James "Kansas" Cafferty, LMFT, NCAAC, has officially assumed his role as the new Chair for the National Certification Commission for Addiction Professionals (NCC AP). The NCC AP, under the auspices of NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals, operates as an independent body for all matters involving the Association’s substance use disorders counselor certification and endorsement opportunities at the national and international level. Specifically, the NCC AP develops and keeps current national standards of requisite knowledge in substance use disorder counseling, provides evaluation mechanisms for measuring and monitoring the level of knowledge required for national credentialing, and establishes appropriate policies for acquiring and maintaining the national credentials. Cafferty’s three-year term as NCC AP Chair began February 1, 2020.
“For me personally, the most exciting work in this role is on the international level,” said Cafferty. “Several countries have approached NAADAC and NCC AP with requests for expertise as they develop their country's systems. Many of them are 30-40 years behind us in progress and the opportunity to accelerate the rate of their growth and to have the expertise within this organization shape the way care is provided in countries that have this much room to grow, sometimes even in the third world, is a very exciting prospect for me and for several of the others involved in our great organization.”
Cafferty has worked in the field of mental health and addiction treatment since 1997. He has worked in several settings, including detoxification, inpatient, and intensive outpatient treatment as both a clinician and an administrator. His primary areas of specialty are in substance use disorders and posttraumatic stress disorder.
Cafferty holds a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from National University in La Jolla, CA, and has advanced training in EMDR, Psychodrama, and uses an eclectic therapy style that draws from several paradigms. He is the Founder and Director of True North Recovery Services located in Encinitas, CA and he is also the Director of Clinical Services at Orange County Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine, a thriving psychiatry, psychotherapy, and TMS center at Hoag Hospital’s Neurosciences Institute in Newport Beach, CA.
Cafferty is a long-time NAADAC member and prior to becoming the NCC AP Chair, he served as a Commissioner for the NCC AP and, from 2007-2014, he sat on the NAADAC Adolescent Specialty Leadership Committee.