Addiction Therapist Job Description [Updated for 2024]

addiction therapist job description

In today’s complex society, the emphasis on addiction therapists has never been greater.

As societal pressures increase, the demand for skilled professionals who can aid, support, and help safeguard mental health also escalates.

But let’s delve deeper: What’s truly expected from an addiction therapist?

Whether you are:

  • A job seeker trying to understand the core of this role,
  • A hiring manager designing the perfect candidate profile,
  • Or simply fascinated by the intricacies of addiction therapy,

You’re in the right place.

Today, we present a customizable addiction therapist job description template, designed for effortless posting on job boards or career sites.

Let’s dive right in.

Addiction Therapist Duties and Responsibilities

Addiction Therapists play a crucial role in assisting individuals who are struggling with substance abuse or behavioral addictions.

They provide professional treatment, support, and guidance to help clients overcome their addictions and improve their quality of life.

Addiction Therapists have the following duties and responsibilities:

  • Evaluating the addiction or behavior issues of the client
  • Developing customized treatment plans in accordance with the specific needs of the client
  • Implementing therapeutic interventions such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), motivational interviewing, and family or group therapy
  • Monitor clients’ progress during treatment and make necessary adjustments to the treatment plan
  • Providing emotional and psychological support to clients
  • Teaching coping mechanisms and strategies to deal with triggers and cravings
  • Facilitating group counseling sessions to encourage open communication and support among peers
  • Working in collaboration with other health care professionals such as doctors, nurses, and social workers
  • Maintaining detailed notes and records of sessions for review and evaluation
  • Providing education and resources to family members to better understand addiction
  • Continually updating their knowledge and skills through professional development and training


Addiction Therapist Job Description Template

Job Brief

We are seeking a compassionate and dedicated Addiction Therapist to join our team.

This individual will work directly with clients experiencing substance use disorders, providing counseling and supportive services to assist them on their path to recovery.

The Addiction Therapist will be responsible for conducting assessments, developing individualized treatment plans, facilitating group and individual therapy sessions, and providing crisis intervention as needed.

Our ideal candidate has a strong understanding of the dynamics of addiction, possesses excellent communication skills, and can provide empathetic support while maintaining professional boundaries.



  • Perform comprehensive assessments to determine the severity of the client’s addiction and any co-occurring disorders
  • Develop individualized treatment plans based on client needs and goals
  • Facilitate group and individual therapy sessions
  • Provide crisis intervention as needed
  • Monitor client progress and adjust treatment plans as necessary
  • Refer clients to other services and resources in the community as needed
  • Document and maintain accurate and timely client records
  • Adhere to professional and ethical guidelines



  • Master’s degree in counseling, social work, psychology, or related field
  • State licensure as a mental health counselor, social worker, or similar credential
  • Experience working with individuals struggling with substance use disorders
  • Knowledge of various therapeutic modalities, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), or motivational interviewing
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to maintain professional boundaries and confidentiality



  • 401(k)
  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Continuing education stipend
  • Paid time off
  • Professional development opportunities


Additional Information

  • Job Title: Addiction Therapist
  • Work Environment: Clinical setting. This role may require evening and weekend hours to accommodate client schedules.
  • Reporting Structure: Reports to the Clinical Director.
  • Salary: Salary is based upon candidate experience and qualifications, as well as market and business considerations.
  • Pay Range: $45,000 to $60,000
  • Location: [City, State] (specify the location or indicate if remote)
  • Employment Type: Full-time
  • Equal Opportunity Statement: We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.
  • Application Instructions: Please submit your resume and a cover letter outlining your qualifications and experience to [email address or application portal].


What Does an Addiction Therapist Do?

An Addiction Therapist is a specialized mental health professional who provides support to individuals struggling with substance abuse, alcoholism, and other types of addictions.

They conduct one-on-one or group therapy sessions to help clients understand the root causes of their addictions and develop strategies to manage their cravings.

These professionals often employ various therapeutic techniques such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and family counseling.

They help clients develop coping mechanisms to avoid relapse, improve relationships affected by addiction, and rebuild their lives in a healthier and more balanced way.

In addition to therapy, Addiction Therapists often work in collaboration with medical professionals and social workers to develop comprehensive treatment plans that may include medication, community support services, and vocational counseling.

They monitor their clients’ progress and adjust their treatment plans as necessary, providing ongoing support throughout the recovery process.

Addiction Therapists often work in a variety of settings, including rehabilitation centers, hospitals, outpatient clinics, and private practices.

They may also offer educational resources and workshops on addiction prevention and recovery to communities, schools, or workplaces.


Addiction Therapist Qualifications and Skills

An Addiction Therapist should have the skills and qualifications that align with the job requirements, such as:

  • Empathy and compassion to understand and sympathize with clients who are struggling with addictions.
  • Strong interpersonal skills to establish a trusting relationship with clients, which is crucial for effective therapy.
  • Excellent communication skills for understanding client issues and for effectively conveying treatment plans and coping strategies.
  • Resilience and emotional stability to deal with the challenges and emotional strain of helping clients with addictions.
  • Knowledge of different therapeutic methods and interventions suitable for treating addictions.
  • Problem-solving skills to help clients identify triggers for their addictive behavior and to develop strategies to manage their addictions.
  • Strong ethical and professional standards to maintain confidentiality, show respect for clients, and adhere to professional guidelines and regulations.
  • Knowledge of pharmacology and the nature of addiction to better understand the physical and psychological factors involved in substance abuse.
  • Patience and persistence, as treatment progress can be slow and relapses may occur.


Addiction Therapist Experience Requirements

Addiction Therapists generally have a master’s degree in counseling, psychology, social work, or a related field.

In addition to their educational qualifications, they gain practical experience through internships and supervised clinical experiences during their study period.

Entry-level Addiction Therapists may have 1 to 2 years of clinical experience, often gained through supervised practice in rehabilitation centers, mental health facilities, or community health organizations.

They may also gain relevant experience in roles such as Mental Health Counselor, Social Worker, or Psychotherapist.

Candidates with more than 3 years of experience often refine their counseling skills and deepen their understanding of addiction therapy protocols in full-time Addiction Therapist roles.

They may have developed expertise in specific therapeutic approaches such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, family systems therapy, or motivational interviewing.

Those with more than 5 years of experience will often have substantial experience working with diverse patient populations and complex addiction cases.

They may have undertaken leadership roles, such as leading group therapy sessions or supervising junior therapists, and may be prepared for managerial or program director roles within addiction treatment facilities.

In addition to these experiences, all Addiction Therapists must meet state licensure or certification requirements, which often include a certain number of hours of supervised clinical experience.


Addiction Therapist Education and Training Requirements

Addiction Therapists typically need a master’s degree in counseling, psychology, social work, or a similar field.

They also need to have a strong understanding of substance abuse, mental health, and recovery principles.

In addition to their degrees, they must complete a significant amount of clinical experience, often 2,000 to 4,000 hours, under the supervision of a licensed therapist, psychologist, or social worker.

Most states require Addiction Therapists to be licensed.

Licensing requirements vary by state, but typically require the individual to have a master’s degree, a certain amount of supervised clinical experience, and to pass a state-recognized exam.

Many Addiction Therapists choose to obtain certification from national organizations such as the National Board for Certified Counselors, which can demonstrate their expertise in the field and commitment to ongoing education.

Continuing education is important in this field due to the constantly evolving knowledge about addiction and recovery methods.

This can be achieved through workshops, conferences, and additional coursework.

Some Addiction Therapists may choose to specialize in a particular area, such as substance abuse, family addiction issues, or adolescent addiction, which may require additional training or certification.


Addiction Therapist Salary Expectations

An Addiction Therapist earns an average salary of $46,240 (USD) per year.

This salary can fluctuate depending on factors such as the level of experience, education, geographical location, and the specific employing organization.


Addiction Therapist Job Description FAQs

What skills does an Addiction Therapist need?

Addiction Therapists need strong communication skills to effectively interact with clients and their families.

Empathy and patience are essential in understanding and addressing the difficulties faced by individuals battling addictions.

In addition, they must have problem-solving and critical thinking skills to develop appropriate treatment plans.

Addiction Therapists should also be familiar with various counseling techniques and therapeutic models related to addiction treatment.


Do Addiction Therapists need a degree?

Yes, Addiction Therapists require at least a bachelor’s degree in psychology, social work, or a related field.

Most professionals in this field hold a master’s degree.

They also need to be certified or licensed in their state, which may require additional coursework, supervised clinical experience, and a passing score on a licensing exam.


What should you look for in an Addiction Therapist resume?

An Addiction Therapist’s resume should contain proof of a degree in a related field, as well as licensure or certification.

They should also have experience in working with individuals or groups struggling with addiction.

Look for experience in creating and implementing therapy plans, conducting therapy sessions, and working with diverse populations.

Any specialized training or skills, such as knowledge of specific therapeutic techniques, should also be highlighted.


What qualities make a good Addiction Therapist?

A good Addiction Therapist is empathetic and patient, understanding that recovery is a long process with potential setbacks.

They should be able to motivate their clients towards recovery and maintain their confidentiality and trust.

Effective Addiction Therapists also have strong problem-solving skills to adjust treatment plans as needed.

Additionally, they should be resilient and emotionally stable to manage the potential stress and emotional toll of this work.


What is the career path for an Addiction Therapist?

An Addiction Therapist typically starts their career as a counselor or therapist intern, gaining supervised experience in treating addiction.

As they gain more experience, they may progress to roles of greater responsibility, such as senior therapist or program director.

Some Addiction Therapists may choose to specialize in a certain area, such as adolescent addiction or substance abuse, or pursue further education to become a psychologist or psychiatrist.



And there it is.

Today, we’ve delved deep into the true essence of being an addiction therapist.


It’s not just about providing treatment.

It’s about shaping lives and futures, one therapy session at a time.

With our detailed addiction therapist job description template and real-life scenarios, you’re fully equipped for your next step.

But why end there?

Go beyond with our job description generator. It’s your go-to tool for crafting meticulous job listings or refining your resume to stand out.


Every therapy session is part of a larger healing journey.

Let’s shape that future. Together.

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