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Counselling Basics: The Screening Process

As an addiction counsellor, you will learn about screening. This part of the process assesses an individual's suitability for the various treatment modalities available.

The textbook definition of screening is as follows:

Screening is the process by which the counsellor, the client, and available significant others review the current situation, symptoms, and other available information to determine the most appropriate initial course of action, given the client’s needs and characteristics and the available resources within the community.

So, what kind of information would you seek from your potential client? For a start - you'd have to sit down with them, or even conduct some prescreening telephonically. As an addiction counsellor, you'll be most interested in evaluating the psychological, social, and physiological signs and symptoms of substance abuse.

The aim is to determine the client's appropriateness and eligibility for admission, or referral to a different type of treatment. Depending on the situation you may also have to evaluate co-existing medical, psychiatric or physical that may require the client to receive additional professional assistance.

The point of all this is to get the best-suited treatment for the client. How the counsellor conducts the screening process is important, and must include examples and insights into the client's individual situation. After all, if the client is found ineligible or inappropriate for this program, the counsellor should be able to suggest an alternative.

Does the thought of screening fill you with excitement and possibility? Learn about this topic and more with Addiction Counsellor Certifications South Africa!


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