Home » 4 Performance Domains » Alcohol and Drug Counselor | Performance Domain 1: Engagement

Alcohol and Drug Counselor | Performance Domain 1: Engagement

Engagement: Describe to the client the nature and goals of the program; the rules of client’s conduct and the violations that can lead to disciplinary measures or discharge from the program; in the case of out-patient programs, the hours during which services are available; treatment costs that need to be paid by the client, and client’s rights.

Clients need to know the procedures being used in their assessment, and they need to have an opportunity to ask questions about them. They need to know that the purpose of the assessment is to gather information that will help determine the counseling interventions that will be most helpful to them. Clients are likely to cooperate with the assessment process if rapport has been established and the reason for the assessment procedures is clear.

Global Criteria

  • Provide an overview to the program, describing the program goals and objectives for client care
  • Provide the client with a description of the program rules, and client’s obligations and rights
  • Provide information about the program hours of operation
  • Information and resources regarding cultures, sexual orientation, gender and special needs
  • The significance of diagnostic reports from laboratory tests
  • Signs and symptoms of co-occurring mental health disorders
  • Interview processes, including objectives and techniques
  • The use and method of feedback to the client
  • How a client’s financial circumstances influence treatment options
  • Identifying and understanding non-verbal behaviors
  • Building trust and establishing rapport
  • Gathering and assessing information
  • Identifying discrepancies in information given by client and/or concerned others
  • Determining the importance of the relationship between the client and concerned others
  • Assessing the appropriateness of involving concerned others in the assessment process
  • Recognizing a need for more in-depth information from other professionals
  • Effective use of open- and closed ended questions and other interview techniques


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