VISTAS Counselor Education and Supervision

VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.

Master’s Level Addiction Counselors in Group Process

Eileen McCabe O’Mara and Michael P. Demask


This article represents a reflection of a unique approach to educating students in group practice. Described here is a model for educating masters level addictions counselors in the theory and practice of group counseling. A growing body of literature in the field of addiction counseling continues to underline group process as an effective tool to facilitate change (Flores, 1997; Cruch, DiClemente, Mauere, Velasquz, 2001). This structure for training graduate level students in group process supports an adult learning model requiring previous knowledge of addiction, expertise in twelvestep facilitation and background in counseling theory (Bernard, Goodyear, 1998; Bilington, 1988; Corey, 2001; Knowles, 1986). The adult learning model, which suggests theoretical learning followed by practical application, is utilized here. The model proposes an opportunity for the student to observe, participate in and lead groups with an addicted client population. Integral to this model is the merging of clinical expertise with state-of-the-art counselor education theory and practice through an intensive supervision structure. The model combines the six-stage change model (Prochaska, Norcross, DiClemente, 1994) with Corey’s stages of group process (Corey, 2000). This method includes a supervision segment that monitors student progress and serves as a guideline for student achievement.

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