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PSY FPX 5002 Assessment 3 Moving Forward in My Addiction Career


Capella University

PSY FPX 5002 Foundations of Theory and Practice for Master’s Psychology Learners

Prof. Name



The final assessment in my initial graduate school course involved evaluating and refining my vision, goals, and plans as a multicultural practitioner-scholar in psychology, focusing on a career transition within the substance use disorder (SUD) field as a consultant. Currently semi-retired after thirty years as an addiction counselor, providing in-services, training, continuing education, and presentations based on current research appears to be a viable future income source. My action plan includes completing a master’s in general psychology by December 2022 while offering tele-counseling and equine-assisted counseling (EAC) services. Post-graduation, I plan to engage with treatment facilities and local law enforcement for potential consulting opportunities and consider applying for licensure as an alcohol and drug counselor in Tennessee. Concurrently, I will apply for a doctoral program in general psychology, aiming to write inspirational literature for society and psychology upon earning my doctorate.

Keywords: substance use disorder, addiction counselor, psychology career, licensure

Moving Forward in My Addiction Career

Psychology offers numerous opportunities to enhance human growth and development. Research is crucial in all psychology fields, especially in addiction treatment. Treating substance use disorder (SUD) clients without psychological research would rely on unsubstantiated guesses, potentially causing harm. Staying updated on new treatment modalities is essential due to the life-threatening nature of SUDs. According to Smith and Borden (2020), SUDs are complex, chronic illnesses that require comprehensive treatment. My goal is to consult for various companies, particularly those related to addiction, and to author inspirational literature as a multicultural psychology practitioner-scholar and scholar-practitioner.

Application and Research Vision

I plan to start consulting for addiction treatment facilities in California and Tennessee during my master’s program. Following my doctorate in general psychology, I intend to write one or two books (Capella University, n.d.-b; Sternberg, 2016). I have already completed my undergraduate studies and, as a semi-retired professional, am branching out to generate additional income and expand my opportunities. Research indicates that retirement is not the end of employment but a transition to new knowledge and skills (Wang & Wanberg, 2017). This career shift is both exciting and beneficial, allowing me to serve society as a multicultural practitioner-scholar. Maintaining a strong therapeutic relationship in my private practice remains paramount.


My aspiration is to consult for various companies, particularly in the addiction field, and eventually become an inspiring author, providing meaningful literature as a practitioner-scholar and scholar-practitioner. During my master’s program, I will begin consulting for addiction treatment facilities in California and Tennessee, and plan to write books post-doctorate (Capella University, n.d.-b; Sternberg, 2016). I have been a certified addiction counselor since 1993 and certified through the ACCBC since 1997. My field expertise remains crucial, though I may expand my credentials to include licensure in Tennessee after completing my master’s. Ethical standards and codes of conduct are fundamental in my practice, as outlined by the Addiction Counselor Certification Board of California (ACCBC, 2018).

Supervision and Ethical Training

Literature indicates the importance of clinical supervision to avoid burnout, vicarious trauma, and compassion fatigue among SUD counselors (Jones & Branco, 2020). Continued education, such as TIP 52, TAP 21, and TAP 21-A, is essential for SUD counseling staff (SAMHSA, 2012, 2013, 2015). The addiction field faces unique ethical challenges due to insufficient supervision and regular training. Monthly in-service training focusing on growth, development, and state and board requirements can enhance ethical decision-making in all psychology areas.

Presentations on Current Research

Presentations on current SUD information can address gaps in heredity and environmental research within minority communities. Chartier et al. (2017) found that disadvantaged minorities are understudied but heavily targeted by alcohol advertising, with environmental factors profoundly affecting SUD prevalence. This research highlights that stressors, such as trauma and lack of opportunities, increase the likelihood of addiction in genetically predisposed individuals.

Professional Competencies

Continued education and research are vital for cultural competencies and evidence-based practices. Critical skills such as critical thinking, decision-making, problem-solving, and conflict resolution are essential. SAMHSA’s TAP 21 and 21-A outline the necessary competencies for addiction counselors, covering areas like discharge planning, which require knowledge, skills, and attitudes (SAMHSA, 2012, 2015). Essential counseling competencies include attending skills, empathy, integrity, genuineness, and effective communication.

Ethical Competencies

Ethically, SUD counselors must avoid discharging clients into unsafe environments. The ACCBC (2021) emphasizes that counselors should act in the best interests of society, clients, and the profession, adhering to principles of beneficence, nonmaleficence, autonomy, justice, and fidelity. Ethical competencies require ongoing education, with additional ethics and decision-making training every two years.

Professional Responsibilities

Professional responsibilities encompass ethical and work-related duties, such as ensuring client safety and welfare, respecting clients, and treating them with dignity (NAADAC, 2021). Clinical directors must educate, supervise, and train staff, developing effective prevention and intervention strategies (SAMHSA, 2012). Continuous staff training and education are crucial for appropriate client treatment and professional health.

Cultural Competencies

As a multicultural practitioner-scholar, treating diverse populations is essential. SUD treatment centers and counselors must be competent in addressing various beliefs, values, and behaviors, as outlined in SAMSHA’s TIP 59 for improving cultural competence (SAMHSA, 2016).

Key Responsibilities as a Multicultural Practitioner-Scholar and Consultant

As a consultant, I must continue practicing the competencies and responsibilities learned in school. Capella University’s practitioner-scholar model emphasizes applying ethical standards, theories, and research to professional and academic experiences, effective communication, identifying relevant research, and respecting diverse populations (Capella University, n.d.-d).

Professional Requirements

Maintaining a productive and confidential client relationship is vital, guided by the ACCBC’s ethical standards (ACCBC, 2021). I have been a certified addiction counselor since 1993 and plan to expand my credentials to include licensure in Tennessee after completing my master’s. Ongoing research and ethical compliance ensure appropriate client treatment and professional relationships.

Licensure in Tennessee

Upon completing my master’s, I may apply for licensure in Tennessee, requiring a bachelor’s degree specializing in addiction studies, 2000 hours of clinical supervision, and a test (Capella University, n.d.-e). My extensive experience will streamline this process.

Action Plan

A SMART action plan outlines my professional aspirations, starting with my master’s in general psychology in January 2022 at Capella University. I will continue part-time work as an addiction counselor, providing EAC in California and remote counseling. Post-graduation, I will seek consultation opportunities with local addiction treatment centers and law enforcement. I will also enroll in Capella’s doctoral program, aiming to complete it within two years. My goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound, supported by financial aid, part-time work, and family support (Capella University, n.d.-c).


My goal is to consult for addiction-related companies and author purposeful literature as a multicultural psychology practitioner-scholar. Maintaining diverse therapeutic relationships and furthering my education will enhance my motivation for ethical compliance, multicultural competence, and personal and professional growth. My current master’s program will open opportunities for consulting and publishing. I am confident in my ability to complete this process, supported by family, good health, available time, and financial aid. Capella University’s learning model has reassured me of receiving a well-rounded education in psychology, preparing me to advance as a multicultural practitioner-scholar.


Addiction Counselor Certification Board of California. (2021). Certified addiction treatment counselor: CATC handbook. [Code of Ethics & Codes of Conduct]

Capella University. (n.d.-a). Learning model quick reference and examples. [Assessment 1: Learning Model, PDF] Y. Bell.

Capella University. (n.d.-b). Career skills inventory. [Multi-Media: Assessment 1]. Y. Bell.

Capella University. (n.d.-c). A SMART action plan: SMART goals. A. Gilston

Capella University. (n.d.-d). Master of science in psychology. Advance your career in health. [Learning & Career Outcomes Resource]. Y. Bell.

Capella University. (n.d.-e). Professional licensure in addiction studies. Your roadmap to licensure in addiction studies. [Tennessee Requirements: Assessment 3]. Y. Bell.

Chartier, K. G., Karriker‐Jaffe, K. J., Cummings, C. R., & Kendler, K. S. (2017). Environmental influences on alcohol use: Informing research on the joint effects of genes and the environment

in diverse U.S. populations. American Journal on Addictions, 26(5), 446-460.

Jones, A., & Branco, S. F. (2020). Clinical supervision and the professional development of the substance abuse counselor. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 113, 107989.#

PSY FPX 5002 Assessment 3 Moving Forward in My Addiction Career

NAADAC. (2021). NAADAC/NCC AP code of ethics

SAMHSA. (2012). Technical assistance publication series (TAP 21): Addiction counseling competencies: The knowledge, skills, and attitudes of professional practice. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

SAMHSA. (2013). Technical assistance publication series (TIP 52): Clinical supervision and professional development of the substance abuse counselor. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

SAMHSA. (2015). Technical assistance publication series (TAP 21-A): Competencies for substance abuse treatment clinical supervisors. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

SAMHSA. (2016). Technical assistance publication series (TIP 59): Improving cultural competence. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Smith, B. D., & Borden, L. A. (2020). Substance use disorders: A comprehensive overview. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 112, 107969.

Sternberg, R. J. (2016). The psychologist’s companion: A guide to professional success for students, trainees, and early career practitioners. Cambridge University Press.

PSY FPX 5002 Assessment 3 Moving Forward in My Addiction Career

Wang, M., & Wanberg, C. R. (2017). 100 years of applied psychology research on individual career development: From career management to retirement. Journal of Applied Psychology, 102(3), 546-563.

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