Date of Conferral



Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.)




James Brown


Native American rural communities are not without substance abuse treatment needs; however, highly skilled mental health providers are often limited on a reservation, which leaves this population with clinicians with less experience and education. This project is a case study of a substance abuse treatment program within a Native American tribe in the western portion of the United States. The practice-focused research questions directly related to the training, certification, and education of staff in the addiction field, and to the ways in which the program evaluated the efficiency and effectiveness of the staff members. The purpose of this study was to explore the educational requirements for certified addictions practitioners and to define the expectations for culturally appropriate education, training, and supervision to serve this population. The Baldrige Excellence Framework provided the conceptual framework of this study. A qualitative approach was used, in which analytical and descriptive data were compared from both internal and external sources, as well as structured and semi-structured interviews. The key findings include the need for specific training regimen using culturally appropriate and evidenced-based practices, which focus on intake and assessment, clinical treatment skills, treatment planning, supervision, and application of practice standards. The implications for positive social change could include a better understanding of training needs for staff working with Native American clients, and to better assist clinicians with limited education to better serve those that struggle with substance abuse difficulties.