This course is based upon material published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment and is available as an open access article on the National Institute of Health (NIH).
This study investigated the extent to which bilingual counselors initiated informal discussions about topics that were unrelated to the treatment of their monolingual Spanish-speaking Hispanic clients in a National Institute on Drug Abuse Clinical Trial Network protocol examining the effectiveness of motivational enhancement therapy (MET). Session audiotapes were independently rated to assess counselor treatment fidelity and the incidence of informal discussions. Eighty-three percent of the 23 counselors participating in the trial initiated informal discussions at least once in one or more of their sessions. s.
This course on substance abuse treatment and cross cultural practice is designed for substance abuse counselors, social workers, psychologists, nurses, and professional counselors who do clinical work. This course is appropriate for beginning, intermediate and advanced level practitioners who wish to develop their understanding of substance abuse treatment. The course material includes a literature review of interventions. It may also be useful for licensed clinicians who require clinical continuing education courses for license renewal.
The course is based on a journal article which includes research. As such it contains statistical analysis and data which some clinicians enjoy reading and others do not. One of the benefits of reading research based articles for continuing education is that it allows the practitioner to keep current on the latest findings in their field.
Authors: Bamatter et al.
Learning Objectives: This course will provide the practitioner with detailed information regarding information discussion in substance abuse treatment sessions and Spanish-speaking Hispanic client. Specifically, a professional will:
· Identify the extent to which bilingual counselors initiated informal discussions with the monolingual Spanish-speaking Hispanic clients.
· Describe how informal discussions in substance abuse treatment may have adverse consequences for Hispanic clients motivation.
· Identify the relationship between informal discussions and client retention in treatment.
Citation: Bamatter, Carroll, Anez, Paris Jr, Ball, Nich, Frankforter, Suarez-Morales, Szapocznik, and Martino. (2010). Informal Discussions in Substance Abuse Treatment Sessions with Spanish-speaking Clients. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. December ; 39(4): 353–363
Counselors delivering MET in the trial initiated informal discussion significantly less often than the counselors delivering standard treatment.
Counselors delivering standard treatment were likely to talk informally the most when they were ethnically non-Latin. Additionally, informal discussion was found to have significant inverse correlations with client motivation to reduce substance use and client retention in treatment. These results suggest that informal discussion may have adverse consequences on Hispanic clients’ motivation for change and substance abuse treatment outcomes and that maintaining a more formal relationship in early treatment sessions may work best with Hispanic clients. Careful counselor training and supervision in MET may suppress the tendency of counselors to talk informally in session