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SA 550 – Cognitive Approaches To Addiction Treatment


This CE course examines the application of cognitive therapy to the problem of substance abuse. After laying out a description of the general problem of substance abuse, the cognitive therapy model is described both in its theory and application. Emphasis is placed on the development of the therapeutic relationship and how that and knowledge of the cognitive approach leads to the formulation of a case. The structure of the therapeutic session including educating the patient about the cognitive model, goal setting and specific therapeutic techniques are described in detail. Effectively dealing with cravings/urges and addressing the client’s beliefs that can lead to relapse using the cognitive model are spelled out.  Clients have ordinary life problems, periodic crisis, they experience depression, anger and anxiety and some have the dual diagnosis of any of a variety of personality disorders which are all dealt with by effectively using cognitive techniques and strategies. Course code: SA 550   Contact hours of education = 15

Instructor/Course Author:  Thomas Schear, Ph.D

Link to Resume


Pre-requisite: must have successfully completed the course: SA 500: Substance Abuse Theory and Practice I and SA 510: Foundations of Addictions Counseling

TIME FRAME: You are allotted two years from the date of enrollment, to complete all of the continuing education courses in the substance abuse practitioner program. There are no set time-frames, other than the two year allotted time. If you do not complete the courses within the two-year time-frame, you will be removed from the course and an “incomplete” will be recorded for you in our records. Also, if you would like to complete the courses after this two-year expiration time, you would need to register and pay the course tuition fee again.

TEXTBOOK: There is one (1) required textbook for this course.

Cognitive Therapy of Substance Abuse. By: Aaron T. Beck
Fred D. Wright, Cory F. Newman, and Bruce S. Liese. Publisher: The Guilford Press; 1 edition (February 15, 2001). ISBN-10: 1572306599 ISBN-13: 978-1572306592

Link to Purchase on click here

GRADING: You must achieve a passing score of at least 70% to complete this course and receive the 15 hours of awarded continuing education credit. There are no letter grades assigned. You will receive notice of your total % score. Those who score below the minimum of 70% will be contacted by the and options for completing additional course work to achieve a passing score, will be presented.


The American Institute of Health Care Professionals Inc: is an Approved Provider for Continuing Education by the South Carolina Professional Counselors, Marriage & Family Therapists and Psycho-Educational Specialists licensing board, Provider # 4637. Access information

The American Institute of Health Care Professionals (The Provider) is approved by the California Board of Registered Nurses, Provider number # CEP 15595 for 15 Contact Hours.

This course, which is approved by the Florida State Board Of Nursing (CE Provider # 50-11975) also has the following Board of Nursing Approvals, for 15 contact hours of CE

The American Institute of Health Care Professionals Inc: is a Rule Approved Provider of Continuing Education by the Arkansas Board of Nursing. CE Provider # 50-11975.
The American Institute of Health Care Professionals Inc: is a Rule Approved Provider of Continuing Education by the Georgia Board of Nursing. CE Provider # 50-11975.
The American Institute of Health Care Professionals Inc: is a Rule Approved Provider of Continuing Education by the South Carolina Board of Nursing. CE Provider # 50-11975.
The American Institute of Health Care Professionals Inc: is a Rule Approved Provider of Continuing Education by the West Virginia Board of Examiners for Professional Registered Nurses. CE Provider # 50-11975.
The American Institute of Health Care Professionals Inc: is a Rule Approved Provider of Continuing Education by the New Mexico Board of Nursing. CE Provider # 50-11975.

Course Refund & AIHCP Policies: access here


* Examination Access: there is link to take you right to the online examination program where you can print out your examination and work with it. All examinations are formatted as “open book” tests. When you are ready, you can access the exam program at anytime and click in your responses to the questions. Full information is provided in the online classrooms.

Student Resource Center: there is a link for access to a web page “Student Resource Center.” The Resource Center provides for easy access to all of our policies/procedures and additional information regarding applying for certification. We also have many links to many outside reference sites, such as online libraries that you may freely access.

* Online Evaluation: there is a link in the classroom where you may access the course evaluation. All students completing a course, must, without exception, complete the course evaluation.

* Faculty Access Information: you will have access to your instructor’s online resume/biography, as well as your instructor’s specific contact information.

* Additional Learning Materials: some faculty have prepared additional “readings” and /or brief lecture notes to enhance your experience. All of these are available in the online classrooms.

COURSE OBJECTIVES: Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:

  1. Identify the social and individual costs associated with the problem of substance abuse.
  2. Describe the principles and concepts of the cognitive model
  3. Identify how the cognitive model applies to the problem of addiction.
  4. Describe the causation and treatment strategies in the treatment of addiction.
  5. Describe how to effectively develop a therapeutic relationship based on the cognitive model.
  6. Identify the problems that can create barriers in the development of an effective therapeutic relationship and how to overcome them.
  7. Describe how a case is formulated using the cognitive model.
  8. Describe how to structure the therapy session in a way that implements the cognitive model.
  9. Describe how the therapist teaches the patient about the cognitive model
  10. Describe how the education of the patient in the cognitive model is an effective and essential part of the therapeutic process.
  11. Identify how to set goals which are in keeping with the cognitive model.
  12. Identify effective therapeutic strategies designed to effectively help the clients deal with their addiction issues.
  13. Understand how a patient’s cravings/urges can be effectively addressed with the cognitive approach.
  14. Identify the patient’s beliefs which lead to their initial problems and raise the likelihood of not improving and/or relapsing.
  15. Identify how the patient’s other life problems can interfere with recovery and can be dealt with effectively.
  16. Understand how the cognitive model can be used to effectively intervene with the patient’s crisis during the course of therapy.
  17. With depression frequently accompanying the problem of addiction, understand how depression can be identified and effectively addressed.
  18. Anger and anxiety as a couple other features of substance abuse/addiction, you will be able to identify when they are impacting therapy and how to effectively address it from a cognitive approach.
  19. Identify and understand how the problems of the dual diagnosis of a personality disorder can impact recovery and how to effectively address it.
  20. Understand how relapse occurs from a cognitive perspective.
  21. Identify the effective strategies that can be implemented to address the problem of relapse.


An overview of substance abuse
Cognitive model of addiction
Theory and therapy of addiction
The therapeutic relationship and its problems
Formulation of a case
Structure of the therapy session
Educating patients in the cognitive model
Setting goals
Techniques of cognitive therapy
Dealing with cravings/urges
Focus on beliefs
Managing general life problems
Crisis intervention
Therapy of depression in addicted individuals
Anger and anxiety
Concomitant personality disorders
Relapse prevention in the cognitive therapy of substance abuse