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What do you feel is the most important skill an addiction counselor should possess?

Answer examples and advice for how to answer this interview question for an Addiction Counselor interview

Advice
This is a tough question! There are several skills that are absolutely essential for an addiction counselor. You need to be assertive enough to facilitate discussions and direct a patient, but you also need to listen and empathize. What characteristics do you think are the most important? Try to narrow it down and explain exactly why it's necessary for you to possess that trait.

Basic answer example
"I think all counselors should have public speaking skills. Being able to address a group of patients in group therapy sessions is something that I'm very comfortable with."
Entry Level answer example
"An important skill that every addiction counselor should posses is the ability to take clear and informative notes. My detailed and accurate​ notes come in handy if we have to transfer a patient to a different facility, for instance."
Experienced answer example
"In my years of experience as an addictions counselor, I have found that the ability to quickly build trust is the most important factor to success with a patient. If I am able to make a connection in a short period of time, my sessions are more effective."

View user-submitted Answers

What do you feel is the most important skill an addiction counselor should possess?
1.
Being persistent and patient, even when/if the client relapses or is resistant to treatment.
2.
Listening and knowing therapeutic models.
3.
Genuine and attentive and trust.
4.
Great listening skills and empathy.
5.
Counselors need to be knowledgeable about drugs and alcohol and their effects, and they need to be knowledgeable in various treatment approaches. Without these basic skills, counselors cannot provide effective treatments.
6.
Being a listener and being empathetic, not looking down at the client Making them feel they are less important.
7.
Having empathy and showing compassion to help others cope with their addictions.
8.
Ability to listen nonjudgementally.
9.
Humility. Even though we may have degrees and licensure in addictions, clients still may give us new insight and allow us to learn and to grow. Having the knowledge that there is still a lot that we do not yet know about addiction can lead us to truly come alongside and understand people, and in turn, learn and be changed by talking with the client.
10.
An addictions counselor should always be a good listener.
11.
I believe the most important skill an addiction counsellor should possess is honest. To be honest with your clients means you should also be honest with yourself.
12.
The ability to listen and the ability to identify strengths in people. Addiction often has an impact on self-esteem so people sometimes do not see the strengths that they possess.
13.
I feel like the counselor needs to be disciplined.
14.
Listening, not only the words being spoken, but also what isn't said. This takes a great amount of patience and the ability to ask the right questions.
15.
Flexible with approaches as people are impacted differently. And the capability to be non judgmental.
16.
The ability to build rapport quickly.
17.
Being non judgmental and promote positive change.
18.
Patience and understanding not to pressure change quickly.
19.
Knowing when to limit self disclosure.
20.
Knowing each person is different.
21.
The most important skill should be patience and persistence because sometimes patients might relapse after being abstinent for a long time and we cannot give up on them since they came to us for help.
22.
Knowledge, educational, and confidents.
23.
The ability to meet the client where they are instead of wanting them to go beyond that area all at once.
24.
Being nonjudgemental and not afraid to get to the underlining problems that causes a person to abuse substances.
25.
I believe an addiction counselor should be firm.
26.
Ability to listen and encourage discussion.
27.
Listening skills although I believe to be effective there must be other skills there too.
28.
The ability to express empathy without crossing over to sympathy.
29.
Listening and understanding.
30.
Confident and good listener.
31.
To be an active listener with good boundaries.
32.
To be able to build rapport, but also to be extremely mindful of boundaries.
33.
Good Listening and understanding.
34.
The most important skill an addition counselor should possess, is knowledge of the 12 core functions, and addiction process.
35.
Listening and the ability to have respect for everyone the come across in tx.

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