UPDATE: iCAAD London 2020 has been postponed due to the COVID-19 epidemic More info

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Join us at iCAAD London: an event that is internationally recognised as a sacred space for connection, humanity and a shared desire for learning and growth.

Largest european conference on addiction, behavioural, emotional and mental health, and wellbeing.


Get up to 21 hours of CPD credits


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We're no longer accepting presentation proposals for London 2020, but welcome submissions for London 2021.

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London 2019

Last year, iCAAD London 2019 was a shared moment of humanity - beyond the bio-psycho-social - that wove together an eclectic combination of topics, and this year will be no different. Come to engage in dialogue, discussion, debate, conversation, exchange of information, mutual learning and progression.

iCAAD London 2019 Highlights
iCAAD London 2020 Digital Programme

Hotel Accommodation

iCAAD have agreed delegate rates for rooms (including VAT and breakfast) at The Royal Garden Hotel (event venue) and The Holiday Inn Kensington which you can book via the links below:

Royal Garden Hotel (Conference Venue) 2-24 Kensington High Street London W8 4PT

Queen Room: £195.00 per night (£215 if booked before 21st March 2020)
King Room: £220.00 per night (£240 if booked before 21st March 2020)
Garden Room: £265.00 per night (£295 if booked before 21st March 2020)
Park Suite: £468.00 per night (£520 if booked before 21st March 2020)

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7927 8000 (Quote iCAAD 2020)

Holiday Inn Kensington (5 min walk) Wrights Lane, London, W8 5SP:

Enter code ‘Z1V’ in the ‘Group Code’ box:

Standard Room: £125.00 per night (single occupancy)
Superior Room: £173.00 per night (single occupancy)
Executive Room: £209.00 per night (single occupancy)
Standard Room: £135.00 per night (twin occupancy)
Superior Room: £183.00 per night (twin occupancy)
Executive Room: £219.00 per night (twin occupancy)


Other Discounts

Bursaries for Volunteer Carers and Small Charities/NGOs

We offer a limited number of bursary (subsidised) tickets for our conferences. These are reserved for small organisations and volunteers. To apply for a bursary for this event, please send us an email.

Please note, discounts will not be automatically applied to your booking. Please email us for the relevant promotional code. Unit price including UK VAT Tax 20%.

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Our expert speakers are the essence of iCAAD Online


Recovery Now: A Conversation with Russell Brand

Russell Brand and Jess Colin-Greene take questions and reflect on how their recovery has been affected in lockdown personally and professionally.

Clinical Practices for Virtual Counselling

Covid-19 has forced the business world into adapting new strategies for delivering their services as social distancing and shelter in place practices have become the new norm. It has been no different for the clinical arena. While traditional treatment has been restricted due to the mandates of social distancing, curfews, and shelter in place, clinicians have had to find new platforms to provide services to those in need. Although teletherapy offers an alternative to traditional "in office" therapy, it does require a shift from traditional therapeutic practices and intervention strategies.

Both therapists and client encounter new dynamics in "connecting" as they navigate internet challenges. This presentation will explore the difficulties encountered in formulating a virtual substance use disorder treatment program while reviewing necessary changes in clinical styles to adapt to this new platform.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Gain an understanding of the technological challenges of implementing a virtual program.
  2. Become familiar with necessary adaptations to clinical style for a virtual world.
  3. Discern advantages and disadvantages to treating substance use disorders virtually, including implications for co-occurring disorders.

The impact of using peers in building recovery capital and extending the continuum of care for those in substance use disorder and behavioural health recovery

Recovery peers are a creative and cost-effective solution in providing recovery support and helping individuals and families in building recovery capital. Recovery peers can be utilized for both those coming out of substance use treatment and also those in recovery from mental health diagnoses. Drawing from his experience within MAP's Recovery Support division as well as the Director of Texas Tech's collegiate recovery program, the presenter will outline the power of using peer recovery support specialists, a unique type of recovery professional, in extending the continuum of care, creating meaningful engagement, and building recovery capital.

Breaking Out of the Frequency of Addiction

A deep dive conversation with Tommy Rosen, founder of Recovery 2.0, emphasising the power of words and language in Recovery. Helping those we work with therapeutically, to destigmatise addiction and remove associated guilt and shame. Tommy and Annie will discuss, debate and deliver on how to Thrive today, Sober.

Attendees will have an opportunity to experience hands-on, powerful somatic practices in breathing, meditation and yoga that will provide access to the extraordinary power within, creating a healthier relationship with one's Self and the clients we work with.

Is there a role for video game-based interventions in the treatment of addiction, acquired brain injury and neurodegenerative disorders?

Is there a space for the delivery and application of the new media and video game-based interventions (VGI) within the treatment of mental health issues? Recent research suggest that there might be as video game-based interventions have been greatly popularised and yielded positive results in the treatment of affective disorders as well as eating disorders. Results have also proved positive in the rehabilitation of brain after injuries and as a consequence of neurodegenerative disorders.

It also appears that video game-based interventions have proved effective in the treatment of mental health issues fraught with problems of emotional regulation and impulse control - often associated with progression and maintenance of addiction. Such interventions could help individuals learning new coping styles in response to negative emotions and facilitate improvement of self-control strategies. In this presentation, the various applications of VGI’s within mental health settings, as well as their potential inclusion in addiction treatment programmes will be discussed.

It seems significant for clinicians to be aware of the technological advances and other contemporary approaches to the assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of mental health issues as well as any new potential ways of facilitating the treatment of addictions. Considering the ease of accessibility to the new media and video games (or VGI) by all populations, video game-based interventions can prove as add-on or enhancement tools to more classical approaches to mental health treatment. Furthermore, recent utilisation of video game-based interventions within the work on neurodegenerative disorders seems especially useful for practitioners working with older populations (due to high prevalence rate of dementia for this particular patient/client group). Video game-based interventions as rehabilitation or treatment tools still seems a relatively new idea however, considering recent growth in games’ popularity amongst mental health practitioners and their increased accessibility and the ease with which people get immersed in games, this idea seems worth promoting in our field.

Learning objectives:

  1. Update knowledge on contemporary approaches to mental health treatment with the use of commercially available digital resources.
  2. Discuss the implications of potential application of new media resources to the treatment of addictions and considering their add-on functionality to the more classical methods of treatment.
  3. Question an often biased approach to video games (or VGI’s) as tools designed for ‘mindless fun’ and/or ‘addictive escapism’ by encouraging an experimental utilisation of such widely accessible and varied tools/intervention to own clinical practice.

What Impact is Lockdown Having on Obesity and Mental Health in Young People?

Dr Regina Sala’s presentation will explore the impact of the current coronavirus outbreak on obesity and mental health in children and adolescents.

This will include: a) an overview of the impact of lockdown in children and adolescents; b) causes and physical health risk factors of obesity; c) association between obesity and mental health; d) importance of prevention and treatment of paediatric obesity and mental health.

Dr Sala will reference current medical research in the stated fields with illustrations and graphics. In addition, she will present clinical cases, including treatment management of obesity and mental health, during lockdown with the use of telepsychiatry.

Learning Objectives:

  1. To recognise the current impact of lockdown on obesity and mental health in children and adolescents.
  2. To understand the association between obesity and mental health in young people.
  3. To develop preventative strategies and treatment of paediatric obesity and mental health.

Psychedelics In Psychiatry: Current Approaches and Future Scope

Psychedelics are currently enjoying a renaissance due to renewed interest in their use as potential treatments for number of mental health conditions.

This presentation reviews the research evidence of the proposed mechanisms of action in individual approaches and outcomes of psychedelic and psychedelic assisted treatments. The presentation will also focus on the current social and legal obstacles to psychedelic medicine, novel treatment proposals and micro dosing.

We will highlight the research proposals exploring future applications of psychedelic medicine and implications for clinical practice. This presentation will provide a researcher update of evidence into clinical applications of psychedelics in mental health and substance misuse.

Learning Objectives:

  1. To provide research update into the various treatment indications for psychedelics
  2. To summarise the modes of action and treatments involving psychedelics
  3. To explore the research proposals into future use of psychedelics in mental health and substance misuse treatment

Empower Youth and Families in Times of Crisis and Beyond: A Multi-Generational Family & Community Approach to Resilience And Healing

Globally, an increase in risk-taking behaviour has been precipitated by the wave of personal and societal violence and disconnection from family and community resulting from the current pandemic, deep-seated racism, fear, and world-wide migration. The result of this trauma is increased post-traumatic stress, substance use disorder, sexual risk-taking, behavioural compulsions and/or process addictions (technology, food, gambling, workaholism, etc.), and other chronic and life-threatening physical and mental illnesses. It becomes a challenge to focus on solutions rather than the immediate problems of daily life.

The aim of this presentation is to change the perspective from helplessness and hopelessness to hope, strength and resilience. Our primary goal is to explore how we as professionals can help youth and families understand that the necessary tools are available, and that they need only to learn how and when to apply them.

We will present research that focuses on understanding human process and developing and testing methods for individuals, families and communities to build positive attachment and to draw on their intergenerational strengths and resilience. Focus is on the power of positive psychology, resilience and Transitional Family Theory (Landau, 1982, 2018) and practice. We will explore how families and communities serve as a stabilising force; foster open communication; teach empathy and provide opportunities for leadership. Our discussion will include balancing Agency, Belief and Communion with appropriate timing, people and places.

Learning Objectives:

  • Assess and map all levels of youth, family and community involvement and collaboration.
  • Understand current transitions through individual and family life cycle stages.
  • Identify available resources and protective factors.
  • Increase connection across family and community. 

  • Establish clear intervention goals to facilitate resilience rather than perpetuate vulnerabilities.
  • Design clinical outcomes for adolescents and families owning their inherent resilience.

Bringing Therapy to Life: A Conversation with Victor Yalom

Psychotherapy is a conversation…but not a typical conversation. We want to help our clients discover something new in each session, and for this to happen, there must be a sense of aliveness, exploration, possibility, and at times discomfort. Victor will offer insights from his practice as a psychologist, as well as working with the masters in our field producing training videos, on how to make maximize the sense of aliveness in therapy. He will discuss various techniques to help the client move deeper into their own immediate experience, and to engage in the here-and-now of the therapeutic relationship in a way that sheds light on the client’s interpersonal world.

He will share insights and tips he has garnered working with such legendary figures as:

•His father Irvin Yalom—Using the here-and-now in group and individual therapy

•Existential-humanistic psychologist James Bugental—Exploring client’s inner subjectivity, and working with resistance

•EFT founder Susan Johnson—Using the here-and-now in couples therapy

•Peter Levine: Working with the body

•Otto Kernberg, Reid Wilson, Erv Polster and others.

Ultimately each therapist must integrate their psychotherapeutic training and life experience into their person-of-the-therapist to develop their own authentic voice and approach.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Learn to help client increase access to their inner experience.
  2. Understand and improve skill in working in here and now of therapeutic relationship.
  3. Understand common attributes of master therapists.

Pilot Study: a brief relational psychodynamic protocol for problem gambling and compulsive addictions. A retrospective analysis

The presentation describes a treatment pilot for gambling and compulsive addiction within an NHS problem gambling clinic. The pilot study used a brief relational psychodynamic treatment protocol specifically designed to meet the needs of a group of patients who had not responded to CBT and who had other addictions or co‐morbidities. Seventy‐two (n = 72) patients were offered 12 sessions of therapy by four psychodynamic counsellors. Results were assessed using scores from a pre‐ and post‐ treatment patient health questionnaire, the generalised anxiety disorder—7 (GAD‐7) and the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI). Weekly feedback and supervision from counsellors and patients were used to assess the treatment model.

The results highlighted that the psychodynamic addiction model was associated with reduced depression (Mean = 14.9; SD: 6.7), anxiety (Mean = 11.5; SD: 5.9), and gambling se‐ verity (p < .001), suggesting that a relational psychodynamic treatment is needed for complex patients with compulsive addiction, where CBT had not been successful. These results also highlight the importance of the therapeutic relationship as a critical factor in the treatment of patients with compulsive addiction problems.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Learn about the treatment modality developed for the intervention with patients with compulsive addiction.
  2. To understand the stages of therapy provided.
  3. To review the research evidence highlighting its success

Finding Positive Power in the Face of Threat

Through a very personal case study, this presentation will explore how as professionals we help people find their voice, when threatened and powerless. It will explore the positives and negative behavioural patterns that mask anger and how if left untreated has the potential to trigger trauma response. We will discuss early behavioural issues that act as red flags for perceived threats and how these threats can be passed on generationally and culturally. It will also explore anger as a more global social pandemic. We will see how anger is spreading across mediums such as social media and investigate the psychological impact fear inducing headlines can have on us. We will also learn how the media manipulates our anger and how, in this age of increasing ego-vulnerability, we perceive threats everywhere - some which are real, and others which are made up. Anger then becomes the shield with which we protect and arm ourselves.

Learning Objectives

  1. Delegates will learn strategies and skills for managing anger.
  2. Attendees will learn where we can implement personal strategies, to find their positive power.
  3. Attendees will gain a better understanding of media manipulation and how to distinguish between the truth and the lies.

If the Body Could Talk: Experiential Therapy On Zoom / Using RTR Through the Zoom Window

Relational Trauma Repair (RTR) is a series of experiential, relational processes used for exploring personal and interpersonal issues. RTR is based on the theory of psychodrama, sociometry and group therapy and integrated with current research on trauma, grief, neurobiology and post traumatic growth.

Traumatic memory tends to remain hidden or lodged in the body and when triggered it gets projected onto whatever triggered it. Growing up with addiction or adverse childhood experiences such as abuse or neglect leaves a mark on the mind/body. The pain associated with these early experiences tends to get played out unconsciously in adult relationships which act as triggers for hidden pain; the intense feelings of vulnerability and dependency that accompany intimacy trigger our early experiences of intimacy and closeness. We learn how to relate through the mind/body experience of connection or disconnection and we heal similarly. Letting the body find the right words, to express the right feelings once they are triggered to the surface of our consciousness, creates a path towards emotional literacy and emotional sobriety. It opens a door to healing the kind of historical trauma that may be getting confused with and played out in today’s relationships.

Sobriety is bad for your mental health! Unexpected lessons learned from measuring treatment outcomes in sex and porn addiction groupwork

This presentation will start with an overview of the latest research and debates on sex and porn addiction before focussing on the results of recently published research on treatment efficacy. The research will be used to highlight the essential differences between sobriety and recovery and provide space to consider the implications of this on our understanding of people with sex and porn addiction and how we work with them. An overview of the outcome measurement tools used will also be provided along with some thoughts on how evaluation can optimise clinical practice.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand the latest debates around CSBD (Compulsive Sexual behaviour Disorder) and Sex Addiction
  2. Increase awareness of the impact of sex and porn addiction on psychological health
  3. Understand the principles of CORE OM and how it can be used to evaluate treatment efficacy in addiction
  4. Recognise the reasons why sobriety may increase psychological distress
  5. Understand the importance of integrated treatment approaches that focus on psychological health as well as sobriety.

Addiction Through the Lens of the Polyvagal Theory

Polyvagal Theory emphasises the intervening role that the autonomic nervous system has in mediating the valence and amplitude of our mental and physical responses to events and individuals. Rather than the traditional Stimulus-Response (S-R) behavioural model that most therapists and educators are familiar with, Polyvagal Theory emphasises that autonomic state provides a neural platform for subsequent mental and physical responses. The theory details the emergent properties of three broadly defined autonomic states regulated by: 1) the ventral vagal pathway that calms physiological state and supports spontaneous social engagement behaviours and co-regulation, 2) the sympathetic nervous system that impedes social interactions and supports fight and flight behaviors, and 3) the dorsal vagal pathway that disengages the individual through life threat induced immobilisation and/or dissociation. Within this model, addiction is viewed as a valiant, although unsuccessful, attempt to downregulate defense reaction through external sources (e.g., drugs, behaviours).

Neurobiologically, downregulation of defense related states may only be effectively managed through the recruitment of the ventral vagal pathway that has been linked through human evolution with the regulation of the social engagement system.

Addiction through the lens of the Polyvagal Theory focuses on the addicted individual’s quest for safety without having the neurophysiological resources to be sufficiently physiologically calm to co-regulate with others. Using this model, treatment needs to focus on providing resources for the addicted to regulate autonomic state that will enable them to cue others, via the social engagement system, that they are safe to approach and to be part of a co-regulatory dyad with trusted friends and relatives.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Attendees will understand the principles and features of the Polyvagal Theory.
  2. Attendees will understand how the Polyvagal Theory can demystify addictive behaviour.
  3. Attendees will understand how the Polyvagal Theory can explain the remission that clients have experienced had during the pandemic.
  4. Attendees will understand that maladaptive behaviours, including addictive behaviours, may be an attempt to regulate physiological state in a quest to feel safe.
  5. Attendees will be informed about a face-heart connection that defines a social engagement system linking bodily feelings with facial expression, vocal intonation, and gesture.
  6. Attendees will understand how deficits in the regulation of the Social Engagement System are related to the core feature of many who suffer with addictions and may have been disrupted during the pandemic.
  7. Attendees will be informed about a neural process (neuroception) that evaluates risk in the environment and triggers adaptive neural circuits that promote either social interactions or the defense systems that might lead to addictive behaviours.

Resilient Listening – How and Why to Practice It

Nervous system theory, such as the Polyvagal Theory and others, helps us to understand the importance of getting our physiology into a response to safety rather than an activation to threat. When we are being listened to, it can go either way.

Addiction can be reframed as a chronic dysregulation of the nervous system. Threat responses can be mobilized (such as fight or flight), or immobilized (such as freeze). Most addictions are to substances or behaviors which medicate this dysregulated nervous system up or down.

Humans have another way of regulating though, through relationship. Relationships require something being offered and that being received safely. 12-step groups work well to provide this. Resilient listening can take that co-regulating dynamic out of the rooms and offer it to others in your daily life.

Learning Objectives:

  1. How to understand the nervous system’s role in addiction (self-medication) and relationships.
  2. Learning about the difference between an mobilised and immobilised response to threat.
  3. Learning how to transition yourself or a client into an embodied response to safety.
  4. Deepening self-awareness around the challenges of listening safely to others.
  5. Tools for clinical practice and personal relationships.

Can you see us? Providing culturally competent treatment for persons of color

The term, “I don’t see color” is often used by well-intentioned individuals to describe their views on diversity but this phrase can be detrimental in therapeutic settings when treating persons of color. The ability for providers to “see” color allows for the development of culturally competent programming and the critical factor of developing a therapeutic alliance. Data shows that racial and ethnic minority groups are most likely to experience limited access and poor engagement in substance use disorder treatment. “Seeing color” will allow programs and providers to acknowledge and address the complexity of barriers and issues facing individuals and families in need of mental health and substance use disorder treatment.

This workshop will provide an overview of substance abuse disorders among minority communities, present information to help programs and providers to understand cultural issues relevant to treating persons of color and examine how programs can develop policies and processes to monitor and access efforts to incorporate cultural competency.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Provide epidemiological data on substance use disorder treatment for racial and ethnic groups.
  2. Discuss how cultural competence and knowledge enhances proficiency in clinical skills, programmatic development, and administrative practices.
  3. Identify core culturally responsive principles for counseling individuals from diverse ethnic groups.
  4. Provide resources for programs and practitioners.

A New Systems Model Approach to Aftercare and Recovery Management

Using a systems approach to organise aftercare and restructure the client's potentiality for success. This series informs the clinician of resources that have the ability to enhance the client’s chances of success in recovery. Analysing the current systems around the client, and putting in place healthy systems to support success and create system-wide change. Create an experiential modeling for ongoing healthy behaviour.

Managing your Well-being and Mental Health in an Increasingly Complex World

Gill and Kay have worked together over the last nine years and have developed different practical approaches to many aspects of workplace mental health and well-being.

Earlier this year Deloitte published an update to their 2017 research focused on mental health and employers. The report makes a positive case for employers investing in mental health, with an average return of £5 for every £1 spent.

Together they will address the significant rise in mental-health-related ‘presenteeism’, where employees work when they are not at their most productive, with mental-health related absenteeism and staff turnover contributing to the costs overall.

Alongside this, changes to working practices are found to make maintaining mental health more challenging for some. For example, while increased use of technology can enhance working practices, having the ability to work outside of regular working hours can also make it hard to disconnect from an ‘always-on’ culture.

This presentation will deliver, strategies and practical steps that we can all use as employers and employees, to invest in our mental health and to help protect and manage ourselves both.

The Power of Perception: What Virtual Reality is Teaching Us About Trauma

At Stanford University’s Huberman Lab, an ongoing virtual reality experiment is offering significant insight into the influence of perception. As a consultant to the lab, Ryan Soave has had a front-row seat to the experiment’s findings on fear, stress, and trauma. In this presentation, Soave shares a look inside the experiment and what virtual reality is revealing about perception’s role in shaping our realities, beliefs, emotions, and behaviours.

In AA literature, Bill Wilson writes, “Nearly every serious emotional problem can be seen as a case of misdirected instinct. When that happens, our great natural assets, the instincts have turned into physical and mental liabilities.” Here, we see the intersection of trauma, dysfunction, and addiction.

The DSM-5’s description of “exposure to actual or threatened death, serious injury, or sexual violence” as Criteria A for diagnosis of PTSD supports the idea that both first-person experiences and associated perceptions can significantly affect trauma, fear, and the body’s reactions. In the presence of an actual threat, the body appropriately taps into its instincts and initiates a trauma response. But what happens when the threat is merely perceived?

The Huberman Lab’s current research utilises virtual reality to examine the perceptions beneath the dysfunction. For 90 minutes, Soave discusses how misperceived threat causes misdirected action and how a better understanding of this concept leads to clinical best practices for sustainable healing from trauma of all kinds.

Learning objectives:

1. Discuss the role virtual reality is playing to understand trauma, stress, and fear.
2. Understand how perception shapes and individual’s reality and the stress response.
3. Understand the impact of perception has in decision making related to the addiction cycle.
4. Discuss clinical practices to build capacity in the parasympathetic nervous system to support decision making in the stress response.

Glass Half Full? Reflections on 30 years of developing national treatment systems

In this hour-long personal reflection, Mike Trace will look critically at what the substance misuse treatment sector has tried to achieve, and the extent to which it has been successful, over 3 decades of expansion. Focusing on the UK, but also contrasting experience in North America and continental Europe, he will ask the big questions of what has driven the expansion of publicly funded treatment, whose needs does it meet, and whether the sector has made good use of the historic opportunity presented by increased political interest.

Mike is well placed to offer his perspective, as a worker in the sector since the early 1980’s, including senior strategic roles in the UK government, the European Union, and the United Nations.

Creating a Culture of Kinship

In a recent article for The Atlantic, cultural commentator David Brooks shares “We’re likely living through the most rapid change in family structure in human history. The causes are economic, cultural and institutional all at once.” Every day I hear stories that bring this striking observation to life.

Our culture is undergoing a rapid deterioration of family. This dramatic shift towards convenience, independence, and self-fulfilment is costing us. It’s making us more fragmented and less stable. When tragedy strikes, many of us don’t have a reliable place to turn. We desperately need to create new networks of comradery and support.

Unfortunately, the problems that the mental health and addiction industry treat are outpacing the solutions that we provide. Our industry is riddled with scarcity, comparison and competition, when we desperately need a renewed focus on building networks of collaboration. This lack of kinship and connection isn’t just impacting our clients, it’s also breaking down the effectiveness of our industry.

In this talk, we’ll discuss how we can forge a culture of “kinship” that can help us combat the loneliness and burnout epidemic and strengthen our collective resilience in our industry, our communities, and the world.

Learning objectives:

1. How to better understand the cultural shifts and trends around family and how they are impacting our mental health.
2. How we can build networks of comradery and support.
3. How we can forge a culture of “kinship” that can help combat the loneliness epidemic and strengthen our collective resilience.

Can we talk about Prescribed Drug Dependence?

Guidance for Psychological Therapists: Enabling conversations with clients taking or withdrawing from prescribed psychiatric drugs was launched in December 2019. Following Public Health England’s acknowledgment of the growing problem of prescribed drug dependency and withdrawal in its recent ground-breaking report, this new guidance gives psychological therapists the information they need to help clients struggling with side effects and withdrawal issues which have resulted from a boom in the prescription of psychiatric drugs.

Learning objectives:

1. Latest evidence around what psychiatric drugs do together with the likely incidence and severity of withdrawal reactions.
2. Importance of recognising potential withdrawal reactions so they are not misinterpreted as relapse or the occurrence of a ‘new’ problem.
3. Implications of the evidence for therapeutic practice including for example distinguishing between giving medical advice (which is the province of prescribers) and discussing medical information, and understanding when usual psychotherapeutic practice might need to be suspended in favour of more supportive work.

Boarding School Syndrome, Addictions and Recovery – The disguised trauma of privilege

For the child, the moment of leaving home for boarding school is the beginning of an episode of adaption. Theirs is a new world suddenly deprived of the familiar comforts of family and privacy. For many, it becomes a place of disassociation, self-soothing and powerlessness with a necessity to manage feelings alone and in secrecy. These feelings are often acted out elsewhere and sometimes as other dependencies substituting for the abrupt loss of dependency on primary caregivers. This presentation seeks to stimulate thought about this group’s particular difficulties and to offer ideas for the treatment of this complex trauma.

Session Objectives:

1. Provide new knowledge about a particular complex trauma (Boarding School Syndrome).
2. Highlight the interaction of trauma with addictive behaviour.
3. suggests treatment interventions to enhance performance.

Suicide assessment and prevention: A multidisciplinary team approach

Suicide is 10-14 times greater in those with alcohol dependence and drug misuse. The presence of other mental illness increases this risk further. Although suicide can be difficult to predict, many cases are preventable, and treatment services must take a diligent attitude to assessment and prevention. This presentation will be facilitated by a multi-disciplinary team at the Nightingale Hospital addictions treatment unit.

It will be led by Dr Andrew Parker, Consultant Psychiatrist and Addictions Lead, Patrick Maxwell, Addictions Therapist, and Fiona Roye-Taylor, Addictions Charge Nurse.

Through discussion of a real-life (anonymised) case study, the interactive presentation will highlight the importance of identifying both static and dynamic risk factors for suicide; careful history of past attempts; mental state risk factors; compassion and interviewing style, and the vital role of ongoing multidisciplinary team communication, and involvement of significant others.

Learning objectives:

1. Understanding static and dynamic risk factors for suicide in context of addiction
2. Eliciting the history of para-suicidal acts, intent or planning
3. Accurate and concise communication of suicide risk
4. Awareness and identification of high-risk mood states
5. Prevention of suicide through multidisciplinary team (MDT) working and continuing care

Better than Well: The Reality of Recovery

While the concept of recovery remains a mystery to many in the justice field, emerging research has confirmed that the long-term prognosis for SUD’s are quite favourable and the majority of those who seek help for a SUD can and do recover. (Best, 2018). In fact, people not only recover, but in many cases this growth may exceed general population levels of quality of life when they reach ‘stable’ recovery of five years or more of continuous sobriety (Hibbert & Best, 2011) – generating the idea that recovery may not be about remission to a ‘normal’ state but rather a transcendence to a state that can be characterised as ‘better than well’. This wellness ripples out into the community in the form of increased civic participation and engagement.

The ‘better than well’ model of change can explain the ‘rebound effect’ from serious adverse life events and the ensuing “post-traumatic growth” that has been documented. For those with criminal justice and substance use disorders, the emerging research confirms that these experiences can provide the motivational fulcrum to transcend the difficulties and can explain the ‘rebound effect’ from serious adverse life events. Studies confirm that these adversities can often produce tremendous resilience and bring forth an inner strength that has been referred to as “post-traumatic growth”, and in the recovery space this is most evident in social and community activism and engagement.

This shift in perspective is creating an enormous opportunity for policy and practices that recognize this potential for growth and transformation. Discussion will include the latest research studies and innovative programs that have emerged from these findings. Central to this work is the concept of “Recovery Capital” and the impact it had across personal, social, and community domains, and our growing capacity to measure where individuals are in terms of the growth of their recovery resources and potential.

This presentation will provide an overview of David Best’s work in the justice systems in UK and Australia, accompanied with a discussion by Susan Broderick on this work is being introduced in the United States justice system along with the “Inside and Out” programming in The Phoenix, a non-profit sober active community.

Learning objectives:

1. Understand the ‘better than well’ theory in addiction recovery
2. Recognise how strengths-based approaches impact quality of life
3. Provide examples of the transformative power of recovery capital across individual, social, and community domains.

Game Over

Game Over will be a panel presentation; attendees will be informed by expert professionals on the developments in the treatment of compulsive behavioural patterns and which studies and outcomes are progressing the field with cutting edge diagnosis, treatment tools and services.

The World Health Organisation defines gaming disorder in the 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) as a pattern of gaming behaviour (“digital-gaming” or “video-gaming”) characterised by impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences. For gaming disorder to be diagnosed, the behaviour pattern must be of enough severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning and would normally have been evident for at least 12 months.

Attendees of this presentation will hear a first-hand experience of what it is like living with gaming addiction and how it manifests itself within the family setting.

For gaming disorder to be diagnosed, the behaviour pattern must be of enough severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning and would normally have been evident for at least 12 months.

Ultimately people play games to satisfy their needs; creativity, competing and connection - the captivating attraction towards the fantasy of personalities and identities; explorers, destroyers, achievers and socialisers. Games like World of Warcraft and Fortnite have combinations of those four characters and maybe real hormone triggers for feelings of happiness (Serotonin and Endorphins), love (Oxytocin) and rewards (Dopamine). This high risk – high reward business with a significant influence on our hormone-triggers, is reminiscent to that of the illegal drug business.

Learning Objectives

  1. Attendees will be advised on best practice in supporting families affected by gaming addiction, gambling and compulsive behavioural disorders. We must help young people to become responsible human beings coexisting with technology without being ruled by it.
  2. This presentation for professionals, parents and carers will explore and identify the key anchors towards starting meaningful conversations and developing early intervention dialogues within the family setting.
  3. Attendees will leave with a better understanding as to why gaming is such an infiltrator in the lives of some young people.

Functional Medicine in action : prescribing physical, mental and emotional wellness.

Ancient Chinese medicine has a unique perspective and viewpoint on the effects of shock and trauma.

This presentation will demonstrate how the integration of ancient medical wisdom and nutrition can play a vital role in the well-being of those recovering from addiction. Nutrition is often an afterthought for many, but Dr Weeks will demonstrate why it should be an integral part of any long-term recovery plan.

The word ‘Detox’ is often used for the initial process of withdrawing from a substance. Philip Weeks will look at upregulating detoxification which can address the bioaccumulation of environmental toxins in organs and tissues, which in turn support the recovery process.

Finally, we will explore the importance of addressing and restoring gut bacteria. A balanced gut bacterium doesn’t just have physiological benefits in terms of better health and resistance to disease but can have profound effects on brain neurotransmitters and mental health.

Learning Objectives:

  1. How nutrition can play a foundational role in mental, emotional and physical resilience.
  2. How I use ancient strategies to address trauma, although some of the processes are thousands of years old, they are still as as relevant today.
  3. The route to long term brain health is often through the gut, restoring and optimising gut function is essential for any long term health and recovery

Traditional medicine and the changing face of addiction

Emergency Rooms across America are the front line when it comes to alcoholism and addiction. Dr. Gregory Boris, Chairman of Emergency Services at Griffin Hospital in Derby, Connecticut will share his observations on how hospitals like Griffin are managing the opioid epidemic and how integration with detox and residential treatment providers is integral to reducing deaths.

Dr. Boris will shed light on what successful collaboration among providers through the continuum of care looks like. He will touch on the importance of following patients from their entry into the emergency room through detox, residential treatment, partial hospitalization, and intensive outpatient care.

Dr. Boris will further discuss the importance of early introduction of therapeutic interventions such as breath work, mindfulness, and other spiritual practices when it comes to successful recovery.

Music Therapy: An Evidence-Based Tool for Treatment AND Self Care

Combining the latest music, neuroscience, and music therapy research with positive and social psychology, Tim has synthesized his evidence-based practice of using music to help thousands of clients for more than a decade into this fun and enlightening presentation. By sharing not only his clinical experience but his own recovery journey, Tim paints a compassionate and hopeful approach to addiction and recovery that includes both work AND play through music.

In this interactive and experiential presentation, you will learn why music is not only effective but efficient at helping a person stay S.O.B.E.R., which stands for Stay present, Open up, Be creative, Escape Stressors, and Reconnect. You will learn how you are wired to experience and make music. Tim dispels the myths in our culture surrounding music and talent and makes engaging with music seem completely approachable for ANYONE.

You’ll learn why music is a vital tool for anyone looking to break the chains of addiction, and you’ll feel empowered to engage in the four pathways of music on a daily basis for either your self-care, or as a tool in your clinical toolkit.

Learning Objectives:

1. Participants will learn 5 clinical outcomes music therapy successfully addresses.
2. Participants will learn 4 ways to engage with music to affect clinical outcomes.
3. Participants will learn key physiological responses to music that promote positive clinical outcomes.

From Sickness to Health; the vow of intimacy from within ourselves

We arrive from the womb a fresh sponge, absorbing everything that surrounds us in the bucket we call ‘life’. Whatever we are exposed to fills the absorbent void within us and becomes our learning. If that learning is muddied with erratic attention, unhealthy attachment, frightening behaviours or worse, children learn to fear the world and seek to fill their perception of reality with anything from outside themselves that satiates this inner fear and pain. The perfect setup for addiction; external physical and emotional ‘medicine’ becomes their norm and so often, intensity becomes their intimacy. Game over? No: game just beginning!

Learning Objectives:

1. To explore the Mother/Son relationship and how conflicting behaviours can predispose a child to a confusing emotional intensity in manhood.
2. To explore anger and rage when carried within a boy and how this inner sickness can affect his adult relationships with himself and others.
3. To examine the void within us, the path back to our soul and the importance of nurturing a healthy connection to ourselves from a place of ‘into-me-see’ intimacy.

Bridging the Gap between experience and clinical advice: The importance of early intervention in maladaptive alcohol use

This talk challenges the long-standing response to people questioning their relationship with alcohol. To move away from the black/white model of alcoholism and to talk about the nuances of peoples’ experiences. By sharing our stories we will highlight what for many people, alcohol use looks like behind closed doors. We will discuss the impact of professionals tending to advise moderation and counting units, how alcohol is often unaddressed in the conversation about mental illness and the clear links between the two.

With this talk, we aim to raise awareness of professionals about the spectrum of addiction and ways to advocate sobriety a positive life choice to patients, rather than waiting for rock-bottom to take definitive action. We will also discuss the problems and solutions to existing modalities of treatment in regards to religion, gender, clean language and being trauma-informed. This talk will conclude by introducing the place coaching can be used in early intervention or as aftercare, the importance of community and our Love Sober approach to sobriety based on the science of happiness, self-care and balance.

Learning Objectives:

1. Understand the spectrum of addiction, and what has become known as the "grey area" drinker.
2. Reflect on the gaps/breaks in the conversation between mental health/substance use disorders.
3. Present new modalities for early intervention and After Care through Coaching.

Where does therapy belong in the Workplace

Times have changed and alongside the idea of breaking the stigma around mental health, the same is happening around services such as therapy. In this talk, Louise Chunn of Welldoing and Arti Kashyap-Aynsley of Deloitte Consulting will provide a view on the evolving role of therapy with both the outcome-focused millennial generation and the role of the workplace. This talk is focused on helping you understand the art of the possible around the opportunities available, as well as the changing nature of the delivery of services and the needs of the clients seeking these services.

Learning Objectives:

1. Providing a view of where practitioners could upskill further
2. Providing a view of the changing and evolving industries available to practitioners

The use of Telepsychiatry and e-Communications Technology in the delivery of substance misuse services: the journey so far and the way ahead

Our lives are driven by information and communication technology but while the potential for it to improve the delivery of mental health services has been recognised since the 1950s, the impact is limited so far. Dr McLaren is a pioneer in the field of Telepsychiatry, and he co-authored the first textbook published on Telepsychiatry and e-Mental Health in 2005. He will present the evidence so far on the use of ICT, focusing in particular on the impact of the technology on the therapeutic relationship and discuss the potential for improving services in the future. Dr Mclaren will examine in particular how e-technology and telepsychiatry can improve the measuring of treatment outcomes, and the impact of accessibility and affordability across treatment services.

Learning Objectives:

1. Understand the evidence base for the use of ICT in psychiatry and psychotherapy

2. Understand the scope use of ICT in substance misuse services currently

3. Understand the ways in which the medium of communication could influence psychotherapeutic processes

4. Stimulate thinking about new applications and innovative ways of services delivery in Substance Misuse services through the use of ICT.

Mind-Brain-Gene: Toward Psychotherapy Integration

This keynote synthesizes the already substantial literature on psychoneuroimmunology and epigenetics, combining it with the neuroscience of emotional, interpersonal, cognitive, dynamics, with psychotherapeutic approaches to offer an integrated vision of psychotherapy. The integrative model promotes a sea change in how we conceptualize mental health problems and their solutions. We can now understand how the immune system, diet, brain structure, and even gut bacteria effect mental health. Psychotherapists in the 21st Century will by necessity become more like healthcare workers to address and resolve adverse mind-body-brain interactions.

Learning Objectives:

1. Explain the relationship between health and mental health.
2. Discuss the interaction between the immune system, genes, brain dynamics, and mental health.
3. Critique how autoimmune disorders contribute to depression, anxiety, and cognitive problems.

Transforming the Therapy Process through Horses

The involvement of horses in behavioural, emotional and mental health treatment is growing in recognition and popularity. Why and what is this form of treatment? How does it work? What are the different approaches being used and when would you use them?

The presentation will utilise powerpoint, video, interactive discussion and case stories to illustrate how horses are incorporated and can benefit clients with addiction and mental health issues, and how evidence-based interventions can be facilitated through this experiential approach. A framework providing standards and facilitation skillsets for mental health interventions involving horses, the Eagala Model, will be introduced.

The Eagala Model is currently being practised in over 500 programs in 40 countries, with 60,458 clients in 2018 served. The presentation will share the latest program evaluation and research results incorporating horses and the Eagala Model. Participants will leave the presentation understanding how this approach can work, the benefits it can provide, and the steps in implementing this intervention in current programs or making appropriate referrals.

Learning Objectives:

1. Participants will be able to define the different ways horses are incorporated in therapy services and identify how evidence-based interventions can be facilitated through this experiential framework.
2. Participants will be able to explain how incorporating horses can work and benefit clients with various addiction, behavioural, emotional and mental health needs.
3. Participants will be introduced to the Eagala Model – a framework providing standards and facilitation skillsets when incorporating horses in the therapy process.
4. Participants will learn the latest program evaluation and research results incorporating horses and the Eagala Model.
5. Participants will be able to identify steps in making appropriate referrals and implementing this intervention.

Going Deeper into Depression: Addressing Brain, Body and Behaviour

Depression, often considered a monolithic clinical diagnosis, is seen to have varying clinical presentations. These polymorphic presentations make the clinicians job of identifying, diagnosing, and treating inherently challenging. Compounding this problem, approximately a third of patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) do not respond to treatment, with only half achieving remission. This treatment resistance results in high morbidity and makes MDD one of the leading causes of disability in the world per the World Health Organisation.

Early intervention, intensive and multimodal treatment are key to improving outcomes in this patient population. Challenges inherent to treatment include polymorphism in clinical presentation, multifactorial aetiology and complex pathophysiology. Modern research has enabled us to identify distinct pathophysiological processes underlying a depressive syndrome, increasing our ability to better understand this complex entity.

In this presentation, we will discuss the different pathophysiological processes underlying depression. We will review current evidence for approaching patients with difficult to treat presentations using conventional and complementary medicine modalities. In addition, we will discuss the latest developments in conceptualizing treatment resistance and novel, experimental treatments that are under investigation.

Learning Objectives:

1. Define depression and treatment resistant depression.
2. Discuss pathophysiological processes implicated in the clinical presentation of depression.
3. Describe evidence-based conventional and integrative treatments for depressive disorders.
4. Review novel and experimental approaches for difficult to treat depression.

Inside the Black Box – how and why do people change (or not) in treatment and therapy for addiction?

To improve our treatment models we don’t just need to know ‘what works’, we need to know ‘how it works’ – how people respond to the treatment (or not) enabling them to make transformative changes from addiction into recovery. Research has moved into the area of mechanisms in the past 10 years using a range of methodologies. This presentation reviews some of the most interesting mechanisms of change, including psychological, spiritual, behavioural and identity change, the emerging evidence and the implications for treatment/therapy. The presenter’s own research will be explained and related to current trends in our understanding of addiction.

Learning Objectives:

1. Understand the change in research focus from efficacy to mechanisms
2. Reflect on how treatment and therapy from addictions produce change in ways not explained by the underlying theory
3. Be able to critique the 'technology model' of psycho-social interventions

Therapeutically Engaging the Adolescent Male in the 21st Century

Therapeutically engaging today’s adolescent male has become increasingly difficult. Common barriers include emotional intelligence, shorter attention spans, detached relationships, increasing rates of depression, anxiety and self-medicating behaviours. This presentation will explore the role that technology could be playing in exacerbating these rates of increased mental illness in adolescents. These presenters will highlight effective therapeutic techniques that have shown to positively increase adolescent growth. Lastly, our presentation will identify both psychosocial and technology related approaches that successfully engage adolescents in therapeutic contexts. Participants should expect to engage in group dialogue and take away actionable information to be implemented into practice.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify the most common barriers that prevent engagement and connection in treating adolescent males.
  2. How to use research to design interventions specifically for the adolescent male that will result in treatment compliance and reduction in symptomatology.
  3. How to create assessment tools to measure the effectiveness of interventions, and then use those results to reinforce growth trajectories.
  4. Engagement strategies that support adolescent growth and complement existing cultural realities (e.g. technology, social media, popular culture).

Theoretical Framework for Working With Women: An Essential Resource for Women’s Case Management

Connection is the key and with it, expert interventionist and licensed counsellor, Heather Hayes, is able to lift the lid on women’s issues. With 35 years of working with women in the addictions and mental health field, Heather is able to offer invaluable insight for clinicians, case managers, coaches and interventionists working with women.

The first mention of a ‘sex-selective disorder’ dates back to ancient Egypt. It was here that the stigma towards women and their specific issues was created. Today women are statistically more affected than men by mental health and substance abuse issues, yet rarely do we address this.

Women face unique challenges regarding their physical and mental health that must be recognised and explored by mental health professionals. Such challenges include women’s exposure to violence, culturally supported roles for women in traditional settings, and mental health concerns across the life cycle. Women are unlikely to seek treatment for fear of losing their children. They are also unfulfilled by the modern day models of development which advocate individualism and independence. Women thrive through connection, therefore the way we need to help women recover needs to be through a connective model.

This presentation will explore the cultural and psychological dynamics that influence the treatment of women in behavioural health settings, including intervention and case management best practices.

Heather will outline a specific framework for the treatment of women, which will draw upon relational, non-pathologising treatment models which will help women, not only recover, but also thrive.

Combating Existential Despair: Finding Hope & Meaning in the Midst of Global Suffering

It seems like we can’t pick up our phones or turn on our televisions these days without hearing about some sort of global tragedy. Our days -- and our minds -- are filled with news of mass shootings, terrorist threats, and the catastrophic effects of climate change.

It’s getting harder and harder to silence the voices that seem to telling us “there’s nothing we can do” and “the world is dark and hopeless.” In Combatting Existential Despair, Cindy Westcott will share how we can build hope and resiliency in a world that is desperate for it.

Psychology vs. Therapy. Implications for clinical supervision for treatment professionals

As the founder and clinical director of several treatment programs, I have spent the last 23 years training and supervisions clinicians. My experience is that many clinicians have little experience with supervision that considers how resistance is exacerbated by the clinician.

The therapist's model, technique, and emotional reaction to the client can all become barriers to effective treatment. The therapist's shame and the need to be a "good" clinician also prevent effective treatment. Counter-transference can be an effective diagnostic tool when therapists understand projective-identification defences and when the therapist is able to consider personal counter-transference.

Many treatment professionals account for the lack of progress in therapy as client-created, and fail to evaluate their approach. Frustration, anger, hopelessness, anxiety, powerlessness, sadness, and many other emotional responses to clients can prevent the therapist from providing a safe container.

Therapists are not experts on their client’s lives, ought not to provide advice in major-life decisions, but should foster the development of a healthy self. This requires that the therapist be constantly looking at their response, feelings, and relationship to the client and the client’s issues. Failure to reflect adequately can produce therapy that is abusive or at least inadequate. Attachment theory and research on how others respond to us and how that effects the brain is exhaustive.

Learning Objectives:

1. Understand common counter-transference errors.
2. Understand therapy behaviors that reduce or increase resistance.
3. Understand supervision techniques that help improve therapeutic outcomes.

Where do we go from here? – What happens when providers are traumatised, have death hit close to home, relapse or experience other crisis?

Mortality rates within the behavioural health treatment space are rapidly increasing and providers career expectancies are dwindling. This presentation examines stressors amongst counsellors, interventionists, milieu staff and other treatment providers. We will address provider burnout, exposure to traumatic incidents, severe mortality increases, inpatient death rates, relapse amongst professionals and best practice treatment modalities for addressing symptomology related to exposure.

Additionally, this presentation will address stigmas surrounding healthcare workers in crisis and barriers to them seeking assistance. Empirical evidence, statistics, research outcomes and personal experience will be interwoven to create a well-rounded and engaging presentation. Ben will provide statistical data regarding mortality rates amongst those with substance use and mental health disorders. All material will dually apply to better treating patients within a Substance Use Disorder (SUD) or Mental Health based treatment setting.

RECOVERY GAMES: How to Use Improv and Creative Writing in Groups

An experiential workshop exploring the use of creative writing and improvisation in group. Participants will gain direct experience of both techniques themselves, supported by evidence of the importance of play, story, and how they are connected, and will be provided with tools and resources to take away as well as the knowledge of how to put them into practice immediately.


This engaging dyadic presentation is specifically focused on our clinical conceptualisation of the needs of the families and spouses of addicted people. The talk will move from the 'wife shaming' views if the 1940's to the 'family disease models of the 1960's, ending with an overview the concept of codependency. (1980's, 1990's). The talk will then turn away from this historical critique, toward a discussion/description of a new concept, Prodependence.

Prodependence will be introduced as a fully new, strength based model sourced in attachment theory.

We will look at why has loving and caring for a troubled person become a pathology? In our age of attachment-focused psychotherapy, can anyone really "love too much?" For that matter, what is codependency today?

This clinical, research guided, provocative keynote modelled after the 2018 book Prodependence, critiques the history and present state of codependency, while also introducing something entirely new.

Prodependence is a brand new, attachment sourced view of the families and loved ones of addicts that pushes us past Codependence. Thus in an attachment-focused era, we will discuss whether we can begin to offer caregivers a more loving, strength based treatment model.

Learning Objectives:

1. Introduce a new model of treatment (educate participants) for partners of addicts.
2. Attendees will be able to compare and contrast codependence and prodependence to understand the differences between the models.
3. Attendees will develop three new terms to utilise when intervening loved ones of addicts.

The Yin and Yang that Live Within

Integrative care is believed to be a valid touchstone in helping our patients/clients achieve their goals in mental/emotional health and physical wellness. Oriental medical philosophy can be a powerful part
of that care.

Understanding the concepts of balance, which will always include the principles of Yin/Yang, is another tool in mental, emotional, physical and spiritual diagnosis.

The concepts of darkness, light, change, and the free flow of magnetism, are a large part of the outside energetics of nature. These energies are an important part in the creation of Qi (i.e. life force).

We are in control of this powerful dynamic by our own life choices
It is this understanding that allows one to strengthen and enhance one’s physiological make up or ‘constitution’ and to recognise pattern’s in your patients/clients.

The 5 elements -- fire, earth, metal, water, and wood -- show us yet another vital way in which to look at energetics within the body. This inner body dynamic creates its own mental, emotional, and physical ecosystem, which flow together to create who we are in the here and now.

These concepts will be explored in relation to ourselves and to the understanding of our clients/patients. The clarity of Oriental Medical philosophy gives us another way to frame conversations, therapies, meditations, insights, dietary, and specific lifestyle recommendations.

Included will be exercise and breathing modalities best suited to each client’s individual needs.

Learning Objectives:

1. Participants will gain an understanding of the inner workings of Yin/Yang balance , and Qi ( life force ).

2. Participants will learn the importance of how a balanced lifestyle leads to healthy emotional decisions.

3. Participants will learn how to identify clients’ profiles and guide them to cognitive techniques leading to better balance and empowering growth.

The Future Science of Effective Substance Use Disorder Treatment

The effective treatment of Substance Use Disorders (SUDs) faces many great challenges. Historically, these pitfalls have included low training standards, ambiguity of success, and the weight of stigma. Most behavioural health professionals are aware of these challenges. This presentation, however, will identify our most pressing concern: measurement. Our ability to measure and monitor treatment effect is directly proportional to the future growth of our practice.

Unfortunately, the application of incongruent philosophical values (i.e. materialism and specificity) onto the behavioural sciences has severely hampered our ability to best measure patient change. These challenges have contributed to the greatest behavioural health pandemic of our time. Amidst these challenges, advances in both emerging technology accelerants and data science techniques has offered our field a unique opportunity.

The same historical limitations of the behavioural sciences now offers a unique advantage in catapulting our field into the current frontiers of information technology and behavioural science. This presentation will outline a comprehensive model of measurement that includes psychometrics, digital phenotyping, and neuroimaging. These emerging sciences applied into our practices can transform our field by increasing our capacity to identify severity profiles, optimise treatment dosage, and monitor patient change over-time. Applied examples currently leveraged within Cumberland Heights Foundation will be reviewed. The barriers and challenges associated with the adoption of these techniques will be emphasised.

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There is mounting evidence that childhood maltreatment can profoundly influence human development, resulting in a variety of mental, emotional, and social challenges – including addictive disorders. Attachment theory is a dominant theory in human development today and is a useful framework for understanding how early relational experiences can have far-reaching effects.

Developmental trauma and attachment disturbances can lead to deficits in nervous system regulation due in part to disruptions in neurochemical systems involving oxytocin and dopamine and can impact neural pathways connecting the prefrontal cortex and the limbic structures. Furthermore, research conducted by the presenter will be used to show that attachment-related anxiety and avoidance are related to rumination/emotion dysregulation and suppression/emotional unclarity, respectively.

Addictive behaviours can be seen as an attempt at short-term regulation, with long-term consequences. Theoretical ideas will be presented linking early-occurring attachment-related changes to the dopamine rewards system as a possible basis for later vulnerability to addictive disorders. Finally, the roles of mindfulness and self-compassion will be explored as possible interventions for those who suffer with trauma- and attachment-related disorders.

This presentation will utilise cutting-edge research, highly engaging visual information, and real-world clinical anecdotes to explore the scientific linkages between trauma, attachment, and addiction, and will offer ideas on how to help clients restore the capacity to self-regulate in healthy ways.

Learning Objectives:

1. Participants will be able to identify general principles of attachment theory.
2. Participants will be able to describe how attachment theory can be used to better conceptualize childhood maltreatment.
3. Participants will be able to describe the qualities of the two main dimensions of attachment insecurity: anxiety and avoidance.

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This presentation will identify and explore how the current global climate of social, emotional and political trauma translates into a rise in traumatic and complex grief. The content will reflect on incidents of mass violence, political strife and the explicit and implied losses experienced. This presentation will review diagnostic criteria as well as current trends in treatment.

In our world today, we are struggling to cope with unprecedented violence. political and social unrest. We continue to see a dramatic rise in terror attacks, mass terror, and drug overdoses. Imbedded in these events is the loss of safety and predictability that afford us a sense of wellbeing and peace. This presentation will examine the significant rise in trauma and complex grief and will explore clinical considerations, risk assessments, and strategies to support those in need.

Learning Objectives:

1. The participant will identify diagnostic criteria for complicated grief.
2. The participant will learn to discriminate between uncomplicated grief and complicated grief.
3. The participant will demonstrate an understanding of the interweave between grief and trauma in cases of
complex grief.
4. The participant will identify at least three clinical interventions to address complex grief.
5. The participant will identify specific factors that contribute to the rise in complex grief in our world.



May Mon 4th, Tues 5th, Wed 6th 2020

Get up to 21 hours of CPD credits
Register now



CSR Partners



May Mon 4th, Tues 5th, Wed 6th 2020

Get up to 21 hours of CPD credits
Register now