The Challenge of Addiction and Its Impact on Career Development: Exploring Attitudes and Best Practices

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Dr. Heather Robertson is an Associate Professor of Counselor Education at St. John’s University, and the program coordinator for the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program. She is an LMHC (NY), LPC (CT), NCC, CRC, ACS, and a Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC, NY).  Dr. Robertson served as the past-president of the American Counseling Association of New York (ACA-NY), and current president of the New York State Career Development Association. She earned a Ph.D. in Counselor Education & Supervision from Virginia Tech, an M.S. in Counseling & Guidance from Texas A & M University at Corpus Christi, and a B.A. in Policy Studies from Syracuse University. She is the advisor for Chi Sigma Iota (CSI) at St. John’s University. 

WEBINAR DESCRIPTION: This webinar will address the impact of Substance Use Disorder (SUD) on individual career development, as well as recommended career development interventions. SUD continues to be an issue of significant concern both globally and nationally. Specifically, SUD may impact career development issues pertaining to the life span, the workplace, finances, and special populations. SUD may impact educational attainment, employment, and income. Career development interventions for SUD are available, including structured work programs and job skills training programs, as well as individualized interventions. Career practitioners working with those with SUDs are encouraged to expand their knowledge of addiction and engage in honest self-reflection regarding their beliefs about substance use. These concepts will be discussed, including legal and ethical issues, as well as best-practices for assisting individuals with SUD in their career development. Reference lists for further reading will be provided.


  • Understand Substance Use Disorder (SUD), particularly in relation to recent changes in the DSM 5.
  • Examine current literature that addresses career development concepts impacted by substance use disorder, specifically lifespan issues, workplace issues, financial issues, and issues impacting special populations, such as women, ex-offenders, veterans and those with co-occurring disorders.
  • Examine career development treatment interventions for individuals with substance use disorder, including applicable legal and ethical issues.
  • Brainstorm best practices for those working with this population, and discuss successful interventions and resources utilized by audience members.