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Counseling related Acronyms and Abbreviations


SAC = Substance Abuse Counselor
Substance abuse counseling is a demanding form of community outreach that requires patience, compassion, and a keen desire to help others who in crisis. A good portion of the addict population are people who need help in many areas of their lives.


SAHM = abbreviation for stay-at-home mom.


SAP = Substance Abuse Professional
(A national certification) defined by US Department of Transportation rules to be a licensed physician (Medical Doctor or Doctor of Osteopathy), a licensed or certified psychologist, a licensed or certified social worker, or a licensed or certified employee assistance professional (EAP). In addition, alcohol and drug abuse counselors certified by the NAADAC Certification Commission, a national organization that imposes qualification standards for treatment of alcohol-related disorders, are included in the SAP definition. All must have knowledge of and clinical experience in the diagnosis and treatment of substance abuse-related disorders (the degrees and certificates alone do not confer this knowledge).


SCA = Seattle Counselors Association
Seattle Counselors Association is a non-profit professional community of mental health providers serving the entire Puget Sound region. We are a networking organization for counselors and provide referrals for people looking for a counselor.

SC-C = Spiritual Counselor, Certified
Offered by AICHP, the certification does not require a degree. Applicants must complete a minimum of 340 hours of university and college based courses, continuing education seminars, retreats, self-study and distance learning programs, etc. completed within a five year period prior to the date of application. [Thanks to Rita McFadden Lofgren.] (re: reincarnation and past lives regression.)


SED = Serious Emotional Disturbance
Also known as emotional behavioral disability EBD, or ED.


SFBT = Solution-Focused Brief Therapy
Emphasizes clients’ existing strengths and skills instead of problems and psychopathology. However difficult or desperate the client's situation appears to be, by tapping into the clients' internal resources, the counselor can help clients make positive changes in their lives.  Counselor connects with the client, using his/her language, tracking how the client frames his/her problems, and mirroring skills and assets. Solution focused brief therapy (SFBT) believes clients are the experts in their lives, and therefore the experts on the solutions as well.


SOLER is a memory guide for a counselor's basic focus and attending skills.
S = Sit at a comfortable angle and distance from the client.
O = Open posture with arms and legs uncrossed.
L = Leaning forward from time to time, looking genuinely interested. Listening attentively.
E = Effective eye contact without staring.
R = Remaining relatively relaxed.


STOP STIGMA NOW refers to is a group of experts in the field of addiction treatment determined to eliminate the stigma against medication assisted treatment for opioid addiction which negatively impacts anyone taking methadone and other medications used to treat opioid addiction.


STI =Sexually Transmitted Infection (same as STD)
Bacteria, viruses, and other parasites can enter the body as a result of sexual contact with another person who carries these pathogens (fancy word for germ). People can pass these pathogens around without even knowing it, because in many cases there are no symptoms. These pathogens get into the body and multiply in numbers, but do not yet cause any visible or recognizable symptoms.”Infection” most accurately describes the situation where sexual partners do not have symptoms and may not be aware that they have an infection. Depending on the strain of the bacteria, virus, or protozoa, these infections can cause physical damage, or a disease. (


SUPDs = Substance Use Disorder Professionals (new certification category as of 4/17/19)


SWABH Southwestern Washington Association for Behavioral Therapy
An organization for mental health counselors--primarily in the Lacey, Olympia, Rainier, and Tumwater, Washington area--SWABH offers support and monthly networking and educational opportunities, bringing in local experts to speak on topics of interest.

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