Treatment Knowledge

Competency 5

Describe the philosophies, practices, policies, and outcomes of the most generally accepted and scientifically supported models of treatment, recovery, relapse prevention, and continuing care for addiction and other substance-related problems.


  • Generally accepted models, such as but not limited to:
    • pharmacotherapy
    • mutual help and self-help
    • behavioral self-control training
    • mental health
    • self-regulating community
    • psychotherapeutic
    • relapse prevention.
  • The philosophy, practices, policies, and outcomes of the most generally accepted therapeutic models.
  • Alternative therapeutic models that demonstrate potential.


  • Acceptance of the validity of a variety of approaches and models.
  • Openness to new, evidence-based treatment approaches, including pharmacological interventions.

Competency 6

Recognize the importance of family, social networks, and community systems in the treatment and recovery process.


  • The role of family, social networks, and community systems as assets or obstacles in treatment and recovery processes.
  • Methods for incorporating family and social dynamics in treatment and recovery processes.


  • Appreciation for the significance and complementary nature of various systems in facilitating treatment and recovery.

Competency 7

Understand the importance of research and outcome data and their application in clinical practice.


  • Research methods in the social and behavioral sciences.
  • Sources of research literature relevant to the prevention and treatment of addiction.
  • Specific research on epidemiology, etiology, and treatment efficacy.
  • Benefits and limitations of research.


  • Recognition of the importance of scientific research to the delivery of addiction treatment.
  • Openness to new information.

Competency 8

Understand the value of an interdisciplinary approach to addiction treatment.


  • Roles and contributions of multiple disciplines to treatment efficacy.
  • Terms and concepts necessary to communicate effectively across disciplines.
  • The importance of communication with other disciplines.


  • Desire to collaborate.
  • Respect for the contribution of multiple disciplines to the recovery process.
  • Commitment to professionalism.


Members of the National ATTC Curriculum Committee reviewed the bibliography from the first printing of The Competencies. Following previously established guidelines, the Committee reviewed and linked each reference with a specific transdisciplinary foundation. Primarily textbooks are referenced in this section; however, such texts are not mutually exclusive of the practice dimensions.

  • Benshoff, J.J., & Janikowski, T.P. (2000). The Rehabilitation Model of Substance Abuse Counseling. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.
  • Berg, I.K., & Miller, S.D. (1992). Working With the Problem Drinker: A Solution-Focused Approach. New York: W.W. Norton.
  • Brown, S. (Ed.) (1995). Treating Alcoholism. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  • Donigian, J., & Malnati, R. (1996). Systemic Group Therapy: A Triadic Model. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.
  • Greenlick, M., Lamb, S., & McCarty, D. (Eds.) (1998). Bridging the Gap Between Practice and Research: Forging Partnerships With Community-Based Drug and Alcohol Treatment. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
  • Heather, N., & Miller, W.R. (Eds.) (1998). Treating Addictive Behaviors (2nd ed.). New York: Plenum Press.
  • Institute of Medicine (1990). Broadening the Base of Treatment for Alcohol Problems. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
  • L’Abate, L., Farrar, J.L., & Serritella, D. (1991). Handbook of Differential Treatments for Addictions. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
  • Lawson, A.W., & Lawson, G.W. (1998). Alcoholism and the Family: A Guide to Treatment and Prevention (2nd ed.). Gaithersburg, MD: Aspen Publishers.
  • Miller, W.R., & Rollnick, S. (1991). Motivational Interviewing: Preparing People To Change Addictive Behavior. New York: Guilford Press.
  • Nowinski, J. (1990). Substance Abuse in Adolescents and Young Adults: A Guide to Treatment. New York: W.W. Norton.
  • Stevens, P., & Smith, R.L. (2004). Substance Abuse Counseling: Theory and Practice (3rd ed.). Old Tappan, NJ: Prentice Hall.

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