department of psychology

306 Chafee Hall, 142 Flagg Road, Kingston, RI 02881

uripsymajor@gmail.com401.874.2193 (p); 401.874.2157 (f)

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Alcohol and Other Drug Counseling

Certificate Program for Counselors of Substance Troubled People

This is a five-course sequence designed for counselors, administrators, students and paraprofessionals interested in working with substance troubled persons, or in chemical dependency-related services. The program emphasizes the psychological research findings and practical applications for intervention techniques with alcohol, other drug, and polydrug abusers, and is suited for training or upgrading of program staff.

All coursework for the program will count towards an undergraduate degree at the University of Rhode Island and are accredited for transfer to other institutions of higher education. Some courses may be accepted for graduate credit. Classes are taught by experienced instructors and include discussion and interaction with professionals in the field. The URI Psychology office, in collaboration with state agencies, can help you locate an internship for practical experience; additional course credit for experience in the field may also be available.

These courses can be applied towards the academic component of Rhode Island’s certification process for Chemical Dependency professionals. Completion of this program indicates the student has successfully met the requirements for a University of Rhode Island certificate; it is not equivalent to state certification nor does it imply any legal sanction as a therapist, which requires additional field training. For Rhode Island certification requirements, go to

Fifty percent of the coursework must be taken at URI. Persons who have earned a grade of C or better in equivalent or substitute courses elsewhere may apply for transfer credit by contacting the Psychology Department. CCRI and RIC equivalents are shown in the course listing, below.

Students are required to maintain a C average. When all required courses have been successfully completed, the student should inform the Psychology Office and the certificate will be issued. It will not appear on URI transcripts.

Required Courses

Program Prerequisite: PSY 113 General Psychology or equivalent. (CCRI PSYC 2010 General Psychology; RIC PSYC 110 Introduction to Psychology).

PSY 254 Behavior Problems and Personality Disorders (3 credits)
Evaluation of the more serious behavioral disorders as found in the major forms of character disorders, psychoneuroses, and psychoses. Theories of causation, development and effects of anxiety and defense mechanisms, and interpretation of symptoms and methods of treatment. Prerequisite: PSY 113. Equivalents: CCRI PSYC 2110 (Abnormal Psychology); RIC PSYC 354 (Abnormal Psychology).

PSY 460 The Substance-Troubled Person (3 credits)
Presents theoretical and applied material on alcohol and other mood-altering substances of abuse. Relevant for alcohol and substance abuse counselors, personnel administrators, and other social service workers. Offered through the Alan Shawn Feinstein College of Continuing Education. Substitutes: URI (Kingston-enrolled students only) PSY 261 (The Alcohol Troubled Person) or PSY 275 (Alcohol Use and Misuse); CCRI HMNS 1040 (Drugs and Human Behavior); RIC PSYC 217 (Drug Use & Personal Decision Making).

PSY 465 Introduction to Crisis Intervention (3 credits)
Interventions for various types of emergencies including substance abuse and functional or organic disorders. Prerequisite: PSY 254 or permission of instructor.

BPS 436 (or PSY 436) Psychotropic Drugs and Therapy (3 credits)
Interaction of drug and nondrug therapy and of physiological and psychological origins of psychopathology. Intended for advanced undergraduate and graduate students interested in clinical psychology. Prerequisite: any one of the following—BIO 101, 104B, 113, 121, PSY 381, or permission of instructor. Equivalent: RIC PSYC 510 (Drugs and Behavior). Not for graduate credit.

HDF 450 Introduction to Counseling (3 credits)
Introduces students in human sciences to interviewing and counseling skills in both professional and paraprofessional settings. Integrates theory, practice, and application by didactic and experimental learning. Prerequisite: senior standing in HDF, graduate standing, or permission of instructor.

For those interested in pursuing RI certification, PSY 255, Health Psychology, is also recommended.

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