a treatment plan across the treatment continuum—from harm reduction to abstinence approaches. Review issues in treatment matching—from individual to group treatment options, and exposure to the addictions treatment system and how to navigate and access it in the service of your clients.

This course is designed for counsellors, therapists, social workers, mental health workers, addiction specialists, pastoral care/faith-based practitioners, and other practitioners seeking to build or enhance their practical skills and theoretical foundation in couple and family therapy, as well as those exploring therapy as a career.

This course is typically recognized by CAMFT and AAMFT as a couple/marriage and family therapy or studies course.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of addiction definition and etiology, the course of addiction, screening/assessment, and intervention for individuals and families, integrating systems theory
  • Appropriately apply your understanding of addiction to case situations and formulate a treatment plan
  • Effectively explain how to navigate and access the addictions treatment system

Course Topics

  • Continuum of Use and Substance Use Disorders (SUDs)
  • Role of the Family Therapist with the Addicted Client
  • Why People Use
  • Major Substances
  • Behavioral Addictions
  • Understanding Treatment
  • Continuum of Treatment
  • Withdrawal Management
  • Principles of Recovery
  • Trauma-informed Care
  • Addiction Treatment trends, Goals, and Options
  • Screening & Assessment
  • Level of Care & Treatment Matching
  • Harm Reduction, Principles, and Critique
  • Relapse Prevention
  • Transtheoretical Model of Change (Stages of Change) and Critique
  • Assessing Readiness to Change
  • Enhancing Motivation
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Addiction Treatment
  • Solution Focused Therapy and Addiction Treatment
  • Brief Couples Therapy and Addiction Treatment
  • Family Therapy and Addiction Treatment
  • Behavioral Addictions and Treatment Approaches
  • Addiction and Pain
  • Addiction and Pregnancy
  • Smoking Cessation

Additional Requirements

  • Prerequisite: Theories and Methods of Family Therapy: Foundations of the Field
  • Note: If you wish to take the course but have not completed the prerequisite, please email Beverley Fretz, manager, program development.
  • As well as scheduled instruction time, you can expect to spend approximately five to ten hours per week on course readings, activities, and/or assignments.
  • Course assignments are completed up to four weeks following the final day of the course.


Assessment Item Weight
Participation 10%
Addiction Recover Meetings Critical Reflection 30%
Addiction in Special Populations - Written Summary and Presentation (Group) 30%
Film Case Study Treatment Plan 30%
Total 100%

Please note that the course assessment is subject to change.

Sponsoring Partner

Applies Towards the Following Certificates

Technical Requirements

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*Course details are subject to change.

Enrol Now - Select a section to enrol in
Section Title
Family Therapy and Addiction
February 25, 2022 to August 22, 2022
Remote Instruction
9:00AM to 4:15PM
February 25, 2022
Remote Instruction
9:00AM to 4:15PM
February 26, 2022
Remote Instruction
9:00AM to 4:15PM
March 04, 2022
Remote Instruction
9:00AM to 4:15PM
March 05, 2022
Remote Instruction
9:00AM to 4:00PM
March 11, 2022
Schedule and Location
Contact Hours
  • Virtual
Delivery Options
Remote Instruction  
Course Fee(s)
Potential Discount(s)
Section Notes

Early bird registration ends 30 days prior to the course start date.

Beginning Friday, February 11, 2022 at 12:00 p.m., course materials can be accessed online via CourseLink.

Course registration closes Tuesday, February 22, 2022 at 4:00 p.m. ET.

If due to extenuating circumstances one or more class meetings needs to be rescheduled, the class (or portion thereof) will be rescheduled on Saturday, March 12 and/or Sunday, March 13, 2022.

This course is delivered remotely in real time.

  • Visit Learning Remotely - Students.
  • Attend the Remote Delivery Orientation (Zoom & CourseLink): Wednesday, February 23, 2022, 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. ET (Strongly recommended for those who have not yet participated in an orientation for a course in this program).
  • As well as the CourseLink learning management system, this course uses Zoom as a video communication tool. Please download a free version of Zoom.

System Requirements:

  1. An internet connection – broadband wired or wireless (3G or 4G/LTE)
  2. Speakers and a microphone – built-in or USB plug-in or wireless Bluetooth
  3. A webcam or HD webcam – built-in or USB plug-in

View the Course Policy: Withdrawals, Refunds, Transfer, Cancellations, Postponements.

Contact the OpenEd main office if you require assistance.

Section Materials
  • Textbook (Confirmed) (Mandatory) Fundamentals of Addiction: A Practical Guide for Counsellors by Herie, M. & Skinner, W. © 2013 4th edition ISBN 978-1771141475 Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
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