72. Navigating Substance Use Disorders as a Traveling Therapist: Expert Advice and Strategies for Client Support with Betsy Byler

72. Navigating Substance Use Disorders as a Traveling Therapist: Expert Advice and Strategies for Client Support with Betsy Byler

In this episode, Kym and Betsy, an expert in working with clients who have substance use disorders, discuss the challenges therapists face when confronted with substance use issues and how to navigate these situations, particularly for traveling therapists. 

Betsy provides guidance on when to refer clients to specialists and when therapists can utilize their existing therapeutic skills to continue to work with their clients even if they are working remotely. Betsy emphasizes the importance of open communication, non-judgmental attitudes, and normalizing discussions around substance use to build client trust. Betsy also offers a program to help therapists gain confidence in working with this population.

Betsy Byler, MA, LPC-SAS, ICS, LPCC is a mental health therapist, substance use counselor and clinical supervisor. After working on community mental health for 16 years, she moved into private practice in 2019 to continue seeing clients for treatment of trauma and substance use. In the fall of 2020 she launched a podcast called All Things Substance aimed at helping therapists gain the information they need to add substance use to their scope of practice. She has two grown daughters living nearby and lives in woods of NW Wisconsin with her husband and two cats. 

Betsy Byler, MA, LPC-SAS, ICS, LPCC

Mental Health Therapist, Substance Abuse Counselor, Clinical Supervisor 

Host of the All Things Substance Podcast



Betsy Byler - Podcast Host - All Things Substance Podcast | LinkedIn

Three Episode Main Points:

  1. Therapists often struggle with addressing substance use disorders, but it's important to not automatically refer clients out, and instead utilize existing therapeutic skills.
  2. Effective communication, non-judgmental attitudes, and normalization of substance use discussions are vital in building client trust.
  3. Betsy and Kym discuss being a Traveling Therapist and the struggle with deciding if you should refer out or keep your clients that bring this topic up in session.

At Alma we believe when therapists have the support they need, the system gets better for everyone. Learn more about Alma.

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