Certified Gambling Addiction Counselor, Florida's Newest Professional Credential

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The FCB and the FCCG unveiled the (new) Certified Gambling Addiction Counselor (CGAC) credential during the 2008 Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association Annual Conference, Embracing Change: Shaping the Future of Addiction.

Gambling Addiction Counselor credential will meet the high standards set and expected by the Council, ensuring that individuals seeking treatment for gambling problems will receive the best care possible. The certification program is built upon rigorous training and high expectations of skill for those who will be certified to treat this population.

The Florida Certification Board (FCB) and the Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling, Inc. (FCCG), unveiled the (new) Certified Gambling Addiction Counselor (CGAC) credential during the 2008 Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association Annual Conference, Embracing Change: Shaping the Future of Addiction.

"Credentials earned through the process of certification identify professionals who have taken the time to develop the knowledge and skills to actively treat problem and pathological gamblers and those they adversely affect," shared Neal McGarry, Executive Director of the FCB. "Certification demonstrates a high level of professional dedication to an issue - certification is not a one-time process. Certified individuals are required to follow a professional code of ethics and conduct and must maintain and renew their credential annually through on-going continuing education and professional development."

The Florida Council has helped to prepare people for the National Certification for Gambling Counselors for more than a decade. Pat Fowler, Executive Director of the FCCG is pleased with the credentialing process that was created during this joint venture. She stated that the "Gambling Addiction Counselor credential will meet the high standards set and expected by the Council, ensuring that individuals seeking treatment for gambling problems will receive the best care possible. The certification program is built upon rigorous training and high expectations of skill for those who will be certified to treat this population."

The FCB's Florida-specific credential for Gambling Addiction Counselors highlights the need for specialized knowledge and training to deal with this disorder. This certification is one more tool to aid in expansion of treatment services in Florida and is a vital key to securing state funding for treatment services.

Applications for the Certified Gambling Addiction Counselor will be accepted beginning September 1, 2008. A grandfathering period will begin on the opening day and will run through August 30, 2009. Applications are available by contacting the Florida Certification Board at (850) 222-6314 or on the FCB website at http://www.flcertificationboard.org .

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