Deconstructing Addiction

CE Hours: 6.0
Instructor: Hailey Shafir, LCMHCS, LCAS, CCS

April 28th, 2021, Catholic Charities, Harrisburg via Zoom Webconference

This training is intended for clinicians providing services to people with mental health and substance use disorders. Participants will be introduced to the two prevailing theories of addiction, the supporting evidence for each, and will be introduced to a third perspective that is gaining recognition in the field of addition. This new perspective integrates aspects of both the choice and disease model and presents a more holistic, person-centered framework to understand addiction, helping them understand the root causes of addiction and common themes and patterns in addiction.

Through this new framework, participants will be challenged to view addictions in a more adaptive way, improving their ability to relate to, support, and help clients struggling with substance use disorders. Participants will also learn how to identify substance use disorders using the DSM-5 as well as being able to determine the severity, risk factors, and protective factors to make informed clinical recommendations for treatment.

Participants will also learn effective methods to build strong rapport and a workable therapeutic alliance with clients in recovery from SUD, including pitfalls to avoid and trade secrets that can keep clients active and engaged through early, middle, and late treatment. Participants will leave the training with a set of specific skills, strategies and interventions they can use to help clients trying to overcome addiction.


As a result of completing this training activity, participants will be able to:

  1. Explain the choice and disease model of addiction, the central tenets of each theory, and the deficiencies of each in providing an accurate and adaptive understanding of addiction.
  2. Develop a more holistic understanding of addiction, being able to explain root causes, common co-occurring disorders, and functional uses of drugs and alcohol
  3. Learn the 11 symptoms of substance use disorders, and will be able explain how to determine severity of the disorder
  4. List risk and protective factors for people with substance use disorders, and explain the effect these have on treatment
  5. Accurately identify the drugs with the highest risk for overdose and withdrawal symptoms
  6. Develop an “elevator speech” for early treatment which includes a.) accurate empathy, b.) an adaptive explanation of addiction, c.) an individualized treatment recommendation, and d.) a hopeful outlook for recovery

About The Trainer

Hailey Shafir is a licensed clinical mental health counselor, a licensed addiction specialist, and a board-approved clinical supervisor for newly licensed mental health and addiction counselors. She has more than a decade of experience providing counseling and has also helped to develop programs for at-risk youth, people struggling with addictions, and to train new clinicians. She is the owner of several businesses including Keep Counsel, Plan-it Therapy, and Selfhelpers, and is a content writer and medical peer reviewer for several national and international websites including, the National Drug Helpline, Choosing Therapy, Rehab Adviser, and Social Pro Now.


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