Title page for ETD etd-08012012-040550

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Jones, Katherine Champe
URN etd-08012012-040550
Title Training on the diagnosis, treatment, and referral of substance abusers and their families in AAMFT-accredited master's level marriage and family therapy programs
Degree Master of Science
Department Family and Child Development
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Little, Linda F. Committee Chair
Scheirer, C. James Committee Member
Stith, Sandra M. Committee Member
  • Families
Date of Defense 1989-10-15
Availability restricted
Because of the prevalence of substance abuse in America and the association between this issue and common problems brought to the family therapist, it is important that family therapists be trained to diagnose and either treat or refer substance abusing clients and their families. This study gathered information from the Directors of Master's level family therapy programs accredited by AAMFT about the content and format of training that students in their programs receive preparing them to work with substance abusing families. Twenty of the 22 programs were represented by completed questionnaires. Five programs were reported as having a required substance abuse course; four, a popular elective. Three respondents reported plans to increase their coverage of the topic in their curricula.

The average of the responses for prevalence of substance abuse as a central issue in practicum cases was 30%. Although about 75% of the respondents believed that their graduates were ready to diagnose and refer these cases, only 25% believed that these same students were ready to treat substance abuse cases. Data showed that 40% of the respondents believed it advisable for AAMFT to require a separate course on substance abuse. Comments from those opposed to such a requirement noted the crowdedness of existing curricula, the importance of academic freedom, and the abundance of other topics to be covered.

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