New graduate program responds to need for addictions counselors across Indiana

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Associate Professor Ellen Vaughan in the classroom. Photo courtesy IU Studios (Fall 2019).

A new graduate program at the IU School of Education will help fill the need for addictions counselors in the state of Indiana and beyond.

The M.S.Ed. in Mental Health Counseling and Counselor Education – Addictions Track has launched as part of the School of Education’s contribution to IU’s Grand Challenge, a multi-year response to the opioid crisis in Indiana. With funding from the Grand Challenge, Counseling and Educational Psychology faculty Ellen Vaughan and Mary Waldron developed the Addictions Track.

This program gives students depth in their training with four addictions-specific courses and clinical placements working with people in treatment for substance use disorders.

Associate Professor Ellen Vaughan

“The surge of opioid related overdoses over the past 5-10 years brought to light the dire need for counselors who are trained to deliver evidence based treatments for substance use disorders,” Vaughan said.

Students who graduate from this program will be equipped to work in counseling and mental health settings with people who have substance use disorders. This might include hospitals, inpatient treatment centers, outpatient treatment centers and universities.

“Substance use disorders are among the most common mental health diagnoses. Despite this fact, many counseling and psychology programs do not provide students with extensive training in substance use disorders,” Vaughan said. “This program gives students depth in their training with four addictions-specific courses and clinical placements working with people in treatment for substance use disorders.”

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