Internationally Credentialed Addictions Counselor
Co-Occuring Disorders Counselor
Sheila Dunnells, Ph.D
CASAC, CCDP, BC, LC
“When the student is ready the teacher appears.” I am that teacher you seek!
Life, relationships, careers,- we all have them. Periodically, we need to share what is going on in those areas with someone not involved so we can resolve the dilemma.
Why a Drug and Alcohol Credential? I was hired to create a School to Work Program for High School students. I needed to write a year’s curriculum, hold group sessions before they went to work, find jobs for kids to explore and make sure they got there and back.
Some students knew what they wanted to try in a job; others didn’t care. It didn’t take long before I quickly learned that at the base of some indifference to life was drug use! Drugs! For those kids involved with drugs, as they saw it, the fact that I had never done street drugs (yes they ask) killed any credibility I might have. Their attitude was “Don’t trust an adult about drugs.” At that point, I wanted to help those students who were a-motivationally affected. I started on an educational path that included graduate degrees in Counseling, specialty in Addictions. Doesn’t matter what drug is involved: Doctor over-prescribed drugs, alcohol, or street drugs, recovery is basically the same. While I didn’t know about street drugs, I knew about Recovery.
Why Anger Management? Another area that many students shared was tremendous anger at the world- life, mom, dad, teachers, friends. My students knew I was learning for them and they ‘high-fived’ as I passed each course. Once completed, the kids liked calling me Dr. D. They felt important that someone with an advanced degree was associated to them.
Why Bereavement Counseling? Loss is part of life, how one copes with it will make the difference between getting past it or getting stuck in one of the stages of grief.
Beyond getting my NYS Certification in Addictions, I went forward and became Credentialed in Bereavement Counseling and Certified in Anger Management.