Counseling 501: Biopsychosocial and Spiritual Perspectives on Addiction Family Ministry Advanced Program

Instructor: Christine E. Agaibi, M.A. (ABD) (Ph.D. Candidate in Counseling Psychology)


Required Text:

1) Handbook for Christ-Centered Substance Abuse and Addiction Counselors – By Michael Belzman, PhD – Xulon Press – 2010 – ISBN-9781609578091

2) Combining Medication and Psychosocial Treatments for Addictions – The Brenda Approach – By Joseph Volpiccelli, Helen Pettinati, A. Thomas McLellan, and Charles P. O’Brien – The Guilford Press 2001 – ISBN – 1-57230-618-1

Supplemental Material will be supplied by the instructor throughout the course.

Important and Useful Website: – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration

Course Description:

This is a survey course, which covers biological, social, psychological, and spiritual perspectives on addiction in four modules. This course will examine a holistic view of addictions as well as interventions and positive psychological and spiritual interventions.

Course Objectives:

  1. Understand fundamentals of addiction.
  2. Understanding biological perspective on addiction
  3. Understanding psychological perspective on addiction
  4. Understanding social perspectives on addiction
  5. Understanding spiritual perspective on addiction.
  6. Understanding interventions (spiritual and positive psychology interventions)
  7. Understand God’s grace related to the biopsychosocial and spiritual model on addiction

Course Requirements:

Each student is responsible for reading all the material required throughout the course including text and other material provided by the instructor. The books are a great resource and provide a lot of information. Lectures will not focus on every detail of the book. Instead lecture will highlight what is most important to focus on and will include a discussion as well. Therefore, using the text as further background to what is presented in lecture is wise but lecture will focus on what is most important and thus it is important to attend conference calls to focus your study.

Each student is also responsible for turning in assignments and completing exams on time. Each assignment will be worth 20 points. There will be a 2-3 page reaction paper due at the end of each module and one multiple choice final exam at the end of the semester. To write the reaction papers, you will be prompted by some questions and then you are free to write about that topic. The exam will cover the entire course and will be 40 questions (1/2 point per question)

Grading Scale:

A+ = 96-100

A- = 90-95

B = 80-89

Below 80 will get a certificate of attendance

Reaction Papers – 15 points each (4 papers for 60% of Grade)

Final Exam – 40 points (35 questions @ 1point each; 1 SHORT Essay @ 5 points) (40% of grade)

Late Assignments will be deducted ½ point per day later

Off Site Conference Call Schedule:

Calls will be made once a week for the duration of the semester according to the following schedule (see schedule below with dates). Students are expected to make time for the 1-1.5 hour calls once per week. Approximately one hour will be dedicated to lecture and/or setting up discussion questions which will then be immediately followed up with no more than half an hour for students to ask questions or contribute to discussion. All calls will be at 9:00 pm EST on THURSDAYS. If you are unable to make a call it is your responsibility to obtain the material for that lecture/discussion that you missed. Please let me know if you are unable to make it. There will be no conference calls on the weeks of May 31, 2012 and August 2, 2012 due to conflicts with my (instructor) schedule. Exams (and papers) are due to the instructor on the due date by 11:59pm via email. Dates are listed below for each week. For conference calls FMP has set up the following conference call information:

Call #: (712) 432-3900

Conference Access Code: 176244#


At St. Stephen Retreat Center – Memorial Day weekend 2012 – Sunday May 27, 2012

? Introductions

? What brought you to this class – what do you hope to learn

? Your experiences with addiction

? Introduction to Course on Addiction

? What are addictions?

o What is the difference between abuse and dependence?

o What is tolerance

o What is withdrawal

? What is the DSM IV Definition

? DSM 5 Axis

? Types of addiction

? Prevalence and Statistics

? Why do people turn to addiction?

? Is it a disease, a sin, a bad choice? All the above?

? Stages of change

? Overview of course

o Why are we examining a Biopsychosocial and Spiritual Model to Addiction?

o What do each of these categories mean?

o How can I be effective?

Week 1-2 – Biological Understanding of Addiction – Week of May 28 and June 4

? Call on ________

? Reaction paper Due 2 days after call

? Belzman p.184-294

? Volpicelli et al., p.40, 43 (Biological Evaluation section), 77-78

? I will also have a handout for you that I will email you

Week 3-4 – Psychological Understanding of Addiction – Week of June 11 and June 18

? Call on _________and _________

? Reaction paper Due 2 days after call

? Belzman p. 295-328 (Chapter 9 &10) Do you agree with Belzman’s perspective

? Volpicelli et al., p. 41, 44-45 (Psychological Evaluation Section) Chapter 5 & 6, and 78-82

? I will send you the central tenets of psychotherapy theory and you can apply this to addiction in your reaction paper.

Week 4-5 – Social Understanding of Addiction – Week of June 25 and July 2

? Call on ____________ & _____

? Reaction paper Due 2 days after call

? Belzman p. 127-183 (Chapter 7)

? Volpicelli et al., p. 41-42, 46, 72-77

? Handouts

Week 6-7 – Spiritual Perspective of Addiction – Week July 9 and July 16

? Call on ____ and _______

? Reaction Paper Due 2 days after call

? Belzman p.19-47 & 67-77

? Volpicelli et al., p.

? Handouts

Week 8-9 – Treatment, Prevention, Recover, Psychological and Spiritual Interventions, BRENDA Model – Week of July 23 and July 30

? Call on _____

? Belzman p. 349-414, Chapter 1, Chapter 3

? Volpicelli et al., p. Chapter 7, 10, 11

? Handouts

Week 10 – Ethics, Privacy, and Other Final Considerations – Week of August 6

? Call on __________


? Belzman p. 329-348

? Volpicelli et al., p. Chapter 5,6, 9

? Handouts