ADACBGA 6th Annual Conference - Embracing & Enhancing Clinical Competencies

Hilton Atlanta/Marietta Hotel & Conference Center
June 17, 2018 9:00 AM - June 23, 2018 5:00 PM

Sessions / Agenda

June 17 - 9:00 AM - Breakout Room J

E-Counseling Alcohol and Drug Counselor Training

Speaker: Gary K. Byrd

This credential requires that the candidate already be a certified substance abuse counselor in the State of Georgia.

The widespread use of electronic forms of communication has permeated many aspects of American daily life. Use of e-mail, instant messaging, telephones, videoconferencing, and other forms of communication have, in many instances, replaced face-to-face conversations, meetings, and conferences.

Substance abuse treatment through electronic means (also known as E-therapy) is not used widely, but experts predict that its use will increase rapidly during the next several years (Mallen and Vogel, 2005; Mallen, Vogel, and Rochlen, 2005; Mallen, Vogel, Rochlen, and Day, 2005).

E-Counseling is the use of electronic media and information technologies to provide services for participants in different locations. It is used by skilled and knowledgeable professionals (e.g., counselors, therapists) to address a variety of individual, familial, and social issues.

E-Counseling can:

  1. include a range of services, including screening, assessment, primary treatment, and after care;
  2. provide more accessible modes of treatment than the traditional ones to those who actively use technology (i.e., Millennials and Baby Boomers);
  3. help people access treatment services who traditionally would not seek services because of barriers related to geography, shame and guilt, stigma, or other issues; and be provided as a sole treatment modality, or in combination with other treatment modalities, like traditional or existing treatments.

Specific Training Requirements:

  • Professional Ethics in E Counseling: 6 hours
  • Clinical Principles/Treatment Modalities in E-Counseling: 6 hours
  • Legal and Jurisdictional Implications of E-Counseling: 6 hours

June 20 - 8:30 AM - Ballroom

The Ethics of Multiculural Competency

Speaker: Mark Sanders

To be practice ethically, one must be culturally competent. Changing demographics require counselors and therapists to become more multiculturally competent. The continued growth in the number of individuals and families from diverse backgrounds challenges counselors' ability to meet the needs of a growing and diverse society. This growth puts more pressure on counselors to be culturally competent in their service delivery. 

Ethics in multicultural counseling is ever-changing. Joined within the considerations for diverse cultural elements may be issues of power, privilege, and oppression to which counselors must attend. Responsible ethical practice, then, demands responsible multicultural and advocacy sensibilities. These process and procedural efforts require a deliberate and focused use of the counselor’s time, effort, and skills. Counselors who are versed in the fundamental multicultural competencies prepare themselves to take on ethical issues in a multicultural context.

June 21 - 9:00 AM - Ballroom

Recovery: The Heroic Journey of Promise & Possibility

An interactive, informative, and inspirational presentations that explores and honors the transformational journey of recovery from substance use disorders. Phoenix weaves together their professional experience with wisdom and insight from their personal recovery journey in long-term recovery (established in April 1985). They offer a unique, creative combination of tools and techniques to inspire, support, and empower individuals traveling on their recovery journey. 

Participants will have an increased awareness and understanding of:

  1. The hero’s journey framework and how it relates to resiliency and the healing path of recovery from substance use disorders.
  2. The power of new language, concepts, and frameworks can strengthen resiliency, recovery, and transformation, while reducing shame and stigma.
  3. How the power of story and metaphor can enhance treatment and transformation within treatment settings for individuals with substance use disorders.

June 21 - 1:30 PM - Ballroom

Historical and Generational Trauma

Speaker: Mark Sanders

Historical Trauma, or Historical Trauma Response (HTR) can manifest itself in a variety of psychological ways. However, it is most commonly seen through high rates of substance abuse, alcoholism, depression, anxiety, suicide, domestic violence, and abuse within afflicted communities. The effects and manifestations of trauma are extremely important in understanding the present-day conditions of afflicted populations.
Historical and Generational Trauma often includes other types of self-destructive behavior, such as suicidal thoughts and gestures, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, anger, violence and difficulty recognizing and expressing emotions. Many historians and scholars believe the manifestations of violence and abuse in certain communities is directly associated with the unresolved grief that accompanies continued trauma.

June 21 - 2:30 PM - Breakout Room E

Medication Assisted Treatment and Pregnancy

4.4% of women are using opiates, and 1% of US women are pregnant and using opiates. Methadone has been found to be the appropriate course of treatment for this population of women dependent to opiates while pregnant. This presents a moral challenge for treatment care providers and the medical industry. The moral dilemma is about the unborn child receiving medication while in utero.


  1. The effectiveness of MAT with pregnant women dependent to opiates.
  2. Identify and understand neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS)
  3. The application of the Finnigan Scoring System and its effectiveness in the scoring of NAS

June 21 - 2:30 PM - Breakout Room C

Room at the Table: Embracing a Recovery Oriented System of Care

Speaker: Dawn Allred

If we truly are wanting to embrace a ROSC then let's really do it! In a time when our country is divided by fear, hate and distrust this is the time for all in the Recovery Field to Unite and share a common table. We all say we want the same thing, to help people suffering from addiction find THEIR way to recovery. Instead I often hear in our field how one approach is better than another, "my way is best", "those people are not doing it right", "that's not real recovery", etc. I am sure you have heard it too! We can make room at the table, sharing and supporting each other, using the ROSC model, to create a menu, a continuum of care where people have choices not only for those seeking recovery but also those called to work in the Recovery field.


  1. Participants will be able to define ROSC
  2. Participants will list 3 ways to create a new menu of services.
  3. Participants will learn 3 reasons to unite in the recovery field.


June 21 - 2:30 PM - Breakout Room J

What Clinicians Need to Know About Telemental Health from a Treatment and Ethical Perspective

Speaker: Lucy Cannon

This workshop will focus on helping professional licensed practitioners' gain a comprehensive understanding of the importance of telemental health and treatment implications for the clients they serve. Participants will learn how to implement key processes and practices according to various ethical and clinical practices for their organizations based on Georgia and federal state TMH laws.


  1. To learn specific Telemental Health laws, trainings, and fees for services that are relevant to practitioners in the state of Georgia.
  2. Clinicians will learn specific types of electronic devices that are used to provide Telemental health services according to ethics and HIPPA laws.
  3. Participants will learn and understand specific duties and responsibilities clinicians and supervisors providing these services need to know from the Georgia Composite Board and ethical perspective.

June 21 - 2:30 PM - Breakout Room D

A Multi-Faceted Approach to Cravings Management

Speaker: Doug Paul

The DSM 5 added "cravings" to the criteria for substance use disorders in Oct. 2015. Just as addiction can impact every area of life, so too must the approach for cravings management. The goals for addiction can impact every area of life, so too must the approach for cravings management. The goals for this workshop will be to review the literature on cravings management techniques, discuss cravings management medications and elicit a discussion of multi-faceted approaches that have worked for those on the front lines of SUD treatment. This dynamic presentation is both experiential and educational with the use of mixed-media and pop-culture references.


  1. Identify one way the addition of "cravings" to the DSM V impacts the work of SUD treatment.
  2. Compare and contrast four craving types.
  3. Compare and contrast medicines used to treat cravings.

June 21 - 2:30 PM - Breakout Room G

Restoring Connection: An Integrative Approach to Treating Couples in Recovery from Addiction

Speaker: Sarah B. Plyer

To enhance clinicians' knowledge of current couples and the addiction therapy research, provide a framework for viewing relational connectedness from Attachment and Family Systems Theory, and provide practical applications and interventions for treating couples recovering from addiction.


  1. Identify relational trends for couples recovering from addiction as outlined in the research as well as define Attachment and Family System's Theory.
  2. Identify 3 Attachment styles in adulthood and understand the importance of emotions in restoring connection in couples' therapy.
  3. Apply clinical interventions that assess and foster new attachment and relational responses in couples.

June 21 - 2:30 PM - Breakout Room K

Working with Personality Disorders in Treatment

Speaker: Jim Seckman

Some of the most difficult clients addiction counselors will encounter are those with a personality disorder. This workshop is intended to train addiction counselors to recognize personality disorders, successful strategies for working with these clients and how to take care of themselves with these often confusing and stressful cases.


  1. Participants will be able to verbalize how to recognize a personality disorder in a client, based on DSM criteria.
  2. Participants will be able to verbalize successful strategies for working with these clients in the treatment setting.
  3. Participants will be able to verbalize how to practice self-care and boundaries when working with these clients.

June 21 - 2:30 PM - Breakout Room H

Trauma Informed Care: How Trauma Can Manifest During Treatment

Will provide education regarding the value of trauma informed care. A working definition of trauma will be provided along with the importance of diagnosing trauma correctly to ensure proper treatment approaches. How the body, brain and nervous system are affected as well as current trauma treatments will also be discussed.


  1. Identify specific criteria used in diagnosing trauma and be able to distinguish between differential diagnosis.
  2. Identify and describe specific behaviors, beliefs and emotional responses that manifest after one has been through a traumatic event.
  3. Identify specific strategies of methods of treating trauma through evidenced based approaches.

June 21 - 2:30 PM - Breakout Room I

Case Managing Consumers with Co-Occurring Disorders

Speaker: Susanah Stone

Addiction and severe persistent mental health illness affects so many facets of an individual life that long-term recovery and community integration requires a comprehensive approach in the continuum of services that are designed to promote engagement and motivation, services provided at the appropriate level of care and intensity and ongoing and consistent support services to ensure that the individual is able to successfully maintain his/her life in the community. Case management functions to assist the individuals in accessing the resources they need to recover from substance abuse problem and maintain mental health stability.


  1. Understanding concept of Housing First
  2. Understanding the concept of Harm Reduction
  3. Utilizing Case Management wrap-around services to support recovery

June 21 - 2:30 PM - Breakout Room F

Changing the Game: Internal Family Systems (IFS) in Addiction Treatment

Speaker: Jenna Riemersma

Internal Family Systems (IFS) is an evidenced-based therapeutic approach that brings a revolutionary new lens to addiction treatment.  By engaging experiential “parts” work, IFS compassionately guides client and therapist towards the healing power at work within each individual, and facilitates the critical therapeutic alliance bypassing client resistance.


  1. Participants will be able to articulate the primary components of the Internal Family Systems Model
  2. Participants will personally experience IFS in a guided exercise
  3. Participants will identify specific “parts work” immediately applicable to their work with addicted clients and their families


June 21 - 7:00 PM - Ballroom

Dancing with Two: Break Free from Shame and the Gender Binary

An interactive, informative, and inspirational presentations that explores and honors the transformational journey of recovery from substance use disorders. Phoenix weaves together their professional experience with wisdom and insight from their personal recovery journey in long-term recovery (established in April 1985). They offer a unique, creative combination of tools and techniques to inspire, support, and empower individuals traveling on their recovery journey. 

Participants will have an increased awareness and understanding of:

  1. The hero’s journey framework and how it relates to resiliency and the healing path of recovery from substance use disorders.
  2. The power of new language, concepts, and frameworks can strengthen resiliency, recovery, and transformation, while reducing shame and stigma.
  3. How the power of story and metaphor can enhance treatment and transformation within treatment settings for individuals with substance use disorders.

June 22 - 8:30 AM - Breakout Room K

Telemental Health: A Comprehensive Overview

Speaker: Sandra Charles

Speaker: Tracy Batten

A comprehensive overview of ethics as it pertains to telemental health, being HIPPA
compliant, and understanding the limits of licensure and practicing within State borders.


  1. Participants will be able to define and identify telemental health and how it applies to professional counseling and psychotherapy services. Will also be able to apply current tenets of ethical behavior to the practice of telemental health.
  2. Participants will learn the benefits and risks of electronic health record keeping. Will also receivean overview of HIPPA and will learn how to ensure telemental health services are HIPPA compliant.
  3. The limitation of licensure and practicing within State borders.

June 22 - 8:30 AM - Breakout Room G

Treating the Trauma of Addiction: An Overview of Strategic Trauma and Abuse Recovery

Speaker: Denice Colson

Addiction creates trauma for families, including the addict themselves. We will overview a three-phase process for addressing the trauma of addiction for the addict as well as the family. We will focus on the first and second phases, providing tools and demonstrating techniques using role-play (volunteer only)


  1. Participants will identify the six progressive stages for developing a trauma survivor
  2. Participants will explore strategies for introducing trauma-informed care into addiction treatment using assessment and education.
  3. Participants will review the three phases of recovery and explore the 12 stages of trauma recovery described in Strategic Trauma and Abuse Recovery.

June 22 - 8:30 AM - Breakout Room J

Ethical Counseling of LGBTEQ+ Individuals

Speaker: Nicole Fuentes

This ethics course will focus on the standards of care for counseling LGBTGEQ+ individuals with an emphasis on addiction. The firs portion of the workshop will focus on familiarizing addiction professionals with the language, terminology and experiences of sexual and gender minorities. The second portion of the workshop will focus on exploring the addiction professionals comfort level of working with sexual and gender minorities and how to provide ethically sound care in clinical settings.


  1. Develop a working knowledge of the Standards of Care for LGBTEQ+ as issued by the American Counseling Association with an emphasis on application in an addictions setting.
  2. Identify an understanding of multiple intersecting identities in order to provide culturally appropriate and relevant assessment, diagnostic services and treatment planning.
  3. Develop the skills and ethical forethought to evaluate the quality and appropriateness of assessment instruments as it relates to LGBTGEQ+ individuals. Identify limitations in our clinical practices that create barriers to access and develop strategies to overcome these limitations

June 22 - 8:30 AM - Breakout Room I

The Neuroscience of Addiction and the Use of Neurotherapy and Biofeedback for Relapse Prevention

Speaker: Alex Kohl

This workshop will first explore the most recent literature on the neuroscience of addiction. Each major drug class will be covered. The second part of the workshop will be experiential and incorporate hands on demonstrations of how neurotherapy and biofeedback can be used in clinical practice for relapse prevention.


  1. Gain a basic neuroscientific understanding of how the brain works.
  2. Understand how various drug classes impact brain functioning and how the brain subsequently changes in long term abstinence.
  3. Understand the neuroscience and gain hands on experience of how neurotherapy and biofeedback can help for relapse prevention and increase overall wellbeing.

June 22 - 8:30 AM - Breakout Room H

Only Men, Women and Children Get AIDS. What You Need to Know if Your Client is Positive

This workshop combines basic HIV education with the best practice prevention strategies and newest testing techniques. The workshop also delves into the societal impact of HIV and AIDS on families and communities. It looks at cofactors of dual diagnosis of other STD's, Hepatitis, and addiction and touches on the impact of nontraditional families as well as traditional families in dealing with disclosure and end of life planning. It is an interactive class that takes participants through the last 35 years of the AIDS epidemic.

June 22 - 8:30 AM - Breakout Room E

Shining Through the Wounds: Trauma Informed Care

Speaker: Christy Plaice

Trauma: Sexual trauma, witnessing trauma, combat trauma, vicarious trauma, medical trauma… the list continues. Participants will learn terms & concepts surrounding facets of neurobiology, impact to attachment adaptations & arousal responses connected to needs of safety, support and conscious awareness behavioral health professionals. The need of awareness is vital in order to create safe space that is to promote supportive, respectful & healing experiences.


  1. Recognize and create awareness of "What is trauma?"
  2. Identify autonomic neurobiological responses in the body as a result of a traumatic event, connection, and/or experience; how body responses show up as behavioral responses
  3. Examine factors of significant difficulty in sobriety regarding impact of trauma and how to intervene therapeutically while providing support for recovery

June 22 - 8:30 AM - Breakout Room B

Peacemaking Circles: Enhancing the Recovery Community Experience

Applying ancient principles to modern experiences, peacemaking circles and other restorative processes are gaining new value in communities across the country. Learn a new system for building community in a way that creates positive, lasting change. Take the first steps in designing a peacemaking circle program and begin applying the benefits of this powerful form of communication.


  1. Develop understanding of the relationship between circle processes and recovery communities.
  2. Construct a framework for designing and implementing circle processes in participants' recovery communities.
  3. Participate in a circle process.

June 22 - 8:30 AM - Breakout Room D

Tough It Out, Not Talk It Out: Cultural Issues with Men Seeking Mental Health Services

Speaker: Jaketra Bryant

"Tough it Out", a cultural phrase heard globally. Mental health has become the stay away drug for centuries. Cultural perspectives on mental health has led to stigmas and fears of individuals being devalued and disgraced by gender associations, religion and family. Diagnosis such as bipolar and ADHD are tossed around and misrepresented far too much in communities. Help seeking is not for men let alone men of color. Social norms put in place that represent providing and protecting go against help seeking. Majority of our clients are 75% white women and 25% black women and we dare to see Hispanic or Asian men step foot in an office for help. Myths of help-seeking promote irrational thoughts that lead to unfortunate suicide increase, divorce, unhealthy relationships and impulsive behaviors that can lead to jail or prison. I will address those emotional myths and cultural myths about why is it so hard to seek mental health and how to break those cultural barriers.


  1. Explore and assess the cultural stigma that prevent those with mental health concerns from seeking treatment and adhering to treatment regimen.
  2. Educate listeners on Cultural barriers and emotional myths with gender that cause resistance. And also teach skillful techniques of interpersonal skills to navigate through those resistant clients and within the communities for promotion of healthy well-being.
  3. Teach clinicians how to create a group centered around men and demonstrate outreach techniques utilizing campus/community partnerships.

June 22 - 8:30 AM - Breakout Room C

Sensitivity Training - Eliminating Desensitization & Burnout Effecting Substance Abuse Treatment

Sensitivity Training - Eliminating Desensitization & Burnout Effecting Substance Abuse Treatment and the Therapeutic Work Environment

Desensitization and burnout are common occurrences for Human Service workers. This training is designed to assist the Human Service Worker in reducing stress and recognizing signs of burnout and desensitization, thus avoiding burnout and liberating the worker to provide a higher level of care.



  1. Participants will be able to identify 4 characteristics of desensitization.
  2. Participants will be equipped to recognize 5 signs and effects of burnout.
  3. Participants will be equipped with 3 stress-reducing strategies.

June 22 - 8:30 AM - Breakout Room F

From Grief to Gratitude: Finding Hope in Recovery

Speaker: James Campbell

Grief is the normal process of reacting to a loss, a process common to all of us. This raining is designed to explore various types of loss, aspects of grief, and common pathways to healing in recovery. Specific attention will be given to providing tools for assisting those struggling with grief.


  1. Identify diverse types of loss and common experiences related to each.
  2. Explore differing models of the grief process.
  3. Examine the specific impact of grief on substance use disorders and recovery and gain practical tools to assist others in healing following loss.

June 22 - 1:30 PM - Ballroom

The Future of Addiction Counseling

Speaker: Mary Jo Mather

No Session Abstract

June 22 - 2:45 PM - Breakout Room F

Worlds Apart: What Works in Adolescent Treatment and Why

Speaker: James Campbell

No Session Abstract

June 22 - 2:45 PM - Breakout Room D

Substances as Trauma: A New Skills-Based Model and Its Implications for Assessment and Treatment

This workshop focuses on a new conceptualization of substance problems as life traumata that impacts every major aspect of a person's functioning, leaving him/her with various life deficits impairing the ability to function successfully. Using a trauma model, the clinician can help the sufferer to remediate the issue for a more "mature" life functioning.

June 22 - 2:45 PM - Breakout Room C

Venus and Mars: Gender Specific Treatment Issues and Treatment

To enhance the participant's ability to identify gender specific treatment issues, recognize societal and cultural pressures and stigmas pertaining to gender and addiction, as well as address counselor's biases, thus enhancing the therapy experience and reducing recidivism. Case study interaction will afford the opportunity to practice inclusion of afore mentioned issues in the substance abuse treatment planning process.


  1. Participants will be able to identify 3 cultural norms and societal gender roles.
  2. Participants will be able to identify 6 gender specific emotion processing differences specific to the outcome of client's ability to embrace treatment and maintain recovery.
  3. Participants will be able to identify 6 beneficial characteristics in the development of a gender responsive treatment environment (includes addressing counselor gender biases)

June 23 - 9:00 AM - Breakout Room J

Medication Assisted Treatment Specialist Training Program

This Cohort begins on Saturday, June 23, 2018. This program is a comprehensive training program that provides 40 hours of training on using medications during the recovery process. At the conclusion of the program, participants are awarded 40 CE hours and a Medication Assisted Treatment Specialist Certificate. The program details are as follows:
Participants then work through 8 self-study modules that start Monday, June 25, 2018. These modules are completed online within assigned time periods.
Information covered in the program includes:

  1. Science of Addiction
  2. Eliminating Barriers to Medication Assisted Treatment
  3. Medication Assisted Treatment and Mutual Support Groups
  4. Know Your Rights
  5. ASAM Guidelines for MAT
  6. And More!

The treatment profession is changing as advances in Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) are made. Certified counselors who are on the cutting edge of new technologies to treat addiction are in high demand. ADACBGA's Medication Assisted Treatment Specialist designation documents your competency, understanding, and value to the varying treatment modalities. Obtaining this specialty can set you apart in the rapidly changing AOD counseling profession. For those who may work in drug courts, community supervision, educators and more, this training and certification will give you a better understanding of what MAT does. Whether you are interested in enhancing your counseling knowledge as MAT Specialist, or would like to further your knowledge of new treatment therapies, participate in the ADACBGA training and certification program.

As part of a comprehensive treatment program, MAT has been shown to: improve survival, increase retention in treatment, decrease illicit opiate use, decrease hepatitis and HIV sero-conversion, decrease criminal activities, increase employment, and improve birth outcomes with women struggling with perinatal addiction. The MATS credential requires professionals to demonstrate competency through experience, education, supervision, and successful completion of the module examinations.

A Medication Assisted Treatment Specialist is a practitioner who has demonstrated their knowledge and skills in the 4 MATS performance domains identified in the MATS Job Task Analysis (JTA) & CCB MATS Candidate Guide (2008). In order to become MATS certified, a practitioner must possess a basic familiarity with the entire range of the 4 Performance Domains of a Medication Assisted Treatment Specialist.

Although the MATS credential is intended as a board specialty for certified and licensed behavioral health professionals, the credential is available to those that are not currently certified and licensed. However, it is important to note that this credential provides no permission to practice and does not afford the practitioner a scope of practice they are not already entitled to under their existing credentials. If an individual chooses to pursue the MATS credential without any other professional credentials, certifications or licenses, the MATS credential simply indicates the practitioner has met basic eligibility requirements and demonstrated their competency and basic knowledge of the subject by completing MAT-specific education and testing.

This is an ADACBGA certification, valid only in the state of Georgia with no reciprocal rights.