621 Developing Culturally Competent Recovery Plans – Person-Centered Planning Using the Recovery Model

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The Addiction Technology Transfer Center of New England , funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) at Brown University Center for Alcohol & Addiction Studies, is offering a credited, on-line course on developing culturally competent recovery plans.

If a monitor came to do a chart review of the case records of the individuals receiving services at many treatment programs throughout the country, what would he or she see on the treatment plans of those being served? Would it be possible, without a name on the chart, to differentiate one consumer of services from the next? Do goals and objectives stated in the plan reflect the counselor’s goals or those of the consumer/client? If you answered the former, you are in the majority. “Come daily for medication, see the clinician once a week for individuals, 90 meetings in 90 days, etc., etc., etc.” sound very much like the clinician’s goals and probably don’t reflect those of the client who has career, family and other personal dreams and aspirations. When you add culture/ethnicity and spirituality to the mix, the task of creating a person-centered recovery plan may seem daunting for the clinician attempting to juggle managed care, record-keeping and the myriad of program policies and procedures by which he or she is bound. However, once the onus for the creation of a Recovery Plan is put back on the client/consumer, the load actually becomes lessened. The clinician is no longer responsible for the creation of it, for implementing it, or for insuring it is done. We will discuss in this course just how that is possible.

Consumers of behavioral health services, when asked, say that they want to assume control over the treatment they receive. They want their wishes, hopes and dreams reflected in their Recovery Plans. They want to be able to choose and change service providers and to do so without threat of retaliation or coercion. They want to have their achievements celebrated and they want to be encouraged to take risks. They want to be listened to. These goals are not different than those we all set for ourselves daily. It should be no different in the treatment setting.

There is an underlying fear in many clinicians/counselors that Person-centered Planning and a recovery-centered approach in general is somehow a threat; to jobs, to stability, to the field as a whole. This could not be further from the truth. The notion that a client/consumer’s individual and very personal wishes, hopes and dreams should be reflected in their Recovery Plan and followed represents a paradigm shift, especially for those who have been in the field for a while. Recently, a psychologist colleague of mine said it really well when he said, “We took the clients and the staff out of the State hospitals. Now, we need to take the State hospitals out of the clients and the staff.”

This course will present an in-depth look at a recovery-centered approach and Recovery Core Values and how these may be employed in clinical practice in Mental Health and Chemical Dependency Treatment. Issues such as understanding how culture and spirituality should be used in the development of person-centered recovery planning will be explored. This workshop will use a selected reading list and experiential exercises and participants will be asked to examine themselves and their world view as well as that of others in order to understand recovery in a cultural/spiritual context.


Sadé Ali, MA, CAC, CCS, is the Deputy Commissioner of Philadelphia’s Department of Behavioral Health and Mental Retardation Services. She is a credentialed Alcohol and Drug Counselor and a Certified Clinical Supervisor. She consults with SAMHSA as one of the reader/authors for the new curriculum being published soon on Person-directed Care and has created a clinical instrument that will be published in that curriculum. The instrument focuses not on areas of disease and dysfunction but on strengths-based aspects related to culture and capacity. Ms. Ali has traveled the US and Canada extensively providing culturally-appropriate recovery management training. For the past fourteen years, Ms. Ali has been on the faculty of the New England Institute of Addiction Studies. She is also a member of the faculty of Brown University’s Addiction Technology Transfer Center (ATTC-NE) where she provides education on Culturally-appropriate Recovery Planning and Working with Indigenous Healers in some African-origin, Native American and Latino Communities. Ms. Ali has been a member of the faculty of the Rutgers Summer School of Addiction Studies and the Austin, Texas (TCADA) Summer Institute. She has published her thesis and other scholarly articles on culturally appropriate recovery services and their efficacy in the field. Ms. Ali has planned and developed peer services that have drawn national recognition and she has been in the field of Behavioral Health Services for over 38 years. Ms. Ali holds a Bachelor of Arts in Counseling Psychology and a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology with a concentration on the African schools of thought and will be returning to her work in a doctoral program for a PhD in Health Psychology. Additionally, she holds a certificate of Clinical Pastoral Counseling and is a Chaplain.

Course Objectives

  • describe the key aspects of a recovery-centered approach to care and the Recovery Core Values
  • discuss the major differences between a “treatment” plan and a “recovery” plan
  • identify aspects of a person-directed plan
  • discuss the importance of a “person-first” (culturally competent) approach to assessment and how that approach should inform it
  • describe ways in which culturally appropriate information may be obtained from the person receiving services in order to assist the person with the creation of a plan of service relevant to him or her.

Course Requirements

This is a five-week course, beginning on August 06, 2012. Requirements are:

  • Required on-line reading (one hour per week)
  • Completion of pre and post test
  • Completion of weekly homework assignments (one hour per week)
  • Participation in the weekly course forum
  • Completion of an on-line course evaluation

*Please note that there are no real time events associated with this course. Lessons will be posted on the class home page on Tuesday and responses are due the following Monday. With the exception of the first weeks lesson which will be posted Monday with the responses due the following Monday. Assignments can be accessed at the participant’s convenience.

A full refund is available up until August 14, 2012 after which there will be no refunds.


$60.00 Certification

  • This five-week course, which begins on August 06, 2012, has been approved by the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC) for 10 educational credits. It is being provided by the Brown Distance Learning program, which is accredited as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider (#000151).
  • This course is approved by the Connecticut Certification Board (CCB) for 10 Category 1 continuing education for Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselors (CADC’s). The CCB is an IC&RC affiliate.
  • The New York State OASAS does accept distance learning CEUs provided by institutions of higher learning for individuals pursuing or renewing a CASAC, CPP or CPS.
  • ATTC of New England DLP is an NBCC-Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEP ™) and may offer NBCC-approved clock hours for events that meet NBCC requirements. The ACEP solely is responsible for all aspects of the program. (provider # 6463) 2 clock hours will be provided for this event.

*Combined certificates are available upon request.

Certificates will be immediately printable from the course homepage to participants in the program for its duration who submit all required materials.

Please contact your local certification board to verify reciprocity or acceptance of The ATTC of New England’s Distance Learning contact hours.

To participate, you must have:

  • An E-mail address and the capacity to retrieve and send E-mail;
  • Access to World Wide Web (the following programs provide WWW access: Firefox, Safari, and Microsoft Explorer)
  • Internet Explorer 7.0 or higher is the preferred browser for ATTC of New England DLP online courses
  • The ability to navigate the World Wide Web
  • A basic understanding of how to use a computer and send and receive email


Click here to Join the course waiting list

For a list of current ATTC of New England Distance Learning courses, please go to the following site:


Please Bookmark this site for future references. Course announcements will be made via the ATTC of New England Online Course Announcement Listserve 6-8 weeks prior to the start of each course. If you would like to be subscribed to this list, please contact the ATTC of New England DLP at [email protected]

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