Addiction Therapy can be an emotionally draining job. How do you get away from it all and relax? Do you do yoga or go to the gym? Spend time with your family at the beach? Don't tell the interviewer that you don't have work stress because we all have a little. Instead, tell the interviewer that you welcome and thrive on a little bit of work stress. Work stress can motivate us and make our day more interesting.
"If I'm facing a stressful situation I'll call in the reinforcements. I ask for help when appropriate to avoid situations getting out of control."
Because we can't always take every Friday off and only have limited vacation days, you can face the potential for burnout. Don't answer this question by insisting you would never get sick of your job because the interviewer will see right through that. Tell the interviewer that you make a point to make downtime a daily ritual and you have stopped being a perfectionist.
"I've always been a YES person. Always helping, always giving. I'm working on saying NO more often to avoid burnout."
"The way that I avoid burnout is to take care of myself emotionally, physically and mentally. If I don't take care of myself then I can't take care of my patients."
If you've had the opportunity to work within public outreach as an Addiction Therapist, tell the interviewer what the outreach was for, what your role was and what the outcome was. Being able to tell the interviewer that you have the confidence to promote their company will be a plus. If you have never participated in public outreach tell the interviewer about your ability to speak publicly.
"I have never had the opportunity to work in public outreach but I welcome the challenge. Because I am so passionate about the career field and enjoy speaking in public I know it would be a good fit for me."
"I'm currently a volunteer with our local abuse hotline. Being able to volunteer within my same field but assist a different population of people makes me feel like I'm part of the community."
Interventions can be necessary for patients with addictions. You may find yourself as the mediator in this event. Tell the interviewer the role you held, how you kept the intervention on track and what the outcome was. If you have never participated in an intervention explain to the interviewer that you have the training and experience and look forward to a new challenge.
"Not only have I been a part of an intervention, but I've led them."
As an Addiction Counselor you may find that you can get emotionally attached to a patient. It may be tempting to give out your personal contact information for a patient to contact you in a time of need. Relay to the interviewer that you find it important to set boundaries with your patients.
"I think it is very important for a counselor never to give out their personal information. Providing a personal phone number or email address allows the patient to break boundary rules that should be set during the initial intake and treatment plan."
"I think the number one thing that an Addiction Therapist should never do is have an inappropriate relationship with a patient."
As an Addiction Therapist, educating your patients as well as their families is the key to recovery. Tell the interviewer when you would provide one on one education to your patient, provide education in a group setting or when you would schedule an appointment to meet with the family. Tell the interviewer about a few websites that are your go-to as well as referral agencies in the community.
"I've found that the majority of my patients aren't in a living situation that they have the internet as a resource and pamphlets get thrown away. I've found that the most beneficial way to educate my patients is to encourage them to attend groups weekly to stay on track."
As an Addiction Therapist you know that addiction is chronic and recovery from addiction requires a long-term commitment to sobriety to avoid relapse. Aftercare is a necessary part of treatment that lasts much longer than an initial rehab program. Walk the interviewer through how you build an after-care program for your patient. Discuss steps, their contribution and how you will follow up with the patient.
"Treatment doesn't end with our last appointment, we have to put together an after-care plan together that is both reasonable, achievable and helpful for the patient."
As an Addiction Therapist you've seen and my know personally that overcoming addiction is hard. Have a situation in your back pocket to share if the interviewer wants more of a situation explained. Tell the interviewer that you provide time for the patient to ask questions and listen to the patient's stories. Let the interviewer know that as a therapist you feel that validating the patient's experiences, feelings, thoughts, and emotions is an important step to recovery."
" Here is a sample answer: "
"I provide education regarding the patient's diagnosis, treatments, and expected physiologic responses to help the alleviate fear of the unknown"
The interviewer is asking this question because they want to know more about you and what skill you can bring to the team as an Addiction Therapist. Whichever skill you choose, have a situation to go along with it to show the positive impact you made.
"I think the most important skill to have as an Addiction Therapist is listening skills. I actively listen to people, reflect their thoughts back to them, and am able to remember important events and feelings that they convey to me."
"The most important skill for an Addiction Therapist is their communication skills. I'm able to tailor my interaction based on the need of each child, coworker or fellow professional."
As an Addiction Therapist you may have seen patients that are suffering from an eating disorder. Tell the interviewer that some of your patients respond well to a combination of counseling sessions and antidepressants, narcotic antagonists and mood stabilizer medications. If you haven't had any experience with patients suffering from an eating disorder be sure to tell the interviewer that you have the education and other experience needed and look forward to the challenge of working with these types of patients.
"Treating eating disorders in children has been my passion for the last 4 years. I look forward to the opportunity to work with adults suffering form eating disorders."
Because you want this job, you've been doing your homework. You've talked to others that work in the facility, know their mission and goals and have spent hours researching researched their website. Now is your time to show the interviewer that you did your homework. To avoid a long interview answer, choose one thing to focus on and how it relates to you. Does the company share the same goals that you do? Does the company provide care to a population that you have the most experience caring for?
"I have been aware of your facility for quite some time now and did conduct some research on your website and through colleagues. Your facility is very well respected and has a valued footprint in the community. One point that really stands out to me is the fact your employees spend their time volunteering and giving back to the community. I would like to be apart of that team."
As an Addiction Therapist you help patients identify their triggers during one on one and group sessions. Tell the interviewer how you encourage your patients to identify their emotional state, physical state. Let the interviewer know that you encourage you patents to identify if their triggers happen in the presence of others.
"I help my patients identify their trigger by encouraging them to talk about various stressors. One thing in particular is for them to talk about social pressure. I want to know if the patient is forced or coerced into doing things they don’t want to do."
"Identifying triggers and how to move past them is something that I address during each session. New triggers show themselves on different days in different situations to addicts. We come up with a plan together to conquer them."
As an Addiction Therapist you'll be treating the patient, but who will assist the family? Tell the interviewer that you have the ability to provide numerous online resources can help locate a local program or provide other information.
"Once I start treating a patient I make a point to spend some time with the family members. I provide online and local resources to them to learn more about the addiction and how they can support their loved one."
"Treating the family is just as important as treating the addict. Educating family members on the dangers of enablement is an important hurdle that must be addressed if the addict is going to improve."
As an Addiction Therapist you may have seen patients that are suffering from a gambling addiction. Tell the interviewer that some of your patients respond well to a combination of concealing sessions and antidepressants, narcotic antagonists and mood stabilizer medications. If you haven't had any experience with patients suffering from a gambling addiction be sure to tell the interviewer that you have the education and other experience needed and look forward to the challenge of working with these types of patients.
"I have been treating patients suffering from gambling addiction for the last year. I find that my patients respond well to a combination of medications and concealing sessions to help control their addiction."
As an Addiction Therapist you work within a multidisciplinary team. When creating a treatment plan it may consist of your patient seeing another professional. Tell the interviewer that you will talk in great length with your patient on who they need to see and why.
"I would refer my patient to an outside agency based on my recommendations in the treatment plan."
"Addiction treatment is typically treated by a multidisciplinary team of medical professionals. I would work closely with other team members to provide the best possible care to our patient."
As an Addiction Therapist you use health treatment plans as a document that details a client's current mental health problems and outlines the goals and strategies that will assist the client in overcoming mental health issues. Tell the interviewer that you interview your patients to obtain the information needed to complete a treatment plan.
"Treatment plans are based on the patient, their severity, and overall goal. I tailor each plan and adjust accordingly based on our sessions."
As an Addiction Therapist you constantly challenge yourself to learn and improve your skills. Talk about a particular challenge you've faced and how you've overcome and learned from it. Do you empower your co-workers to challenge themselves and learn from their experiences? Do you look forward to a challenge to make the job even more exciting and rewarding?
"I like to challenge myself by signing up for CEU's that I want to know more about. I enjoy learning new things about my career field and I've found that learning through CEU's is a convenient and simple way to do so."
"Mentoring Jr. Therapists is one of my passions as well as challenges. I welcome the opportunity to give back and share my knowledge with others."
This question is to find out if you are looking to stay stagnant or move up in the world. Tell the interviewer if you would like to go back to school or possibly own your own practice. If your not sure where you want your career to be, tell the interviewer what type of work you want to be a part of. Tell the interviewer that you want to be a part of a team that empowers and supports patients.
"In 5 years I'd like to be one of your lead Addiction Therapists. I would also like to be leading a few self help groups in our community."
Now is the time to really let your passion show. Think back to the time that you decided you wanted to work with people suffering from addiction. Did you choose this career because you were disappointed in the system? Do you have a family member that you wanted to help? Keep your answer honest and positive. We all know there is a lot of disfunction in the world but during your interview is not the time to focus on that.
"I knew I wanted to be an Addiction Therapist when I found out my family member was suffering from addiction. I saw the impact their Therapist made and the improvements my family member and knew that I wanted to be there others suffering from addiction."
"I chose the path of an Addiction Therapist after my last 6 months being supervised in the prison system as an LMSW. Seeing the need and what I could give back motivated me to specialize in addiction therapy."
When asked this question feel free to name drop the person that recognized your accomplishment, chances are the interviewer will call that reference for more information on your work history. When answering this question, describe the skills listed in your resume that enabled you to succeed. Describe the steps that you took to meet your goal. and mention any obstacles or challenges that you encountered and overcame.
"I'm most proud of being a full-time parent and finishing school. It took me a little longer than it might some people, but my love for helping people prevailed and now I'm here."
This question is allowing you to go into depth about your role in your current job. Be sure to stay on track and tell the interviewer what you do like and not what you don't like. Tell the interviewer about the opportunities you've been given, jr. employees you've been given the opportunity to mentor and patients you've helped. Since you'll e answering this question with such an upbeat answer be prepared to be asked why you are leaving.
"One of the things that I like about my present job is the opportunities that I've had to mentor members new to the career field."
"One thing that I like in my current job is the opportunity to learn and do something new each day."
Addiction therapists (also known as substance abuse counselors) have the necessary clinical skills and experience needed to help their patients overcome substance abuse issues. You apply your skills to counsel those who have been diagnosed with substance abuse disorders. You develop treatment plans and help your patients find ways of coping with their destructive urges. You are knowledgeable about the different kinds of addiction, such as alcohol, drug dependency, gambling and eating disorders.
As an Addiction Therapist you may hold a bachelor's degree in a behavioral or social science with additional coursework and experience in addiction counseling. Graduate degrees may increase job opportunities and usually include supervised experience, which employers often require. Licensing requirements vary by state.
To prepare for your interview you'll want to do your homework on the facility. Research what they specialize in, patient population and skills that are needed to be successful within the particular role you are interviewing for. If you are a new graduate and new to the field be able to speak to your college experience and projects. Consider volunteering to gain valuable work experience to show the interviewer that not only are you are committed to the field but want to help others around you.