Professional Readiness

Competency 18

Understand diverse cultures, and incorporate the relevant needs of culturally diverse groups, as well as people with disabilities, into clinical practice.


  • Information and resources regarding racial and ethnic cultures, lifestyles, gender, and age as well as relevant needs of people with disabilities.
  • The unique influence the client’s culture, lifestyle, gender, and other relevant factors may have on behavior.
  • The relationship between substance use and diverse cultures, values, and lifestyles.
  • Assessment and intervention methods that are appropriate to culture and gender.
  • Counseling methods relevant to the needs of culturally diverse groups and people with disabilities.
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act and other legislation related to human, civil, and clients’ rights.


  • Willingness to explore and identify one’s own cultural values.
  • Acceptance of other cultural values as valid for other individuals.

Competency 19

Understand the importance of self-awareness in one’s personal, professional, and cultural life.


  • Personal and professional strengths and limitations.
  • Cultural, ethnic, or gender biases.


  • Openness to constructive supervision.
  • Willingness to grow and change personally and professionally.

Competency 20

Understand the addiction professional’s obligations to adhere to ethical and behavioral standards of conduct in the helping relationship.


  • Ethical Decision-Making
  • Ethical Codes of Conduct from FCB and Florida Boards.
  • Resources for ethical dilemmas.


  • Willingness to conduct oneself in accordance with the highest ethical standards.
  • Willingness to comply with regulatory and professional expectations.

Competency 21

Understand the importance of ongoing supervision and continuing education in the delivery of client services.


  • Benefits of self-assessment and clinical supervision to professional growth and development.
  • The value of consultation to enhance personal and professional growth.
  • Resources available for continuing education.
  • Supervision principles and methods.


  • Commitment to continuing professional education.
  • Willingness to engage in a supervisory relationship.

Competency 22

Understand the obligation of the addiction professional to participate in prevention and treatment activities.


  • Research-based prevention models and strategies.
  • The relationship between prevention and treatment.
  • Environmental strategies and prevention campaigns.
  • Benefits of working with community coalitions.


  • Appreciation of the inherent value of prevention.
  • Openness to research-based prevention strategies.

Competency 23

Understand and apply setting-specific policies and procedures for handling crisis or dangerous situations, including safety measures for clients and staff.


  • Setting-specific policies and procedures.
  • What constitutes a crisis or danger to the client and/or others.
  • The range of appropriate responses to a crisis or dangerous situation.
  • Universal precautions.
  • Legal implications of crisis response.
  • Exceptions to confidentiality rules in crisis or dangerous situations.


  • Understanding of the potential seriousness of crisis situations.
  • Awareness for the need for caution and self-control in the face of crisis or danger.
  • Willingness to request help in potentially dangerous situations.

Uses of the Competencies

The Board of Directors of the Illinois Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Professional Certification Association has endorsed and will be incorporating the knowledge, skills, and attitudes provided in The Competencies into all of its models for Certified Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Counselors. The 22 training programs in Illinois that will be implementing these models are supportive of this change. A recently developed certificate for people who are employed in support positions for alcohol and drug abuse treatment programs is based on The Competencies. This credential completes a career path for alcohol and drug abuse treatment professionals in Illinois that will take them from support staff to master’s level.


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.

  • Atkinson, D.R., Morten, G., & Sue, D.W. (1997). Counseling American Minorities. New York: McGraw-Hill.
  • Bell, P. (2002). Chemical Dependency and the African American: Counseling and Prevention Strategies (2nd ed.). Center City, MN: Hazelden.
  • Bepko, C. (Ed.) (1992). Feminism and Addiction. New York: Haworth Press.
  • Berg, I.K., & Miller, S.D. (1992). Working With the Problem Drinker: A Solution-Focused Approach. New York: W.W. Norton.
  • Bissell, L., & Royce, J.E. (1994). Ethics for Addiction Professionals (2nd ed.). Center City, MN: Hazelden.
  • Cushner, K., & Brislin, R.W. (1997). Improving Intercultural Interactions—Modules for Cross-Cultural Training Programs. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
  • Delgado, M. (Ed.) (1998). Alcohol Use/Abuse Among Latinos: Issues and Examples of Culturally Competent Services. New York: Haworth Press.
  • Delgado, M., Segal, B., & Lopex, R. (Eds.) (1999). Conducting Drug Abuse Research With Minority Populations: Advances and Issues. New York: Haworth Press.
  • Ettore, E. (1992). Women and Substance Use. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
  • Feld, B.C. (1999). Bad Kids: Race and the Transformation of the Juvenile Court. New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Gardenswartz, L., & Rowe, A. (1994). The Managing Diversity Survival Guide: A Complete Collection of Checklists, Activities, and Tips (book and disk). Chicago: Irwin Professional Publishing.
  • Gomberg, E.S.L., & Nirenberg, T.D. (Eds.) (1993). Women and Substance Abuse. Norwood, NJ: Ablex Publishing.
  • Gordon, J.U. (Ed.) (1994). Managing Multiculturalism in Substance Abuse Services. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
  • Hawkins, J.D., & Catalano, R.F. (1992). Communities That Care: Action for Drug Abuse Prevention. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  • Heinemann, A. (Ed.) (1993). Substance Abuse and Physical Disability. New York: Haworth Press.
  • Herring, R.D. (1999). Counseling Native American Indians and Alaska Natives: Strategies for Helping Professionals. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
  • Hogan, J.A., Gabrielson, K.R., et al. (2003). Substance Abuse Prevention: The Intersection of Science and Practice. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
  • Imhof, J. (1991). Countertransference issues in alcoholism and drug addiction. Psychiatric Annals, 21:292-306.
  • Ivey, A.E., Simek-Morgan, L., et al. (2001). Theories of Counseling and Psychotherapy: A Multicultural Perspective (5th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
  • Ja, D., & Aoki, B. (1993). Substance abuse treatment: Cultural barriers in the Asian-American community. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 25(1):61-71.
  • Jandt, F.E. (Ed.) (2003). Intercultural Communication: A Global Reader. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
  • Lipton, H., & Lee, P. (1998). Drugs and the Elderly: Clinical, Social, and Policy Perspectives. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
  • Lowinson, J.H., Ruiz, P., et al. (Eds.) (1997). Substance Abuse: A Comprehensive Textbook (3rd ed.). Baltimore: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
  • Maracle, B. (1994). Crazywater: Native Voices on Addiction and Recovery. New York: Penguin Books.
  • Miller, G. (2004). Learning the Language of Addiction Counseling (2nd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
  • Pagani-Tousignant, C. (1992). Breaking the Rules: Counseling Ethnic Minorities. Minneapolis, MN: Johnson Institute.
  • Paniagua, F.A. (2005). Assessing and Treating Culturally Diverse Clients: A Practical Guide (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
  • Paul, J.P., Stall, R., & Bloomfield, K.A. (1991). Gay and alcoholic: Epidemiologic and clinical issues. Alcohol Health and Research World, 15:151-160.
  • Pedersen, P.B. (1997). Culture-Centered Counseling Interventions: Striving for Accuracy. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
  • Pedersen, P.B. (1997). Decisional Dialogues in a Cultural Context: Structured Exercises. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
  • Pedersen, P.B., Draguns, J.G., et al. (Eds.) (2002). Counseling Across Cultures (5th ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.
  • Perkinson, R.R. (1997). Chemical Dependency Counseling: A Practical Guide. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
  • Pope-Davis, D.B., & Coleman, H.L.K. (1997). Multicultural Counseling Competencies, Assessment, Education and Training, and Supervision. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
  • Singelis, T.M. (Ed.) (1998). Teaching About Culture, Ethnicity, and Diversity: Exercises and Planned Activities. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
  • Storti, S.A. (1997). Alcohol, Disabilities, and Rehabilitation. San Diego, CA: Singular Publishing Group.
  • Sue, D.W., & Sue, D. (2002). Counseling the Culturally Different: Theory and Practice (4th ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons.
  • Trimble, J.E., Bolek, C.S., & Niemcryk, S.J. (Eds.) (1992). Ethnic and Multicultural Drug Abuse: Perspectives on Current Research. New York: Harrington Park Press.
  • Weinstein, D.L. (Ed.) (1993). Lesbians and Gay Men: Chemical Dependency Treatment Issues. New York: Haworth Press.
  • Williams, R., & Gorski, T.T. (1997). Relapse Prevention Counseling for African Americans: A Culturally Specific Model. Independence, MO: Herald House/Independence Press.
  • Williams, R., & Gorski, T.T. (1997). Relapse Warning Signs for African Americans: A Culturally Specific Model. Independence, MO: Herald House/Independence Press.

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