Substance abuse therapists are in charge of helping patients who suffer with substance abuse problems to get their lives under control. He or she works to help the patient kick their addiction and get over their issues relating to the problem. These therapists may work on an individual basis, or may conduct group therapy sessions. Group therapy sessions help patients to connect with one another, which can lead to relationships forming as they begin to understand they are not alone. Substance abuse therapists set up programs for patients to understand their behavior, modify their behavior, and get back to leading healthy, normal lives. He or she may also work with a patient’s family so that they can understand their family member’s condition and work to help with recovery outside of treatment.
Other common tasks include: conducting patient assessments, processing paperwork and insurance forms, making professional referrals, supervising staff, and organizing training sessions.
Substance abuse therapists are required to hold a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in psychiatry, counseling, social work, or other related area.
Some employers may require therapists to hold an advanced degree in one of the above-mentioned areas. Certification and licensing may also be required. Other recommended skills include: exceptional communication and interpersonal skills, computer skills, trustworthiness, and record keeping skills. This field is expected to grow at a rate much faster than the average career growth rate.
The typical average salary of a substance abuse therapist is about $35,000 per year.