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You will conduct fieldwork in the substance abuse counseling arena to increase your understanding and familiarity with the roles of counselors and self-help fellowships in the treatment and recovery process.

Description of RA 1:

Part I: In this assignment, you will interview a licensed or certified counselor whose significant proportion (at least 25%) of clientele includes persons affected by substance use disorders.

You will seek to gather the following information:

  • Name and professional credentials of the counselor.
  • Type of clinical practice, i.e., community agency, hospital, private office, etc.
  • Description of the clientele in terms of demographics and diagnoses.
  • Educational and training background of the clinician, along with his or her or professional identity.
  • Theoretical orientation of the counselor.
  • Whether the counselor utilizes the 12-step meeting as part of the treatment protocol or not, and if yes, how?
  • Factors that led the clinician to work with clients who have been diagnosed with substance abuse or co-occurring disorders (i.e., those who have concurrent substance use and mental health disorders).
  • The clinician’s advice for students in terms of their academic and professional development in the area of substance abuse treatment.

Part II: Each student will also attend an open 12-step meeting such as the one conducted by organizations like Al-Anon, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Co-Dependents Anonymous (CoDA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Overeaters Anonymous (OA), and so on. Meeting should be open (i.e., meetings that are available for individuals without a personal history of addiction) and support group meetings. You may attend the meetings of any of the groups listed below or any other addiction-related support group. These must be live meetings, not online meetings. Review the website of any group whose meeting you plan to attend. This will help you familiarize yourself with the organization’s focus area and call ahead to make sure that the organization is conducting the meeting.

Note: Meetings are generally “closed meetings” (exclusively for those with a personal history of substance abuse) unless the letter “O” (indicating open) is indicated next to the meeting location found in the directory.

List of Organizations:

Note: You may not take notes during the meeting, nor should you feel compelled to identify yourself. Whether you speak or not is up to you. Respectful behavior is mandatory in this observational exercise.


You will prepare a consolidated report of your activities in the field, including a summary of the substance abuse counselor’s interview and your observations of the 12-step meeting. The report will highlight the counselor’s approach to substance abuse counseling and the counselor’s perspectives on the role of self-help fellowships like that of Alcoholics Anonymous. You should also discuss your experiences, observations, and opinions of each activity conducted at the meeting. In addition, you will summarize your experience, describing the specific type of meeting and major themes or ideas discussed, and your impression of the meeting’s therapeutic value.

Your final product will be in a Microsoft Word document written in APA format, including a title page, a running head, and references, and be approximately 8–10 pages in length (not including the title and reference pages). Your document should be written in a clear, concise, and organized manner; demonstrate ethical scholarship in accurate representation and attribution of sources; and display accurate spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

Submission Details:

  • By the due date assigned, save your document as M4_A2_LastName_FirstInitial.doc and submit the document to the Submissions Area.
Assignment 2 Grading Criteria Maximum Points
Complete and address both parts of the assignment.


Interview a licensed/certified clinician and analyze the observations from the session.


Discuss the meeting attended, including experiences, observations, and perceived value of the session.


Reflect on both parts of the assignment and perceived value of the fieldwork.


Write in a clear, concise, and organized manner; demonstrate ethical scholarship in accurate representation and attribution of sources (i.e. APA); and display accurate spelling, grammar, and punctuation.





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