College of Allied Health Sciences
Department of Addictions and Rehabilitation Studies

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DARS accreditation

The master's program for Substance Abuse and Clinical Counseling is now accredited by the Board of Directors of the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP). Offered by the department of Addictions and Rehabilitation Studies for the College of Allied Health Sciences, the program’s accreditation has been granted for a two-year period through October of 2017.

After an extensive review of self-study documents and a site visit, among other commitments from the department, the board believed the program substantially met the requirements for accredited status.

"We are proud to have our Masters in Substance Abuse and Clinical Counseling accredited by CACREP in Clinical Mental Health Counseling," said Dr. Paul Toriello, chair of Addictions and Rehabilitation Studies. "We believe this accomplishment reflects the excellence demonstrated by our program since 1989."

Graduates of the Substance Abuse and Clinical Counseling Program may be employed in community mental health and substance abuse settings such as inpatient or outpatient programs, detoxification centers, residential and halfway-house programs, and home-based counseling programs.

"CACREP accreditation assures students of a high-quality program and a streamlined path toward professional licensure and jobs," noted Toriello. "Without the extraordinary vision, leadership and hard work of Dr. Lloyd Goodwin, professor and creator of the Substance Abuse and Clinical Counseling, and Dr. Shari Sias, assistant professor and the program’s current director, we would not have accomplished this momentous task."

Fall 2015 New Student Orientation

Orientation for incoming students is scheduled for Friday August 28th, 2015 from 10:00am to 3:00pm. The meeting will begin in the Allied Health Sciences building room 3405. Click here for a copy of the agenda. We look forward to seeing everyone - Welcome to ECU!


U.S. News 2016 ranking recognizes ECU health sciences graduate programs

Addictions Rehabilitation Studies WebEast Carolina University programs in medicine, nursing and rehabilitation counseling have been ranked among the best graduate schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Included in the rankings is the rehabilitation counseling program in the College of Allied Health Sciences' Department of Addictions and Rehabilitation Studies, ranked 18th among such programs. "We're committed to providing the highest quality programs to prepare professional counselors for a complex and rapidly changing behavioral health care environment," said Dr. Paul Toriello, chairman and director of graduate programs for the Department of Addictions and Rehabilitation Studies. "Having our master's program in rehabilitation counseling be recognized by the US News & World Report is a testament to our continuous pursuit of excellence." ECU offers a master's degree in rehabilitation and career counseling and substance abuse and clinical counseling. Students also can pursue certificates in rehabilitation counseling, substance abuse counseling, vocational evaluation and military and trauma counseling. The doctoral program in rehabilitation counseling and administration allows students to specialize in substance and clinical counseling, vocational evaluation or rehabilitation research.

Atherton Award WebAtherton Presented John Baggett Award

Dr. Leigh Atherton was presented The John Baggett Award at the National Alliance on Mental Illness – North Carolina (NAMI NC) 2014 Annual Conference held Oct. 17 in Raleigh. The John Baggett Award is given in recognition of the local community efforts of a non-member on behalf of people living with mental illness and their families. Dr. Atherton would like to further recognize the faculty and students within the Department of Addictions and Rehabilitation Studies for their support and contributions to community service and fundraising efforts over the past year.   

Navigate Group Raises Awareness and Walks for NAMI

Navigate NAMI Walk

Faculty, students, and friends of the Department of Addictions and Rehabilitation Studies/Navigate Counseling Clinic formed the team 'DARS Navigators' and participated in the 2014 National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) North Carolina Walk in May. The NAMI Walk NC is an annual fundraising event to raise awareness and fight the stigma associated with mental illness. 

The DARS Navigators team raised $3565.00 in support of NAMI North Carolina, making them the 4th highest fundraising team out of 72 total teams. The team captain, Dr. Leigh Atherton, said, "We are so grateful for the overwhelming support of family, friends, and colleagues that allowed us to reach this fundraising goal and help make a difference in the lives of those we serve."

Navigate's Atherton & PerryCounseling Team Volunteers with American Red Cross during Eastern NC Tornadoes 

Navigate Counseling Clinic's Red Cross-Ready When the Time Comes volunteers, Vanessa Perry and Dr. Leigh Atherton, responded to areas in Eastern North Carolina affected by tornadoes this past weekend. The call came early Saturday morning and Perry and Atherton were quickly on scene to provide Disaster Mental Health services. They worked alongside other Red Cross volunteers to provide assistance to families displaced due to the storm. Great job Dr. Atherton & Vanessa!

Navigate Bio FeedbackNavigate Offers Biofeedback Services

Navigate Counseling Clinic will offer free biofeedback services during exam week in the Health Sciences Building room 4422. Appointments are available between 9am and 5pm on April 30, May 2, May 5, May 7 and May 9. Contact (252) 744-0328 or and click here for more information.

SARA Badge

S.A.R.A. holds Service Campaign Raffle

The Student Addictions and Rehabilitation Association will present the 1st Annual Spring Service Campaign Raffle with the drawing taking place on May 1, 2014. All donations will benefit our community members who utilize the Navigate Counseling Clinic and the Pregnancy and Recovery Clinic. Read more here.

Navigate RWTC team photo

New Blog Post: Navigate Counseling Clinic Faculty and Students Stand "Ready When the Time Comes"

Dr. Leigh Atherton along with four students from the Department of Addictions and Rehabilitation Services, Samantha Coleman, Matt Cox, Vanessa Perry and Jeff Thomas, have been trained by the American Red Cross to respond during disasters as part of the "Ready When the Time Comes" program. Through their training and the program the Navigate Counseling Clinic at ECU will provide counseling for those affected by disasters. Read the post by clicking here

New CertificateDepartment of Addictions & Rehabilitation Studies continues to aid military personnel and families 

The College of Allied Health Science is adding a fourth certificate to the Department of Addictions and Rehabilitation Studies with the new certificate in military and trauma counseling (MTC) program.  Read the latest Health Beat blog post for more information or visit the department's certificate page.

Pregnancy & Recovery Clinic staff
ECU, Vidant care for pregnant women, new moms with history of drug use

Check out the latest story by ECU News Services writer Crystal Baity about the Pregnancy & Recovery Clinic, part of ECU’s Navigate Clinic

Agius, Atherton & Putts with poster at NCRE conference
Agius, Atherton & Putts Present at National Council

Marie Agius, MS, doctoral student, Dr. Leigh Atherton, PhD, LCAS, LPC, CCS, Clinical Assistant Professor, and Matthew Putts, MS, doctoral student from the Department of Addictions and Rehabilitation Studies had a poster presentation at the November 2013 National Council on Rehabilitation Education (NCRE) conference in Arlington, VA. Their presentation, entitled Navigate Counseling Clinic: A Service Learning Model for Rehabilitation Counselor Development, focused on a unique approach to Rehabilitation Counselor education utilizing a Service Learning model. 

Operation ReEntry Van

Making Connections
ECU service van to aid veterans across eastern North Carolina

Operation Re-Entry has been featured as part of the University's celebration of veterans during the Veteran's Day holiday. Read more of the article by ECU News Services writer Crystal Baity here.




fall 2013_Page_1Fall 2013 Newsletter

The eighth issue of the Certificate in Substance Abuse Counseling e-newsletter has been released and can be read via this link

Doctoral student participates in Research and Creative Week

Dominiquie Clemmons-James,  a doctoral student in the Department of Addictions and Rehabilitation Studies, is shown below with her poster "Making the Transition: Biofeedback with Military Personnel" as part of the 7th Annual Research & Creative Achievement Week held at Mendenhall Student Center.

Doniniquie james

Students participate in PARC conference

The Professional Association of Rehabilitation Counselors (PARC) held their yearly conference at Atlantic Beach, NC, March 2013. It was coordinated by Drs. Goodwin, Sias, Crozier, and Sheaffer. The first guest speaker was Dr. Russoniello from ECU's Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies, Biofeedback Lab who spoke on the use of biofeedback to treat PTSD in military and veteran populations. The second guest speaker was Dr. Batten from the US Department of Veterans Affairs  who spoke on the use of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for treating PTSD.  

Addictions and Rehabilitation Studies master's and doctoral students made the following poster presentations:

  • Pregnancy and Recovery in an Integrated Health Care Setting by Alicia Bell, PhD student.
  • Mobile Biofeedback: An Alternative Method of Delivery by Audrey Worthington (ECU alum, 2012) & masters student and Dominiquie Clemmons-James, PhD student.
  • A Randomized Controlled Study of the Effectiveness of Casual Video Game in Reducing Symptoms of Anxiety by Matthew Fish PhD student.  
  • Adjustment Disorder as a Stress-Related Disorder by Charlie Warstler, MS & Rehabilitation Counseling MS student.
  • Counseling Military Stepfamilies by Marie Agius (ECU alum, 2010) & PhD student.
  • Biofeedback and the Treatment of Addiction by Audrey Worthington (ECU alum, 2012) & masters student.  
  • Review of the Shipley-2 and Practical Application by Jonathan Barefoot, masters student.
  • Test Review of O*NET Work Importance Locator, Paper & Pencil by Jamie Pedro (ECU alum, 2012) and Hunter Sharp, masters students.

chi sigma iota society students
Current and former Chi Sigma Iota, Rho Omega Honor Society members and faculty
with Dr. Batten (behind Dr. Crozier)

audrey worthington and dominiquie clemmons james
Audrey Worthington and Dominiquie Clemmons-James during the poster session

Bev sheaffer
Dr. Sheaffer (adjunct faculty and PARC president) introducing Dr. Russoniello.

SACC students
Current students in the Substance Abuse and Clinical Counseling masters program

rehb ms student
Masters student and artist, Michael Regnier, who donated
artwork for the silent auction benefiting the Beginnings
Pregnancy and Recovery Clinic