See NOTES on this page for specifics of state and license restrictions. This 6.0 credit (5.0 credits in other jurisdictions, see NOTES) clinical course was developed in 2016 for social work and other clinical professionals and is updated biannually. The course will familiarize professionals with  strategies and techniques that are useful with those that are dually-diagnosed. Intermediate level professionals will find basic information about Substance Use Disorders and how both MI and CBT strategies can be effectively used with those with Co-occurring Disorders.  Videotaped clinical vignettes illustrate techniques which can help the clinical professional working with clients with marijuana, cocaine, or alcohol use disorders to reduce client substance use. A certificate can be earned by registering for the course, completing the course and passing the posttest with 75% accuracy.  Register for the course here.

About the Course: The term “Co-Occurring Disorders” describes the simultaneous existence of a Mental Health (MH) Disorder and a Substance Use Disorder (SUD), more complicated to diagnose and treat than either Mental Health or Substance Use Disorders alone. Many treatment strategies useful for either disorder, like Motivational Interviewing skills or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, can be used successfully with clients with Co-Occurring Disorders. 

Target audience: Social workers and other clinical professionals
who work with clients with Substance Use Disorders.

Content level: Intermediate


About the Author/Instructor: Tina Iler, LCSWR, is in private and agency practice in the mid-Hudson region of New York State. She is the Social Work consultant for the BPTI Continuing Education group and the BPTI contact person for continuing education in New Jersey. She has over 25 years experience in direct practice with clients with mental health and substance use disorders.  She is passionate about Motivational Interviewing and trains extensively in MI. As well, she has been trained by the Beck Institute in CBT and the Linehan Institute for DBT and mindfulness.  In her individual therapy, she provides compassionate support to work towards developing coping skills for healthier choices, improved self care, and building resilience to live life with greater ease and acceptance of past or present circumstances. As a trainer, she is resourceful, dynamic and creative. Feedback from previous archived webinar attendees: “It was very informative and I’ve been using this framework within my practice.” -Abigail, Idaho

Course Goals and Objectives. .  .

Goals: Participants will gain an understanding of Co-occurring Disorders:  definition, typical Mental Health disorders, typical Substance Use Disorders and the prevalence of co-occurrence. Participants will understand Stages of Change, recommended assessment measures and treatment strategies for both early and later stages of change for those with Co-occurring Disorders.  Participants will gain an understanding of applicable assessment and treatment skills through modeling, available in video clinical scenarios.

1. Participants will be able to list the definition of Co-occurring Disorders.
2. Participants will be able to identify the prevalence of Co-occurring Disorders.
3. Participants will be able to describe one theory of the etiology of Co-occurring Disorders.
4. Participants will be able to discuss one of the global impacts of Co-occurring Disorders.
5. Participants will be able to explain two Stages of Readiness for Change.
6. Participants will be able to identify 3 Mental health disorders currently listed in the DSM5.
7. Participants will be able to identify symptoms of the most common substance use disorders.
8. Participants will  be able to explain a  suggested mode of treatment for those with Co-occurring Disorders in the early stages of change.
9. Participants will be able to identify 1 assessment measure for Co-occurring Disorders.
10. Participants will be able to explain a suggested mode of treatment for those with Co-occurring Disorders in the later stages of change.

Timed Agenda: Self-paced course, approximately 6 hours

Course Agenda
I. (.5 hr) Definition and Etiology of Co-occurring Disorders
II. (.5 hrs) Prevalence and global impact
III. (.5 hr) Stages of Readiness for Change
IV. (1.0 hr) Processes for COD Early Change stages: Discussion, modeling of interventions, treatment strategies for dealing with early decision-making stages of Co-occurring Disorders
V. (1.0 hr) Mental Health Diagnoses
VI. (1.0 hr) Substance Use Disorder Diagnoses
VII. (.5 hr) Co-occurrence of symptomatology between MH and SUD disorders
VIII. (1.0) Discussion and modeling of intervention and treatment strategies for dealing with the later decision-making stages of Co-occurring Disorders

Course completion requirements
To earn CE credit, participants must log in, attend the entire course as determined electronically and complete a posttest with at least 75% accuracy and an online course evaluation. Certificates of completion will be emailed within 10 business days of course completion.
Course interaction & system requirements
This reading-based, narrated online course is self-paced/non-interactive. Course questions, comments and complaints can be directed to teh Continuing Education Director by email at or by phone at 845-255-5022 or 845-810-0022. BPTI grievance policy can be found here.

NOTES: NYS OASAS (provider # 0806) has authorized 6 credits for re-credentialing CASACs who take this training. NY State Department of Education (provider # SW-0519 and MHC-0124)and has authorized 6 credits for LMSWs,  LCSWs, and LMHCs who take this training.  Registrants should note that only 1/3 of contact hours needed  for NY LCSWs and LMSWs can come from non-interactive web coursework.

OUTSIDE NY State: Social Workers: We have applied for consideration of CE credits for this course through the ASWB ACE program. We are also applying for ACE NJ consideration. The course will be worth 5 credits in the ASWB jurisdictions.