Basic Group Counseling Skills

Registration Open

Brown University Distance Learning Program is offering a credited, on-line course on motivational interviewing.

Group therapy is a popular setting for the treatment of alcohol and drug addiction. As a result, a counselor will often experience their first and major role as an addiction treatment provider facilitating group therapy. Often the skills needed to conduct a group session are not formally taught within the treatment environment. Rather, professionals will gain their knowledge through practice and experience only. In response, this course will provide basic group counseling skills that apply evidence-based research into real world practice. In particular, skills that address heterogeneous group populations (various stages of their recovery process, age, gender, cultural diversity, sexual orientations, substance use, dual diagnoses, socioeconomic status, education, and support systems) unique to substance abuse treatment will be provided.

In four weekly sessions, this course will use case examples and class assignments that facilitate “role playing” and subjective experiences for insight about becoming a part of the group system rather then the appearance of a “separate” group facilitator. Upon completion of this course, participants will have the counseling skills to “join” individual group members where they are at in their recovery process while utilizing their individual strengths and resources to create a “whole” resilient group.


As an experienced group therapist for more then 15 years in outpatient, partial hospitalization, and inpatient substance abuse treatment facilities, Dr. Lexandra will bring her clinical experiences to this course. Additionally, she is an experienced instructor that previously taught social work, family therapy, and addiction courses as an adjunct professor for Florida International University, Barry University, and Nova Southeastern University. In particular, her role as an addiction treatment instructor includes: the Fort Lauderdale based Institute for Addiction Studies, the Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association, Alabama School of Alcohol and other Drug Studies, and the Southeast Coast ATTC Conference at Springfield College Tampa. Today, she is a resident of Gloucester Massachusetts and a fulltime consultant who travels nationally and internationally on the behalf of behavioral health organizations. Her passion is to promote recovery and healing from alcohol and drug addiction by providing the skills for counselors to be effective in the treatment process.

Course Objectives

  • Knowledge of the basic structure and principles of organizing and developing a clinical group.
  • Identify steps for group cohesiveness.
  • Working with the group to establish realistic, achievable goals consistent with achieving and maintaining recovery.
  • Facilitate the development of basic and life skills associated with recovery for group members.
  • Adapt group counseling strategies to the individual characteristics of the group members, including but not limited to disability, gender, sexual orientation, developmental level, culture, ethnicity, age, and health status while creating a “whole” resilient group.

Course Requirements

This is a four-week course 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.

The total cost of this course is $60.00 the course payment is due by the start date of the course. A full refund is available up until the posting of the second lesson, after which there will be no refunds.


This four-week course, has been approved by the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC) for 8 educational credits. It is being provided by the Brown Distance Learning program, which is accredited as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider (#000151). This course meets the qualifications for 8 hours of continuing education credit for MFCC’s and/or LCSW’s as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (PCE#1917). This course is approved by the Connecticut Certification Board (CCB) for eight 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. Certificates will be mailed within two weeks 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 Brown 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: Netscape, Apple CyberDog, and Microsoft Explorer)
  • Internet Explorer 5.0 or higher is the preferred browser for Brown 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


REGISTRATION DEADLINE: The course start date or when the course limit is reached.

To register for this course please log into your account or create your account then log into your account and click the Enroll in a New Course link at the bottom of your account page. On the Enrollment page select the course you wish to register for using the pull down menu and click on the enroll button.  Having enrolled into the course you will be prompted for payment. You may make your payment online or by regular mail. To view payment information please use the payment policies.

For a list of current Brown University Distance Learning courses, please go to the following site: Please Bookmark this site for future references. Course announcements will be made via the Brown University 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 Monte Bryant, Program Administrator, at Monte Bryant, or (401) 863-6606.

Similar Posts