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Trauma & Addictions Conference

October 8, 2021, 9:30 am

On October 8, 2021 the second biennial Trauma & Addictions Conference – Myths of Trauma Treatment: How to Work with Clients Experiencing Trauma was held virtually.  CAS was honored to host our keynote speaker, Dr. Sonya Norman, Director, PTSD Consultation Program at the VA National Center for PTSD and Professor in the Psychiatry Department at the University of California, San Diego. Her presentation on “Treating Comorbid Substance Use Disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder” provided insight into current evidence-based treatments, including potential mechanisms by which they work, and promising future directions to more effectively treat this common and impairing comorbidity. Dr. Norman provided a comprehensive review of the available treatments and resources that are available to both clinicians and clients.

The conference was comprised of a morning speaker, afternoon panel discussion and workshops. Dr. Debra Ruisard, psychotherapist and consultant for trauma informed care, discussed, “Bottom Up and Top Down: Integrated Treated for Trauma and Addiction”.  An integrated trauma-informed model of addiction treatment combining bottom-up and top-down strategies to treat trauma and addiction more effectively. Dr. Ruisard reviewed polyvagal theory and body-based intervention strategies.

The afternoon panel, “The Intersection of Intimate Partner Violence with Trauma and Substance use”, featured researchers from around the US offering their research and clinical expertise regarding best practices as it relates to the complex intersection of intimate partner violence (IPV) with trauma and substance use. To wrap up the day participants had a choice of workshops, including “Demystifying Substance Abuse and Trauma Treatment: Reducing Ambivalence to Support Optimal Client Care and Treatment Outcomes” and “Healing from Trauma and Addiction: Lessons Learned for the COVID-19 Pandemic Show the Posttraumatic Growth is Real and Not a Myth”.

This was the 2nd Trauma & Addiction conference and the 1st held virtually, overall participants reported having a positive experience. Some comments included,” I enjoyed these courses and all the presenters. I’ve attended numerous trauma trainings and by far this one was the most valuable.”; “Presenters were great. Enjoyed their style and the positivity of this session.”; and “Excellent, organized and comprehensive”.

We understand that co-occurring trauma and substance use come with a set of unique and complex challenges, supporting a need for trainings specific to those needs for clinicians. We are committed to providing the most current, cutting-edge and evidence-based programming to address these training needs.  Be on the lookout for the next Trauma & Addiction conference in April 2023.


October 8, 2021
9:30 am