top of page
Team Brainstorm



LCDC Program Overview

This training program focuses on theories and concepts of addiction counseling while developing professional skills, including situational leadership and management principles. As a graduate of this program, you’ll be able to deliver culturally proficient care while meeting the physical and psychosocial needs of clients.



12 months from the date of registration to complete program.


Online Self-paced



Payment Options: 

Find additional information about

payment options.

Program Length

570 clock hours (270 educational hours) (300 practicum hours)

You can complete this program in as little as 24 weeks.


This training program focuses on theories and concepts of addiction counseling while developing professional skills, including situational leadership and management principles. As a graduate of this program, you’ll be able to deliver culturally proficient care while meeting the physical and psychosocial needs of clients.


Students complete 6 self-paced courses while attending a weekly case-study seminar. Students will meet with a mentor/instructor, as needed, to review course material and ensure timely completion.


All students must complete a 300-hour practicum. From day one we start talking and planning for your practicum.  You will select and interview with at least 2-3 practicum providers. The practicum providers will inform us of fit. You’ll meet with your mentor to select a practicum placement and finalize a start date and work schedule.

Comprehensive Final

Once you have completed your course work and your practicum you will take a comprehensive final, much like the LCDC test. This is to ensure you have mastered the knowledge and skills to not only pass your LCDC test, but also to start your internship.


Once you've completed the coursework and practicum and passed the final exam, a certificate of completion will be issued.



Counselor Intern Approval

IAE will prepare and assist the student with organizing and submitting the required documentation to obtain approval from the state licensing authority to practice as a LCDC counselor intern.


We strongly encourage all students to take their written LCDC test right after graduation, while the information is fresh. We have found that if you wait until you complete your internship, you may have not retain the “book learning” that is a big part of the test. Passing rates are lower when people wait to take their test. This is way we give you a comprehensive exam before graduation. If you can pass our test, you can past the LCDC test. If for some reason you don’t pass, we will figure out what we missed and help you get ready to take it again. We leave no one behind.

Professional Development

You will meet with an assigned mentor, throughout the program, to help you develop a career plan and strengthen your professional skill set. Our mission goes beyond the certificate, IAE aims to prepare you for a career.

To browse courses, please view this site on a desktop.

Internship Placement

We work with our students and affiliated partners to find internship placements for each student. Prior to graduation your academic advisor will work with you to prepare your application to the Texas Health and Human Service Commission for approval to work as a LCDC-Intern.

While waiting for your approval, we work with the internship provider to complete the necessary internal applications, conduct the background checks, and provide with any pre-employment training. We want to make the process as efficient as possible for everyone. Once you receive your approval letter and approval from the internship placement you will begin your internship. This is a 4,000 hour internship that is required by HHSC to become an LCDC. This is a 2-year 40 hour a week commitment. Unless they have an agreement with us, your internal provider will take over the documenting of your hours.

Associates Degree Planning

If you don't already have a degree, you will need to complete an associates by the end of your internship. We offer planning to get you on your best career path and match you with the right educational partner.


This course will provide students with a general overview of the major theories and techniques used for addiction counseling and prepare students for careers in the addiction counseling field. Students will be provided with the basic framework for understanding what substance abuse is and is not, and what substance abuse counseling is and is not. This course will offer exercises for students to develop their counseling skills and to prepare them to master the principles, theories, and skills introduced including but not limited to, 12- Step facilitation, cognitive−behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, relapse prevention and integrated treatment.

This course will introduce students to the twelve core functions that a counselor implements and will teach students the various skills and tools used to assess alcohol and other drug addictions. The DSM-V classifications of substance abuse disorders will be taught, as well as limits and parameters in identifying substance abuse disorders vs. other disorders, and dual and multiple diagnoses. This course will prepare students to develop the professional competence necessary to perform the following tasks in providing alcohol and/or drug abuse treatment to clients and significant others in a variety of treatment settings: Screening, Orientation, Assessment, Treatment Planning, Counseling, Case Management, Crisis Intervention, Client Education, Referral, Reports and Record Keeping.

There are many different techniques that counselors can use with their clients. This course provides students with the basic techniques of substance abuse counseling such as: active listening, attentiveness, reflection, paraphrasing, and summarization. Students will also learn the basics of group process, group dynamics, denial, resistance, defense mechanisms, psychodrama, and other specifically group-related approaches. Students will be exposed various counseling approaches including Gestalt, REBT, Cognitive-Behavioral, Transactional Analysis, and Reality Therapy. Each student will discuss the benefits and liabilities of these techniques.

This course will educate students on advanced counseling skills and methods and the five major theories of personality development, and the method of therapy created by each. Students will be exposed to at least three methods of counseling from each of these major schools. Students will also learn issues regarding the seriously depressed and/or suicidal client, the 11 phases of relapse -- particularly Gorski's Counselor burn-out vs. counselor resilience. This course will also cover issues related to counseling and the criminal justice system: therapeutic treatment communities, TAIP program, and "safe p" programs. Students may make a field trip to a treatment community or similar facility. This course will also conduct a systematic review for the written portion of the LCDC licensure exam. Students will learn the five major theories of personality development, and the method of therapy created by each. These are:

 Psychoanalytic
 Behavioral
 Humanistic
 Cognitive
 Transpersonal Approaches

This course will educate students on the family roles and dynamics in substance use counseling. Students will learn about the role and dynamics of the family in substance use counseling. Topical issues will include: co dependency, enabling and collusion, adult children of alcoholics, family -of- origin issues, prevention and treatment in adolescents; sex addiction; domestic violence; couples and multi-family counseling; guilt and shame in the recovery process.

This 45-hour block of instruction is unique, in that the fluid nature of the field of addiction treatment requires a fluid, specialized curriculum to meet the changing needs of the student and professional obtaining continuing education. With this in mind, the following is merely a short list of the topical issues met by IAE. The objectives of each of the classes will be clearly stated by the various facilitators. Each Instructor will submit a lesson plan for approval to Director prior to facilitating the class. Specific lesson plans (proprietary) and Instructor qualifications (non-proprietary) are available to the appropriate monitoring authority and may be obtained by contacting the school office. The HHSC/LCDC required licensure and renewal hours will be provided during each part of the course. Students will learn the ethical guidelines that oversee the substance abuse counseling field. Critical topics will include, but not be limited to the dynamics of addiction and criminal behavior, criminal justice systems and processes, confidentiality laws, informed consent, client privilege, exceptions to confidentiality, dual relationships, peer confrontation. Students will also learn about special issues pertaining to substance use such as:

 Counseling Special Populations
 Women's Issues
 Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
 Understanding Metal Health
 Dual Diagnosis
 Psychiatric Medications
 Suicide Assessment
 Crisis Intervention

Practicum (Externship)

The IAE Practicum is field-based, practical experience student, who has completed all required coursework. As such, the Practicum allows students to work in an IAE-approved setting, i.e. a substance use or similar agency under the direct supervision of the IAE Practicum Coordinator.



To browse courses, please view this site on a desktop.

bottom of page