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Addictions Specialization

This specialization will prepare the counselor to engage counselees controlled by life dominating sins, temptations, and addictive behaviors, and provide hope and direction to them in the midst of their struggles.

Education Phase

Engage in high-quality, focused training. Learn More

Examination Phase

Be tested to verify your mastery of the topic. Learn More

Education Phase

The first phase of specialization training has ACBC Certified Counselors engage in quality instruction offered through one of our Certified Training Centers as well as complete reading from a pre-approved book list.

Core Training Requirements

To receive the specialization in marriage counseling a certified member must first complete a minimum of 20 hours of instruction covering the following approved topics.

Reading Requirements

To receive specialization in addictions counseling a member must complete 1,200 pages of reading from the following approved books:

The Heart of AddictionMark Shaw
Relapse: Biblical Prevention StrategiesMark Shaw
How Not to Raise an AddictMark Shaw
Hope and Help for GamblingMark Shaw
Hope and Help for Video Game, TV, and Internet “Addiction”Mark Shaw
Putting Off Life Dominating SinsSusan Heck
Addictions: A Banquet in the GraveEd Welch
Diehard SinsRush Witt
The Discipline of GraceJerry Bridges
Godliness Through DisciplineJay Adams
Killing Sin HabitsStuart Scott
Deception: Letting Go of LyingLou Priolo
Manipulation: Knowing How to RespondLou Priolo
The Enemy WithinKris Lundgaard
The Dynamic Heart in Daily LifeJeremy Pierre
Free IndeedRichard Ganz
The Doctrine of RepentanceThomas Watson
Freedom That LastsJim Berg

Examination Phase

The second phase of specialization training will provide an opportunity for ACBC Certified Counselors to demonstrate their understanding of subject matter through an objective question exam and a written exam that contains case studies.

In order to be cleared for the Examination Phase, you will need to complete and submit the Application for Specialization Exam Access.

Multiple Choice Exam

  • This online exam contains questions from the reading and training and provides students the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge of the material they have learned. The Multiple Choice is closed note/book/Bible. 
  • Once you successfully complete the Multiple Choice Exam, you will be granted access to the Written Exam.

Written Exam

  • This exam is comprised up of in-depth case studies challenging the student in areas including content and methodology. 
  • The Written Exam is closed note/book. 
  • You may use your Bible. 
  • There is a $50 fee associated with the Written Exam.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who can take advantage of this training?

    Anyone who desires to grow in the knowledge and skill in this area of counseling will benefit from earning the Addictions Counseling Specialization.

    However, for any component of the training to count towards earning the Addictions Counseling Specialization, the trainee must first be a certified member of ACBC. Once you successfully pass the exam portion, your profile on our “Find a Counselor” map will be updated to reflect that you have earned that specialization.

  • When and where can I obtain this specialization?

    ACBC Counseling Specializations are offered exclusively through our Certified Training Centers (CTCs). Training and instructions for the Addictions Counseling Specialization must be taught by an ACBC Certified Counselor who offers this training through a Certified Training Center.

    These trainings are offered by our CTCs throughout the year both online and in-person.

  • How long do I have to complete this training?

    Certified members who desire to earn the Addictions Counseling Specialization have one (1) year from beginning the training to the successful passing of the written exams.

  • Is there any cost associated with earning a specialization?

    In addition to any fees associated with the Certified Training Center offering the specialization training, there is a one-time non-refundable feel of $50.00 associated with the specialization exam.

  • Are these optional for ACBC certified counselors?

    At present, the Addictions Counseling Specialization is an optional advanced training opportunity for our certified members. In the future, they may be a part of Continuing Education requirements for ACBC members.