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Addiction Studies Forum Inc

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Courses and Workshops

Now Accepting Registrations!!!
Select your courses from this page then enter in the corresponding course number (e.g. A1, B4, C3 etc) on your registration form that can be found by clicking here.
For your convenience courses/workshops are rated by level of experience or difficulty. Please be mindful of course level when making your selection.
Level 1 Level 1 - Entry Level
Entry level courses for those who have little or limited experience in the addictions or helping field.
Level 2
Level 2 - Intermediate
Entry level to advanced. For those with some experience or knowledge in the addictions or helping field.
Level 3
Level 3 - Advanced
For those with substantial experience in the addictions or helping field. Some material is at the clinical level of learning and is suitable for those with post secondary to university level education.
The complete line-up of speakers, courses and workshops are listed below in order of date and corresponding course number.

The Institute (Addiction Studies Forum Inc) reserves the right to cancel or reschedule all sessions and courses for circumstances that occur that are beyond our control.



Delegates attending the 61st Annual Institute on Addiction Studies are eligible to earn up to a maximum of 27.5 Continuing Educational Units (CEUs) as defined by the Canadian Addiction Counsellors Certification Federation.


NOTE: CACCF standards often meet or exceed other governing agencies requirements for CEUs (nurses, ATSS, CPGC, etc.) It is the responsibility of the delegate to check with their particular agency for criteria requirements. Addiction Studies Forum Inc. cannot be responsible for agencies who accept or do not accept CACCF standards.
For your convenience, you can download our full eight (8) page brochure that also includes our registration form, click on the icon on the right > > >

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Sunday July 12th, 2020  

A1 1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Animal Assisted Interventions in a Healing Journey
Julie Casey MSW, RSW
Level 1
In this session, we will explore the theories and science behind animal & nature assisted interventions and how they can be included in personal self-care and healing journeys of the people we support. The session will introduce a brief history of human-animal bond, the development of Animal Assisted Interventions (AAI), the benefits of including animals in treatment, animals as teachers and how to determine if an AAI is appropriate for a person or not. An AAT demonstration and interaction with a goat, chicken and guinea pig will be included.

Julie Casey is
the founder and therapist at Nourishing Hearts Wellness Care Farm, located in Rodney Ontario. She combines the care of the land and animals with the care of people . Her educational background includes a Developmental Service Worker diploma and both Bachelor and Master of Social Work degrees. She has enjoyed over 18 years working in a variety of care settings, supporting individuals and families with different abilities across the lifespan who experienced mental health, addiction, and disability challenges. Julie provides traditional in-office talk therapy in addition to nature & animal-assisted services with diverse farm therapy animals.


A2 1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Teaching Sex to Addiction Counsellors: Sex Education for Professionals
Christopher Sterling-Murphy BA, MSW
Level 1
The primary purpose of the presentation is threefold: 1) consider the ways in which clients’ sex lives impact and interact with their addiction, drug of choice, drug use patterns and triggers, 2) Consider how addiction interacts with relationship satisfaction, sexual satisfaction and intimacy, 3) consider how the addiction professional’s personal biases, values and relationship with sex may impact services, and 4) how different personal identities, cultures, sexual orientations may interact with sex and addictions. Specific topics of discussion will include party and play, supporting physical sexual health, sex positivity as an organizational framework, and initiating discussions about sexual wellness and sexual pleasure.

Christopher Sterling-Murphy is a graduate of the King’s University College Master of Social Work program. At King’s Christopher completed an independent research study with Dr. Rick Csiernik, that examined what sex education is available for counselling students and best practices for teaching sex education. In the past, Christopher has worked as a sexual health educator, been trained in motivational interviewing for supporting sexual health, facilitated groups exploring queer identities, gender-based violence, and power and privilege. Christopher is currently employed as a Child Protection Worker with the Children’s Aid Society of Haldimand and Norfolk.

A3 1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
A Playful Approach
Alicia Farr MSW, RSW, CT-S
Level 2
Participants will engage in learning around play therapy principals, benefits of play therapy as an alternative approach to the nuances of addictions work, the importance of play as a therapeutic tool in both an individual and family setting as relevant to the field of addictions work. The session will include hands on activities to provide examples and widely applicable play therapy skills to participants.






Alicia Farr
is a Clinical Social Worker at the practice of Dr. Amanda Bell and Associates. Her practice focuses on children, teenagers and young adults. Alicia holds multiple degrees and certifications in the areas of social work, trauma, grief and bereavement and EMDR. She has extensive experiencing working with First Nations, Inuit and Metis individuals. She is currently preparing to write her exam to gain her Advanced Certified Trauma Practitioner certification. Within her practice, Alicia integrates playful approaches to psychotherapy from a trauma and attachment based lens.

Keynote Address (click here for details)
7:00 PM - Sunday, July 12th
Drew Dudley
"This is Day One"

Plenary Address (click here for details)
9:30 AM - Thursday, July 16th
Melissa Pyne MSW, RSW
Daring Greatly™ for Front Line Helping Professionals

 
Monday July 13th, 2020

B1 9:00 am - 4:30 p.m. (full day session)
PTSD and Moral Injury in Military Members, Veterans and First Responders
Manuela Joannou MD, CCFP(EM), FCFP
Level 2
Dr. Manuela Joannou is the Medical Director of Project Trauma Support, a novel program that addresses PTSD and Moral Injury in military members, veterans and first responders. She will be speaking about the important things her medical team has learned about Operational Stress Injuries in the military and first responder population. She will focus on the considerations that are not widely known and do not yet appear in the medical and psychological literature. Dr. Joannou has been extensively studying Moral Injury as an important consequence of a career in emergency services and the military. She will be covering topics such as:
  • What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Moral injury, and how are they related,
  • What types of traumatic exposures are more likely to lead to PTSD and especially Moral Injury,
  • What specific factors that make certain calls or critical incidents more likely to lead to PTSD,
  • Personal factors that make a uniformed professional more vulnerable to Operational Stress Injuries,
  • PTSD, Moral Injury and Suicide early interventions that can be helpful to prevent PTSD from developing after traumatic incidents,
  • Approaches to treating PTSD and Moral Injury,
  • The confounding influence of addictions and risky behaviour on PTSD diagnosis and treatment,
  • Personality traits and disorders, depression, anxiety, and dissociation and how they relate to PTSD,
  • Building resilience to the development of PTSD in military and first responder populations.




Dr. Manuela Joannou
is a Family Physician and Emergency Physician currently practicing in Perth, Ontario. She is Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Queen’s University. She is also the Medical Director of Project Trauma Support, a novel program that she has developed that addresses PTSD in military members, veterans and first responders. Dr. Joannou graduated from the University of Ottawa Medical School in 1990. She completed her Family Medicine Residency at the University of Ottawa in 1992 and then achieved Special Competency in Emergency Medicine and Critical Care, also from the University of Ottawa in 1993. Dr. Joannou has worked in various Emergency Departments, in large centers and teaching hospitals, smaller community hospitals and remote hospitals for 28 years. Dr. Joannou has always had a special interest in psychotherapy and has been leading discussion groups and wellness programs and speaking at public events and conferences for the past 15 years. She developed an interest in PTSD and moral injury in first responders and military members and veterans after a paramedic colleague died by suicide in 2014. The idea for Project Trauma Support was a finalist in the Canadian College of Family Physicians “Dangerous Ideas Soapbox” contest in 2016.
Dr. Joannou also participated in an international working group that is studying moral injury among military and first responder populations. Dr. Joannou presented Project Trauma Support to an international audience of military medical officials from 15 countries at the Warrior Care in the 21st Century attached to the Invictus Games in Toronto in September, 2017. She has also made presentations at the Canadian Institute for Military and Veteran’s Health Research Forum, The Canadian College of Family Physicians Research Forum, and to the Canadian Medical Protective Association, the Police Association of Ontario, the Ontario Provincial Police Association, and the Peer Support team of the Ontario Division of Corrections Canada.

B2 9:00 am - 12:00 noon
Teachings of the Medicine Wheel
K. Paul MacKenzie CTR, CTSS
Teachings of the Medicine Wheel is a holistic journey through it’s teachings to better understand ourselves as we walk upon Mother Earth. “Symbols give us meaning and meaning gives us purpose” This session will cover the following teachings of the Medicine Wheel and will give the participants a better understanding of Native culture including the following: Traditional Welcome/ Introductions, Smudging, Medicine Bundle, Concept 4 Directions, Concept of Self, Concept of Vision, Concept of 4 Aspects of everyone’s nature, Concept of Learning, Concept of 4 Races of Mankind, Concept 4 Stages of Life, Concept 4 Seasons, Give away ceremony, Sacred Teachings of Turtle Island and Group Dreamcatcher.






K. Paul MacKenzie
of the Mi'kmaq First Nation, Warrior of the Wolf Clan, is a former Halifax Regional Police Officer (Rtd), having served in Patrol Division, Mounted Division and as the Employee and Family Assistance Program Coordinator. Paul is presently the Firefighters and Family Assistance Program Manager for the Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency. Paul has also worked with the Native Community in the Maritimes as the liaison officer between the Regional Police and the Native Community. He continues to work with the Native Community across Canada. As well, he has served on the Atlantic First Nations Task Force on HIV/AIDS, former healing consultant for Teachings of the Sweet Grass Braid Society (survivors of residential school), a facilitator of the teachings of the Medicine Wheel and an associate counselor for the Eagles' Nest Recovery House. Paul is the former Director of the Spirit of the Eagles' Feather Society. Paul is a past member of the Board of Directors for the Canadian Traumatic Stress Network. He is also currently a member in good standing with the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation, the Association of Traumatic Stress Specialists, the Canadian Association of Suicide Prevention, the Suicide Information & Education Centre, and the former Nova Scotia EAP Association (Past President). Paul is past Vice Chair of the Executive Board of Directors for Alcare Place, an addictions recovery house located in Halifax, NS and recently served as the Atlantic Regional Director on the National Board of Directors for MADD Canada. He is presently serving as a Peer Support Special Advisor with the Mood Disorders of Canada Board.

B3 9:00 am - 12:00 noon
Just Breathe . . . alternative Therapies & Practices
Liana Sullivan MS, ICADC, CCS-AC
Cheryl Chute RSSW
This workshop will explore the alternative therapies and practices that have been incorporated at MacKay Manor with residents. Over the past couple of years, we have incorporated a “brain up” philosophy, as opposed to a “brain down” way of viewing learning new skills. Simply meaning we want to help clients build a good mastery of their emotions and how to bring everything back to a homeostasis when everything feels like it is going out the window and a hundred miles an hour. We have incorporated a bit more physical and mindfulness approach. This workshop also includes a discussion about the benefits of acu-detox; which we do with residents on a weekly basis. Acu-Detox was designed to assist clients with detoxing from substances; learn how to be calm and stay calm regardless of what is going on around them. There are five points in the ear that we place needles and activate those particular areas. A full description of these areas and what they are will be provided. The last 45 minutes of the workshop will be an acu-detox session for those who would like to experience this.
NOTE: This is not a training session on how to conduct or perform Acu-Detox.

Liana Sullivan is the Executive Director of MacKay Manor and has been working in the field of addiction and mental health for 28 years in out-patient settings, community settings with both the ACT team and the ASH (Addiction Supportive Housing) team. Liana also teaches part time at Algonquin College in the SSW program.

Cheryl Chute is the Program Coordinator of CWMS for Renfrew County. She has been working in the field of addiction and mental health for 5 years as part of the ASH team and now as the coordinator of CWMS.


B4 9:00 am - 12:00 noon
Addictions: At Work, Off Work, Return to Work
Beth Reade MD FRCPC
Sarah Wright MSc OT
Level 2

What do your clients need to do to successfully return to work after addiction treatment? What can your clients do while off work to prepare for a successful return to work? How can work impact addiction (protective and risk factors)? Participants at last year’s conference requested this important topic. We will provide information, useful handouts and a chance to practice teaching clients essential skills for their return to work.





This year, Dr. Beth Reade is presenting 2 new practical and interactive workshops. (see also course number C4). She is a psychiatrist with over 25 years’ experience with a special interest in treating patients with Co-Occurring Disorders. She worked as the consultant in an inpatient addiction treatment program for over 10 years, is a professor at McMaster University’s Dept of Psychiatry and an enthusiastic teacher.












Sarah Wright
an Occupational Therapist with a degree in Psychology and has with a special interest in mental health and psychotherapy. Her experience includes working with youth with concussions and their parents at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital. Her research has focused on training therapists in assessing the ability of youth with brain injuries to get around in their communities.


B5 1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Connection to Earth: Past, Present and Future
Brenda Jacobs
The session involves sharing information on our Creation Story, Indigenous World-view and History. This will be followed by an engagement activity that assists the participants in connecting to the impacts of colonization and residential school visually. With addiction being one of the impacts, this activity will explain the how, what and why the impacts are so enormous. The engagement activity also keeps our future generations in mind and they will benefit from the learning that can happen. Our history is a shared history. The Truth of our past and present can help improve relationships that have been impacted. This session encompasses a holistic view.

Brenda Jacobs is a proud mother of 3 and grandmother to 5 grandchildren. She is from Six Nations of the Grand River Territory of the Bear Clan, Mohawk Nation. She currently holds the position of Cultural Capacity Trainer at the Hamilton Regional Indian Centre. Brenda is an Aboriginal Midwife and graduated from the Six Nations Birthing Centre where she provided primary care for Indigenous women with normal pregnancies and secondary care for the newborn. She is grateful for the life lessons and healing work done to make changes and help her be who she is today.

B6 1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
The Therapeutic Value of 12 Step Facilitation
Laird Brush CCAC
Mike Hannon (Dipl.)ACW, CCAC
The purpose of the session is to help create or reinforce the understanding of the value of the 12 Steps as a means to facilitate cognitive change. Through the process of dissecting the steps, we hope to demonstrate their efficacy in changing one’s perspective of themselves and building self-esteem that allows self-forgiveness and thereby can minimize the potential for relapse. By the use of power point and group discussion, the 12 Steps will be explained and demystified to show their true therapeutic value.








Laird Brush
is presently an addictions counselor at Westover Treatment Center and has also worked at Withdrawal Management in London. In total, he has been in the addictions helping field for 8 years. Laird has his own lived experience and has been in recovery for 10 years.









Mike Hannon has been involved in the addictions field through membership on numerous health committees for over 30 years and is currently the Director of the Substance Use Disorder Program at Westover Treatment Centre. He has been employed at Westover for 17 years and has been in his own personal recovery for 37 years.

B7 1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
PTSD Update: Therapy! Cannabis? Dogs!?
David Wright MD FRCPC
Level 2
Last year, Dr Wright focused on Phase 1 treatments of PTSD to create safety and reduce symptoms. This year, he will review these essential skills and then highlight a variety of Phase 2 treatments for PTSD, including Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT). He will also discuss the issues of cannabis use, and therapy dogs.






Dr Dave Wright
is an experienced psychiatrist with a special interest in treating traumatized patients, including military veterans, members of Indigenous Nations and First Responders. He co-created and co-lead Canada’s first inpatient PTSD treatment program, teaching patients the skills required to reduce their symptoms, restore functioning and improve their quality of life. He has also been a consultant in a residential addiction treatment facility, in an Operational Stress Injury Clinic and in an outpatient university health centre. Throughout his career, he has developed creative solutions to the challenge of treating people who have both substance use and trauma issues. He is a professor at McMaster University’s Dept of Psychiatry and a thoughtful teacher.


Tuesday July 14th, 2020

C1 9:00 am - 4:30 p.m. (Full Day Session)
Addiction Counselling Techniques: Cognitive Behavioural & Solution-Focused Strategies
Jennifer Will MA, RP
Level 2
This interactive workshop explores counselling techniques for treating addiction in an individual counselling setting. Participants will be challenged to develop their own conceptualization of addiction through both Cognitive Behavioural and Solution Focused Therapeutic lenses. As this will be a hands on learning experience, a case study will be introduced for partakers to assess and ‘treat’ with the guidance of CBT and SFT principles. Once the case is formulated, strategies from both orientations will be explored and demonstrated and participants will have an opportunity to augment their counselling skills with hands-on practice. The focus of this workshop centers on applying brief and intentional modalities with clients who present with addiction concerns, while authentically adhering to one’s own conceptualization of a problem.

Jennifer Will has been employed in the addiction counselling profession for more than two decades. She has an MA in Counselling Psychology and a post-graduate diploma in Addictions: Treatment and Prevention. Jennifer has enjoyed a fulfilling counselling career in residential/ intensive day treatment settings and in the community, in both private and public sectors. Jennifer has presented at conferences nationwide and this past year has been a regular guest on the CBC morning radio show on the topic of behavioural addiction. She has developed and facilitated a number of workshops for helping professionals, including a 2- day workshop for Wilfred Laurier’s Addiction Certificate program.

C2 9:00 am - 12:00 noon
Preventing Counsellor Therapeutic Impairment
Developing Compassion Satisfaction: Self-Care/Self Wellness for Counsellors

Anne Marie Ireland ICADC, CCCS, CCGC, CSAP, ADS, CFS, CISR, CLYL
Level 1

This interactive & experiential workshop will explore the necessity to pursue healthy, de-stressing diversions in the development of work-life balance. Wellness is one of the critical factors in being a healthy counselor. Wellness is especially important because counselors are one of the primary instruments in their own work. Self-care is essential for stability, a priority in the work we do. We will identify & explore a plethora of Tips & Tools for developing self-care strategies including Mindfulness. Excellent Information, Ideas and Resource Take-A-Ways for yourself, and for your clients, will be provided.








Anne Marie Ireland
is an Internationally Certified Alcohol and Drug Counsellor, Certified Substance Abuse Professional, Compassion Fatigue Specialist, Grief, Loss & Bereavement Counsellor, Laughter Yoga Leader and experienced Employee Assistance Counsellor. Anne Marie’s 30+ year career includes work experience in many areas of the Addictions & Mental Health continuum of care. Her Professional Practice incorporates a blend of evidence-based traditional and holistic treatment approaches.


C3 9:00 am - 12:00 noon
A Holistic View of Treating Addiction Through an Attachment Lens
Stephen Doucet Campbell MA, RP

This session will offer a perspective of treating addiction from an attachment-model framework using a holistic blend of Motivational Interviewing, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, and Emotionally Focused Therapy. The underlying assumption is that people are hardwired to connect in whatever way they can. Attachment injuries and trauma events can deeply compromise our ability to form meaningful, trusting relationships. Addiction and substance use often become the source of self-soothing and coping to deal with the lack of relationship so many people long for. Approaching addiction treatment from this perspective is crucial to paving the way to meaningful, lasting change.

Stephen Doucet Campbell
is a psychotherapist working with Shalem Mental Health Network in Hamilton. Originally from Winnipeg, he completed his MA in Counselling Psychology at Providence Theological Seminary. He has worked in out-patient addiction and mental health programs with youth and adults in a variety of settings. He currently provides substance-use counselling to clients on probation and parole. He resides in Hamilton with his young family. When he’s not working or spending time with his family, he can be found riding his bicycle up and down the Niagara Escarpment.


C4 9:00 am - 12:00 noon
Recovery for All: Addiction and the Family
Beth Reade MD, FRCPC
Level 2
How does addiction in the family impact the non-addicted family members? How does co-dependency differ from a healthy relationship? How can you screen for and address marital issues, intimate partner violence and parenting problems? What are some common issues and resources available to family members seeking a better life? This workshop provides information, useful handouts and a chance to practice essential skills.



Beth Reade




This year, Dr. Beth Reade is presenting 2 new practical and interactive workshops. (see also course number B4). She is a psychiatrist with over 25 years’ experience with a special interest in treating patients with Co-Occurring Disorders. She worked as the consultant in an inpatient addiction treatment program for over 10 years, is a professor at McMaster University’s Dept of Psychiatry and an enthusiastic teacher.








C5 1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Art Therapy and Non Verbal Communications
Amy Griffin BFA, BSW, MAAT
Level 2

Three experientials aimed at nonverbal communication including re-imagining the name tag as identity art work, comic strip art as visual discussion between therapist and client and reaction art as critical reflection. Name tag art may only have 1 word. Comic strip art will be without words – written or spoken. Reaction art may be titled. There will be brief processing discussions after each experiential. Using these experientials has the potential of reducing therapeutic “stuckness” and does allow people to be seen holistically.

Defecting from America with her family, Amy Griffin gained a BSW from King’s College to add to her American degrees. She’s lived in London a little over 10 years.


C6 1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Transgender and Addiction Issues
Jayce Carver
Level 1
This workshop will focus on the challenges faced by the transgender, gender queer, two spirit, gender non-binary, sexual diverse and sexual questioning communities who suffer from addiction and addiction related issues. Participants will be educated on the unique challenges faced by these communities and discuss what practices work best to achieve positive outcomes.






Jayce Carver
is the co-founder and Executive Director of Windsor-Essex Transgender and Allied Support. Ms. Carver, along with a carefully chosen team of like-minded community activists, is working to enhance and sustain the health and well-being of transgender, gender queer, two spirited, gender non-binary, and gender questioning communities and their families. Through evidence-based activities, programs and services that create community on a platform of empowerment, Ms. Carver focuses on the provision of essential resources and advocacy work that recognizes and honours the important of peer-led programming. With a focus on human rights, Ms. Carver embraces, promotes and supports the diversity of a marginalized population. These contributions are bringing about a reduction in isolation of Trans individuals, creating community and visibility of Trans individuals, and providing tailored supports in our community from a person-centered perspective that relies on strong partnerships with other community agencies.

C7 1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Trauma Informed Counselling
Jennifer Holt M.Ed., CCC, RP
Level 2
This workshop examines how clients’ past trauma impacts their ability to participate in, and utilize, counselling.
Jennifer Holt graduated from The University of Western Ontario in 1998 with a Masters Degree in Education (Counselling Psychology). An established Psychotherapist with over 20 years of clinical experience in professional practice she has spent her career specializing in working with adults and youths who have engaged in sexual offending behaviour. Ms. Holt has been registered as a Certified Canadian Counsellor with the Canadian Counselling & Psychotherapy Association (CCPA) since 2011, and a Registered Psychotherapist with the College of Registered Psychotherapists since 2015, and is a Clinical Member in good standing with the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA), the Massachusetts Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (MATSA), and Massachusetts Adolescent Sex Offender Coalition (MASOC). Further, she has been qualified in criminal courts as an expert witness in the area of risk assessment for adult males who sexually offend, and treatment options for those individuals. Ms Holt's skill set regarding assessment and treatment of individuals that sexually offend has been sought out by a variety of associations and agencies. Since 2009, various Children's Aid Societies throughout several counties have requested that she facilitate a one-day workshop for front-line staff who have convicted or accused sex offenders on their case load, and foster parents who have juvenile sex offenders living in their home.

C8 7:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. (Special Evening Session)
Scar of the Feather / Learning Through Song
Corene Cheeseman CAG II, CGC, SSW
H. Neil Monague
Level 1
S.C.A.R. (Spirit, Culture, Attitude, Responsibilities) is a workshop that includes information on the losses and changes experienced by Native Nations since the arrival of other Non-Native Nations. Topics will include residential schools and the changes that have occurred to the various Nations over 500 years. This interactive workshop will also engage participants in a journey of healing and learning through native song. This is an excellent opportunity for counsellors to gain the cultural knowledge and background of Native Nations when working with native clients who are suffering from addiction.

Corene Cheeseman of the Mohawk Nation, Turtle Clan was born and raised on Six Nations in a family of 10 children. A college graduate and Certified Addictions Counsellor, Corene’s background has been in the addictions field for the last 23 years. She presently is an Aboriginal Alcohol and Drug worker at the Hamilton Regional Indian Centre in Ontario.

H. Neil Monague is of the Beausoleil First Nation and has been on spiritual journey for 29 years in which he has gathered much of his traditional teachings from his teachers and surroundings. Dealing with his own spirit has given him the opportunity to embark on a road in helping others to strengthen their own spirit by way of song, drum, and smudge.


Wednesday July 15th, 2020

D1 9:00 am - 4:30 p.m. (Full day session)
Substance Use and Eating Disorders: Comorbidity, Commonality, Differences and Treatment
Sherry Van Blyderveen PhD
Level 3
Rates of eating disorders are higher among populations struggling with substance use and abuse (35%) than in the general population (3%). Diagnostic criteria are similar (e.g. preoccupation, sacrificing other interests, inability to stop, continuation in the face of negative consequences). Both conditions are influenced by genetic, biological, environmental (e.g. social pressures, family, media, trauma), and psychological factors (e.g. impulsivity); tend to be chronic in nature with high rates of relapse; and affect brain function. In addition to having a shared etiology, the two conditions tend to exacerbate one another (e.g. substance use as a strategy for appetite suppression, weight loss associated with substance use triggering an eating disorder, both serve as an avoidance-based coping strategy). Treatment for the co-occurrence of these conditions should include a thorough assessment of the interplay between the conditions and address both conditions simultaneously. Treatment choice will depend on the results of such an assessment, with Dialectical Behavior Therapy offering a promising approach to treat both conditions simultaneously. The following topics will be addressed during the morning of this workshop;
  • Diagnostic criteria for eating disorders, with an emphasis on how to identify common symptoms during assessment and treatment sessions, and what questions to ask to explore such symptoms further.
  • Common co-occurring mental health difficulties.
  • Similarities and differences between the presentation of eating disorders and addiction.
  • Treatment approaches for co-occurring eating disorders and addiction.
The afternoon portion of this workshop will focus on DBT as a treatment approach for co-occurring eating disorders and addiction. The following topics will be addressed during the afternoon of this workshop;
  • Review of DBT theory.
  • General framework for individual treatment sessions.
  • DBT skills groups design and content, with special emphasis on tailoring DBT to the treatment of eating disorders and addiction (including special considerations).





Sherry Van Blyderveen
is a clinical psychologist and the Director of Clinical Programming at Homewood Health Centre in Guelph. She is an Assistant Professor (Part-time) in the Department of Pediatrics at McMaster University. Her previous experiences include a variety of hospital, community mental health, private practice and correctional settings, including over seven years with the Pediatric Eating Disorders Program at McMaster Children’s Hospital, and two years with Homewood’s Eating Disorders Program. She recently spearheaded the development of Homewood Health Centre’s Eating Disorders Program’s Substance Use Stream.

D2 9:00 am - 12 noon
Clinical Complexities of Adolescents, PTSD, Substance abuse Disorder, and Relational Trauma (C-PTSD)
Sean Meggeson MA, RP
Level 3
Even though the comorbidity of PTSD and SUD is a well-documented and much-discussed phenomenon, the clinical complexities of these co-occurring conditions are challenging. Even more challenging for clinicians is when they must treat adolescents who present with PTSD/SUD comorbidity and also suffer from relational/C-PTSD as well, affecting not only cognitive-biological functioning but also the core functionality of the self. This seminar will discuss the intersections of PTSD, SUD and Relational/complex trauma and the challenges specific to working with adolescents. This seminar will illustrate the complicated constellation of symptoms found in PTSD/SUD/C-PTSD by using sections from the film Honey Boy (2019), staring Shia LaBeouf, who also wrote the screenplay based on his own traumatic upbringing by an abusive father and subsequent recovery. Some time will be allotted to emotionally processing material from the film as well as personal and/or clinical experiences of the participants.

Sean Meggeson is a psychotherapist working in private practice in Toronto. Sean has taught at the Toronto Institute for Relational Psychotherapy and has lectured on a diverse range of topics including addiction, connected parenting (Lacan and Joyce). Sean has a certificate in Addiction Studies and a Diploma in Addiction Care-Work from McMaster University. He presented a workshop at the Annual Institute on Addiction Studies in 2015: "Relational Psychotherapy and the Innate Wisdom of the Client-Centered Approach." Sean also presented a paper entitled "Becoming an Ally in Times or Dread Convergences and Divergences or Anti-Oppression Practice and Relational Work" at the IARPP conference in New York City, 2016. Sean will be presenting a paper at the IARPP conference in 2019.

D3 9:00 am - 12:00 noon
Do You Do Group?? An Opportunity to Review and Reflect on your Group Work Practice and Skills
Rick Csiernik PhD, RSW, CCAC
Level 1

Groups are not only the foundation of treatment in the addiction field, they are the foundation of human society BUT where did you learn to how to facilitate a group? When was the last time you thought of group process versus task and how it applies to groups you are running or want to run? Is there a reason that sometimes your groups don’t quite run the way you thought they would? This interactive workshop will integrate theory with practice and let you test out your group knowledge on a simulated group (no role playing required!) and see why, where you sat at your kitchen table as a child matters!

Rick Csiernik
is a full professor at the School of Social Work, King’s University College at Western University in London, Ontario. He has earned degrees in the Sciences, Arts, and in Social Work. He is both a registered social worker and a certified addiction counsellor. He was the co-founder of the Addiction Studies Program at McMaster University along with Ms. Gwen Crossan. Rick has won the teacher of the year award at both McMaster University and King's University College and has authored and edited 15 books and over 200 peer reviewed articles and book chapters.


D4 9:00 am - 12:00 noon
Working with Clients Affected by Concurrent Disorders
Heather Elliott BSW, RSW

Level 2
In this presentation, an emphasis on the dynamics of working with clients affected by concurrent disorders will be examined. There will be a focus on our own attitudes and beliefs about concurrent disorders, screening and assessment, and pharmacology. Specific models of concurrent disorders will also be discussed: the Explanatory Model, Dimensional Model and Quadrant Model.
Heather Elliott is the Manager of Quality Improvement & Professional Practice at Addiction Services of Thames Valley. Heather has the responsibility for overseeing the clinical supervision of all clinical staff at ADSTV. She ensures clinical quality assurance through mentoring, coaching and monitoring adherence to professional practice standards. Heather’s clinical work specialized in providing treatment, support, and advocacy for women and families who are struggling with addictions and related concerns including homelessness, poverty, mental health, and trauma. Heather has a passion for supporting women to take back control of their lives and overcome the injustices that they have experienced over their lifetime.

D51:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Understanding Shame to Cultivate Greater Resilience
Melissa Pyne MSW, RSW
Level 1
Brené Brown defines shame as the intensely painful feeling that we are not worthy of love or belonging. So which came first, shame or addiction? Shame, and how it contributes to the cycle of addiction, is complex. It can both create and maintain unhealthy substance use, while simultaneously being the effect of addiction. And all of this complexity exists in secrecy and silence making it elusive and challenging to treat. It’s no wonder we often feel stuck when working with shame. In this workshop, you will learn how to: Identify shame in the people with whom you are working, Use interventions to diminish shame and cultivate greater resilience and to recognize your own experience of shame and how to manage it when it arises in a professional environment.


Melissa Pyne is a registered social worker with over 15 years experience in the field of mental health and addiction counselling. She has experience working in both the public and private sector. Melissa has held various positions in Grand River Hospital's Adult Outpatient Mental Health and Addiction program delivering individual and group therapy. In addition to her experience with crisis and acute mental health interventions, Melissa has also worked in private clinics and now owns her own private practice where she incorporates CBT, DBT, EMDR, Motivational Interviewing and Positive Psychology to best serve clients anywhere along the continuum of mental health and wellness.

Melissa has completed her professional coaching certification (PCC) with the International Coaches Federation and has helped launch Red Maple Professional Coaching Services. With a hat tip to Johan Hari’s concept of rat park, Melissa believes that rehumanizing workplaces by creating psychological safety and connecting to meaningful work can help foster resiliency around mental health and substance misuse. Melissa is a particularly passionate about coaching front-line care providers for sustainability in careers with high rates of burnout.

Melissa holds a BA (Hons) in psychology from York University and a Masters of Social Work from Laurier. As a continual learner, Melissa is certified in the Daring Way™ (highly experiential methodology in developing shame resiliency based on the research of Dr. Brené Brown) and loves teaching and learning from new students.

D6 1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Harm Reduction as a Method of Engagement
Colin McVicker MA, RP
Level 2
In the Addictions field, we worked to evolve our treatment models to help address the complex challenges associated with substance use. They have often included: trauma, wait list navigation and lack of resources, stigma, mental health challenges, and a lack of “stable housing”. In the past five years, we have experienced a new pressure point that has forced us to question our old thinking on if people were “ready for treatment” and instead has challenged us to find ways to help active substances users engage in the treatment system. The newest pressure we are experiencing is fentanyl poisoning, and all forecasts indicate that this new drug is here to stay as it is extremely lucrative due to its potency, easy to create, and easily accessed. There has never been more need to build a doorway into the system that engages substance users. Harm Reduction can do this in a person-centered manner and includes an approach which fosters hope, builds relationships, and promotes respect. Unfortunately, this clinical approach has often been not utilized (sometimes even frowned upon) by our more traditional methods of treatment. Join us for a three-hour workshop as we explore the concept of Harm Reduction and how it relates to the evolution of services in the addictions treatment system.



Colin McVicker
has worked in the addictions field for over 20 years. He has had the opportunity to work in the U.S. and Ontario healthcare systems supporting individuals and their families for concerns around various issues related to mental health, developmental issues and substance use. Colin has worked in all areas of the addictions treatment system and has experience working with individuals ages 13 to 89. In addition to front line clinical work, Colin has worked as a Systems Manager for the Children’s Mental Health and Developmental System in overseeing Wellington and Dufferin Counties. Colin has taught clinical skill development at the post secondary level for the past five years and considers himself a life long learner. Colin has completed graduate work exploring the integrated approaches to health care in Acute Psychiatry, Addictions, and Eating Disorder programming. Colin is a talented networker who believes in cultivating creative treatment options for those with complex needs.

D7 1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Surviving Recovery with my Partner
Stewart Leatherdale MSW, RSW
Level 2
Now we are sober and clean, how do we live with our new life and our old partner? In this three hour session, we will look at the different elements of a relationship and how addiction affects them. We will look at what makes a healthy relationship possible through presentation and interaction. Through presentation and discussion, participants will learn how addiction affects the relationship and then evaluate the techniques in how to have a successful relationship in sobriety.
Stewart Leatherdale is a Marriage & Family Therapist based in London, Ontario. As a registered Social Worker, he has a wide breadth of experience in helping people with their relationships whether it be with a partner, child, or colleague. His experience includes 12 years as a relationship counsellor. and Director of Programs at Westover Treatment Centre for 3 years. Stewart has been married for 24 years and has 2 teenage boys.
D8 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Naloxone Training
Middlesex London Health Unit, Community Naloxone Program
Level 1
Addiction Studies Forum Inc is please to offer this special evening session for our delegates. The Middlesex London Health Unit "Community Naloxone Program" have agreed to provide formalized training for this year's delegates that we believe is an essential life saving tool for frontline workers in the addiction field. Training is typically 45 minutes and the presenters allow a further 15 minutes for questions and discussion. Those who receive the training will receive an individual naloxone kit as they would qualify according to Ministry guidelines as “friends”.
NOTE: Delegates MUST register in advance for this presentation.
The Middlesex London Health Unit, Community Naloxone Program is located in London Ontario. The Middlesex-London Health Unit, Regional HIV/AIDS Connection, London Area Network of Substance Users and the London InterCommunity Health Centre launched The Naloxone Program in June of 2014. This collaborative effort is supported by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. The intention of this multi-agency partnership is to prevent opioid overdose and save lives.

Thursday July 16th, 2020  
Plenary Address (click here for details)
9:30 AM - Thursday, July 16th
Melissa Pyne MSW, RSW
Daring Greatly™ for Front Line Helping Professionals

        Closing ceremony and Farewell lunch will follow the Plenary Address .
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