• Concentration in Substance Abuse Counseling

    • Concentration in Mental Health and Substance Abuse

      The Concentration in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Counseling (CMHSAC) is an optional academic and clinical training program offered in conjunction with the MA in General Psychology.

      The curriculum brings together courses in the treatment of substance use disorders and other addictive behaviors as well as general principles of psychology, providing students with a unique foundation for work in this field.

      Earning the CMHSAC gives graduates an applied career opportunity that can be pursued on completion of the MA, or carried forward into PhD studies and training. Psychology MA graduates who have completed the concentration in CMHSAC may fulfill the supervised practical work requirements to become a Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC) and are then employable in New York State as substance abuse counselors at hundreds of treatment sites in New York State.

      The CMHSAC employs a harm reduction orientation, putting this program at the cutting edge of training in the treatment of substance abuse disorders and other addictive behaviors. The CMHSAC regularly sponsors workshops, events, and trainings that promote a harm reduction orientation.

      Students who enroll in the CMHSAC are eligible to participate in field placements in New York City treatment agencies, receiving practical and applied training in treating substance use disorders. Students begin their placements typically in the Fall of their second year within the program and placements range from 6 months to 1 year. Although direct clinical experience is not required as part of the curriculum for the CMHSAC master's degree, it is strongly encouraged.

      New York State CASAC Requirements
      After completing all the required courses and graduating from the CMHSAC and MA Program in General Psychology, students will have met the 350 education and training requirements set by New York State's Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) and will be eligible to apply to New York State for a CASAC-Trainee (CASAC-T) certificate. Graduates who take the CASAC exam and receive their CASAC-T will not be granted full CASAC certification until they have completed the required 2,000 hours of work experience, which can be done at a variety of OASAS-approved treatment facilities in New York City. Read more about obtaining the CASAC-T on the OASAS website.

      Related Degrees

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