Bruce Cerbone, MDiv, CADC .
Bruce shares his experience with attending our Addiction Counseling School: 180-hour CAC Preparation Course. Now he too is certified. He is a Chaplain and Addiction Counselor at The Extension, serving homeless men in treatment.
Jenny Green, CAC shares her experience with attending our Addiction Counseling School: 180-hour CAC Preparation Course. She has been certified for a few years, now works as a law enforcement liaison to assist returning citizens from incarceration enter into treatment.
As a nontraditional student, ACTS Consulting paved a career path for certification in the field of Addiction Counseling. The year-long course is uniquely designed to symbiotically achieve a high-level of both personal and professional skills. As a result, my client base has grown exponentially and I have truly found my passion! Stacy Brungardt, CAC. Certified October 2018
My experience of pursuing and obtaining my credentials as a Certified Addiction Counselor was one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life to that point. It had been years since I had pursued anything educationally and I didn't quite know what to expect. They provided a comfortable, yet challenging, environment for me and my classmates to begin to explore, to make mistakes, to laugh at ourselves, and to learn how creativity is a foundational piece of sound clinical practice. This class provides a sturdy foundation for individuals with a desire to work with those who struggle with substance use disorders; whether you are a licensed professional looking to broaden your knowledge of addictive diseases beyond the one course in a master's program, or someone with a desire to serve those seeking recovery, this is the place and these are the people to do it with!
Taking the class while also working in the field allowed me to watch, in real time, concepts unfolding that were discussed in class. It allowed me to practice clinical concepts and counseling skills learned in class and provided me with competent instructors and professionals to process these things with.
I have worked in a variety of different capacities in the field of addictions treatment as a result of obtaining my credential with Dr. Sherman and it has served my professional development exceptionally well. Since obtaining my credentials and branching off into other roles, other areas of the field, and further educational pursuits, Dr. Sherman has always been readily available to provide references, offer supervisory support, or just a friendly ear to listen to things that I'm dealing with because at the end of the day professional clinical practice is just as much about my well-being as it is that of my clients and ACTS Consulting taught me that. I have been continually certified since 2016 and have every intention of maintaining my credentials going forward. Thank you, Dr. Sherman for all your expertise and support along this journey so far.
Colin Freeland, BS, CACII. Certified 2016
I had been working in the helping profession for just a couple years when I realized I needed to develop more professionally. I first met Dr. Diane Sherman in 2017 when I attended one of the classes and over the next two years, I would attend all I could. ACTS Consulting challenged me to be better. When I think about what helped me the most, it was the opportunity to practice what I was being taught during individual and group supervision. Diane created a space that fostered opportunities for me grow as a confident and competent helping professional. I recently passed my exam, and I couldn’t have been more prepared. Through this process I expected a career, but really found a purpose. Thank you, ACTS Consulting. Chris Glinski, CAC. Certified January 2019
I started taking CAC classes through ACTS Consulting in 2015. I am usually very shy around new people, so I went to class each month but remained disengaged. During one of the two day classes we were to give a presentation on a topic that we found interesting related to the field of addictions. I presented on some anger work that I had been researching for several years. My bubble popped and afterwards I came out of my shell of shyness. I started to fully engage in the classes. A whole new world opened up to me at that point, especially in the recovery field. The classes were incredible and since most were experiential the learning became more hands on which made the information easier to retain. ACTS Consulting helped me thoroughly prepare for the Certified Addictions Counselor test. I took and passed the test with a CACII in August of 2016. After that, I began to work in the field at an Intensive Outpatient program. The skills I learned from the classes have been invaluable. Since then I have focused in and expanded on that anger work which has become part of my private practice. This may never have happened if it had not been for the toolbox of skills I learned during the time I spent in CAC classes. I feel very grateful for the experience of having taken classes with these two knowledgeable teachers.
Brian Bellenger, BSW, CACII. Certified August 2016.
November 7, 2014 I attended my first CAC class. The course was on Clinical Evaluation, which we were required to practice on each other. The second day was on ASAM and DSM-IV. I had no idea what either was, and started thinking this was not a great plan. I had no idea what was really going on, and it seemed others in the class did.
I made the decision to obtain my CAC because I was concerned my husband might die. After 16 surgeries, from a motorcycle accident and an infection that would not heal, it was time to do something. My husband and I had been operating Isaiah House, a recovery home for men with substance abuse for six years, but I held no real credential for it.
In December the CAC classes were on Psycho-Ed and Experiential. I was fully engaged and loved every minute of it. From then on, I wasn’t concerned about what I did not yet know, because I knew by the time I finished the classes, it would all come together.
My role and skill began to grow and change as I applied what I was learning in class to my world at Isaiah House. Dr. Sherman created a fun hands-on approach to learning. Skills in the different disciplines were practiced and I grew more confident each month that I was absolutely capable of this.
Clinical Supervision was a tremendous help to me personally and professionally. It took a while for me to understand Clinical Supervision was not there to judge my knowledge or performance but to guide me and give me constructive assistance or re-direction as needed. It was where I could work out issues or discover what I did not yet know that I should.
I put off taking the test for a long time because I feared it. They suggested I at least start the process of applying to take the test, which I then did. I studied a long time! One day I discovered Mind Mapping (a creative visual diagram for organizing information). This was a game changer! I went through the three study guides mind-mapping all the information. When I felt I was ready I signed up for the test two weeks in advance. All the way to the test site instead of being afraid, I imagined myself holding my CAC Credential. I passed with flying colors! It felt like a miracle. Sally Jeffery, CAC, CES Certified 2016
As a former student of ACTS Consulting, I consider myself blessed to have Dr. Diane Sherman as a part of my professional journey. Each CAC class was an experience, not just a lesson. The classes were informational and fun, preparing me for the work that lay ahead. Group and individual clinical supervision were instrumental in my self-confidence level as a clinician. After completing the classes and supervision hours, I was fully prepared for the IC & RC exam and passed with a high score the first and only time it was taken. Gaining my CADC-II credential has greatly benefited my personal and professional life. My pay has increased as well as my marketability and I have a career that is personally fulfilling. I know that I am helping people who want to recover from the diseases of addiction which is rewarding work, and work that I am qualified to do thanks to ACTS Consulting and Dr. Diane Sherman. I am eternally grateful for all that she has taught me. Angela King, CADC-II, MATS, CPS-AD. Certified 2018
In short, my journey with ACTS Consulting began like so many other good stories – I'd met a girl! Simply stated, I had developed a relationship with a woman, I needed to move, and I needed a job. The job that I desired, though, required some basic credentials; A counselor in training (CIT) endorsement, at the very least. Almost by accident, I found the ACTS Consulting website and, what I thought, was a means to an end. After attending my first class, though, I knew that my relationship with Diane and Marc would be anything but short-lived. The beautiful, paradoxical brand of “challenging support” that they showed me immediately upon my arrival in class piqued my interest and prompted me to continue coursework with them. Their monthly classes and group-supervision were truly unlike any other pedagogical experience I'd ever had before.
Throughout my time in classes and supervision, I experienced a number of employment transitions. Diane was always there, though, to provide wisdom, guidance, and insight through these adventures. She took a vested interest in making sure I was adequately prepared to take my CACII certification exam. I can remember that day in November 2017 when I passed the exam; I could not wait to call Diane and share the good news. It was a proud moment for all involved, to be sure.
Since becoming fully credentialed, the knowledge and experience I gained from ACTS Consulting has proven invaluable. I am currently the lead counselor for the Hall County Drug Court program in Gainesville, GA, a placement that I could not have achieved without their guidance. I am able to interact with my clients in a way that is rooted entirely in the counseling paradigms. I am often asked by the treatment staff that I supervise how I learned to work with people in the way that I do, and I simply respond by suggesting that they attend one of the ACTS classes and find out. It's not magic, I tell them, it's simply good training! Ian Bonser, BS, CACII. Certified 2017