Diagnosis and Treatment Planning of Addictive Disorders – ADCN 667

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

Students become knowledgeable of the principles of clinical diagnosis and the development of treatment plans. The current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual is emphasized, with consideration also given to dimensional, relational, and systemic issues important in diagnosis and treatment planning. Substance related and addictive disorders are emphasized with special consideration given to co-occurrence with other disorders.


(CEFS 501 or MAAC 501 or COUN 501) and (CEFS 504 or MAAC 504 or COUN 504) and (CEFS 510 or MAAC 510 or COUN 510) and (CEFS 515 or MAAC 515 or COUN 515) and (CEFS 521 or MAAC 521 or COUN 521) and (CEFS 546 or MAAC 646 or COUN 646) and (CEFS 691 or COUN 691) and (ADCN 505 or MAAC 505) and (ADCN 512 or MAAC 512)


The Department of Counselor Education and Family Studies is committed to preparing students who can interview, evaluate, and treat clients professionally, effectively, and ethically without violating their biblical worldview and in a way that integrates that worldview into their work. The intent of this course is to prepare students for the pragmatics of their clinical work in addiction counseling internship environments. Christian counselors should be competent in all areas of clinical work regardless of the setting in which they work. Being able to conduct an appropriate, professional, and clinically sound interview is the basis of all counseling. Based upon the data obtained in the interview counselors must be able to case conceptualize, accurately diagnose, and plan a course of treatment for addiction clients, essential skills for all counselors.

Note: This is the 8-week online version of the ADCN 667 Diagnosis and Treatment Planning of Addictive Disorders course. It is intended for those students who already have experience working in the field of addiction with direct client contact which includes the use of basic counseling skills and some type of formal interviewing and assessment. Students are encouraged to take the intensive version of the course, especially if they do not have such experience.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Integrate course readings and other resources with clinical case studies according to principles of the diagnostic process using DSM-5 and other diagnostic tools, with special consideration given to differential diagnosis of substance-related and addictive disorders, potential for co-occurrence, and multicultural issues.
  2. Utilize appropriate DSM-5 criteria when evaluating clinical interviewing skills to assess and treat identified addictive disorders in an ethical and legal manner, with consideration given to multicultural issues and the potential for co-occurrence.
  3. Analyze clinical cases for co-occurring mental disorders, other conditions that may be a focus of clinical attention, and potential medical issues in an ethical and legal manner.
  4. Evaluate cases portraying crisis and traumatic events using various diagnostic tools to differentiate between diagnosis of addictive disorders, co-occurring mental disorders and developmentally appropriate reactions, with consideration given to multicultural issues.
  5. Analyze cases using methods of screening for addiction, aggression, and danger to self and/or others, as well as co-occurring mental disorders.
  6. Formulate a psychosocial history to identify and describe different treatment and recovery modalities and placement across the continuum of care with ethical and legal considerations.
  7. Analyze clinical interviews to gain experience with various semi-structured and structured interviews, screening instruments, mental status examinations, and symptom inventories, with survey of various psychoeducational and personality assessment methods.
  8. Analyze, evaluate, and synthesize client data from a biopsychosociospiritual perspective into a professional report that includes psychosocial history, diagnosis, case conceptualization, and treatment planning.

Course Assignment

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Textbook/article readings and lecture presentations

The student will complete required reading and viewing of video presentations in the appropriate module/week according to the Course Schedule.

Discussion Board Forums (4)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences in which both the student and the instructor interact to bring more content and learning to the experience. Therefore, the student will create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be 350–400 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student will write at least 2 replies to other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be 150–200 words and include citations to strengthen the points the student is making in all three posts. If the student cites a scholarly source not included in this course’s content, he/she must utilize current APA format for citation and list the reference at the bottom of the post.

Diagnosis Assignments (2)

The student will read and analyze two (2) case studies. Each case study assignment will include identification of key issues and diagnosis of addictive disorders, co-occurring disorders, and other conditions that may be a focus of clinical attention. The student will use the provided template to complete each assignment. Sections I.–III. should be 3–4 pages.

Treatment Plan Assignment

The student will read and analyze one (1) case study. The assignment will include: identification of key issues; diagnosis of addictive disorders, co-occurring disorders, and other conditions that may be a focus of clinical attention; and development of one Problem, Goal, Objective, Intervention sequence. The student will use the provided template to complete the assignment. Sections I.–III. should be 3–4 pages.

Case Study Assignment

A full case study will be used as the foundation for writing up the assessment of mental status, substance use, other possible addictive issues, and risk. Also included will be written sections of case formulation, diagnostic impressions, and treatment planning. The student will use the provided template to complete the assignment. Sections I.–III. should be 3–4 pages.

Final Exam

The examination will include four (4) case studies with which students will complete a diagnosis and provide a rationale. The student will also pick two (2) of the case studies and write a treatment plan for each of the two case studies. Since the exam is application-oriented, you may use your DSM and other resources, but may not consult with another person for help. The exam will be made available at the beginning of Week 7. There is no time-limit for the exam, other than the due date of 11:59 p.m. Friday of Week 8.

The purpose of the exam is to evaluate each student’s ability to analyze, evaluate, and synthesize client data and then apply the diagnostic criteria to a series of case studies in order to arrive at an accurate DSM diagnosis. Moreover, it evaluates the student’s ability to create appropriate treatment plans that are relevant to and adequately address a client’s diagnosis. This assignment partially meets Learning Outcomes E & F.