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Counseling related Acronyms and Abbreviations


CAARS = Conners' Adult ADHD Rating Scales  

Used to measure ADHD in individuals aged 8 to 80.


C-ACYFSW = Certified Advanced Children, Youth, and Family Social Worker
A specialty certification of the National Association of Social Workers.


CACREP = Counsel on Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
A professional accrediting organization. Formed as a corporate affiliate of ACA in 1981, CACREP's mission is to promote the professional competence of counseling and related practitioners through the development of preparation standards, the encouragement of excellence in program development, and the accreditation of professional preparation programs.


C-AHEAD = Counseling Association for Humanistic Education and Development
A division of the American Counseling Association.


CAMS = Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality
Developed to modify clinician behaviors in how they initially identify, entgage, assess, conceptualize, treatment plan, and manage suicidal outpatients....CAMS provides mental health counselors with a novel clinical approach that is tailored to a suicidal client's idiosyncratic needs thereby insuring the effective clinical assessment, treatment and tracking of high risk suicidal clients.


CAS = Certified Addictions Specialist
CAS is a comprehensive credential which includes specialty areas of competencies, including alcoholism, drug addiction, eating disorders, gambling addiction, and sexual addiction.

CASA = The King County Dependency Court Appointed Special Advocate Program
Trains volunteers to be advocates for abused and neglected children involved in dependency court cases.


CASWCM = Certified Advanced Social Work Case Manager
An old specialty certification acronym of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). Now C-ASWCM. [Thanks to Susan B. Merrick, ACSW, Senior Staff Associate, Credentialing Center, National Association of Social Workers].


C-ASWCM = the Certified Advanced Social Work Case Manager
A masters level certification by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) that recognizes documented education and supervised experience in this area of social work specialization.


CBCAP = Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention Program
(A service of the US Department of Health and Human Services) supports individual state efforts to create and operate statewide networks of community-based and family centered support programs which strengthen families and reduce the incidence of child abuse and neglect.


CBMT = Certification Board for Music Therapists 
An independent, non-profit corporation accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. 


CBT = Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy 
"CBT involves changing thought patterns and behaviors in order to improve emotional responses, and includes treatments like Exposure Therapy and Stress Inoculation Training." [Anita Neuer and Gary Williams, "Understanding and Treating PTSD: A Primer," The Advocate, December 2007, Vol.30, No.11, a AMHCA publication] "Cognitive-behavioral therapy does not exist as a distinct therapeutic technique. The term "cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)" is a very general term for a classification of therapies with similarities. There are several approaches to cognitive-behavioral therapy, including Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT), Rational Behavior Therapy, Rational Living Therapy, Cognitive Therapy, and Dialectic Behavior Therapy." [Thanks to the National Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists website.] 


CC = Certified Counselor
Applicant is a registered counselor in good standing or has a bachelor’s degree in a counseling-related field. [Washington State] Certified Counselors are authorized to do private practice counseling, but only within the limititations, restrictions and guidelines of RCW 18.19.200.


C-CATODSW = Certified Clinical Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Social Worker
A specialty certification of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) that recognizes documented education and supervised experience in the treatment of chemical dependency.


CCBT = Certified Cognitive Behavioral Therapist
A certification offered by the National Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists, a group that promotes cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy and those who practice it.


CCDC-I = Certified Chemical Dependency Counselor, Level One (of three levels)
A former Washington State certification by the Chemical Dependency Counselor Certification Board (CDCCB).


CCFC = Clinically Certified Forensic Counselor
Granted by The Certification Board for the Forensic Counselor and Criminal Justice Specialist.


CCH = Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist
The National Board for Certified Clinical Hypnotherapists is an established certification board that has provided a respected credential to over three thousand of your colleagues.


CCJS = Certified Criminal Justice Specialist
A specialty certification of The National Association of Forensic Counselors. 


CCMHC = Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor
A specialty certification for clinical mental health counselors. The certification is offered by the National Board for Certified Counselors, Inc.


CCPA = California Consumer Privacy Act
Regulation designed to protect the personal information of all California residents. Due to its low triggering mechanism, it will effectively apply to any business, regardless of location, if they are doing business in the US.


CCSOTS = Clinically Certified Sex Offender Treatment Specialist
A certification granted by the National Association of Forensic Counselors. 


CDC = Center for Disease Control
US federal agency charged with tracking and investigating public health trends. A part of the US Public Health Services (PHS) under the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the CDC is based in Atlanta, Georgia. ( 


CDC = Chemical Dependency Counselor
In Washington state the term designated a person with the required level of training for persons working in substance abuse treatment programs. The CDC replaced the former title Qualified Chemical Dependency Counselor (QCDC). The CDC designation was replaced by the CDP in 2001.


CDMHP or CDMHPs (plural) = County Designated Mental Health Professionals
Mental health professionals who are designated by a contracting agency or hospital to fulfill contractual obligations with a county under Washington State laws governing involuntary commitment and other designated duties. Often abbreviated as MHPs. {Additional 2005} "County designated mental health professional" as defined in RCW 71.05.020 was changed to "designated mental health professional" by 2005 c 504 § 104. [Washington State].


CDP = Chemical Dependency Professional
(New in 1999 as State of Washington professional designation, CDP indicates that the holder meets requirements to work as a counselor in a chemical dependency treatment program, but does not authorize private practice.)  Replaces "Chemical Dependency Counselor" (CDC) designation.  March 2015, this rule was changed.State certified Chemical Dependency Professionals who are not employed by a state-approved CDP program may also use the title "Certified Chemical Dependency Professional", or "CDP” so long as they are also licensed as an ARNP, LMFT, LMHC, ASW, ICSW, Psychologist, Physician, or Physician’s Assistant.  (“This rule does not restrict mental health professionals with another credential from practicing chemical dependency counseling or treatment without being a CDP so long as such treatment is otherwise within the scope of professional's credential. “ –Eric Strom).


CDPT = Chemical Dependency Professional Trainee
Designates a counselor who is working under supervision in a state licensed chemical dependency treatment facility toward a chemical dependency professional (CDP) certification. [Washington State 2009].


CDS = Chemical Dependency Specialist (a national certification)
The initials are usually followed by a Roman Numeral between I and III to indicate increasing levels of experience and competency. Contact the Northwest Indian Alcohol-Drug Specialist Certification Board.

CDVC = Certified Domestic Violence Counselor
A specialty certification of the National Association of Forensic Counselors. They are numbered I, II, III, and IV. The higher the number the higher the holder's accidemic degree. 


CEDS = Certified Eating Disorders Specialist
A counselor with special training to work with problems such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia, obesity, etc., a specialty certification of IAEDP.


CEHP = Certified Energy Health Practitioner 
A training facility credential for allied healthcare professionals, who complete the CEHP continuing-education training program. [also, see ACEP]CAAP-I = Certified Associate Addiction Professional-I
Requires a bachelors degree in social services (or related studies) and 2,000 hours of supervised experience. The next higher level of certification is the CAAP II. 


CEP = Comprehensive Energy Psychology
One of the many counseling modalities used by counselors.


CFAE = Certified Forensic Addictions Examiner
Evaluates clients referred by the criminal or civil justice system, probation, parole, defense attorney's, etc, for not only their substance abuse disorder, but also for co-occurring disorders--formulating a DSM IV diagnosis and making recommendations to the referral source, for referral to appropriate treatment. [National Association of Forensic Counselors].


CFLE = Certified Family Life Educator
A national certification offered by the National Council on Family Relations. 


CFMHE = Certified Forensic Mental Health Evaluator
A credential provided through the National Board of Forensic Evaluators, Inc., a certification that requires specialized training in providing forensic mental health evaluations and expert court testimony.


CGAS = Certified Gambling Addiction Specialist
Certification by the American Academy of Health Care Providers, intended to meet the growing need for credentialed counselors working within the discipline of gambling addiction.


CGP = Certified Group Psychotherapist
Offered by the American Group Psychotherapy Association.


CGT = Certified Gottman Therapist
A training facility certification by the The Gottman Institute, Inc., P.O. Box 15644, Seattle, WA 98115-0644.


CIPS = Confederation of Independent Psychoanalytic Societies
The Confederation of Independent Psychoanalytic Societies (CIPS) is an organization of psychoanalysts and psychoanalytic societies, founded in 1992 to represent the interests of psychoanalysts belonging to independent component societies of the International Psychoanalytical Association (IPA) in the United States.


Clean and Sober Housing Groups 
Oxford House (


CMA = "Certified Movement Analyst"
The Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies officiates this credential affirming professional level skills in: qualitative movement embodiment, movement observation and analysis, and verbal description of movement complexities and subtleties. CMA's work in the dance world, in nonverbal communication research, in consulting and movement education fields. Some dance therapists (DTR) also have earned the CMA. 


COAMFTE = Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education
A professional accrediting organization.


COPPA = Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (federal)
Imposes certain requirements on operators of websites or online services directed to children under 13 years of age, and on operators of other websites or online services that have actual knowledge that they are collecting personal information online from a child under 13 years of age.


CPLT = Certified Past Life Therapist
A training facility certification from the Past Life Certification Program, a home study course. Past life regression is based on the belief in reincarnation--"the rebirth of a soul in a new body."


CSA = refers to survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse
"Women who are survivors of childhood sexual abuse often present with a wide array of symptoms. Frequently, the underlying cause of these symptoms is unrecognized by both the physician and patient.


CSAT = Certified Sex Addiction Therapist
(CSAT®) offered through the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals (IITAP).


CSTC = Child Study and Treatment Center (Washington) Operates within the Department of Social and Health Services of the Behavioral Health Administration and is located in Lakewood, Washington. CSTC is the only state-operated and funded psychiatric hospital for children and youth who have psychological and safety needs that cannot be met in their community.

CSW= (1.) Certified Social Worker
Formerly a State of Washington professional designation--now replaced by the Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker.


CSW = (2.) Clinical Social Worker
Aa title describing the type of social work being performed but persons with higher qualifications will generally be listed as QCSW or DCSW.


CSWE = Council on Social Work Education
(CSWE) is the national association representing social work education in the United States. Its members include over 800 accredited baccalaureate and master’s degree social work programs. CSWE's Commission on Accreditation (COA) is responsible for developing accreditation standards that define competent preparation and ensuring that social work programs meet these standards. []


C-SWHC = Certified Social Worker in Health Care
A specialty certification of the National Association of Social Workers.


CT = Certified in Thanatology
From the Association of Death Education and Counseling, recognizes a counselor's specific educational background in dying, death and bereavement. Thanatology is the branch of science that studies the social and psychological aspects of human death: the circumstances surrounding a person's death, the grief experienced by the deceased's loved ones, and larger social attitudes towards death such as ritual and memorialization.


CTR = Certified Trauma Responder
A certification issued by The Association for Traumatic Stress Specialists.


CTRS = Cetrified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist
Often an integral part of the treatment team working with individuals diagnosed with a psychiatric condition, including addictions. See also: NCTRC. Areas of focus include leisure education, coping skills, stress management/relaxation skills, expressive art therapy, values clarification, relapse prevention, and education about healthy lifestyles. 


CTS = Certified Trauma Specialist
A certification issued by The Association for Traumatic Stress Specialists.


CVCP = Crime Victim Compensation Program
[In Washington State - Find a WA state CVCP counselor or therapist.]
This program was created to help victims with the many costs associated with violent crime. The program provides financial compensation to crime victims for such expenses as medical bills, loss of financial support, and funeral expenses.

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