Does a counselor's occupational stress impact client outcome in addiction treatment?

Continuous demand for addiction services, ongoing reorganization, staff shortages and gaps in service have created a stressful work environment for B.C.’s addiction service providers over many years. Little research has been conducted on the work environment of addiction counsellors and on the impact that environment has on client outcomes. Annemarie Gockel is studying the level and impact of the occupational stress experienced by addiction counselors in BC. She is investigating whether stress affects counselors’ ability to form effective working relationships with clients, and whether service provider stress affects client outcomes. Results from the research could be used to enhance the effectiveness of addiction treatment and improve workplace quality for addiction service providers.