Montana State University

LAC 501-801: Chemical Dependency Counseling

Mar 16-May 06, 2015
Credit: 3 graduate
Cost: $1,210.50
Instructor(s) Cristen Wathen

Restricted to students in Addiction Counseling Certificate

Course Description

**You must apply to be in the Addiction Counseling Certificate Program to take this course **

This course will provide an overall introduction to addiction counseling. The class will also provide an introduction to the assessment and treatment of alcoholism and other chemical dependencies, with emphasis on the application of specific clinical strategies to this specialized problem area. Since substance abuse may underlie or coexist with a variety of other problems, including family violence, mental illness, health issues, etc., the mental health professional trained in the assessment and treatment of chemical dependency will be better able to assess and intervene appropriately.

Meeting Place and Times

This course is taught online. Course participants login and participate at a time of day that is convenient for them. It is recommended that participants login at least 4 to 5 times per week and plan on spending 16 to 18 hours per week (combination online and offline) for 7.5 weeks to successfully complete this 3 credit course.


Cristen Wathen, PhD.
Dr. Cristen Wathen is an Assistant Professor in the Counseling Program in the Department of Health and Human Development at MSU. She a licensed clinical professional counselor in Montana, a licensed professional counselor in Idaho and a Nationally Certified Counselor. Cristen earned her Ph.D. from Idaho State University in Counselor Education and Counseling, her Master’s degree in Community Counseling from Baylor University in Waco, TX, and her BA in Biblical Studies and History from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, AR. She loves qualitative research, teaching, dance, yoga, the Razorbacks, and working with clients on spiritual issues. Professionally, Cristen has experience training and supervising counselors, writing and presenting in her field, and working with sexual abuse survivors, college students, and a wide variety of other clients. Her research centers on multicultural development of counselors through international experiences. She is also interested in sexual abuse and trauma counseling in Montana. Between her master’s and doctoral work, Wathen worked clinically as a counselor specializing in sexual abuse and assault. She also led the Support and Empowerment Program for Single Parents at McLennan Community College in Waco, TX, and was an Academic Advisor for the Teacher Development Center at the University of Texas at Dallas. Cristen mentored and counseled college students at Baylor University's Career Counseling Center and Academic Support Program as well. She worked as a counselor at Idaho State University's Counseling and Testing Center during her doctoral work.

Time Commitment

16-18 hours per week. If you are unfamiliar with this field of study and/or method of delivery, you may require more time.

Tuition and Fees

 Program Fee $400.50
 Computer Fee$10.50
 Distributed Learning Fee$0.00

A $30 registration fee is also charged once per semester.

The costs above assume that you are taking only MSU Extended University courses during the semester that the course is offered. If you also registered for courses through the MSU Registrar, the regular MSU fee structure may apply.

A $40 late fee will be assessed if payment is not posted to your account by 3 pm (Mountain Time) of the course start date (or the business day before if the course starts on a weekend or a holiday).

To learn more about tuition and fees, please see the University Business Services' Student Accounts Web page.

Required Books/Materials

  • Capuzzi, D. & Stauffer, M. D. (2011). Foundations of addictions counseling (2nd ed.). New Jersey: Pearson.
    ISBN-10: 9780137057788
    This can be purchased for approximately $115 on
    **Please note that the above text is the same text book used in LAC503 and LAC505**
  • Moyers, W.C. (2007). Broken: My story of addiction and redemption. London: Penguin.
    ISBN-10: 0143112457
    This can be purchased for approximately $15 on
  • Sheff, D. (2008). Beautiful boy: A father's journey through his son's addiction. New York: Houghton-Mifflin.
    ISBN-10: 0547203888
    This book can be ordered on for about $15 dollars or less

Computer Requirements

  • Computer running Windows XP Service Pack 3 or newer or Mac OS X.5 (Leopard) or higher
  • CD-ROM drive
  • Internet access

This course uses a learning management system. You will learn more closer to the course start date.

For More Information

Contact: Sarah Hendrikx

How to Register

Registration is closed.

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