For the Clinical portion of the exam, you will be given a case study focused on an
individual with an alcohol and/or substance use disorder that is presenting for treatment.
The case will briefly describe their psychosocial history as well as their history of
substance use. You will then be given two possible questions to answer about the case
– you will choose one of these questions to respond to. These questions will ask you to
use the case to demonstrate your knowledge of different areas of clinical practice. You
are expected to cite relevant course material or readings when answering the question.
Some examples of possible questions are listed below.
If you were in charge of completing the intake/assessment for this client, what
methods and instruments would you include as a part of this assessment? How
would you make use of the results?
Develop a treatment plan for this client. In your treatment plan, be sure to clearly
include problems, techniques for addressing them, and outcome statements.
Support your decisions in the treatment plan based on what you have learned
about evidence-based practice.
Based on what you know about this case, discuss what factors might be
associated with possible relapse? Describe how you would implement
a relapse-prevention program for this client using the cognitivebehavioral
Consider whether using a group technique would be effective with this client and
address the following questions: (a) Discuss the rationale for using group work
with this client. What are the reasons for why it could be effective? (b) What
factors might be associated with ineffective group work for this client? (c) How
would you plan for group work with this client that would build on the strengths
of the technique and the client, and minimize the problems?
Let’s assume for a moment that this specific client is NOT yet presenting for or
engaged in pursuing active treatment on their own. Address the following
questions: (a) Describe how you would go about evaluating the client’s level of
motivation/stage of change. (b) Compare and contrast confrontational
approaches to motivational interviewing. (c) Describe how you would proceed to
engage this specific client, justifying your approach based on your knowledge of
effective treatment engagement strategies.
Program Design Question
For the Program Design portion of the exam, you will be given a vignette describing a
specific treatment program that you are in charge of developing and managing. You will
be given basic information about the type of program it is and what resources are
available to you. You will then be given two possible questions to answer – you
will choose one of these questions to respond to. These questions will ask you to use
the case to demonstrate your knowledge of different program-related issues. You are
expected to cite relevant course material or readings when answering the question.
Some examples of possible questions are listed below.
One challenge that many treatment programs have faced is in provide
individualized treatment services. Describe five obstacles to individualizing
treatment that you might encounter in your program, and describe methods that
you would use to overcome each of these five obstacles in your program.
Describe how ongoing issues/changes in the health care delivery system (such
as managed care/funding limits and the Affordable Care Act) might affect the
nature of services provided in your program. What are approaches you would
take to maintain high treatment quality in this funding climate?
In addition to the treatment services your program provides, you have just been
awarded funding to implement a prevention program in your local community.
Describe specifically how you would develop this program, identifying at least
five specific components that you would include based on what we know about
evidence-based prevention practice.
As the director of your program, how would you determine whether your services
were effective in achieving the desired outcomes? Identify three clear outcome
goals for your specific program, and how you would go about gathering
outcome data to determine if these goals are being met.
Let’s assume that you have been awarded funding to develop a new treatment
program/service within your organization. Identify what you see as one of the
most pressing needs that your current programs do not fully address. Then,
describe the specific objectives and major components of the new program that
you would develop.
Critical Analysis Question
For the Critical Analysis portion of the exam, you will be given one question that you
must answer. This question will address a broad area of the addiction field. You are
expected to apply your critical thinking skills in order to answer the question. You are
also expected to cite relevant course material or readings when answering the question.
You will not be given what the specific question will be in advance, but some broad topic
areas that are likely to be covered by the question are listed below.
Describing etiological models of substance use. You could be asked to provide
an overview of models, compare/contrast different models, identify advantages
and disadvantages of models, or identify implications of models for
Discussing the advantages and disadvantages of integrated care models (e.g.,
combining criminal justice, mental health, primary care, social services, etc. with
Recognizing important cultural/diversity issues, justifying why they are important
for treatment through literature, and describing how they should be addressed
when providing prevention or treatment services.
Identifying and describing multiple evidence-based treatment approaches for
Describing way how knowledge of psychopharmacological knowledge can be
used to improve prevention and treatment activities.
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