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Certification in Substance Abuse Therapy

Certification in Substance AbuseTherapy (endorsed by Malaysian Association of Psychotherapy (MAP) and Psychotherapy Chapter of Malaysia Society for Complementary Medicine)

This course is designed to teach methods for assessment, diagnosis, intervention, and treatment of the person with substance abuse in social service, mental health, medical, rehabilitative, and specialized substance abuse settings. It is directed to clinicians who work with (1) individuals with early stage problems, (2) individuals with more serious problems who do not acknowledge the problem or its severity, (3) diagnosed alcoholics and addicts, and (4) family members who seek assistance with substance-abusing loved-ones.

What is included in the Substance Abuse Therapy

  • Lecture
  • Tutorial
  • Clinical supervision
  • Case review & assessment

Fees and Course Structure

Course Cost  RM 4,800 (Students are required to buy various recommended text books)
Course Time  3 Months
Prerequisite At least a Credit in SPM English or two years working experience at a related industry
Group Size  Group limited to 8 participants maximum only to optimize group dynamics

Training Topics

Certification in Substance Abuse Therapy

1) Introduction to course, review of syllabus, overview of text and readings

2) Nature and Course of Substance Use Disorders, Bio-psycho-social Condition, Diagnostic Criteria, Low risk vs high risk

3) Pharmacology and Substances—tolerance, cross-tolerance, dependence;

4) Major clinical implications (medical, cognitive, behavioral) for various drug categories

5) Drug Categories

  • Benzodiazepines and other Sedatives
  • Stimulants (e.g., cocaine, methamphetamine)
  • Opioids (e.g., heroin, codeine, oxycontin)
  • Marijuana
  • Hallucinogens
  • Club Drugs (e.g., ecstasy, Ketamine, PCP)
  • Others

6) Role of 12-Step Programs: Highlights of visits to 12-Step Programs

7) Screening, Assessment and Interviewing

  • (a) exploring risk factors
  • (b) integrating indirect questions into psychosocial history
  • (c) taking a focused drinking/drug history

8) Assessment and Interviewing; Assessing co-occurring substance use and psychiatric disorders: special considerations

9) Influence of culture on view of alcohol/drug problems, treatment, & recovery--cultural framework

10) Ingredients of Integrated Treatment Approach (assessing Stage of Readiness for Change; Motivational Interviewing, disease model; self-medication, therapeutic traps).

11) Goal Setting and Treatment Planning: Issues requiring immediate attention; involving significant others.

12) Taking Action: Moderation and harm reduction; managing cravings & urges, use of “substitute” substances and behaviors.

13) Preventing Relapse: psycho-education, cognitive and behavioral methods, family issues;

14) Psychotherapy in Ongoing Recovery: intimacy, separation and individuation; incentives for recovery

15) Family Recovery: early recovery tasks; challenges; interventions

Course Layout

We use the mastery system of education. Besides lecturing, this course provides clinical experience such as: research, case study, group clinical supervision, reflections,discussions & presentation. Assessment includes case study oral and written presentations, group participation, research paper and assignments.

The topics mentioned above are taught within 3 months. During this period, students will also be given clinical case assignments and presentations to do. Our course is structured as 2 intensive workshop with 6 group clinical supervision & oral / written case presentation for the assessment. Fulfilling the attendance and passing the criteria given will lead to towards the licensed practitioner membership of Adult Psychotherapy, Geriatric Psychotherapy, Family Therapy, Couple Therapy, Child Therapy, Art Therapy and/or Expressive Therapy Divisions of Malaysia Association of Psychotherapy.

Equipments& Venue

Below are the equipments used:

  • Psychometric instruments
  • Subliminal recordings cds
  • PsychoAromatherapy essential oil blends and pots
  • Insomnia laboratory diagnostic testing kits
  • Insomnia psychonutrtional medicine
  • Reference books and journals
  • Journaling and art therapeutic materials
  • Audio Resources
  • White board
  • Notes/ books

Venue: International Psychology Centre, Kuala Lumpur

Teaching Faculty

The lecturer, tutorials, case supervisions and assignments will be conducted by the International Psychology Centre's team of professional psychologist and psychotherapists accredited by the International Certification &Reciprocacy Consortium of Drugs & Alcohol Addiction Counseling; the Malaysian Association of Psychotherapy; Malaysian; the International Society for Psychotherapy, Counseling & Psychiatry: Researches, Theories and Clinical Practices; the Malaysian Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Association; the World Council of Psychotherapy and the Malaysian Society for Complementary Medicine, led by:


B.Sc.(Hons.)(Psy),(Middlesex) MSc.(Learning)(Lancaster), D.Phil.(Psy),

(IOU) CSAC (Hawaii, International Certification &Reciprocacy Consortium)

(Reg. No. M906-98); PgCert (Anxiety Disorders); PgCert (Brain Based Therapy);

Principal Consultant Psychologist, Psychotherapist and Certified Master Trainer.

Dr Chan is a fellow of the Malaysian Association of Psychotherapy (MalaysianPsychotherapy.net); a fellow of the Malaysian Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Association; a level 5 supervisor practitioner member of the division of the Malaysian Association of Psychotherapy; a practitioner Member of the Malaysian Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Association; a practitioner member fo the Psychotherapy Chapter of the Malaysian Society for Complementary Medicine; a member of the International Employees Assistance Professionals Association; a council member of the World Council of Psychotherapy; Charter member of the International Coaching Federation (Malaysian Chapter); a member of the International Association of Facilitators and a member of the Malaysian Society for Training and Development.

Dr. Chan has conducted academic researches and lectured at numerous Universities throughout the world, including the Department of Educational Research, University of Lancaster, UK; the Department of Experiemental Psychology, University of Oxford, UK.; Institute of Educational Technology, the Open University, UK.; Department of Psychology, the Intercultural Open University, the Netherlands; Stress Management Masters TQM Programme, Newport University Malaysia; University Malaya (Medical Department), Masters programme in Clinical Psychology, National University of Malaysia and was an invited speaker at many international conferences including being the Keynote speaker at the Asian Pacific Rim International Counseling & Psychotherapy Conference 2013 (CounselingMalaysia.com); the 2008 World Psychotherapy Conference, Beijing; the Asian Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Conference 2008, Bangkok; the Asia Human Resource Conference 2011; the Singapore Human Resource Conference 2010; the 2011 Asian Pacific International Counselling Conference, Hong Kong; the World Psychotherapy Conference 2011; Sydney and the Australian Counselling Association Conference 2011 in Melbourne.

Dr. Chan has also published widely in academic proceedings of numerous academic conferences, for example, Current Research & Practices on Cognitive Behaviour Therapy in Asia, edited by Profession Tian from the Department of Clinical Psychology, Queensland University, Australia as well as in International and National journals and newspaper including the Asian Wall Street Journal, the Edge, New Straits Time, the Star and journals such as: Malaysian Medical Tribune, Voice of Coaching, Malaysian Business, CIMA as well as being a well-known radio and television personality on insomnia and related psychology topics. Dr. Chan has also authored several books on these topics including the critically acclaimed Dancing with Crocodiles, where he expoused innovative psychotherapy techniques. Dr. Chan is the chief editor of the International Journal of Psychotherapy, Counseling & Psychiatry: Researches, Theories & Clinical Practices (ISPCP-TRCP.org)