How to Fail as a Substance Abuse Counselor: Reaching Critical Mass in Uselessness

Join us for a tongue-in-cheek “how to” guide for making sure that your clinical practice is filled with pitfalls, traps, and wayward paths by exploring seven lessons that can make or break a therapeutic relationship. Some of these lessons we’ve learned and un-learned, some we ignore because of their practical or psychological inconvenience and others are lessons that we’ve never learned or fully integrated into our daily practice. In any event, this workshop will provide you with an overview of those areas of a clinical practice that require our constant attention for either sabotaging ourselves and our client’s efforts or rendering the process to be successful, meaningful, and a solid pathway to recovery.


Thomas M. Baier, MHS, LPC, CADC, CCS

With more than 30 years of providing direct service as a clinician, clinical supervisor and program executive director, Tom Baier currently provides consultation in the areas of substance abuse treatment, medication assisted treatment and psychiatric rehabilitation as well as providing training and education to direct service personnel. He serves as adjunct faculty for the Drexel University College of Nursing & Health Professions in the behavioral health tract. Mr. Baier is a three-term past president of the board of directors for the Pennsylvania Certification Board (PCB) where he also serves on the education committee and sits on the ethics and finance committees. Tom is the 1991 recipient of the Lorraine Hinkle Memorial Award for outstanding contributions to the field of drug and alcohol treatment awarded by Villanova University and holds a Master’s degree in Human Services (MHS), is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), and holds PA State Certificates as an Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC), and a Certified Clinical Supervisor (CCS).

In addition to having served as a substance abuse counselor, clinical supervisor and human services program administrator, Mr. Baier remains actively involved in several workforce development initiatives designed to promote careers in treating substance abusers. As a program surveyor for the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), Tom is involved in the promotion of substance abuse treatment best practice standards on the national level. His current focus is the implementation of evidence based practices in medication assisted treatment for opiate abuse and the implementation of meaningful clinical supervision.