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Counselor-in-Training (CIT) Program

Serenity Lane Treatment Center
Home Other Drug/Alcohol Related Programs Counselor-in-Training (CIT) Program

Become a certified substance use disorder counselor (CADC I) through Serenity Lane’s 1-year counselor-in-training program. Currently accepting applicants.

Train to become a drug treatment counselor

Become a Certified Substance Use Disorder Counselor

Serenity Lane’s Substance Use Disorder Counselor-in-Training (CIT) Program has been training substance use disorder counselors for over thirty years. This program began when the first Serenity Lane board realized that a pool of well-trained counselors would be necessary to meet the increased demands of substance use disorder.

Serenity Lane offers free training for one full year and we offer a low interest loan of up to $10,000 to offset living expenses while you attend the program. You will receive top quality instruction and experience that you will use for career enhancement over a lifetime.

Serenity Lane

To Qualify for Our Counselor Certification Training Program:

To qualify for the counselor-in-training program you must have at least a high school diploma or equivalent. If you are in recovery, you must have two years in recovery attested to by a letter from your sponsor.

To Apply:

Application materials can be obtained in the following ways:

  • Download materials from this website.
  • Call Serenity Lane at (541) 687-1110 and ask that a program application packet be mailed to you.
  • Pick up materials in person from our Coburg campus.

Download Application Materials

CIT Application Letter
Sample Resume

Return the completed application to:

Mailing Address:
Serenity Lane
Clinical Director
PO Box 8549,
Coburg, OR 97408

Physical address:
Serenity Lane/Clinical Director
1 Serenity Lane
Coburg, Oregon 97408


Your application will be reviewed, then if deemed appropriate for the program, you will be called for a preliminary interview with members of the Clinical Leadership Team. A second interview may be scheduled with current counselors and counselors-in-training, wherein you will also have the opportunity to ask questions of them regarding their experience with the CIT Program. Your references will be checked.

Once you have been accepted in the CIT Program you will be invited for an orientation. During the orientation you will be acquainted with Serenity Lane, our policies and expectations of you a counselor trainee.

Come join us for the most fulfilling, life-changing work you will ever do!

COVID-19 considerations: The Company, as part of the healthcare sector in Oregon and Washington and the Governor mandates, requires vaccine or approved for medical or religious exemption.

Program Basics

The year is divided into 4 three-month rotations giving participants experience in a variety of treatment settings. Hours and duties change as you progress through the program.

Your training includes experience hours earned by job shadowing a Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor and performing tasks under their direct supervision.

  • Participate in group sessions with counselor mentor.
  • Learn group and individual counseling skills.
  • Write initial treatment reviews & plans, discharge plans, progress notes and recovery support plans at their counselor mentor’s direction.
  • Develop case management skills and other group counseling techniques.

As a Substance Use Disorder Counselor-in-training you may also learn additional skills at the following sites:

Our training also includes classroom instruction by a Certified Substance Use Disorder Counselor.

Some of the instruction given includes:

  • Basic counseling skills and counseling theory
  • Group counseling skills
  • Pharmacology of substance use disorder
  • Ethics and professional responsibility
  • Biopsychosocial Assessments & Evaluations
  • Relapse Prevention & Intervention Techniques
  • Multicultural perspectives and diversity issues

At the end of the training program, graduates celebrate the completion of more than 1900 experience hours and 170+ classroom training hours. This training will prepare you to apply for certification as an entry level counselor. The Mental Health & Addiction Certification Board of Oregon (MHACBO) administers the exam certifying the candidate as qualified to practice at the level of CADC I.

History of the Counseling Education Training Program

Dr. Thomas Kerns, Serenity Lane’s founder, remembered his own residency training to become a doctor and suggested that this type of “hands on” instruction was a good model to follow. Serenity Lane’s CIT Program was born with a lone candidate who went everywhere and learned everything that could be learned about this demanding work.

From that humble beginning, our CIT Program has grown and changed to encompass all aspects of substance use disorder treatment and the evolving demands of this highly specialized profession.

Serenity Lane

Student Testimonials

“The student program is not only training me for my dream career; it has changed my life. I am a completely different person than I was when I started and everything and everyone in my life has been positively affected by my participation in this program.”

“Serenity Lane’s Counselor in Training Program offered me an avenue to build a promising and successful career.  I was able to work along side high skilled counselors, therapists, and physicians who helped mentor and mold me into the person and clinician that I am today.  I will forever be grateful for my opportunity to enter into the CIT program at Serenity Lane.”

“The student program started my career which has continued to blossom over the past ten years. It’s an efficient way to gain clinical hours and education for CADC certification in only one year. I also grew as person and counselor during my training and learned how to balance a case load and be a team player.”

“I never knew what I was capable of until I went through the studentship and it was the most rewarding experience of my life. I grew as a person in so many different ways.”

“As an intern Lloyd Walker told me if I didn’t learn to speak up doing group he didn’t think I would make it as a counselor. I was forced out of my comfort zone and here I am……. I never would have believed so much change in me was possible.”

“Without a doubt, one of he best years in my life.  Learned more about myself and being a clinician in this field than I ever would have dreamed possible.  It was truly an awakening to the possibilities of helping others.”

“The combination of hands-on experiential training with evidenced-based theories of counseling is what I found most helpful. The Serenity Lane Student Program taught me that most of us have inner resources that we don’t know exist until we are truly pushed to draw on them.”

“The counselor training program with Serenity Lane was both challenging and fulfilling. It provided me with the knowledge and skill set to begin a new and rewarding career.  The internal process I personally went through during this training was amazing and priceless. I had the privilege to work with experienced and caring professionals and leadership who were always willing to share their wealth of wisdom while allowing me the autonomy to become my own style of counselor.  I also had a lot of fun working alongside my student peers, and developed great friendships and professional relationships!”

“The Counselor in Training program at Serenity Lane allowed me to pursue a career that purposeful and fulfilling. The experience gained during the program allowed me to develop both professionally and personally.”

“The Serenity Lane Internship program provided me with the tools to become a better person, mother, and friend to those I know and love. I was able to work on becoming a CADC 1 with training and interpersonal growth and with the help and kindness of those I now call my co-workers. If you are looking to find happiness and fulfillment in your life you will not be disappointed in this program.”

Non-profit treatment centers for
alcohol and drug addictions.
Treatment facilities located in:

Coburg, Eugene, SE Portland, SW Portland, Salem, Albany, Bend, and Roseburg, OR