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A-Clinic Foundation
Activities and Programs

The training activities of A-Clinic Foundation
A-Clinic Foundation is among the foremost developers of addiction work and providers of training in addiction issues. It has a long history and a central role in providing training courses in addiction work methods and other specialised skills for health care and social work professionals in Finland.

The aim of the training activities is to foster the renewal of work methods, the dissemination of innovations developed in projects and in day-to-day work and the development of competencies among addiction service personnel. Core activities consist in provision of training services (by regional units, central office and projects) and staff training and development.

Training anchored in practice-based experience of addiction work

The strengths in A-Clinic Foundation''s training include multiple expertise, practical experience, a client-centred approach, teamwork, tradition and core values. National networks and international contacts have an important supporting function.

The A-Clinic Foundation has around twenty regional units in different parts of the country, half of which participate in the provision of training, co-ordinated by the central office. The regional units are operated independently and are free to offer training services according to their resources.

The Foundation''s network of trainers includes 50 persons. Most work as trainers part-time, along with their chief occupation. The trainers'' solid expertise is based in hands-on experience of addiction work. The link between training and work helps to anchor training contents in real-life experiences that can be processed and structured through training and development work.

A varied training programme for varied target groups

The A-Clinic Foundation''s training has a long tradition of a multi-professional approach in methods training. The emphasised topics include family-centred and network-centred work methods, cognitive therapies as well as solution-oriented and resource-mobilising interventions. The topics range from addiction work training to training in drug use and poly-drug use issues and to training in the use of specific methods. Training activities also include development days and work conferences for different categories of professionals.

Target groups for the Foundation''s training include personnel in specialised addiction services and, in an increasing number, professionals working in health care and social services or in other positions where professional substance abuse work is demanded. The target groups for tailored training are even more varied since substance abuse training is commissioned by a wide range of workplaces.

The training programme in addiction work

The training programme comprises two main parts: basic training and training in specialised skills. The basic training is intended for professionals who encounter problem substance users and for students in the health care and social services field. Completion of the basic training, or demonstration of similar competence acquired elsewhere, is required before one can take a course in specialised skills. The modes of training include classroom days and distance learning.

The training programme in addiction work covers the following areas:

Part 1. The knowledge basis and ethics

Substance use, history, legislation
Encountering and interaction with the client
Values and ethics
The processual nature of substance use problems
One-day study visit to a specialised addiction service unit
Part 2. Specialised skills

Managing the process of change and crisis work
Family-centred work methods
The group as a resource
Network-centred work methods

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