Addictions Counseling

Bringing Hope and Healing to Individuals and Families

An Addictions Counseling degree will teach you the biological, psychological, social, and spiritual aspects of addiction and recovery. You'll also gain an appreciation for the connection between theory, research, and practice in the fields of substance abuse and other addictive behaviors. Your student development will be fostered by means of both theoretical and experiential learning.

IWU's Bachelor of Science with a major in Addictions Counseling program involves a variety of activities such as Urban Encounter, participation in local Drug Court research, volunteer service through Grace House for Recovery, and a senior practicum. You will graduate prepared to understand and compassionately serve addicted persons and their families. Students may also choose to earn an Associate of Science degree for quick entry into the workforce and a foundation for further education, or to minor in Addictions Studies  as a supplement to another IWU major.

If you have a heart to help individuals and families break the cycle of addiction and find wholeness in Christ, then we challenge you to consider majoring in Addictions Counseling at Indiana Wesleyan University.

Major Themes of the Addictions Counseling Program

We believe:

  • Addiction is best understood as a biopsychosocial-spiritual disorder.
  • Our sin nature and God's grace can be seen across the biopsychosocial-spiritual dimensions of both addiction and recovery. 
  • God is the ultimate source of hope and healing for the problems of humanity. Life transformation can only be achieved by his power and grace. Recovery typically involves many miracles, competent counseling, considerable hard work, and patience.
  • The benefits of the "addiction-as-disease" (illness) perspective outweigh the drawbacks.
  • Addiction refers to one end of a continuum that includes appropriate use, problematic use, abuse, and dependence (addiction).
  • The effective counselor integrates the best available research into practice, considering treatment efficacy and clinical utility.
  • The individual counselor has a significant impact on client outcome (APA, 2006), and as such, the effective counselor continuously seeks to attain clinical expertise that improves outcomes. 
  • The effective counselor is responsive to patient characteristics, culture, and preferences (APA, 2006). He or she considers the family and cultural context of addiction, engaging family members in treatment as indicated. 
  • The effective counselor creates an atmosphere of "mutual respect, open communication, and collaboration…" (APA, 2006) with the client and stakeholders.
  • The effective counselor understands that counseling is ultimately a relationship, with client-counselor alliance and allegiance factors being critical to client outcomes.
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