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Milligan hires addictions counseling professor

MILLIGAN COLLEGE, Tenn. (March 6, 2020) — Milligan College welcomes Dr. Aaron Hymes to lead the addictions counseling concentration in the Master of Science in Counseling (MSC) program beginning this fall.

Hymes is a licensed professional counselor and mental health service provider, a board approved clinical supervisor, and certified master addictions counselor with over a decade of professional experience.

“Dr. Hymes’ expertise in addictions counseling will be a valuable asset to our counseling program and community,” said Dr. Rebecca Sapp, director of the master of counseling program. “Beyond his impressive credentials, Hymes brings enthusiasm and passion to helping those with addictions and to training future counselors to lead others to recovery.”

Hymes most recently served as assistant professor and director of behavioral health for East Tennessee State University’s Department of Family Medicine. He previously worked to develop the substance abuse certificate program and curriculum at Lindsey Wilson College. As a counselor, he has worked in private practice and served as lead counselor for an addictions treatment program. He received his doctor of philosophy in counselor education from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, his master of education in counseling and human development from Lindsey Wilson College, and his bachelor’s degree in psychology from Concord University.


Milligan announced the expansion of its counseling program to include a concentration in addictions counseling in May 2019, thanks to support from Ballad Health and the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Health Foundation.

“Milligan’s counseling program now equips counselors to assist individuals suffering from addiction and related issues throughout the recovery process,” said Sapp. “Our program combines the classroom with clinical field placements to prepare compassionate counselors to work in both outpatient and inpatient treatment facilities, as well as in counseling practices.”

Addiction to opioids continues to be a serious national crisis affecting public health, in addition to social and economic welfare. According to data from the National Institutes of Health, Tennessee’s opioid death rate is 50% higher than the national average.

This crisis has increased the demand for licensed addictions counselors, and the U.S. Department of Labor expects the demand for addictions counselors to grow by 22% by 2024.

Milligan’s counseling program is a two-year, 60-credit hour program. Graduates of the addictions counseling concentration will be qualified for licensure as addictions counselors. Current licensed clinical mental health counselors have the option to add on the addictions subspecialty in as few as two semesters.

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Posted by on March 6, 2020.