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Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Systemic Treatment of Addictions

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Home » Programs » Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Systemic Treatment of Addictions

Program Overview

This specialization is designed for students that are interested in working with individuals and families facing addiction issues and co-occurring disorders. Courses in this specialization examine the historical and theoretical foundations of addictive disorders, the philosophies of co-occurring disorders and various systematic theories and evidence-based models for treatment. Students will also learn methods for assessing substance-related and addictive disorders in the context of family therapy and ethical issues related to working in the field of addictions as a Marriage and Family Therapist.


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Course Details

Course Info

  • Quarter Units: 12
  • Courses: 8
  • Estimate time to complete: 9 months

*Credit hours and courses reflect new students meeting credit requirements and utilizing no transfer credits. Est. Time of Completion reflects new students following the preferred schedule designed by the Dean for the program.

Systemic Treatment of Addictions

Students in this certificate are required to complete the four courses listed below.

Course Name

You will examine the prevalence, nature, and impact of psychological trauma (e.g., sexual violence, combat and exposure to war zones, life threatening illness and injury, natural disasters), including posttraumatic stress disorder and the human capacity for healing. You will also gain a working knowledge of how to examine and discuss trauma systemically, exploring the impact on individuals, families, communities, and diverse groups, and potential ethical issues in treatment of psychological trauma. Finally, you will examine evidence-based practices in the field of psychological trauma as well as vicarious trauma, posttraumatic growth, and clinician self-care.

You will examine the historical and theoretical foundations of addictive disorders and review seminal research and theoretical literature how they evolved and contributed to our current conceptualization of addictive disorders including substance use and behavioral addictions. You will also explore the diversity in origins and manifestations of addiction for individuals and families in various contexts. In addition, you will become familiar with the history of clinical intervention for addiction ending with the addiction framework which you will adapt for use in the context of Family Therapy and consider the ethical ramifications of addiction treatment.

In this course, you will examine methods for assessing substance-related and addictive disorders in the context of family therapy and explore evidence-based practice for the treatment of addictive disorders in Family Therapy settings. In addition, you will demonstrate cultural competence in preparing treatment plans to address substance use and addictive behaviors for individuals and families. Finally, you will respond to potential ethical issues that may arise in the treatment of addiction.

In this course, you will develop a foundational and multidisciplinary understanding of co-existing disorders, or mental health issues that “co-occur” with substance abuse disorders. Medical, mental health, and substance abuse professionals are increasingly recognizing how their respective fields intersect when it comes to co-existing disorders, and a systemic perspective is uniquely suited to conceptualize and incorporate these elements in effective treatment. In this course, you will acquire an understanding of contextual factors behind the traditional separation of medical care, mental health, and substance abuse treatment. You will learn how to use the current literature to evaluate the nature and effectiveness of current treatment practices. You will also learn how to integrate systemic perspective, evaluation, and treatment models into multidisciplinary treatment approaches.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students in the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate program will expand their knowledge of the chosen subject, while challenging themselves in master’s level courses.


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Program Disclosure

Successful completion and attainment of National University degrees do not lead to automatic or immediate licensure, employment, or certification in any state/country. The University cannot guarantee that any professional organization or business will accept a graduate’s application to sit for any certification, licensure, or related exam for the purpose of professional certification.

Program availability varies by state. Many disciplines, professions, and jobs require disclosure of an individual’s criminal history, and a variety of states require background checks to apply to, or be eligible for, certain certificates, registrations, and licenses. Existence of a criminal history may also subject an individual to denial of an initial application for a certificate, registration, or license and/or result in the revocation or suspension of an existing certificate, registration, or license. Requirements can vary by state, occupation, and/or licensing authority.

NU graduates will be subject to additional requirements on a program, certification/licensure, employment, and state-by-state basis that can include one or more of the following items: internships, practicum experience, additional coursework, exams, tests, drug testing, earning an additional degree, and/or other training/education requirements.

All prospective students are advised to review employment, certification, and/or licensure requirements in their state, and to contact the certification/licensing body of the state and/or country where they intend to obtain certification/licensure to verify that these courses/programs qualify in that state/country, prior to enrolling. Prospective students are also advised to regularly review the state’s/country’s policies and procedures relating to certification/licensure, as those policies are subject to change.

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