Addressing a significant skills gap in the treatment of co-occurring addiction and mental health disorders but aware of the lingering barriers to more face-to-face training, a leading addiction treatment and publishing organization and a nationally prominent credentialing entity have cemented a partnership to offer comprehensive training online.
Hazelden and The International Certification & Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC) this month finalized an agreement to make the Focus on Integrated Treatment (FIT) curriculum available nationally. FIT has clinician and administrator tracks, and it will offer in its entirety 52.5 continuing education units for those professionals who complete all of its modules. The national effort will extend a pilot training initiative that has been available in New York state.
It is estimated that only 2% of the 5.6 million dually diagnosed adults in the U.S. receive integrated treatment delivered by cross-trained staff who are well-versed in evidence-based interventions such as Motivational Interviewing and 12-Step facilitation.
“I think this is the missing piece of integrated treatment delivery finally having its day,” says Kris Van Hoof-Haines, executive director of content development in Hazelden’s publishing division. “The training of staff is an easy place to start for organizations—it gets them going.”
IC&RC executive director Mary Jo Mather added in a statement from the two organizations, “IC&RC believes this knowledge needs to be spread throughout the addiction recovery and prevention profession, and we’re excited that a partnership with Hazelden makes that possible.”
Much of the content that populates the FIT curriculum comes from the integrated treatment work of the Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center. One of its leading staff members says the lack of training that has been received by professionals who are in a position to treat co-occurring disorders does not stem from a lack of interest on the part of substance use clinicians.
“Addiction providers are typically more eager on this front than mental health providers,” says Mark McGovern, an associate professor of psychiatry at Dartmouth Medical School.
Mindful of the challenges associated with getting busy addiction professionals out of their offices for off-site training sessions, Hazelden and IC&RC looked to develop a web-based training. The three dozen training modules are designed so that an area such as running co-occurring disorders groups can be looked at individually. But the modules are being marketed only as a complete package (the series costs $525 for an individual, with agencies eligible to purchase the curriculum based on volume of users).
Planners of the curriculum have made it a priority to include several visually engaging features. For example, clinicians who might be uncomfortable with the prospect of running a co-occurring disorders group can witness another clinician conducting an integrated session on screen.
The curriculum also includes interactive exercises, expert panel sessions, and quizzes to test individuals’ understanding of the material in each module.
The FIT curriculum in combination with clinical hours will offer the background needed to qualify for IC&RC’s certified co-occurring disorders professional (CCDP) and certified co-occurring disorders professional diplomate (CCDPD) credentials. The curriculum also can assist in obtaining or renewing other IC&RC credentials.
For more information about Focus on Integrated Treatment, visit www.hazelden.org/fit.