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Addiction Certificate for Front Line Workers

Addiction Certificate

Counter-transference ‘Trap’ within the Therapeutic Process of Addictions and Mental Health (Day – 1)

Historically, the work we do within addictions and mental health tends to focus more on symptoms rather than causation. Clients who seek out our services from these populations present with a significantly higher prevalence of trauma. The real architect of the intervention for our clients who are trauma implicated is the ‘worker.’ Our personal wellness, insight and healthy attachment to our clients truly matter in their process of recovery. As clinical workers, who are wanting to be trauma informed, we must reflect on our component of what we bring to the therapeutic experience. As our clients are triggered and react and re-enact historical trauma within our session, so are we as clinicians. Our history and experiences can be helpful, but also can be harmful to the therapeutic work. Our histories, especially when we are not aware, do enter into the work with our clients. Having insight to our counter-transference reactions is critical to a ‘do no harm’ approach, for the highly vulnerable populations we service.

This training will explore:

  • ‘Use of self’ was an approach and yet the challenges and even risks for ‘use of self’
  •  The historical evolution to the understanding of counter-transference as a concept
  • Overview of transference reactions and its potential risks
  • Overview of Counter-Transference Reactions – Type 1 & 2
  • The benefits of empathy and the messiness of empathy in the clinical work
  • Empathic Strain including withdrawal, repression, enmeshment, disequilibrium and overidentification
  • Power of health clinical attachment
  • Trauma Reenactment Syndrome
  • Overview of strategies for the helping professional to recognize, contain & heal event counter-transferences

This workshop with include videos, personal reflective exercises, breakout groups and clinical knowledge overview of the above stated topics.

This training is meant for participants who are authentically interested and willing to become internally vulnerable within themselves to better understanding their clinical ‘blind spots’ which operate consciously and subconsciously during their sessions. The goal of this workshop is to gain insight and learn our counter-transference reactions, and how they operate in the therapeutic approach with clients, and once identified how we challenge ourselves to address these counter-transferences so that we ‘do no harm’ to clients.

Motivational Interviewing Training (Days 2-3)

The advice-giving trap become a barrier to the change process for clients with addictive behaviours. This skills-focused, interactive training will invite participants to develop their understanding and practice of Motivational Interviewing (MI), a method of enhancing one’s motivation to change addictive behaviours, without using the ineffective approaches of the advice-giving trap. Miller and Rollnick’s empirically supported treatment approach helps frontline worker understand the dynamics of motivation and identifies skills and interventions that can be used to help clients access and enhance their own desire for positive change. MI has long been recognized as a foundational approach in supporting people to change substance use behaviour and its value in supporting behaviour change more broadly has also been recognized in recent years. This training will enhance participants’ understanding of the spirit of MI and its importance to effective MI practice. MI micro-skills, also known as OARS (open questioning, affirming, reflecting, summarizing) will be discussed and practiced and MI-specific interventions will be introduced. Common barriers to change and ways to overcome these, as well as the intersection between MI and The Stages of Change (Prochaska and DiClemente) will also be explored.

General Pharmacology Overview of Substances Including a Specific Focus on Best Practice for Treating the Opioid Crisis (Day 4)

The training will overview the effects and withdrawal symptoms of amphetamines, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy, ethyl alcohol and opioids. Introductions of the assessment tools used to assess for the severity of withdrawal symptom will be discussed. The second part of this workshop will focus on the current opioid crisis which is the most challenging forms of addiction facing the Canadian health care system, and a major contributor to the marked rises in opioid-related morbidity and death that Canada has been seeing in recent years. Current best practices and guidelines used to intervene, treat including harm reduction approaches, and prevention will be a reviewed.

Recovery Enhancement and Relapse Prevention (Day 5)

In this workshop, you will explore multi-model approaches to structuring and strengthening relapse prevention for clients who are in early recovery. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), as well as Mindfulness and Motivation Interviewing therapies are incorporated into this workshop, demonstrating how you can use these approaches to maximize your client’s abilities to enhance their recovery. You will learn the stages of relapse, determinants to relapse, assessment phase, craving/trigger cycle, abstinence violation effect, managing craving and unwanted emotions mindfully, ways to enhance self-efficacy and motivation to change using strength-based approaches. This training is suitable for Mental Health and Medical Professionals, as well as Direct Service Workers.

This training will explore:

  1. Use CBT with relapse prevention and recovery enhancement
  2. Provide a learning overview of relapse prevention theoretical perspectives
  3. Use and apply clinical CBT approaches with relapse prevention
  4. Apply enhancing motivation for recovery through the use of Motivational Interviewing for relapse prevention and recovery enhancement
  5. Provide a clinically and structure approach for relapse prevention

Trauma and Addictions (Day 6 & 7)

Recent research has confirmed what addiction treatment providers already knew to be true: the large majority of people who suffer from addiction issues also have a history of trauma and/or victimization. Experiences of trauma can cause lasting psychological and physiological effects including deficiencies in emotional regulation, problem solving and impulse control. This, in turn, can lead to the use of alcohol, drugs and/or addictive behaviours as a “functional fit” to cope with overwhelming emotions, physical dysregulation and other post-traumatic symptoms. This two-day workshop explores the connection between trauma and addiction with a focus on providing knowledge, tools and resources to effectively serve clients who are dealing with both trauma and addiction issues.

This training will explore:

  1. the link between trauma and addiction, including the neurobiology, physical and emotional responses of trauma and how they intersect with addictions
  2. the role of compassion fatigue when providing treatment to individuals with trauma/addictions
  3. the role of addiction as a survival/coping strategy for traumatic memories and symptoms
  4. the best practices for treating trauma
  5. providing tools and practical strategies to regulate autonomic arousal and trauma-related emotions and body sensations without resorting to addictive behaviours
  6. explain and demonstrate strategies for flashback management
  7. helpful trauma treatment models
  8. The Seeking Safety Model
  9. CBT, prolong exposure and cognitive processing models for trauma therapy

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