As a high percentage of substance use counselors are in recovery, using adult learning methods such as constructivism and transformational learning are needed to neutralize any preestablished views of treatment modalities that may exist, as well as combat any possible issues of countertransference. Teaching critical thinking leads to student improvement in critical thinking, and critical thinking has been positively correlated with competency level, thus teaching these skills is imperative to the field. However, these skills taught and methods utilized are typically taught in advanced education, something not necessarily required to practice substance use counseling. As the progression of the field of substance use counseling continues to mature, the separation gap between the fields of mental health and substance use counseling continues to close. This study indicates although we have not set nationwide standards for practice as substance use counselors, and the field has not kept pace with mental health counselors in terms of standardization, those in the field are aware of the need for heightened professionalism and are preparing to treat patients to the best of their ability by going above and beyond the current requirement in many cases. The unification of these separate counseling practices would aid in in preparing substance use counselors to work with the complexities of co-occurring disorders as well as streamline the licensing process, aid in resolving current substance use counseling workforce issues, and create more adherence to evidence-based practices, thereby affecting the true bottom line: treatment outcomes. A descriptive comparative research design using the survey method was utilized in this study to answer the overarching research question, is there a difference in critical thinking skills in substance use counselors based on education level as measured by two validated critical thinking skill survey instruments, the Critical Thinking Disposition Scale and the Actively Open-Minded Thinking Scale. The population for this study are professional level NAADAC members, actively working substance use counselors across the United States with varying levels and types of education. Results of the study supported the null hypothesis, there is no difference in critical thinking skills based on education. However, 73% of the population surveyed had obtained a Master’s degree or higher, which could explain these results.
|Commitee:||Ford, Thomas, Wang, Victor|
|School Location:||United States -- Minnesota|
|Source:||DAI-A 79/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Adult education, Social studies education, Higher education|
|Keywords:||Addictions, Co-occurring disorder, Counselor, Critical thinking, Substance abuse, Substance use|
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