Psychology and Therapy of Addictions -ACCREDITED CERTIFICATE

Welcome to ‘Psychology & Therapy of Addictions’ course!

This course is for you if you are a person who genuinely likes to help others and is particularly interested in working with people with addictions. 

This course includes:

  • Counselling and therapy for people with addictions
  • Alcoholic parents and their children
  • How to become a ‘substance misuse worker’
  • Treatments for drug addiction 
  • Co-dependency and relapse 
  • Models of disease related to addictions
  • Coping mechanisms and counselling someone with addictions
  • What is ‘rehab’ and how it works
  • and much more!

P.S. This course is now fully accredited by the IAOTH – International Association of Therapists!

P.P.S. At the end of the course you will see the instructions on how to obtain your certificate of completion

Who this course is for:

  • Anyone who is interested in learning about drug and alcohol related addictions
  • Students of Psychology and therapies
  • Professionals working in caring and mental health settings

What you’ll learn

  • Understand Theories of Addictions
  • Learn how to work in Addictions related Therapies
  • Develop an awareness of alcohol and drug related disorders and issues
  • Learn about co-dependency, families of addicted persons, and relapse
  • Learn about working as a ‘Helper’ in addiction related settings
  • Understand how addictions are treated (psychology & medicine)


  • Have an interest in helping people with addictions
  • Have a general idea of therapeutic work

The purpose of this Online Diploma Course in Addiction Psychology is to provide you with up to date information and actionable knowledge on the problem of Addiction. Through the lessons offered you will gain insight into the causes of substance and behavioural addiction and learn how to better assess addiction situations and intervene appropriately. You will learn how to examine and improve your own ability to review situations properly and intervene appropriately. You will learn how to improve those core skills that are  required to help those affected by drug/alcohol use. You will develop your expertise in dealing with the behaviour of addicted people. 

Addiction is one of the most pervasive problems faced by our society today. Addiction problems cut across age, gender, nationality, and income. Addiction is often hidden and even when recognized is seldom addressed. Increasingly, more and more people from a variety of professions such as prison administration, medical and youth services workers, teachers, personnel managers, parents and other family members, and recovering addicts, find themselves having to deal with the multitude of problems caused by Addiction. 



By the end of this course, students will have.

  • A greater understanding of the biology and psychology of addiction.
  • A better understanding of the causes and effects of substance addiction and illicit drug addiction.
  • A better understanding of behaviorial addictions such as gambling and obsessive compulsive behavior.
  • Increased knowledge of the latest treatment models and theories.
  • A better understanding of how to work with individual’s with drug problems and how to help those affected by their drug use.

Course Outline

Unit 1

Understanding Addiction

Defining Addiction

The Hazards of Drug Abuse 

Dependence and Addiction 

Atmosphere of Change

Types of Drugs

Depressants: Opiates  Barbiturates Benzodiazepines


Stimulants: Cocaine & Crack , Amphetamines

Hallucinogens Psychogenics: LSD,Magic Mushrooms, Cannabis


Theories of Addiction
Focussing on the major Theories & Models of Addiction:
  • The Moral model
  • The Psychological Model: Psychoanalytic, Behavioural, Cognitive
  • The Medical/Disease Model: Genetic, Addictive Personality, Allergy, Illness & Biological
  • The Socio-Cultural Model: Modelling, National & Cultural Conditions & Family Systems Theory


Addiction Treatments
  • Pharmacotherapy: Antabuse, Ibogaine, Methadone & Detox-5
  • The Minneosta Model: 12 Step & Alcoholics Anonymous
  • Counselling & Therapy: Motivational Interviewing & Reality Therapy
  • Harm Reduction Model
  • Treatments in practice


Addiction in Society
  • Drug policies, legalisation & de– criminalisation
  • Community change, Outreach, Harm Reduction or Abstinence
  • Alcohol & drug education
  • Alcohol & drug-related issues in the workplace


Addiction in Families
  • Co-dependency, children of alcoholic families, parenting styles, & family factors
  • Relapse for families, ‘letting go’, dependent attitudes & dependent behaviours
  • Al-Anon
  • The intervention approach
Working with Addiction
  • Why be a helper, motives & attitudes
  • Helper qualities & attitudes
  • The art of accepting
  • Counselling/helping skills. Helping the helpers


Our Institute is affiliated with the United Nations approved Organisation called Peacful Mind (PMF).

Peacful Mind Foundation (PMF) is a global organization registered with the United Nations (U.N.) Global Compact and United Nations DESA.  The foundation is present in more than 36 countries across the world, embarking its vision i.e., “To make psychology a household term, peace, and well-being and Culture”.

The Global Youth Mental Health Forum (GYMHF) is a global platform powered by Peacful Mind Foundation.  Initiated in 2018 by PMF as “Youth Forum”, its mission is cited as “Better Mindscape for Better tomorrow”. The forum  focuses on youth psychology, child psychology and child mental health amalgamating youths, youth activists, NGO’s, psychologists from across nations.


The course is delivered completely online through our website. Each unit comprises reading material, short videos, and slide presentations.   There are two written assignments for this course to be submitted at the end of Unit 3 and end of 6. You will find the assignment questions on your dashboard.  The questions are straight forward and relate directly to the reading material.

Your course tutor is available by email  to answer any questions that you may have relating to the course material

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The course is for those who have no previous formal training in Addiction.  No formal educational qualifications  are necessary to participate.

The course is designed for people who are in recovery from addiction or are working with the condition. This can include mental health staff in a range of different professions including Nurses, probation officers Prison wardens, psychologists, GPs, psychiatrists, psychotherapists, counsellors, Drugs workers, social workers, occupational therapists, counselling and psychology students.


Once payment is received we will register you to begin the course immediately. We will send you the course log in details by email and you can  log straight into the course dashboard where all the course materials are contained.

The cost of £295 (AED 1500) is the total cost of the training, this includes the Diploma which is emailed to you on successful completion of the course. There are no extra or hidden charges.

Your tutor is available by email to answer any questions relating to the course and assignments.


How much time do I need to study each week?

On average we recommend two to three hours of study per week.How long does it take to get a grade and feedback on the assignment?

It can take up to 14 days to receive your grade and feedback.Do I need to use a particular type of referencing, ie, Harvard?

No. We do not require formal referencing for these assignments. Feel free to use them if you wish but it is not mandtory.Can I go under or over the word count?

It is fine to go either 10% under or `10% over the word count. Any more or less than that and the assignment will be returned to you to resubmit.What about plagiarism, do you check for this?

Our tutors are very experienced in academic writing and will be attuned to notice issues of extreme plagiarism. You can certainly quote from any source you deem suitable but please do not copy and paste verbatim into the assignment. You will get marked down for this and in some cases you could be asked to resubmit.What happens if I fail the assignment , what do I do? Can I retake it ?

We understand that assessments can be stressful so our system allows you 3 attempts to pass. If you are still not able to pass it you are very welcome to contact our support system and we will offer you as much help and support as you need. We want you to succeed on our courses so we will do all in our power to help you to pass.Can I complete the course before the stipulated time? Or if I get delayed, can I get an extension?

All our courses are designed to be easily completed within 6 months from the day you register. If you find that you need more time then it is possible by sending an email with the reasons why you need the extension. Usually we can grant an extension of a maximum of 3 months.How do I get my Certificate? Do I need to wait for my Certificate?

When you complete the course with either Pass or Distinction you will be entitled to obtain your Diploma Certificate. The certificate is emailed to your registered email address within one week. There is no charge for this. If you wish to have an original signed hard copy with the Institute Seal posted to you; the cost is $50.

Congratulations! You’ve made one of the best decisions you can make: asking for help. Whether you’ve decided to get help to control or moderate your use of alcohol or substances, or whether you’ve decided you want to be entirely abstinent, or whether you just want to explore the role that addiction might play in connection to an underlying depressionanxietystress, or self-esteem issue, you are being proactive in trying to find someone who can help you. Acknowledging that you need help is never easy, but it’s one of the best things you can do for yourself. Finding the right addiction therapist is just as important as making the decision to get help.

Before determining whether the treatment provider is “expert” enough, you have to decide what type of practitioner you would like to consult. Addiction treatment often involves working with a combination of professionals. Probably the most comprehensive place to start would be to meet with an addiction psychologist for a complete evaluation. However, there are several other types of therapists with the necessary and sufficient experience to get you on your way. It is important to know the differences between these sorts of treatment providers.

People often will begin their search for addiction treatment by consulting an “addiction psychiatrist” or “addiction psychologist.” In actuality, these are two very different kinds of professionals. Knowing the difference is essential. Furthermore, the professions of psychotherapist, social worker, and counselor all have different specialties, and their focus and breadth of treatment can vary considerably. In most instances, their credentials are much less important compared to their experience and the connection you can establish with them. Most therapists would likely agree that the most curative factor in the psychotherapeutic relationship is the rapport that develops between therapist and person in therapy. So while you’re looking for someone you can afford, you are also looking for someone with whom you can connect.


An addiction psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specializes in treating people with addictive and mental health issues primarily with medicines such as antidepressantsantipsychotics, and medications that help to treat underlying mental health conditions and comorbid issues. While there are many psychiatrists who don’t prescribe medications much and focus primarily on therapy instead, most psychiatrists manage medications and work closely with psychologists and other therapists who will provide the talk therapy treatment. Subsequent psychiatric appointments following an evaluation tend to be short, about 20- to 25-minute med checks; they are mostly concerned with how a person is adjusting to a drug regimen, minimizing side effects, and gauging effectiveness.

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Most importantly, an addiction psychiatrist has special training in prescribing medications to help individuals who are struggling with their substance use. It is important to work with an addiction psychiatrist and not just a general psychiatrist when you are trying to determine the nature of your relationship with drugs and alcohol and considering making behavioral changes. An addiction psychiatrist can prescribe medications to help you detox or withdraw from drug and alcohol use, and they can also prescribe medications to help you with cravings, which could avert relapse.


An addiction psychologist, on the other hand, is a doctor but not a medical doctor. Addiction psychologists are trained mental health professionals who can help you explore the role that addiction plays in your life. An addiction psychologist can help you become more aware of your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and teach you different ways of dealing with problems through therapeutic approaches such as cognitive behavioral therapymotivational interviewing, mindfulness-based relapse prevention, 12-step facilitation treatment, and community reinforcement and family training.

Additionally, addiction psychologists let you talk your way through a problem and help you get to the heart of the issue so you can make the necessary changes that will improve your life for the long haul, and not just put a bandage on a major wound. A typical appointment with a psychologist is 50 to 55 minutes.


There are other types of addiction therapists in addition to psychologists who might be helpful, including social workers and licensed professional counselors. Social workers may have their master’s or doctorate, while licensed professional counselors may have only a master’s-level education, though both are trained in mental health issues to varying degrees. Social workers in particular are trained in obtaining the best social agency support services, and they tend to take a social and networking approach to the treatment of mental health issues.

Psychotherapists may have any of the above degrees or none at all. A psychotherapist is sometimes a catch-all for someone who practices talk therapy, but the therapist may or may not be adequately trained according to the standards of another professional degree or certificate. For example, a psychiatrist or psychologist may describe themselves as a psychotherapist, but so too can a recovery coach or Joe Shmoe because he’s been a “spiritual advisor” ever since he was electrocuted while trying to repair his garage door. That said, many psychotherapists do receive comprehensive training, but it is important that you vet their experience, training, and credentials, as you should with any other therapist. ( does this work on your behalf as it has strict educational and training requirements for membership.)

Certified addiction counselors and certified alcohol and drug counselors are just a few of the titles bestowed to professionals who are counselors but not at the educational or academic level of psychiatrists, psychologists, or social workers. Often, these titles vary slightly according to state board guidelines, which can be somewhat less standardized from state to state. They may be no less qualified to treat you, but it is important to see someone who is licensed in his or her professional field. Ideally, your clinician would be qualified as both an addiction counselor and as a licensed mental health professional.


Now that you know the differences between professionals, let’s talk about how to find the right addiction therapist for you. There are two common ways to find a psychiatrist and/or psychologist: (1) research local addiction professionals online, or (2) identify an addiction therapist who is recommended to you by another professional, friend, or family member. Both are perfectly legitimate ways to begin your search for the best match.

Once you think you have found someone, follow these steps to determine if they are competent, credible, and a good match for you. First and foremost, check their credentials to see if they are who they say they are. Make sure they have the associated degree of the professional discipline you personally are looking for. The professional you go to should be licensed, and the license should be up to date and clearly indicated on his or her website or profile listing.

If you think you found someone but they end up not being the right match for you, do not give up hope. It may be important to explain very clearly to this person what it is that you feel you are not getting.

Secondly, whether you want to see an addiction psychologist, psychiatrist, counselor, or psychotherapist, you should determine what expertise the person has in the field of addiction. This can be daunting because, across disciplines, there is no standardized way of determining one’s expertise in addiction. For example, while psychiatrists can be board certified in addiction medicine, addiction psychologists might obtain their proficiency by having (1) additional certification as a certified alcohol and drug counselor, (2) by being a member of the American Psychological Association Division 50 Society of Addiction Psychology, or (3) by having conducted research and published class on addiction. Moreover, addiction counselors may have a certification through a state board, yet they may lack the background and training that a psychologist receives in mental health issues. This is important because half of all individuals who are diagnosed with a lifetime prevalence of addiction will also be diagnosed with a lifetime prevalence of another comorbid mental health diagnosis. Furthermore, one might not want to see a psychiatrist who specializes in medication management and may not have as much training and experience in the various treatments involving the talk therapies.

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Third, check reviews online. There are excellent therapists who don’t yet have reviews online, perhaps because they haven’t had an online presence or because it’s just not ethical to ask for reviews. Many psychotherapists will have colleagues write reviews for them, which is a helpful way of getting recommendations. One bad review can affect someone’s listing significantly, so look carefully at all the reviews to be fair.

Fourth, review the professional’s website and other sites where their practice might be listed to see that they offer “evidenced-based” or “best practices” treatment. While these buzzwords have quite frankly become passé and obsolete as they have been co-opted by marketers, you want to be sure that your therapist at least knows about the most up-to-date evidenced-based treatment approaches. Ask what treatment the professional uses that is evidenced-based, or ask for an opinion on something you’ve learned about, like harm reduction, 12-step facilitation, motivational interviewing, or mindfulness-based stress reduction or relapse prevention.

Fifth, have a phone conversation to see if you feel some sort of connection to your addiction therapist. This may be a feeling of confidence or an inexplicable bond of initial trust, but in either case, feeling secure with your addiction therapist is crucial. It is completely appropriate to say you are shopping for a therapist and that you’d like to speak on the phone to ask some questions or let the person know what is going on to see if it even makes sense to set up an appointment. This also allows the therapist to gauge whether you’re a good fit for him or her, and if not, to offer a referral.

Sixth, make a follow-up appointment where you can meet the person face-to-face and see if your initial instinct was correct. It is also reasonable to meet once or twice before you decide whether to commit to working with the person while you develop a treatment plan together. Remember, most importantly, you are looking for someone you connect with. You and the professional should both believe that the therapist can help. You are looking for someone you can afford, someone with whom you can feel comfortable, and someone you believe can help you.

If you’re lucky, you may get all these steps right on the first try, but many people do not. If you think you found someone, but they end up not being the right match for you, do not give up hope. It may be important to explain very clearly to this person what it is that you feel you are not getting. Often, the difficult experience you are having with the therapist is related to the reason you are in therapy to begin with. In other words, the conflict or problems you are having with your therapist may be the sorts of problems you have in other relationships and could be driving addictive or compulsive behaviors, and now you have an opportunity to work through those issues with a therapist who is trained to help you see your role in the relationship and in other, more important relationships. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn about yourself.

If your therapist shies away from this sort of dialogue, they will not be helpful to you. Sometimes, the match is just not right and you have to find another therapist. The right person is out there; you just might have to work a little harder to find that person.


In summary, because addiction treatment is a unique field, it is essential that your addiction therapist have a solid background in mental health and not just expertise in addiction. Since many of those with a substance use issue in their lifetime will also meet the criteria for another mental health condition, it is clear that these comorbid conditions are interrelated and may fuel each other. This is why it is so important that your therapist be an expert in both domains. When you seek help for addiction, you may experience issues such as depression, anxiety, traumaattention-deficit hyperactivity, and relationship problems. Addiction therapists who are not licensed, such as recovery coaches and interventionists, can have an important role, but only when mental health professionals who are licensed are supervising and quarterbacking the treatment.

Once you’ve found an addiction therapist who is a good fit and you begin to understand your addiction issues—medical, psychological, and otherwise—you may feel as if a big weight has been lifted off of your shoulders. While most individuals considering stopping or reducing their drug or alcohol use are loath to imagine their lives without the use of alcohol or drugs, many recovering individuals report that their lives are vastly improved and that that their worst days in recovery are far better than their best days using.

© Copyright 2015 All rights reserved. Permission to publish granted by Jeremy Frank, PhD, CACDrug and Alcohol Addiction Topic Expert Contributor

The preceding class was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by Questions or concerns about the preceding class can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

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