Singapore University of Social Sciences

Theories and Practice in Addiction Counselling

Theories and Practice in Addiction Counselling (COU557)


This course is designed to promote knowledge and understanding of the core functions and competencies of the addiction counsellor. Students will be exposed to the varied aspects and challenges involved in the assessment and treatment process of addiction. This course will also look at the professional and ethical issues unique to the field of addiction counselling.

Level: 5
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: EVERY 2 YEARS


  • Etiology and nature of Addictions
  • Types and classification of Addictions
  • Counselling Process in Addiction (Engagement, Assessment, Intervention & Termination)
  • Major Addiction and Counselling Theories (e.g., Stages of Change, Motivational Interviewing)
  • Major Addiction Counselling Models (e.g., Individual, family, group therapy and support group)
  • Core Functions of the Addiction Counsellor
  • Core Counselling Skills in Addiction
  • Co-Occurring Disorders
  • Ecosystem of Resources for Addiction Treatment
  • Professional Responsibilities & Ethics
  • Special topic 1 (e.g., Substance Use Disorders treatment and case studies)
  • Special Topic 2 (e.g., Behavioural addiction: Internet Gaming Disorder, Gambling Disorder)

Learning Outcome

  • Examine the bio-psycho-social predispositions and psychological factors implicated in addiction and recovery
  • Debate current and emergent professional concerns in the field on various behavioural and substance addictions and related counselling
  • Assemble an overview of the core competencies, roles and tasks of addiction counsellors
  • Assess substance and behavioural addictions according to current international classification and debates
  • Design appropriate treatment plans for clients and their families in local contexts
  • Evaluate the impact of various interventions for addiction counselling
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