Delivering Excellence in Lifelong Learning
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Professional Addiction Studies

Building holistic skills for health professionals.

Program is offered entirely online!

ADD 203 - Counselling Skills for Addiction Professionals- Winter 2022

Academic Credit Value:
3 units
Course Delivery Mode:
Hours of Study:
42 hours
Course Prerequisite(s):
Course Anti-requisite(s):
Instructor Name:
Stephanie Kersta
Course Dates:
02/07/2022 - 04/17/2022

Required Course Materials:
Ivey, E. A., Ivey, M. B. & Zalaquett, C. P. (2018). 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 (15%)
Quizzes (10%)
Assignment 1: Reflection Essay (15%)
Assignment 2: Skills Demonstration (Outline) (10%)
Assignment 3: Case Study – Trauma-Informed Care (20%)
Assignment 4: 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 accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services(SAS) at 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or  to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. For further information, consult McMaster University’s Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities policy.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous or Spiritual Observances (RISO)
Students requiring academic accommodation based on religious, indigenous or spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the RISO policy. Students will need to contact their instructors as soon as possible to make alternative arrangements for classes, assignments, and other coursework. and tests. It is the student’s responsibility to contact McMaster Continuing Education to discuss accommodations related to examinations. (if applicable)
On-line Elements:
Conduct Expectations:
As a McMaster student, you have the right to experience, and the responsibility to demonstrate, respectful and dignified interactions within all of our living, learning and working communities. These expectations are described in the Code of Student Rights & Responsibilities (the “Code”). All students share the responsibility of maintaining a positive environment for the academic and personal growth of all McMaster community members, whether in-person or online.

It is essential that students be mindful of their interactions online, as the Code remains in effect in virtual learning environments. The Code applies to any interactions that adversely affect, disrupt, or interfere with reasonable participation in University activities. Student disruptions or behaviours that interfere with university functions on online platforms (e.g. use of Avenue 2 Learn, WebEx or Zoom for delivery), will be taken very seriously and will be investigated. Outcomes may include restriction or removal of the involved students’ access to these platforms.

Copyright and Recording:
Students are advised that lectures, demonstrations, performances, and any other course material provided by an instructor include copyright protected works. The Copyright Act and copyright law protect every original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic work, including lectures by University instructors.

The recording of lectures, tutorials, or other methods of instruction may occur during a course. Recording may be done by either the instructor for the purpose of authorized distribution, or by a student for the purpose of personal study. Students who wish to record sessions need to acquire permission from the instructor. Students should be aware that their voice and/or image may be recorded by others during the class. Please speak with the instructor if this is a concern for you.
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.

Extreme Circumstances:
The University reserves the right to change the dates and deadlines for any or all courses in extreme circumstances (e.g., severe weather, labour disruptions, etc.). Changes will be communicated through regular McMaster communication channels, such as McMaster Daily News, A2L and/or McMaster email.

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 – Cultivating the Counselling Relationship

Quiz 2
Discussion 2

3 – The Counselling Process


4 – Introduction to Microskills

Assignment 1:
Reflection Essay

5 - Intentional Interviewing Skills

Quiz 3

6 – Integrating Practice Skills


7 – The Transtheoretical Model & Motivational Interviewing

Assignment 2:
Skills Demonstration (Outline)

8 – Diversity and Cultural Responsiveness

Quiz 4
Discussion 3

9 – Trauma – Specific Care

Quiz 5

Assignment 3:
Case Study - Trauma-Informed Care

10 - Crisis Intervention

Assignment 4:
Skills Demonstration (Video & Report)