City Vision University Courses and the TAP21 12 Core Functions and Competencies of Addiction Counseling

The City Vision University Addiction Counseling program offers a full range of instruction on the skills necessary to succeed as a licensed addiction counselor.

These skills are defined by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in a publication often known as TAP 21. This is a Technical Assistance Publication entitled Addiction Counseling Competencies: The Knowledge, Skills, and Attitudes of Professional Practice, which can be downloaded from

After you have receive a BS or a certificate in Addiction Counseling from City Vision University, you will still need to follow the steps necessary to get licensed by your state’s accreditation board. Most states require at least 180 hours of training (the equivalent of 2 courses) to satisfy the instructional requirement for licensure; typically you will simply need to supply a transcript of completed coursework, and, at most, the syllabi of the courses which you took.

You can search the ATTC certification website to learn the specifics of how to become a certified addiction counselor in your state.  Send an email to if you need assistance with this process.

Note that if you have already completed an initial course of study in addiction counseling, any of the courses listed below should count as 45 CEUs (continuing education credits), since each provides 3 academic credits. Most states require 40 CEUs every two years, though some require the ethics course in person.

TAP21 outlines Eight Areas of Competency and Twelve Core Functions for the addiction counselor, which are briefly defined here. The following lists show how these correspond to the courses offered by City Vision University, and should be of assistance in documenting your learning to accrediting bodies. Click on the name of each course to read its description, and see which of the core functions are covered each in each of the 8 weeks of instruction. The following chart shows how the eight Practice domains and twelve core functions relate.

Eight Practice Domains Twelve Core Functions
1. Clinical Evaluation 1. Screening
2. Intake
3. Orientation
4. Assessment
2. Treatment Planning 5. Treatment Planning
3. Referral 10. Referral
4. Service Coordination 7. Case Management
5. Counseling 6. Counseling
8. Crisis Intervention
6. Client, Family, and Community Education 9. Client Education
7. Documentation 11. Reports and Record Keeping
8. Professional and Ethical Responsibilities

Skip to Twelve Core Functions

Eight Areas of Competency

1. Clinical Evaluation (Screening, Assessment)
2. Treatment Planning
3. Referral
4. Service Coordination (Implementing the Treatment Plan, Consulting, Continuing
Assessment and Treatment Planning)
5. Counseling
Individual Counseling
Group Counseling
Counseling for Families, Couples, and Significant Others
6. Client, Family, and Community Education
7. Documentation
8. Professional and Ethical Responsibilities

Twelve Core Functions

I. Screening: The process by which the client is determined appropriate and eligible for admission to a particular program.

II. Intake: The administrative and initial assessment procedures for admission to a program.
III. Orientation: Describing to the client the following: general nature and goals of the program;
rules governing client conduct and infractions that can lead to disciplinary action or discharge
from the program; in a non-residential program, the hours during which services are available;
treatment costs to be borne by the client, if any; and client rights.
IV. Assessment: The procedures by which a counselor/program identifies and evaluates an
individual’s strengths, weaknesses, problems and needs for the development of a treatment
V. Treatment Planning: Process by which the counselor and the client identify and rank problems
needing resolution; establish agreed upon immediate and long-term goals; and decide upon a
treatment process and the resources to be utilized.
VI. Counseling: (Individual, Group, and Significant Others): The utilization of special skills to assist
individuals, families or groups in achieving objectives through exploration of a problem and its
ramifications; examination of attitudes and feelings; consideration of alternative solutions; and
VII. Case Management: Activities which bring services, agencies, resource, or people together within
a planned framework of action toward the achievement of established goals.
VIII.Crisis Intervention: Those services which respond to an alcohol and/or other drug abuser’s
needs during acute emotional and/or physical distress.
IX. Client Education: Provision of information to individuals and groups concerning alcohol and
other drug abuse and the available services and resources.
X. Referral: Identifying the needs of a client that cannot be met by the counselor or agency and
assisting the client to utilize the support systems and community resources available.
XI. Report and Record Keeping: Charting the results of the assessment and treatment plan, writing
reports, progress notes, discharge summaries and other client-related data.
XII. Consultation With Other Professionals in Regard to Client Treatment/Services: Relating with
in-house staff or outside professionals to assure comprehensive, quality care for the client.