Personal Wellness for Substance Abuse Counselors (3 hours)

Robert Shearer


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Substance abuse counselors may be at higher risk for stress and burnout than other counselors because they work with chronic and difficult clients. Intuitively, it makes sense that working with clients who abuse substances is frustrating, emotionally exhausting, tiresome, often thankless, a greater risk, and not without problems of lower salary.

This 3-hour course will explore the problems and needs that exist in the area of counselor stress and burnout.

Goals: The primary goal for the course is for the student to understand the personal wellness factors of stress and burnout.
Objectives: The primary objectives of this course are for the student to:
a. Understand stress and its impact on the counselor
b. Understand what stress is
c. Understand the difference between stress and burnout
d. Understand stress theory and research
e. Understand stress and personality types
f. Understand the sources of stress
g. Understand the body’s response to stress
h. Understand the types of stress management
i. Understand burnout
j. Understand how to control stress
k. Understand the environmental, organizational, and relationship sources of stress
l. Receive personal feedback on stress related to clients and agencies
m. Receive personal feedback on burnout
n. Receive personal feedback on the types of counseling tasks associated with stress

Your Course Instructor:
Robert A. Shearer, Ph.D.

Dr. Robert A. Shearer is a retired professor of Criminal Justice, Sam Houston State University. He received his Ph.D. in Counseling and Psychology from Texas A & M University, Commerce. Prior to teaching Criminal Justice, he taught Educational Psychology at Mississippi State University on campus and in the extension program across rural Mississippi during the civil rights era.

He has been teaching, training, consulting and conducting research in the fields of Criminal Justice, human behavior, and addictions for over thirty-six years. He is the author of over sixty professional and refereed articles in Criminal Justice and behavior. He is also the author of Interviewing: Theories, techniques, and practices, 5th edition published by Prentice Hall. Dr. Shearer has also created over a dozen measurement, research, and assessment instruments in Criminal Justice and addictions.

He has been a psychotherapist in private practice and served as a consultant to dozens of local, state, and national agencies. His interests continue to be substance abuse program assessment and evaluation. He has taught courses in interviewing, human behavior, substance abuse counseling, drugs-crime-social policy, assessment and treatment planning, and educational psychology. He has also taught several university level psychology courses in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Institutional Division, led group therapy in prison, trained group therapists, and served as an expert witness in various courts of law.

He has been the president of the International Association of Addictions and Offender Counseling and the editor of the Journal of Addictions and Offender Counseling as well as a member of many Criminal Justice, criminology, and counseling professional organizations prior to retirement.

Additional information


CD ROM, Hard Copy, Internet