CADTP is a proud member of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence and its accreditation by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). CADTP’s Counselor Certification Program has been continuously accredited by NCCA since 2007.

In California, counselor certifying agencies play a pivotal role in ensuring the quality and professionalism of SUD counselors. Gaining accreditation from the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) is a significant step for these agencies. This accreditation is a mark of excellence, indicating that the agency’s certification programs meet the highest national standards.

Maintaining NCCA accreditation requires the certifying agencies to submit an annual report of their certification activities and a full re-accreditation package every five years.

The re-accreditation process is rigorous. In the last re-accreditation process of 2017-2018, both CADTP and CCAPP were provided with an initial one-year accreditation, and then subsequently gained the additional four years. Unfortunately, CAADE struggled and initially lost its accreditation, but eventually gained it back in 2019.

California Certifying Agencies are again experiencing the re-accreditation process with CCAPP, CADTP, and CAADE each receiving an initial one-year approval. As CCAPP’s submission date was previous to CADTP and CAADE, we were pleased to see the announcement that they have subsequently gained their full accreditation. CADTP looks forward to making our re-accreditation announcement in early 2024.

Let’s explore the process for California counselor certifying agencies to achieve NCCA accreditation.

What is NCCA Accreditation?

The NCCA is a recognized leader in setting quality standards for credentialing organizations. Accreditation by the NCCA signifies that a certifying agency’s program adheres to modern standards of practice for the certification industry. For counselor certifying agencies in California, this accreditation acknowledges the reliability and competence of their certification programs.

The Accreditation Process

  1. Self-Assessment and Preparation: Agencies must first conduct a thorough self-assessment to ensure they meet NCCA’s standards. This includes evaluating their certification processes, governance, and ethical guidelines.
  2. Application Submission: The agency submits an application to the NCCA, which includes detailed documentation of its certification processes and policies. This documentation must demonstrate compliance with NCCA standards.
  3. Review and Evaluation: The NCCA reviews the application and evaluates the agency’s certification program. This process may include site visits, interviews with agency personnel, and a thorough review of the agency’s procedures and materials.
  4. Feedback and Compliance: The NCCA provides feedback and, if necessary, requests additional information or modifications to meet accreditation standards. The agency may need to revise its practices to comply with the feedback.
  5. Accreditation Decision: After a comprehensive review, the NCCA makes a decision. If the agency meets all criteria, it receives accreditation. This accreditation typically lasts for five years, after which the agency must reapply.
  6. Ongoing Compliance: Accredited agencies must maintain continuous compliance with NCCA standards. They are required to submit annual reports and undergo periodic audits to ensure ongoing adherence to accreditation requirements.

Achieving NCCA accreditation is a rigorous but rewarding process for California counselor certifying agencies. It not only boosts the agency’s credibility but also ensures that the counselors certified by these agencies meet high professional standards.

As the field of counseling continues to evolve, NCCA accreditation remains a gold standard, guiding agencies towards excellence in certification and contributing to the overall quality of counseling services in California.


NCCA Accreditation

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.”