Monday, September 28, 2009

Tonight's Class

Tonight’s class was great. It went by really fast for me and I felt we were getting into some extremely helpful information for substance abuse counselors. The Stages of Change were new to me and I appreciate the handout with motivational ideas for those in each stage of change. Our teacher said that this is her favorite tool; I can see where this one really gets the counselor focused on where the client’s thinking is at this moment. The analogy about jumping up a flight of steps was a useful way to look at it. If you don’t make it, you’ll be worse off at the bottom of all the stairs.

The six ASAM Assessment dimensions are key to understanding a client’s condition and finding the best approach to helping a person with substance abuse issues. We learned that people with substance abuse problems often don’t seek help for other health problems, both emotional and physical. Sometimes they may not even realize they have other health issues. Part of the assessment is to note what other problems the person may have. We are going to treat the whole person.

I love the way our teacher has provided all of this information for us on the “bookshelf” of our virtual classroom. In this short class she has introduced us to some valuable stuff! I hope that we can talk some more about the assessment dimensions and stages of change in the next class.