Master of Arts in Psychology and Addiction Counseling
Strengthen your addiction counseling skills on your budget.
The Master of Arts in Psychology and Addiction Counseling is a degree designed to prepare you to advance in the field of addiction counseling. This program is structured around courses that address primary theories of individual and family counseling as well as addiction-specific topics related to the treatment and prevention of substance abuse.
Students who graduate from Aspen University’s Master of Arts in Psychology and Addiction Counseling degree will increase their understanding of addiction including its psychological and neurological aspects and appropriate treatments as well as theories of substance abuse prevention and approaches to counseling individuals and families.
We are an approved education provider with The Association for Addiction Professionals (NAADAC).
This program alone does not prepare students to become a licensed counselor nor does it fulfill state licensure requirements.
Enjoy Flexibility – 16 courses with start dates every 2 weeks
Earn an Affordable Degree – Tuition is $15,600, and you can opt to pay $325 per month at 0% interest
Focus on your Passion – Choose your Capstone
What is the Capstone Project?
This degree program requires the successful completion of a capstone project. It provides you the opportunity to demonstrate your competency.
Be proud of your Capstone and show off your knowledge!
- Application – A completed application.
- Bachelor’s Degree Transcripts – Official transcript demonstrating a conferred bachelor’s degree from an institution that is accredited by a CHEA recognized accrediting body or an international equivalent.
- Military Documentation (Optional) – A copy of the most recent orders; or a copy of DD214 (This can be requested from the National Archives.)
- RSH505 - Research in Counseling
- ADC510 - Addiction Counseling Theory and Practice
- ADC515 - Psychology of Addiction
- ADC605 - Substance Abuse Prevention
- ADC655 - Neurobiology of Addiction
- ADC665 - Advanced Addiction Counseling Skills
- PSY530 - Advanced Counseling Skills
- Mid-Program Proctored Exam
- PSY650 - Counseling Ethics
- ADC630 - Diagnosis and Treatment of Substance Abuse Disorders
- ADC660 - Addiction Counseling and Families
- CJ545 - Drug Enforcement
- PAC610 - Psychopharmacology for Counselors
- PSY540 - Clinical Supervision
- PSY620 - Psychological Consultation
- Final Proctored Exam
- PAC799A - Counseling Capstone
- PAC799B - Counseling Capstone
In this course, counseling students are given the opportunity to learn research design, methodology, and analysis through a counseling-specific framework. By using addiction counseling-specific examples, students are more able to apply their learning to other aspects of their training and have a more straightforward means of making research understandable and relevant. The course also focuses on producing valid research and how to competently read, analyze, and utilize others’ research. In addition to the requisite research materials, the course includes modules on ethics in counseling research, multicultural issues in counseling research, and a practical guide to SPSS.3 Credits
This course takes a comprehensive look at chemical dependency, covering the most recent issues in the areas of epidemiology, etiology, substance abuse policy, and treatment. The course looks at substance abuse from a systems perspective, making it particularly appropriate for social work students who are accustomed to a “person-in-environment” approach. The course presents all major theories of addiction, as well as the major physiological and psychological results of substance abuse, including fetal alcohol syndrome. Coverage of the latest developments in treatment and research incorporates the most recent findings on genetic causes of alcoholism. This course includes an up-to-date discussion of the most recent trends in designer drugs to help explain the considerable frequency of changes in which drug use patterns occur.3 Credits
This graduate level course will offer students a foundational study of psychological factors associated with addiction. This course covers important material for counselors to understand one facet of the roots and behaviors associated with addiction in order to better treat their clients. This course will focus on implicit cognition, or feelings, thoughts or actions beyond the realm of conscious explicit cognition. This course integrates cutting-edge research from formerly independent disciplines that help provide a better understanding of the etiology, prevention, and treatment of addictive behaviors.3 Credits
This course is designed for students and prevention professionals with an interest in improving their prevention programs. This course explores the history of drug abuse with a special emphasis on scientifically defensible substance abuse prevention research and practices. The problem of substance abuse has impacted most societies from early world history to the current age. Preventing substance abuse also has a long and rich history. It is important for people who work in the helping profession to understand that preventing substance abuse is both possible and probable when based on science-based best practices. As the field of substance abuse prevention advances, skills and understanding are a growing requirement for prevention specialists. This course explores the complex web between substance abuse and other social problems and presents science-based prevention findings that aid prevention professionals with tools to prevent drug use before it starts.3 Credits Prerequisites: RSH505 ADC515 ADC510
This course provides students with an overview of the available and emerging approaches used to investigate the biologic mechanisms of drug addiction, including animal models of addiction, which mimic the state of humans entering treatment, the biological processes that happen in the brain during the course of addiction, and the theoretical background and results of neuroimaging studies as it relates to the neurobiology of addiction. This course also delineates the promising research discoveries being made in relapse prevention and describes modern genetic approaches to manipulating the chemicals in the brain that influence addictive behavior.3 Credits
This course addresses knowledge, skills, and attitudes in addictions counseling. Evidence-based findings, cutting-edge treatment techniques, and a focus on critical thinking show future counselors how to respond to clients' needs rather than impose ""cookie-cutter"" routines. An experiential learning approach is encouraged with structured activities and exercises, and its devotion to significant coverage of ethics, treatment planning and case management.3 Credits
This course takes an experiential approach to understanding and applying counseling theory. Students will be introduced to various and complex counseling theories with evaluative and reflective assignments in order to synthesize the information presented and incorporate it into their counseling practices. In addition, students will have access to videos of clinicians demonstrating these theories in action as an accompaniment to the text in order to see how theory can be applied in practice.3 Credits
This course provides exceptional coverage of the philosophical foundations of counseling. After a thorough discussion of ethical principles and standards, students will practice conscientious examination of ethical issues as they manifest themselves in counseling. In addition, students will be introduced to a compendium of ethical codes ideal for study by future counselors or as a reference for current practitioners.3 Credits
This graduate level course provides students diversity of treatment options by exploring developments in treatment and studying treatment outcomes. Two texts are referenced. The first provides a view of the D.E.C.L.A.R.E. model of treatment—a model in which each letter represents one of the seven bio-psychosocial modalities, or points of entry, for viewing the problems of a dependent client. This compact model demonstrates one way practitioners can synthesize their own methodology for substance abuse treament. The second text ensures a more broad perspective on contemporary treatment models. The goal is to expose graduate learners to the greatest number of possibilities in the treatment environment.3 Credits
This course provides students an opportunity to study and analyze the importance of the familial context of addiction. The course presents the Integrated Family Addictions Model, which consists of six progressive treatment tiers which organize the relevant family treatment theories into a graduated and coherent sequence, beginning with the briefest and least costly forms of therapy. Whereas many family treatment theories are an imperfect fit in cases of addiction, this course provides students with the opportunity to study a concise model for counseling addicts and their families that is based on years of clinical experience.3 Credits
This course explores classical drug enforcement methods and the methods criminals use to avoid detection. This information is important for both law enforcement and counselors who deal with substance abusers. Students study how to conduct investigations in hotels/motels, airports, storage units, trains, commercial busses, parcels, and rental vehicles.3 Credits
This course serves as an in-depth guide to pharmacology. The road of pharmacology is paved with extensive and often unrecognized research on the part of thousands of doctors and scientists around the world. Pharmacology is built layer by layer upon previous discoveries and consists of equal parts of hard work, astute observation, sudden insights, and divinely appointed coincidences. Indeed, the road of pharmacology is constantly being built anew with each drug discovery. This course provides insight into the history of pharmacology as well as a detailed study of drug categories, rational for using drugs, understanding drug side effects, and an exploration of clinical applications and current healthcare issues relating to pharmacology.3 Credits
This course presents the dimensions of supervision in clinical settings for those seeking to be leaders in a counseling practice. Theoretical and empirical information on supervision is provided, including, individual supervision, group supervision, triadic supervision, multi-cultural supervision, ethical and legal issues, and use of technology to assist supervisors.3 Credits
Within the context of addiction counseling, this course outlines the major theoretical approaches to consultation and collaboration and offers concrete ideas about the processes as well as techniques and strategies for use in collaboration and consultation. The course presents the assessment model incorporated into the behavioral consultation identifying the federal guidelines for assessment and intervention for children, and includes material that can be used in any situation. The course includes a strong emphasis on cross-cultural consultation.3 Credits
The capstone project/research course is taken through two courses: PAC799A and PAC799B. The capstone empowers students to apply the knowledge and skills acquired in their courses to the professional field of counseling. In PAC799A students explore topics related to addiction counseling treatment . PAC799B focuses students on the operational concerns of persons providing addiction counseling services. Each project is completely individualized; students are encouraged to select projects that are of particular interest to them and that will result in professional growth in their field of counseling. Students are automatically enrolled in PAC799A and PAC799B; project-based capstone courses. If students prefer to complete a practicum with a local treatment provider, they may replace these courses with PAC798A and PAC798B by contacting their advisor. Each course requires 160 hours of practicum, for a total of 320 hours.3 Credits
The capstone project/research course is taken through two courses: PAC799A and PAC799B. The capstone empowers students to apply the knowledge and skills acquired in their courses to the professional field of counseling. In PAC799A students explore topics related to addiction counseling treatment . PAC799B focuses students on the operational concerns of persons providing addiction counseling services. Each project is completely individualized; students are encouraged to select projects that are of particular interest to them and that will result in professional growth in their field of counseling.3 Credits