SUD counselors embody the rare blend of unwavering compassion and resilience, dedicating their lives to guiding individuals through their darkest hours towards a dawn of renewal and hope. Their work not only transforms lives but illuminates the path to recovery with the light of understanding and unconditional support.

In the intricate tapestry of healthcare and wellness professions, Substance Use Disorder (SUD) counselors stand out as beacons of hope and pillars of support for individuals navigating the complexities of addiction. These professionals are not just chosen by their credentials, but by their innate qualities and profound reasons that drive them towards this noble calling. Today, we delve into the unique blend of people who become SUD counselors and explore the compelling reasons why someone might choose this path of service.

The Archetype of an SUD Counselor

SUD counselors are a diverse group, coming from various backgrounds and walks of life, yet they share certain intrinsic qualities that make them adept at what they do:

  • Empathy and Compassion: At the heart of every SUD counselor is a deep-seated empathy and compassion for others. They possess an extraordinary ability to put themselves in their clients’ shoes, providing a safe, non-judgmental space for healing and growth.
  • Resilience and Strength: The journey through addiction recovery is fraught with challenges and setbacks. SUD counselors exhibit an unparalleled resilience and strength, not just to support themselves but to be the unwavering support their clients need through their darkest times.
  • Communication and Listening Skills: Effective communication and active listening are the bedrock of therapeutic relationships. SUD counselors excel in these areas, facilitating open dialogues that encourage clients to express themselves and explore their thoughts and emotions.
  • Passion for Helping Others: This might seem obvious, but the drive to make a tangible difference in the lives of others is a powerful motivator for SUD counselors. Their work is fueled by a genuine desire to help people rebuild their lives.

Why Become an SUD Counselor?

The reasons to pursue a career as an SUD counselor are as varied as the individuals in the field, but here are a few that resonate widely:

  • Making a Real Difference: Few professions offer the opportunity to directly impact individuals’ lives in such a profound way. SUD counselors witness and facilitate remarkable transformations, helping clients to reclaim their lives from addiction.
  • Personal Growth and Fulfillment: The challenges and successes of SUD counseling foster immense personal and professional growth. Counselors often find the work deeply fulfilling, knowing that every day they are part of a larger mission to heal and empower.
  • A Dynamic and Evolving Field: The landscape of addiction treatment is constantly evolving, with new research, therapies, and methodologies emerging. For those who thrive on continuous learning and adaptation, it’s an engaging and stimulating career choice.
  • Community and Connection: SUD counselors are part of a close-knit community of healthcare professionals dedicated to recovery and wellness. This career offers a sense of belonging and purpose, reinforcing the human connection at every turn.

The Path of Service

Becoming an SUD counselor is more than a career choice; it’s a path of service. It calls to those driven by compassion, resilience, and a deep-seated desire to make a difference in the world. If you find yourself drawn to these qualities and motivated by the prospect of helping others navigate their way to recovery, then the role of an SUD counselor might just be your calling.

In this field, every day presents a new opportunity to touch lives, inspire change, and contribute to the greater good. It’s a challenging journey, but for those who embark on it, the rewards of transforming despair into hope and struggle into triumph are unparalleled.

If you are interested in becoming a certified SUD Counselor, take a look at what CADTP SUD Counselors are saying about thier experience with CADTP.

The process was simple. I was able to secure an internship as soon as I became registered. I work a full time job and intern afterward and hope to transition soon to full-time counseling. Thank you for your help in achieving my goals!

I refer all colleagues to CADTP because I KNOW they will have a better experience. You guys have been able to streamline what can be a stressful and anxiety producing process. I love how your communication is prompt and direct, and always solution focused. CADTP is honestly one of the better companies I have dealt with in any capacity, and I mean that sincerely- I appreciate your support and am hoping you guys are around for a long time!

Customer service is Great! Even during the pandemic, staff got back to me within 24 hrs. I asked questions and they were very patient with me.

It was a pleasure to work with CADTP. The experience was helpful and completed with ease. When I emailed for assistance I received a response the same day. Everybody was a pleasure to work with that I encountered.


To learn more about becoming an SUD Counselor: New SUD Counselors

CADTP is committed to helping SUD Counselors become Registered and Certified.

You can always count of knowledgeable and friendly customer service on your path to sharing your gifts as an SUD Counselor.

Dr. Jessica Rodriguez

Dr. Rodriguez was named the Executive Director of Gateway Corp in 2012.  Gateway Corp was developed as a non-profit, public charity and founded October 27, 2011. November 2014, she developed a clinical hub for Gateway Corp called OnSite Strategies. OnSite is also a United States Trademark.

She has held the position of CEO, Clinical Director, Lead Educator and Clinical Trainer as well as the Clinical Business Developer. She has fulfilled the roles of a clinical consultant, professional development consultant and has clinically supervised many SUD/addiction counselors, mental health professionals and addiction and family interventionists for over 12 years.

She has been active in the mental health field since 1995. She has also clinically trained throughout the US and provides clinical oversight for several organizations in California.

Dr. Rodriguez released her first book, “When the Rainbow Ends a Shadow from Heaven Appears” in 2017.” Her newest book, “The Cart, From Adversity to Collateral Beauty” is scheduled to be released in the Fall of 2022.

Dr. Rodriguez is currently a writer for Rapporteur Magazine. Her focus is about Mental Wellness also covered topics to include ACE’s, trauma, anxiety, and Systemic Racism.

Adriana Popescu, Ph.D.

Dr. Adriana Popescu is a licensed clinical psychologist and empowerment coach with over 25 years of experience in the mental health field. She specializes in treating addictions and trauma, and has directed a number of treatment programs in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is the Founder and CEO of Firebird Healing, a trauma healing program, and the Clinical Director at Avery Lane, an innovative and holistic treatment program for women with co-occurring addiction and mental health disorders and trauma.

Adriana has contributed to a number of books, including TJ Woodward’s Conscious Being Workbook, the Conscious Recovery for Addiction and Conscious Recovery for Mental Health Workbooks, and the Conscious Creation Workbook, all of which she co-authored with him.

She has a private practice in San Francisco and travels around the world speaking, coaching, and facilitating transformational and empowering workshops. She also hosts a fascinating podcast called Kaleidoscope of Possibilities – Alternative Perspectives on Mental Health.

Adriana loves to bring the most innovative and effective tools to her work, empowering people to overcome their imagined limitations, release their self-judgments, and discover the brilliance within – creating a life of infinite possibilities.

Her first book, “What If You’re Not as F*cked Up As You Think”, was released in October.

Aven Armstrong-Sutton, Ph.D(c), RSW

Clinical Services Manager at Kinark Child and Family Services

Aven L. Armstrong-Sutton has been a practicing licensed social worker for over a decade. With diverse experience in settings such as health promotion, foster care, youth homelessness, outpatient mental health & addictions, and student support services, Aven currently serves as a Clinical Services Manager at Kinark Child and Family Services, managing a Live-In-Treatment Program and three outpatient treatment programs. Maintaining a part-time private practice, Aven’s multidisciplinary and integrative approach focuses on trauma and resilience among under-served communities.

June Price Tangney, Ph.D

Dr. Tangney received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from UCLA. She is currently University Professor and Professor of Psychology at George Mason. She is a Recipient of International Society for Self and Identity’s Distinguished Lifetime Career Award and Fellow of the Association of Psychological Science and of APA’s Division of Personality and Social Psychology.

Dr. Tangney is coauthor (with Ronda Dearing) of Shame and Guilt, coeditor (with Ronda Dearing) of Shame in the Therapy Hour, coeditor (with Jess Tracy and Richard Robins) of The self-conscious emotions: Theory and research, and coeditor (with Mark Leary) of the Handbook of Self and Identity. She has served as Associate Editor for Self and Identity, Consulting Editor for Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Psychological Assessment, Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, and Journal of Personality, and is currently Associate Editor of American Psychologist.

Her research on the development and implications of moral emotions has been funded by NIDA, NICHD, NSF, and the John Templeton Foundation. Currently, her work focuses on moral emotions among incarcerated offenders. She draws on theory and research in psychology and criminology to develop novel interventions that leverage inmates’ moral emotions and prosocial values. A recipient of GMU’s Teaching Excellence Award, Dr. Tangney strives to integrate service, teaching and clinically-relevant research in both the classroom and her lab.

Christina Veselak, MS, LMFT, CN

Founder and Director of the Academy for Addiction and Mental Health Nutrition

Christina T. Veselak, MS, LMFT, CN, is the founder and director of the Academy for Addiction and Mental Health Nutrition, which teaches practitioners around the world how to use diet, along with amino acid and nutrient therapy, to help prevent cravings and recurrent drug use. She has been a licensed psychotherapist working in the SUD treatment field since 1985 and a certified nutritionist specializing in mental health and addiction recovery since 1993.

Sean Bezdek, LMFT, MBA

Sean is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with over 25 years of experience working in mental health and substance abuse settings, in inpatient, PHP, and private practice. He holds b a master’s degree in Marital and Family Therapy from Philips Institute and an MBA from Baker College.

Sean’s clinical practice has specialized in working with Personality Disorders, Couples, Adolescents, and individual suffering from chronic mental illness. As a clinician Sean enjoys working with clients who can be resistant to traditional treatment and believes in the philosophy of “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink. BUT you can feed them saltines to make them thirsty!”

Sean is the Program Director for Akua Mind Body’s Sacramento inpatient mental health program. His prior leadership experience includes oversight of acute inpatient, utilization management, hospice/palliative care, home health and skilled nursing. Sean’s approach to management is to ensure the work that needs to get done gets done. “Our job is patient care. This include everything from making coffee to running groups. There is not one person who is more important that the other when it comes to providing exceptional care to the clients we serve.”