The Kentucky School of Alcohol and Other Drug Studies Conference 2015

Hello everyone!

Welcome to another Friday. We made it!

If you’ve been following me along on my Facebook page, then you probably know I’ve been at a conference all week. I was so lucky and fortunate to have been granted a scholarship to attend the Kentucky School of Alcohol and Other Drug Studies  (KSAODS). During this four-day conference I attended several sessions which were very helpful for gaining additional skills, as well as giving me new inspiration to bring back to my clients. I have rarely spoke about it on here, but in addition to my practice, I counsel male clients in group therapy for drug addiction and recovery. It is a very rewarding and challenging population. I love what I do and, if anything, studying and learning so much about addiction helps me to understand the many similarities between substance abuse addiction and “food addiction”.

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On Day 1, I attended the session Clinical Challenges: Working with Men in Recovery with Mark Miller, MA, MS, LMFT. This session was about the,  “inherent challenges in working with men who are struggling with addiction and how we might be able to address those challenges.” From this workshop, I took away several ideas, including how we perceive what our “idea” of our gender is really does impact our expectations of ourselves and others.

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On Day 2, I attended the session Understanding the Cultures of Addiction and Criminality with Michael Johnson, LSW, LMSW. This training,  “discusses the parallels of addiction and criminality and the developmental processes leading to these lifestyles.”  I had a bit of a nerd moment with this one because Mr. Johnson also has a series of counseling videos we show to our clients, as well. I was so excited to meet him in person!

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On Day 3, I attended the Mindfulness: Meditation for Self-Care and Client Treatment: An Evidence Based Practice with Frank Snyder, Ph.D., LCSW, CADC. This session was a workshop learning a, “non-judgmental moment-to-moment awareness” for meditation. I really enjoyed this workshop and felt like I learned a lot of techniques I can use with both my addiction clients, as well as my Madden Wellness clients. Some of these included, walking meditation, mindful eating and progressive muscle relaxation.

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On Day 4, I attended the Intervention and Treatment Strategies for Resistant Clients with Mental Health and Substance Abuse Disorders with Geoff Wilson, LCSW, CADC. This session included an, “overview of what resistance with clients who present with co-occurring disorders,” looks like as well as how to address these populations.

(Sorry, no photo for this one. Whoops! Instead, enjoy this photo I took of the pool during one of my breaks. Smile )

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Perhaps one of the most touching sessions I attended was a substance abuse advocacy showing of the film, The Anonymous People. This is a documentary advocating substance abuse as an illness, while addressing the stigma associated with the disease. The video was very powerful and I encourage you to watch it if you can. It is available On Demand to watch on Netflix.

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In addition to the great sessions, there was also lots of great food! I was so happy to see they offered plenty of healthy options for everyday I was there. This was just one of the meals with Teriyaki Chicken, a Mixed Greens Salad, and one of the best pieces of Chocolate Cake ever(or maybe it was just super yummy because I was super hungry)!

 

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Again, I want to say a HUGE thank you to KSAODS for the scholarship. The conference was one of the best I have ever attended and I learned so much!