If you are participating in one or more of the current research studies, you are being asked for your informed consent to take part in a research study. Your participation is subject to ethical protections, evidence, confidentiality and risks and benefits, as described in the section below. This document provides a concise summary of this research. It describes the key information that we believe most people need to decide whether to take part in this research. This offer involves the following requirements and protections:
● ethical and quality protections for you as a research subject,
● one (1) 10-15 minute test per study
● protection of confidentiality, and
● risks and benefits for you as a research participant

You can find out more by reading through the FAQs below. When you check the box that states “I want to proceed with the courses. IF I decide to participate in research, I have read and understood the description of the research studies below, and I agree to participate in one or more of the studies” on the registration page, your consent to participate in the research will be recorded.

Any New York State clinician can sign up below at the “Sign up here” button – your FREE courses [Essential CBT for SUD Treatment, Ethics for the Counseling Professions, and Healing the opioid Crisis with M.O.R.E.] worth a total of 6.75 CEs are waiting:

Sign up here

What should I know about this research?

  • Taking part in this research is voluntary. Whether you take part is up to you.
  • If you don’t take part, it won’t be held against you.
  • You can take part now and later drop out, and it won’t be held against you.
  • If you don’t understand, ask questions.
  • Ask all the questions you want before you decide.

How long will I be in this research?

We expect that your taking part in EACH research study will last as long as it takes you to fill out one pre-training questionnaire. That usually takes about 10-15 minutes. You may go on to complete the course(s) (2.5 CEs for the CBT course,  2.25 CEs for the Ethics course, and 2.0 for the Healing the Opioid Crisis course = 6.75 CEs total) that are available to you for free, but that is not a requirement of the research participation. Courses will be available throughout 2025, and you can take them at your leisure. Most individuals who work straight through all three courses spend approximately six and a half hours including the pretests and posttests.

Why is this research being done?

The purpose of the Ethics research (see more info concerning the Ethical Dilemmas study) is to explore patterns of Ethical decision-making in clinical practice and to discover whether Ethical confidence affects decision-making. .
The purpose of the CBT research (see more info concerning the CBT Health Equity study) is to explore how organizational efforts may facilitate Latino involvement in mental health/substance use treatment. 
The purpose of the Harm Reduction Attitudes study is to explore clinician attitudes toward harm reduction methods 

What happens to me if I agree to take part in this research?

All participants are requested to allow their information to be used for research. If you decide to participate in a training that will be used for research, you will be asked to complete a registration which will request acknowledgement that your data can be used in research. Other general procedures include completing online pretests (10 – 15 minutes each). If you wish to get a certificate for the NYSOASAS and NYSED-approved courses you can continue by taking the courses that open for your participation after you complete the pretest questionnaires. Your access to the 2024 – 2025 course materials is under your control and at your leisure. As a NYS clinician, the completion of three courses and the 10 minute posttests with 75% accuracy will earn 6.75 CEs (total) toward your clinical licensure. If you do not complete with 75% accuracy the first time, you will be able to take the posttest a second time with access to the training materials.

Will it cost me money to take part in this research?

  • Participating will not cost you anything.
  • You will not be paid for taking part in this research.

Could being in this research hurt me?

A risk is that you may experience some discomfort when answering some of the questions in the questionnaires, but this is not expected to exceed what you experience in a conversation with colleagues. There is also the possibility of loss of confidentiality if there is an inadvertent breach in the security of the data.

Will being in this research benefit me?

There is no direct benefit to you for your participation in this research; however, your participation may contribute to the knowledge about clinicians’ use of practices in several ways. When the studies are completed, the results will be available at www.connectionscounseling.org

What other choices do I have besides taking part in this research?

Instead of participating in this research and taking the available course, if you are a social worker, your choices may include taking similar coursework from the NASW or from your state education department. For instance, clinical courses which would satisfy state continuing education requirements are available from the NASW at https://www.socialworkers.org/Careers/Continuing-Education/CEPortal

What happens to the information collected for this research?

Your private information will be collected into a database. Your private information will only be seen by the Principal Investigator. Information (after your name has been removed) will be shared with individuals that conduct this research, including:

  • The research sponsor organization, Connections Counseling Psychotherapy LCSW PLLC
  • People who work with the research sponsor (Principal Investigator, Lead Tech, and data analyst)
  • The Independent Review Board (IRB) that reviewed this research
  • The results of this research may be published. However, your name and other identifying information will be kept confidential. Your information will be protected from disclosure to others to the extent required by law. We cannot promise complete secrecy.

Who can answer my questions about this research?

If you have questions, concerns, or complaints, or think this research has hurt you or made you sick, talk to the research team at the phone number listed above on the first page. This research is being overseen by an Institutional (or Independent) Review Board (“IRB”). An IRB is a group of people who perform independent review of research studies to assure that the rights and welfare of participants are adequately protected, and that the research is described accurately before you are asked to participate. You may talk to the IRB (see the IRB information on this page) if:

>You have questions, concerns or complaints that are not being answered by the research team.
>You are not getting answers from the research team.
>You cannot reach the research team.
>You want to talk to someone else about the research.
>For questions about your rights as a research subject in any of the three research studies (and not about study visits or procedures), please contact North Star IRB by emailing info@northstarreviewboard.org

Even if you agree to participate after reading this form, if you have questions for the IRB and decide not to participate, you can choose not to fill out the surveys.

What else should I know about this research?

You do not have to complete the registration if you don’t want to. You do not have to complete the pretests or the courses if you don’t want to. >The free courses have been created and are being made available by Connections Counseling, PLLC, a counseling organization with a research and training mission. Content and training information of the available courses (Essential Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Substance Use Disorders, Ethics for the Counseling Professions, and Healing the Opioid Crisis with M.O.R.E.) that will be offered have been approved at the provider level by the New York State Education Department and at the course and provider level by the NYS Office of Addiction Services and Supports for continuing education credit for New York State clinicians. The research has neither been developed nor is it endorsed by the NYSED, the NASW, or any of the agencies that grant CEs.
    After registering for these free courses, you can log in and start any course. When you have started the session, you will see your home page that will allow you to take a pretest which asks about you, your perceptions of your practice, and your experiences in your practice. Specific questions for the Ethics study include your confidence in ethical decision-making. Specific questions for the CBT study include how SUD treatment may be facilitated by your agency for some clients. Specific questions for the Harm Reduction Attitudes study include your attitude toward harm reduction procedures.
    After you have completed the pretests, participants will have access to the Essential Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Substance Use Disorders course in English and Spanish, the Ethics for the Counseling Professions course, and the Healing the Opioid Crisis course . Trainers who are presenters in the training are specialized in substance abuse and mental health, with a total of more than 80 years of experience providing services to clients with alcohol and drug problems. >You will have access to these training materials until the end of 2025. You can take the posttests at any time. If you complete each posttest with a score of 75% or more, you will receive your certificate of completion documenting your name, the names of the instructors, the provider number of the organization from which you will receive your certificate (NYSED provider number #SW-0747, #MHC-0272, and #MFT-0115; NYSOASAS ETP #1435) and the CEs earned (6.75 CEs). If you do not get a score of 75% or more on the posttest, you can retake the posttest once with access to the training materials. The research has neither been developed nor is it endorsed by the NYSED, the NASW, or any of the agencies that grant CEs.

Confidentiality: your participation and answers will be confidential to the fullest extent of the law. All findings will be reported as group trends, not individual reports. The master list of codes, the names of the trainees, the email addresses, the pre-test and post-test answers will be kept on the main researcher’s computer, which is protected by a password known only to the principal investigator. This master list, all questionnaires and all copies will be destroyed after 10 years. Copies of certificates will be kept for as long as organizations involved in giving CEs (e.g., NYSED or other state organizations) suggest, usually a minimum of 10 years.

About the course creators:   All creators and instructors who are providing clinical material are Substance Use Disorder and Mental Health clinicians – most are LCSWs, LMSWs, LMFTs or LMHCs – with a total of over 80 years’ experience providing services to clients with alcohol and drug problems. The creator of the Ethics for the Counseling Professions course is Dr. Timothy Campbell, a bioethics researcher with the Institute for Futures Studies since 2016. The creators of the CBT course are Ruth Campbell, LCSW, Ph.D. and Richard Coleman, LMSW, social workers in New York State since the 1990s. The creator of the Healing the Opioid Crisis with M.O.R.E. is Eric Garland, Ph.D., LCSW, the developer of a mindfulness-based method with evidence-based success in reducing the opiate use of users.

NYS Clinicians: The provider-of-record for the courses is Connections Counseling Psychotherapy LCSW PLLC. #MHC-0272 (NYSED), #MFT-0115 (NYSED), #SW-0747 (NYSED), ETP# 1435 (OASAS),
All Other Social Workers:  Permission by the ASWB ACE program to offer CEs through Connections Counseling is not available at this time. See a map showing what jurisdictions accept ACE here.
Questions about research should be directed to Principal Investigator (PI) Ruth Campbell at ruth@connectionscounseling.org or at 845-255-5022 or by US mail at PO Box 1235, New Paltz, NY 12561.  Co-Principal Investigator, Smita Dewan, at Sdewan@citytech.cuny.edu or 718-254-8294 is also available to answer questions about the research.