Alcohol Counseling

This Alcohol Counselling introductory course provides a foundation of theoretical and practical knowledge and skills, to deliver counseling treatment to harmful drinkers, build patients’ motivation to change their drinking behavior, and provide skills for patients to change their drinking behavior and to prevent and deal with relapses. All parts of this training are free, including registration, learning, testing, and a certificate of completion. The course is intended for laypeople who are providing peer counseling.

This Counselling for Alcohol Problems course is based on the Counselling for Alcohol Problems (CAP) psychological treatment manual, the course was developed in partnership with the Annenberg Physician Training Program in Addictive Disease and the PREMIUM program, funded by the Wellcome Trust, in association with the London School of Hygiene & Tropical MedicineSangath organization, and the Government of Goa’s Directorate of Health Services. Like all courses, the course is competency-based; this course utilizes competencies adapted from “Counselling for Alcohol Problems (CAP)”. 

The course developers are Abhijit Nadkarni, Richard Velleman and Vikram Patel; additional contributions were made by Aresh Naik, Akila Kalsur, Ajay Kumar, Urvita Bhatia, Miriam Sequeira and Dielle Dsouza. The authors of the CAP manual are Hamid Dabholkar, Abhijit Nadkarni, Richard Velleman and Vikram Patel.

CAP is a brief psychological treatment, based on Motivational Interviewing, for harmful drinking. The CAP treatment was evaluated in a large randomized controlled trial (RCT) in India, where it was delivered in routine primary health care settings by counselors with no prior mental health experience. The results of the RCT were very positive and you can freely download the scientific publication reporting these results in The Lancet, and review the findings and recognize the large group of international and Indian scientists who have contributed to this effort.

 For a publication on this course’s efficacy, see “Counselling for Alcohol Problems (CAP), A Lay Counsellor-Delivered Brief Psychological Treatment for Harmful Drinking in Men, in Primary Care in India: A Randomised Controlled Trial,” (2017), The Lancet,; see also “Building Public Health Capacity through Online Global Learning,” (2018), Open Praxis,; to see more research related to’s educational model, check out’s publication page.

The main component of this course involves completing the following 10 modules which provide: 

  1. An overview of Harmful Drinking and Alcohol Dependence, 
  2. The phases of Counselling for Alcohol Problems and the objectives of counseling, 
  3. How to empower patients with appropriate cognitive and behavioral skills to change their drinking behaviors,
  4. Skills to face challenging situations that occur during the counseling process.


At the end of each module, there are self-assessment tests. At the end of the course, you will take a final exam; a chance to evaluate the course will also be provided. 

The results of your assessments will be provided to you, and we can report your testing information and share your work with anyone you request (school, employer, etc.). We hope that you will find this a rewarding learning experience, and we count on your assessment and feedback to help us improve this training for future students.
Approximate time for the required readings in this course is 26 hours at an average rate of 144 words/minute; in addition, there are required activities as described above.

At the end of each lesson, there is a practice quiz. At the end of the course, after you’ve completed each lesson, quiz, and activity, you’ll have access to a final exam, and a chance to assess the training. Once you’ve passed that last test, you will be able to download a certificate of completion from and our course’s co-sponsoring organizations (listed above). We keep all of your personal information confidential, never sell any of your information, and only use anonymized data for research purposes, and we are also happy to report your testing information and share your work with anyone (your school, employer, etc.) at your request. We hope that you will find this a rewarding learning experience, and we count on your assessment and feedback to help us improve this training for future students.

Engaging with this Course:

You may browse this course for free to learn for your personal enrichment; there are no requirements.

To obtain a certificate

  • Show in the registration fields that you have the appropriate prerequisites to be certified [a high school degree for college courses, a college degree for the master’s level courses, and enrollment in or graduation from a medical doctoral program for our medical doctoral-level courses].
  • Complete all the reading requirements.
  • Complete all quizzes and pass with a 70% with unlimited attempts..
  • Successfully complete the final exam with a minimum of 70% and a maximum of 3 attempts.
  • Complete the self and course evaluation forms.

To obtain credit 

  • Complete all requirements listed above for the certificate. 
  • Your learning institution or workplace should approve the partner-university-sponsored course for educational credit, as they would for their learner taking a course anywhere.  
    • is happy to provide your institution with:

      • a link to and description of the course training, so they can see all its components, including the cosponsoring universities and other professional organization cosponsors; 
      • your grade on the final exam;
      • your work products (e.g. peer and mentored activities), and any other required or optional shared materials that you produce and authorize to share with them;  
      • your evaluations — self, and peer assessments;
      • a copy of your certificate of completion, with the co-sponsoring universities and other organizations listed.

To obtain a degree, co-sponsors degree programs with institutional partners. To obtain a degree co-sponsored with, registrants must be enrolled in a degree program as a student of a institutional partner. If you think that your institution might be interested in offering a degree with contact us.

Next Steps

  • Complete the registration form.
  • Begin the course with Module 1: Understanding Harmful Drinking & Alcohol Dependence. In each lesson, read the description, complete all required readings and any required activity, and take the corresponding quizzes.