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Mental Health, Addiction, and the Family Certificate Program

Our Program And Its Culture

The Certificate in Mental Health, Addiction and the Family centers around the evidence that healing is the most robust in a relational context. This certificate is unique to Tulane University School of Social Work. Our program is a rigorous combination of coursework, certificate related field placements, and our signature Journal Club/ Community meetings component. The Journal Club/Community meetings component is designed to give the student opportunities to network and discuss certificate related topics.

The Certificate is affiliated and funded by the Porter Cason Institute (PCI). PCI is the result of a large private contribution from a Tulane MSW alumnus for the purpose of training. Funds from PCI allow us to augment training with lectures from local and national experts as well as provide advanced training of professionals in our community.

The culture of this certificate centers around developing creativity and courage in both your time at Tulane and in your career. Social Work is both an art and a science. We teach the science and provide a place for you to come to understand and develop your own unique art within ethical and evidence based interventions. Throughout your career you will hone your understanding of the science, art and creativity required of an exceptional Social Worker. We view it as one of our primary objectives to give you the courage to be comfortable in uncomfortable moments and to give space for truth and healing that may emerge as you develop this comfort.


Mental Health, Addiction and the Family Certificate Brochure


Meet One of Our Online Participants:

Terell Jones

Terell has been doing the work of empowering families for the past 12 years. His worked began as he served as an Army Officer. During this time, he was responsible for establishing Family Readiness Groups that implement programs to help families cope with the dynamics of military life. He was also responsible for helping hundreds of families in his organizations navigate family conflicts, legal issues and other obstacles that plague families.
After transitioning out of the military, Terell pursued his passion of helping families find resolutions to conflicts and other issues that can destroy the family unit. He earned his Certification as a Florida Supreme Court Family Mediator and has assisted families to navigate marriage dissolutions and co-parent disputes. He has also served over 300 individuals and couples in Duval County during his time as an Instructor with University of Florida’s Strengthening Marriages and Relationship Training (SMART) Grant Program. Terell provided case management and facilitated workshops that trained participants in evidence-based family life education skills that included communication, parenting, and a court approved pre-marriage course.
All these experiences motivated Terell to establish Release Point Solutions, LLC.  The company was founded to provide conflict resolution and education to families that will equip them with the skill to avoid and/or overcome the predictable hurdles that lead to the demise of families. Terell aspires to make this culture of being informed, developing skills and Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) normalized. He began his pursuit of his Master of Social Work during the Summer of 2020 with the goal of strengthening his capability as a Practitioner. He has also been accepted into the Mental Health, Addition, and the Family certification program which will allow him access to the best edvidence based practices and mentorship from world renowned experts in the field. 

Terell is excited about the growth he will experience which will increase his positive impact on families. His ability to relate to people, education background, and real-world experience has positioned him to make a difference and empower people to be their best versions of themselves.

Advantage of the Certificate in Mental Health, Addiction, and the Family Program

  • Opportunities for mentorship by national experts
  • Opportunities for work on community projects
  • Try on your “Clinical Self” and your “Community Self” (A laboratory for Courage and Creativity)
  • Mental Health, Addiction, and the Family are ALWAYS part of any Social Work career... it is inescapable!

Focus and Requirements for the Certificate

  • Healing in a Relational Context
  • Elective Classes that qualify for the Certificate (2 of your 3 Electives):
    • 7010 Family Trauma
    • 7300 Clinical Intervention with Children and Adolescents
    • 7345 Psychopathology & DSM
    • 7360 Contemporary Practice with Couples & Families
    • 7365 Clinical Practice in Addiction and Substance Abuse
    • 7370 Introduction into Behavior Pharmacology
  • Attend each semester’s Journal Club meeting or if an online student- One community meeting or educational opportunity related to the certificate (approved ahead of time) with a 1 page refection each semester.
  • Certificate related field placement with one certificate related objective included in field work plan

What Your Course Study May Look Like:

MSW Curriculum: 16-Month Full-Time

The full-time MSW program requires around 15 credit hours per semester over 16 consecutive months for a total of 60 credit hours. Each student completes 15-credit hours of field practicum, which equates to three semesters of 316 hours of actual field work each semester.

Semester 1 - 16 Credits
SOWK 7110 Professional Foundations 1
SOWK 7120 Social Work History and Policy 3
SOWK 7130 Diversity and Social Justice: Theory and Practice 2
SOWK 7140 Introduction to Organizations and Community Practice 2
SOWK 7210 Theories of Human Behavior Across the Life Course I 2
SOWK 7310 Intro to Direct Social Work Practice 3
SOWK 7410 Research for Evidence-Based Social Work Practice 3
Semester 2 - 15 Credits
SOWK 7220 Theories of Human Behavior Across the Life Course II 2
SOWK 7230 Community Organizing & Policy Advocacy: Theories and 3 Practice 3
SOWK 7320 Social Work Practice with Individuals, Families, and Groups 3
SOWK 7420 Program Evaluation 2
SOWK 7520 Field Practicum and Seminar I 5
Semester 3 - 16 Credits
SOWK 7330 Advanced Clinical-Community Practice 5
SOWK 7430 Data Analysis & Interpretation 3
SOWK 7530 Field Practicum and Seminar 2 5
  Potential Certificate Elective  
Semester 4 - 13 Credits
SOWK 7440 Capstone Seminar 2
SOWK 7540 Field Practicum and Seminar 3 5
  Potential Certificate Elective  
  Potential Certificate Elective  

Application Process


Contact Parker Sternbergh or Jessica St. Pierre with any questions and to schedule an interview.

Parker Sternbergh, MHA, LCSW-BACS
Director of Porter Cason Institute and
Center for Life Long Learning
127 Elk Place, Office 416
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: (504) 231-6618

Jessica St. Pierre
Administrative Assistant of Porter Cason Institute and
Center for Life Long Learning
127 Elk Place, Office 408
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: (504) 247-1446

Tulane School of Social Work
Porter Cason Institute
Center for Life Long Learning