(mostly all) Counseling related Acronyms and Abbreviations

(Plus Acronyms related to client mental or physical problems)



DASA = Division of Alcohol and substance Abuse
Washington State Info. Line: (360) 725-3700 Toll Free: 1-877-301-4557. About 2002, DASA combined with the mental health division to form DBHR.


DASH = Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension
Developed by the National Institutes of Health, for the eighth consecutive year, ranked the “best overall” (by U.S. News and World Report)  diet among the nearly 40 it reviewed.  Combining the DASH diet with a low-sodium diet has the potential to lower blood pressure as well as or better than many anti-hypertension medications. “With its focus on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean proteins, DASH ranked number one in the ‘health eating’ and ‘heart disease prevention’ categories.  Previous research has shown that people who follow the DASH diet may be able to quickly reduce their blood pressure by a few points in as little as two weeks.  Over time, their systolic blood pressure (the top number in a reading) could drop by eight to 14 points, which significantly reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.”  (“Diet May Help Lower Blood Pressure,” UCLA Health, News Briefs, Volume HY 19A)


DASIS = Drug and Alcohol Services Information System
Office of applied Studies, Substance Abuse and mental Health Services Administration.


DATOS = Drug Abuse Treatment Outcome Studies
DATOS studies capture a longitudinal snapshot of drug abuse patterns and treatment responses in the U. S. The large number of programs from comparable metropolitan areas represented in this design sheds light on changes in treatment populations and service delivery over time.


DAWN = Drug Abuse Warning Network
A large-scale, ongoing drug abuse data collection system sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).


DBHR = Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery (Washington)
DSHS licenses and certifies treatment programs, and regulates treatment agencies providing services for chemical dependency, community mental health (voluntary and involuntary commitment services), and problem and pathological gambling. Our Certification, Licensing, and Customer Service Section supports our state's goals to improve services to vulnerable adults.


DBSA = The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance is a comprehensive resource for more than 21 million people in the U.S. who live with mood disorders. They provide education, tools, peer support, and a wealth of inspiring stories to help you pursue your own path to wellness. Whether you need resources for yourself or someone you care about, they are is ready to help. []


DBT = Dialectical Behavior Therapy
A cognitive therapy technique used for treatment of borderline personality disorder.


DCC™ = Distance Credentialed Counselor
A new certification for counselors who do distance counseling using telephone counseling, secure email, chat, videoconferencing or computerized stand-alone software programs. The DCC represents to employers and the public that the individual credential holder has met the established requirements and adheres to the NBCC Code of Ethics and the Ethical Requirements for the Practice of Internet Counseling. The DCC is offered by CCE, an affiliate of NBCC (336) 482-2856.


DCDS = Designated Chemical Dependency Specialist
A person designated by the county alcoholism and other drug addiction program coordinator designated under RCW 70.96A.310 to perform the commitment duties described in chapters 70.96A and 70.96B RCW [Washington State RCW71.05.020 Definitions].


DCEP = Diplomate in Comprehensive Energy Psychology
A training facility credential for clinicians who are licensed, certified, or registered in the mental health field, and complete the DCEP continuing training program. [also, see ACEP]


DCFS = Department of Child and Family Services, Washington State


DCR = Designated Crisis Responders
On April 1, 2018 designated mental health professionals (DMHPs) were renamed designated crisis responders (DCRs) if they have participated in the 16-hour DCR training and are a DMHP in good standing.

The role of the DCR is to provide evaluation and assistance to Individuals according to involuntary mental health treatment laws, RCW 71.05 and 71.34. DCRs also respond to requests for evaluation via RCW 10.77 and 9.41. Has a DOH credential or license to practice.” Nov 24, 2020
See old designation: MHP or DMHP


DCSW = Diplomate in Clinical Social Work
The DCSW distinguishes advanced clinical practice expertise and is the National Association of Social Workers' highest professional clinical certification, exceeding all state requirements. The DCSW screens licensed experienced social workers through the application of rigorous criteria.


DCYF = the Department of Children, Youth, and Families
Washington state law requires the Department to provide information to pre-adoptive parents on the limitations of the adoption support program at least six months in advance of finalizing the adoption of a child who has been in the Department’s custody.


DEIA = Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility. ( See President Biden announcement.)


DDiv = Doctor of Divinity (degree)


DESNOS = Disorder of Extreme Stress Not Otherwise Specified.


DFI = Washington State Department of Financial Institutions
Regulates a variety of financial service providers such as banks, credit unions, mortgage brokers, consumer loan companies, payday lenders and securities brokers and dealers. The department also works to improve financial education throughout Washington through its outreach programs and online clearinghouse 



Note: re: term “diplomate”:  The Diplomate status certificate, in general,  attests to the fact that the recipient has advanced training and experience in a specialty and passed an examination, meeting the necessary standards of the organization, and its peers, to act with a high degree of professional competence in that field of practice.  It is neither a degree nor a state license to practice.

DAPA = Diplomate, American Psychotherapy Association
DCEP = Diplomat Comprehensive Energy Psychology
DCSW = Diplomate in Clinical Social Work


DMHP = Designated mental health professional - See new designation DCR =  Designated Crisis Responders (2018)
A mental health professional designated by the county or other authority authorized in rule to perform the duties specified in this chapter [Washington State RCW 71.05.020 Definitions] (prior to a 2005 revision this position was called a "county designated mental health professional or CDMHP.) 


DMHS = Disaster Mental Health Specialist
These are counselors who are ACA members who are certified as Red Cross Disaster Mental Health Volunteers, have a Masters or Doctoral degree in a mental health field, and who have completed Comprehensive Health Services (CHS) on-line CEU DMHS training program before deployment. Participants are on stand-by for deployment anywhere in the continental US, must be willing to handle shift work up to 12 hours at a time, and agree serve at least one week at a time per disaster. Participants are compensated at an hourly rate, plus per diem, and expenses are reimbursed.


DMin = Doctor of Ministry (degree)


DNP = Doctor of Nursing Practice (degree)

DO = Doctor of Osteopathy (degree)


DOT SAP = Department of Transportation Substance Abuse Professional (U.S.)


DrPH = Doctor of Public Health (degree)


DRS = Doctorandus (Dutch pronunciation: [dɔktoːˈrɑndɵs]; Latin: he who should become a doctor),
Abbreviated drs., is a Dutch academic title according to the pre-Bachelor–Master system. (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)


DSD = Difference of Sexual Development
One example is two-time Olympic champion runner, Caster Semenya in 2021.
Used most recently with female athletes with difference of sexual development (DSD) must lower their natural testosterone levels below 5 nanomoles per liter of blood and keep them there for at least six months before they’re allowed to compete as female athletes. Both male's and female's bodies naturally produce both estrogen and testosterone, males have a preponderance of testosterone; female bodies generally have a preponderance of estrogen. A female athlete with an abundance of testosterone, which helps build muscle, is felt to have a  competitive advantage.


DSHS = Department of Social and Health Services, State of Washington


DSW = Doctor of Social Work (degree)


DTR = "Dance Therapist Registered."
This credential requires a Master's degree from an approved dance therapy graduate program or a Master's in psychology or counseling and alternate route dance therapy training and additional credential application requirements. These professionals are qualified to provide mental health treatment in clinical settings. Also, some DTR's work in educational or other service settings. 


DVR =Division of Vocational Rehabilitation providing vocational rehabilitation services to clients with disabilities. 


DwD = the Washington Death with Dignity Act
Initiative 1000, codified as Chapter 70.245 RCW, passed on November 4, 2008 and went into effect on March 5, 2009. This act  allows terminally ill adults seeking to end their life to request lethal doses of medication from medical and osteopathic physicians.


Mental Health Articles
How Drugs and Alcohol Affect the Brain and Body
Race Relations Articles

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