In-Demand Program: Addiction Counseling

Addiction Counseling Coin
6/12/19

Minneapolis College’s Addiction Counseling Program has a 40-year history in the state of Minnesota, providing hands-on training from experienced faculty, grounding students in the fundamentals of counseling. The program emphasizes the importance of interpersonal and cross-cultural communications and provides students a strong sense of support to encourage success.

The program enjoys a tremendous statewide reputation, with graduates working in treatment centers across Minnesota. Its experienced faculty and alumni connections allow students to ease into the field at an entry-level or transfer to 4-year programs to further their education.

Brian Lindell, Experiencing a Sense of Family
Brian Lindell gravitated to Minneapolis College’s Addiction Counseling Program after learning of its Collegiate Recovery Program (CRP). The CRP, the first of its kind at a community college, is a drop-in center offering student support, networking and community. It employs a Licensed Counselor and work-study students who are trained as Recovery Support Specialists.

“The program and the CRP provide me with a sense of family,” said Brian, who plans to transfer to a 4-year institution to pursue biopsychology after graduating from Minneapolis College.

“As someone in recovery myself, I know the value of having a sense of community. Working in this field can take a significant amount of social and emotional energy. Thanks to Minneapolis College, I am grounded in the 12 core functions of Addiction Counseling and feel a mutual sense of support in recovery and in education from faculty, staff and my peers.”

Seth McKee, Growing in Confidence
Seth McKee, a student colleague of Brian in the CRP, recently completed his second semester in the Addiction Counseling Program and plans to graduate in the spring of 2020.

“I started out slowly in the program and now have a strong sense of confidence in my ability to learn and support others who are struggling with addiction, as I have historically,” said Seth, who plans to transfer to a 4-year institution after graduation to pursue his LIDC.

“The Addiction Counseling Program provides me opportunities I never thought were possible. The small class sizes provide students an intimate setting to learn and stay involved. My skills came to life in the program and I believe I’m living the values of counseling with this tight knit group of students and faculty.”

Steve SlowBear, Revitalizing Culture and Diversity
Striving for diversity has always been an important mission for Steve SlowBear. When he came to Minneapolis College his plan was to get his degree and leave. He became vice president of the student government, president of UNITE (the College’s Native American student club) and a former employee of the CRP.

“I grew up in a family where addiction took its toll,” said Steve, who didn’t think he’d do well in school.

“My confidence, sense of self, ability to make an impact on others and overall knowledge have all grown via this program and this school. My elders are extremely proud of my accomplishments, especially in my ability to support others and revitalize our culture through the sharing of personal experiences.”

Steve shared how in late December he was studying in the CRP and a student who had relapsed came in for support. “I was able to set everything aside, rely on the counseling skills I learned in the program and help the student process and move forward,” said Steve.

“This type of interaction exemplifies what we strive for in the program. It was inspiring.”

Benjamin Wadsworth, Choosing Recovery and Education
The day after school started is the day Benjamin got sober. “The number one reason I didn’t do well in school was because of my addiction,” said Benjamin, an IT student who believes no one should have to choose between recovery and their education.

“Soon after starting at Minneapolis College, I found the CRP. There, my peers, many who are studying Addiction Counseling, helped erase the stigma around seeking support from counselors and therapists.”

Benjamin has come a long way and now works as a recovery coach in the CRP, providing students with a safe place to hang out, talk, do homework or get away from it all. Benjamin believes you get out what you put in, and touts the positive energy in the CRP.

“There’s nothing but positive energy. No false fronts. No stigma. Simply authenticity.”

Benjamin shared it took him a while to get into the mental state of school, but says he is now thriving thanks to the support of his peers and the staff and faculty at Minneapolis College.  

Drug and alcohol counselors may be the only chance some addicts have toward a life free from substance abuse. The Addiction Counseling Program at Minneapolis College trains counselors to serve as leaders and supporters. Students are grounded in core skills including: patient screening, intake, treatment planning, counseling, recordkeeping and consultation. Students enrolled in the program learn to impart knowledge to empower people to overcome dependency.

For more information about the Addiction Counseling program at Minneapolis College, visit the program page.