Episode 105

This is the program you need in order to feel competent and confident in addressing  your clients’ use of alcohol and drugs. You don’t need to go back to school or refer out. The majority of clients who are using substances problematically don’t meet the level of going to a formal treatment center. For sure there are folks who need a specialized treatment program. In those cases you can refer AND collaborate with the treatment program. Our lack of adequate training in this area can make us feel hesitant to dive in. 

Think about when someone comes to you with an issue that you’ve handled a ton of times. It’s so easy! Imagine if you could feel a similar way about substance use. It can happen! Charting the Course is a 6-week live-taught program designed by a therapist for therapists. It will help you build competence and confidence in working with substance use. Today’s episode will cover the program and tell how its built to help you reach this place of competence in this area.


You’re listening to the All Things Substance podcast, the place for therapists to hear about substance use from a mental health perspective.  I’m your host, Betsy Byler and I’m a licensed therapist, clinical supervisor, and a substance abuse counselor.  It is my mission to help my fellow therapists gain the skills and competence needed to add substance use to their scope of practice. So join me each week as we talk about All Things Substance.

Welcome back to the All Things Substance podcast. This is episode 105. Today is going to be a short episode because I am announcing the thing that I have been working on for the last two years. When I started the podcast, I had an idea.

I wanted to be able to share what I know about substance use with therapists in a way that is tailored for mental health and telling you only what you need to know so that you don’t have to sort through all of the stuff online and figure out what pieces and what tools to put in your toolbox. I spent over a decade training therapists to do this very thing.

Now that I’ve moved into private practice. I no longer am training therapists.  I also realized I missed it. I am so passionate about this work, and I decided I wanted to find a way to share it. And I wanted to find people who wanted to know. That’s how the podcast was born.

It was always my hope to have a course and over the last two years I’ve been developing it. The doors for it are now open. Today for this week. The program is called Charting the Course. It is a live taught group program designed to help take the mystery out of navigating client substance use.

I’m guessing some of you are in this particular boat. You wanna help your clients move away from coping with substances, but you wish you were more knowledgeable in that area. You became a therapist to help people heal and live more fulfilling lives. You learned everything you could in school, soaked up knowledge from colleagues, listened intently to clients and learned the art of being a therapist.

Over the years, you’ve seen countless clients with a wide range of issues. You’ve learned how to work with all sorts of people and all their different issues. You’ve taken training to learn new skills and approaches. You’ve read, you’ve listened and you’ve watched to help yourself grow as a therapist.

There’s one area though that’s been hard to find answers and that’s substance use. Your clients trust you. They like talking with you and you don’t wanna refer out. You’ve searched and perhaps gone to trainings, but haven’t found what you’re looking for. You want to be able to work with the client’s substance use in house.

You wish you could find a way to learn how to treat substance use without going back for another license or learning a new modality. You know that there must be a way to help your clients without sending them away. You’re ready to dig into this area with your clients. Now you just need the right information.

What would it be like if you felt confident addressing substance use without needing to specialize?

Imagine if you would know how to accurately assess your client’s use of substances. Imagine if you would be able to quickly determine what your client needed and what to do next. Imagine if you could use the skills you already have to address substance use. Imagine if you wouldn’t have to refer out to a different therapist and could build on the relationship you already have.

Imagine if you could feel confident in your knowledge of substances and addiction. Imagine if you would know how substance use impacts mental health and progress in therapy. Imagine if you wouldn’t feel hesitant in asking your client about their substance use.

When you join Charting the Course you’ll get a live six module course with new lessons and downloadable resources each week. After the program ends all of it is yours for life. You’ll get access to the resource fault where you’ll receive worksheets and handouts to help further expand on information and assist with integration into your current practice. Any future updates to these resources are yours to have. 

You’ll have next day access to replays. Module replays are available the following day to allow for rewatching or catching up in case you have to miss a session. At the end of the program, there will be monthly group consultation calls for six months following the program. 

I am passionate about you being able to integrate this into your practice and I think the best way is with continued support. That’s why I wanted to set aside time for members of this cohort, to be able to meet with me and ask questions about real cases. I wanna help you troubleshoot things in the field.

You might be wondering, do I have enough clients that struggle with substance use to warrant this kind of course? I think that’s an important question. Something I found in my work is that whenever I added something to my skillset, I found more and more people who could use it or were experiencing something I hadn’t thought of.

For instance, the more I screened for trauma, the more I found people had trauma, even if they didn’t realize it. The more I asked about medical issues, the more I found that people  had unmet medical needs. The same is true with substance use. 

Substance use is normal and exists in every culture. Most adults have used a substance at some point in their life. There are stories and experiences there that would be helpful for us to know. This course will help you ask the right questions and encourage your clients to share more information with you.

Here’s the breakdown of the six weeks: Module One, All About Us, evaluate your scope of practice and your own experience with people using substances. Module Two, Addiction 201 deepen your knowledge beyond just the basics to help understand the cycle of addiction, the role of the brain and the impact on therapy.

Module three. Popular Substances, explore current substance and mental health trends to sharpen your knowledge and keep your practice relevant. Module Four, the assessment. Unlock key questions to ask your clients, discover what the answers mean and identify potential roadblocks. Module Five, The Plan. Examine levels of care, plan next steps for your client and determine how, and when you will be involved. Module six, putting it all together, integrate course information with your current skillset and theoretical approach. So you can work with clients without having to specialize or learn a new modality. 

This is the information you need to feel confident and competent in helping your clients assess their substance use and move towards the life they want. You can have the tools to accurately assess your client’s use of substances and confidently plan the next steps for treatment.

You can work with a high majority of substance use issues in house, and you will know when your client needs a higher level of care. I am here to support you as you begin to integrate this into your existing practice. 

By participating in the charting course program, you will understand how to ask about your client’s use and interpret answers. You’ll be able to determine if there’s an urgent issue in what steps to take. You will be able to use your existing skills to do the work your clients need. And as a result, your clients will be able to find more freedom in their lives. 

You already have the skills you need to address substance use. All you’ve been missing is the information and some guidance. In this course, you will get the missing pieces, feel competent and confident in this area.

I have built this course from the ground up based on the last 19 plus years of doing this work. From a therapist for therapists, from a person in recovery, to those who are helping others find their way. I wanna share with you what I feel you need to know. You don’t need all of the courses on the planet. You don’t need another certification. You don’t need another license. 

You need to know how to translate what you have to be able to add substance use to your scope of practice. Join me for the six week program starting November 8th. you can register for this program. This week only.

Registration closes Friday night at midnight Pacific time. Head over to Betsy byler.com/course, to check out the details, read the frequently asked questions, and if you have any questions, please feel free to email me and reach out. I would love to talk with you on email or set up a zoom call, to answer whatever questions you need.

For my international folks, if there is interest for you to have a separate cohort that would meet at a more convenient time, I would be happy to talk with you about that. You can feel free to reach out to me, whether it’s you and some colleagues or your agency and I would be happy to talk about it further.

You can always email me at betsy@betsybyler.com.

I am so excited about Charting the Course. It has been a long wait and I have been working diligently in the background to prepare this program for you.

Go check out the registration page at betsybyler.com/course. I hope to see you inside the course room and until then have a great week. 

This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regards to the subject matter covered. It is given with the understanding that neither the host, the publisher or the guests are rendering legal, clinical or any other professional information.

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