It is our ethos at iCAAD to believe in the sharing of knowledge across boarders.

In September, for the past 2 consecutive years, we have organised European speakers to join the US conversations and debates at the Cape Cod Symposium on Addictive Disorders (CCSAD).

In the same vein, it was a true privilege to have Christophe Sauerwein, a trauma specialist in Europe and iCAAD’s Academic Director, be invited to talk at the US Journal Conference on Trauma and Addiction International Conference on January 17-19 2019 in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Details on the conference and the programmeme can be seen on US Journal website by CLICKING HERE.

Araminta Jonsson our content editor has put together a couple of pertinent questions for Christophe Sauerwein regarding his thoughts and feelings about this conference in Scottsdale.

AJ: Christophe, how do you feel to be going to Arizona in January and to be speaking ,in a place which is so highly regarded when it comes to trauma and addiction?

CS: As a European clinician specialising in trauma, addiction and relationships, it is a true privilege to be invited there to share and explore therapeutic and cultural variances that could help enhance our human and scientific knowledge about trauma and addiction. Understanding the way dysfunctional family structures vandalise our internal schema and emotional regulation skills, which then leads to absolute chaos, and the failure to build relationships and potential submersion into addictive, compensating behaviours.

I also believe that treatment needs to encompass, beyond models, cultural variances and the interpretative phenomenology of language and speech to best serve the needs of our patients. My aim at the conference will be to try and draw attention to this and help our colleagues to best integrate these variances into their treatment approaches.

Culture and language of origin is primordial in the treatment process and continuum of care, and it is notoriously difficult to connect therapeutically with meaning and in a synergistic way, regardless of linguistic fluency, if your culture and language of origin differs from others in the therapeutic process.

Because of our European diversity, I think we can shine a lot invigorating light onto what has been mainly a US-led model for the past few decades.

It took me a while to get the title right: “Treating International Clients: Integrating the culture of origin and native language in the continuum of care”. I hope it will sum up my claims with enough clarity.

From a personal angle and because of my own journey, I also have a profound attachment to Arizona and what I call the “Arizona Model”. When Gary Seidler from the US Journal asked me to present in Arizona, I felt immensely blessed and grateful, quite emotional actually. It means a lot to me personally, to be there.

AJ: As Academic Director of iCAAD, why do you think is it important for us to be part of conferences such as this one in Scottsdale.

First the exchange of knowledge creates an international continuum of shared resources and knowledge, and bonds us together in our united search for answers and solutions to better our capacity for alleviating human pain and fear. I believe the answers will come from more connections, synergies, collaboration and debates – be it frictional, amongst the world community of expert practitioners and researchers. I would like to add that, Maren Masimo from Khiron House (London-Uk), iCAAD London 2019 speaker will also present in Scottsdale on Sensorimotor psychotherapy and trauma-informed stabilisation treatment.

Secondly, for a long time, these conferences where “international”, but mainly looking at what that means from a business perspective. I don’t believe, in our industry, business can survive without being backed by serious clinical approaches and thought processes: we are a highly technological industry, merely down to the fact that the human brain is probably the most “high-tech” device produced by nature, and developed by evolution and social interaction: no computer can compete (yet) with its 100 trillion synapses, 100,000 times more energy-efficient than any computer, not to mention our DNA’s information storage capacity. It is common sense in the Silicon Valley that no sustainable growth can happen without prioritising Research and Development. We are miles behind in our mental health care industry, therefore international conferences need to be seen as a solid part of an R&D back bone, at a worldwide level.

Thirdly, from a specific perspective, The Meadows are the hosts of the US Journal Scottsdale conference as well as being a partner of our iCAAD London 2019 conference, making possible for Claudia Black, Tian Dayton and Stefanie Carnes to speak in London as well as in Scottsdale this year. I believe in this strong knowledge-driven approach. I personally see it as an act of corporate social and scientific responsibility from the Meadows, as a worldwide advocate for human wellbeing. This was at the core of my conversations with Sean Welsh, CEO of The Meadows last May in London.

Mental, emotional and behavioural disorders are increasingly human-race transversal, our conferences and scientific gatherings need to be as transversal as the threat we, humans, face, it is a matter of proportionate response. This common sense in geopolitics needs to become common sense in clinical psychology and treatment.