Lifelong Learning for a Brighter World

young female addictions health worker smiling at camera holding a folder with a focus group in the background young female addictions health worker smiling at camera holding a folder with a focus group in the background

Professional Addiction Studies

Building holistic skills for health professionals.

Program is offered entirely online!

ADD 203 - Counselling Skills for Addiction Professionals- W20

Academic Credit Value:
3 units
Course Delivery Mode:
Hours of Study:
42 hours
Course Prerequisite(s):
Course Anti-requisite(s):
Instructor Name:
Course Dates:
01/13/2020 - 03/22/2020

Required Course Materials:
Ivey, E. A., Ivey, M. B. & Zalaquett, C. P. (2017). Intentional Interviewing and Counselling: Facilitating Client Development in a Multicultural Society. Boston, MA: Cengage.
Optional Course Materials:
Course Description:

This course provides the foundational counselling concepts and practice skills required when supporting individuals in the field of addiction.  The focus will be on applying communication skills within the stages of interviewing. Emphasis will be placed on how to engage clients and to cultivate the helping relationship.  A basic model of crisis intervention will be examined for a variety of crisis situations that are common in the field of addiction work.  Through use of experiential learning and audiovisual demonstrations, students will practice counselling skills using frameworks such as TTM and MI.  With the integration of counselling concepts and techniques, students will develop a personal counselling approach.

Learning Outcomes:
Upon completion of this course, students will:
apply foundational counselling skills within the helping relationship
recognize and demonstrate the stages of interviewing
practice counselling skills from a trauma-informed perspective for clients with addiction issues
use frameworks such as TTM and MI
identify and address barriers that may prevent clients from successfully engaging in the treatment process
apply inclusive and ethical practices with individuals and families
apply a basic model of crisis intervention to determine intervention for a variety of crisis situations
Course Evaluation
The final grade is calculated based on the following components:
Discussion Participation (20%)
Quizzes (15%)
Assignment 1: Reflection Essay (15%)
Assignment 2: Case Study – Trauma-Informed Care (20%)
Assignment 3: Skills Demonstration (video) & Report (30%)
Course Format:

Course Format:

This course is offered online through our learning management system,  Avenue to Learn. The  course material is divided into weekly modules through which the class will discuss the concepts and develop skills and knowledge. You will be directed to the associated readings and web resources.


Methods of Learning and Expectations

This course will promote a collaborative learning environment in which participants will contribute and build upon their knowledge and understanding of the key issues raised. The understanding of a topic or concept is a group activity and responsibility. Participants are expected to express ideas openly, question, analyze, modify and raise the level of understanding of the group. Students will articulate their thoughts and understanding online, through a variety of activities. Learners are expected to contribute to the online course on a regular basis throughout the week. The online course will be our classroom for the next 10 weeks.

Assignment Submission:
Course assignments are submitted to the appropriate A2L Assignment folder by the specified due date
Late Coursework:
Late assignments will be subject to a 2% per day late penalty (includes weekends and holidays) for up to seven (7) days. After this date, no assignments will be accepted and a grade of zero (0) will be applied. Extensions for course work must be approved by the instructor before the due date (see Academic Regulations below), and will be granted for illness or emergencies only. Students may be asked to submit supporting documentation for an extension request

Policy & Procedures:

Academic Regulations (Attendance, Coursework, Tests/Exams):
In accordance to McMaster University’s General Academic Regulations, “it is imperative that students make every effort to meet the originally scheduled course requirements and it is a student’s responsibility to write examinations as scheduled.” Therefore, all students are expected to attend and complete the specific course requirements (i.e. attendance, assignments, and tests/exams) listed in the course outline on or by the date specified. Students who need to arrange for coursework accommodation, as a result of medical, personal or family reasons, must contact the course instructor within 48 hours of the originally scheduled due date. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the Program Manager to discuss accommodations and procedures related to deferred tests and/or examinations within 48 hoursof the originally scheduled test/exam, as per policy. Failure to contact the course instructor, in the case of missed coursework, or the Program Manager, in thecase of a missed test/examination, within the specified 48-hour window will result in a grade of zero (0) on the coursework/exam and no further consideration will be granted.

*Note: Supporting documentation will be required but will not ensure approval of accommodation(s).
Academic Integrity
You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity. Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: “Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty”), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:
Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
Improper collaboration in-group work.
Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.
Academic Accommodations:
Students with disabilities who require academic accommodations must contact the Student Accessibility Centre (SAS) to meet with an appropriate Disability Services Coordinator. To contact SAS, phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652, or email For further information, consult McMaster University’s Policy for Academic Accommodation for Students with Disabilities.
On-line Elements:
In this course, we will be using on-line elements, which may include email, Avenue to Learn, WebEX, and external web sites.  Students should be aware that, when they access the electronic components of this course, private information such as first and last names, user names for the McMaster e-mail accounts, and program affiliation may become apparent to all other students in the same course. The available information is dependent on the technology used. Continuation in this course will be deemed consent to this disclosure. If you have any questions or concerns about such disclosure please discuss this with the course instructor.
In this course, we will be using a web-based service ( to reveal plagiarism. Students will be expected to submit their work electronically to and in hard copy so that it can be checked for academic dishonesty. Students who do not wish to submit their work to must still submit a copy to the instructor. No penalty will be assigned to a student who does not submit work to All submitted work is subject to normal verification that standards of academic integrity have been upheld (e.g., on-line search, etc.). To see the Policy, please go to McMaster Academic Integrity Policy.
Course Changes:
The instructor reserves the right to modify elements of the course and will notify students accordingly.
Course Withdrawal Policy:
Policies related to dropping a course and course withdrawals are posted to the Centre for Continuing Education’s program webpage, FAQs & Policies ( /academic-faqs)
Grading Scale:
Grade Equivalent Grade Point Equivalent Percentages
A+ 12 90-100
A 11 85-89
A- 10 80-84
B+ 9 77-79
B 8 73-76
B- 7 70-72
C+ 6 67-69
C 5 63-66
C- 4 60-62
D+ 3 57-59
D 2 53-56
D- 1 50-52
F 0 0-49
Course Schedule:

Module Topics


1 - The Person as Professional

Quiz 1

Discussion 1

2 - Ethical Principles

Quiz 2
Discussion 2

3 - Cultivating the Counselling Relationship

Quiz 3
Discussion 3

4 - Foundations of Counselling

Quiz 4
Assignment 1:
Reflection Essay

5 - Intentional Interviewing Skills

Quiz 5

6 - Diversity and Cultural Responsiveness

Quiz 6
Discussion 4

7 - Trauma-Specific Care

Quiz 7

8 - Transtheoretical Model

Quiz 8
Assignment 2:
Case Study
Trauma-Informed Care

9 - Motivational Interviewing

Quiz 9

10 - Crisis Intervention

Quiz 10
Assignment 3:
Skills Demonstration (video) & Report