Clinician Self-Care for AddictionCounselors and Clinical Supervisors

Registration Open

Brown University Distance Learning Program is offering a credited, on-line course on clinician self-care.

The clinical and research literature suggests a strong relationship between substance abuse issues and trauma. Addiction counselors are likely to encounter clients with a history of trauma and/or current traumatic stress reactions in their clinical practice. In addition to the stress of working in addiction treatment contexts (including the pressures of managed care, high caseloads, and the demands of justifying treatment to funding sources), which may contribute to burnout, addiction counselors who work with trauma clients are also vulnerable to secondary trauma/compassion fatigue, vicarious traumatization, and sometimes intense countertransference reactions.

This course will explore the impact of secondary trauma/compassion fatigue, vicarious traumatization, burnout, and countertransference on clinicians who work with addicted, traumatized clients and provide counselors and clinical supervisors with a holistic and comprehensive approach to self-care that can prevent and ameliorate this impact. This course will actively engage participants in the development of their own personal/professional self -care plans and give ample opportunity to integrate specific self-care activities and practices into their daily lives.


Patricia A Burke, MSW, LCSW is a Board Diplomate in Clinical Social Work, a Certified Clinical Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Social Worker, and a Certified Clinical Supervisor with over 25 years of clinical experience. She has been on the faculty of the Rutgers Summer School of Alcohol and Drug Studies since 1989 and the Addiction Technology Transfer Center of New England since 1999. She has also taught for the New England Institute of Addiction Studies, the North Carolina Summer School of Alcohol and Drug Studies, the Behavioral Health and Human Services Department at Southern Maine Community College and the Social Work Schools of the University of New England, University of Southern Maine, and Rutgers University. Patricia is the former Clinical Director of the Smith House Addictions Treatment Program. Please visit her website to find out more about her work at

Course Objectives

  • Participants will demonstrate a fundamental understanding of the difference between secondary trauma, vicarious traumatization, countertransference reactions, and burnout in work with traumatized addicted clients and the impact of these experiences on addiction counselors.
  • Participants will be able to identify the signs of secondary trauma, vicarious traumatization, countertransference reactions, and burnout.
  • Participants will develop a holistic, comprehensive personal/professional self-care plan and begin to engage in self-care activities and practices identified in this plan.

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.

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