Defense Date


Graduation Date

Spring 5-11-2018


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Counselor Education and Supervision (ExCES)


School of Education

Committee Chair

William Casile

Committee Member

David L. Delmonico

Committee Member

Matthew Bundick


Methadone, Suboxone, Medication Assisted Treatment, Counselor, Attitudes, Counseling Students


Dissertation supervised by Dr. William Casile

Counseling students’ perceptions of medication assisted treatment for opioid addition was explored. This study sought to understand how the students’ attitudes and beliefs regarding the use of medication assisted treatments developed, and also how these attitudes and beliefs may affect client care and professional career choices. Specifically, this study examined how their professional counselor education experiences played a role in the formation/development of these attitudes and beliefs.

This qualitative study was conducted with six counseling students who participated in semi-structured, individual interviews. At the time of the study, all of the students were currently enrolled in a CACREP-accredited counselor education program and were currently participating in their fieldwork experience. The data was analyzed using Thematic Analysis informed by Cognitive Behavioral Theory in order to determine how students’ educational experiences and personal experiences affect the development of their attitudes and beliefs regarding the use of medication assisted treatment for the treatment opioid dependence and the clients who use this treatment option. This study found that the students’ perceptions of clients who chose medication assisted treatment appeared to be influenced by their perception of medication assisted treatment as formed in response to both their professional education and their personal experiences. Specifically, it appears that the participants’ limited exposure to medication asisted treatment during their formal education and training negatively affected their perception of medication assisted treatment as a treatment modality. However, this study also found that their attitudes toward MAT did not appear to negatively impact students’ attitudes toward providing care and treatment for these clients. The potential implications for practice and suggestions for future research are provided.