Category: Professional Development

SASSI Training

As we prepare to move into 2023, we are excited that our certified SASSI trainers throughout the U.S. and Canada have begun doing live in-person trainings again and with more frequency. We invite you to check out our training page to view a list of currently scheduled workshops at https://sassi.com/sassi-training/.  These lists are updated frequently and also contain contact information for your local trainer/s. If nothing is scheduled in your area, we encourage you to reach out directly to the trainer so they know there is interest in their area. We also continue to offer online training webinars both live and on-demand if in-person is not a viable option for you.

Reminder: Our clinical team is available M-F to answer questions about the administration, scoring, and interpretation of our instruments at 800.726.0526 option 2. This is a free service, and we encourage you to call often.

Happy holidays to all.

Registration Open: Adolescent-Community Reinforcement Approach

Courtney Hupp, MSW, LCSW, CADC will be presenting a live webinar on implementing the A-CRA treatment model on November 14th. On December 1st she will be presenting how to implement Family Sessions using this model.

The treatment model known as Adolescent-Community Reinforcement Approach (A-CRA) recognizes that, at least initially, alcohol and drug use is about reinforcing consequences — that make us more likely to repeat actions. This is true whether we are hanging out with friends, playing a favorite game, eating a good meal, or using alcohol or other drugs. People who use alcohol and drugs get something out of it – or they wouldn’t keep doing it.

The overall goal of A-CRA is to help individuals reconnect with or discover new sources of positive reinforcement within their community to compete with alcohol or drug use. How do A-CRA clinicians do this? By listening to and learning from their clients what is important to them. They then help them connect to pro-recovery activities that have meaning and value to their client. In addition, A-CRA clinicians help their clients identify goals and learn how to achieve them. A-CRA clients also learn a variety of new skills, such as problem-solving and positive communication (with partners, friends, and others), which help them attain a better quality of life. Practicing new skills is a critical component of the skills training used in A-CRA. Every session ends with a mutually-agreed upon homework assignment to practice skills learned during sessions. A-CRA clinicians engage caregivers or other family members to support the client and to learn skills that can be used with the entire family.

This intervention has been implemented in outpatient, intensive outpatient, schools, prevention services, and residential treatment settings. This research-tested intervention has been used in over 500 organizations across the United States and Canada. Courtney Hupp will provide an introduction to the A-CRA model, a summary of the research base, and details about how to use a variety of A-CRA skills during sessions.

What You Will Learn:
• An Introduction to the A-CRA model
• History of A-CRA research and implementation
• Goals of A-CRA treatment
• An overview of the A-CRA session structure and treatment guidelines
• How to use some of the A-CRA procedures during sessions like a Functional Analysis for substance use, Happiness Scale, Sobriety Sampling, and Increasing Prosocial Recreation
• General clinical skills necessary to implement A-CRA

FAMILY SESSIONS:
Engaging caregivers and other healthy family members into A-CRA treatment to strengthen social support. A-CRA clinicians help clients and families learn skills that can be used with the entire family. A-CRA skills are simple, behavioral, and easy for families to repeat during the family sessions and outside of treatment. In addition, the positive, supportive approach of A-CRA allows participants to focus on the positive aspects of the family and build upon family strengths to improve the relationship.

On addition to bullets above you will also learn:
• How to use the A-CRA skills during family session. Family session skills include: three positives exercise, relationship happiness scale, problem solving, communication skills, and daily reminder to be nice.

Be sure to register for one or both of these webinars at: www.sassi.com/other-training-online

Challenging Behaviors in Children: Components of Evidence-Based Treatments

In recent years the Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Development (a division of the American Psychological Association) has been at the forefront of identifying evidence-based approaches for clinical work with youth. Join us on October 13th from 1:30-4:30 pm ET, when Stephen Hupp, PhD (Co-Developer of the BADDS) will be presenting a webinar which will open by describing the evolving criteria for identifying well-established treatments and then will describe each of the evidence-based treatment packages. The webinar will highlight the components that cut across all of these treatment packages while also provide a critical examination of common myths and misunderstandings related to challenging behaviors.

What You Will Learn:

o            Recognize risk factors associated with challenging behaviors

o            Recognize how screening and assessment can influence treatment

o            Identify evidence-based treatment packages for challenging behaviors

o            Describe the common components across the treatment packages

o            Critique myths and misunderstandings related to challenging behaviors

This workshop will provide 3 NAADAC CEs. The cost is $199 per person with group and student discount rates available. Click here to register.

Presenter Bio:

Stephen Hupp, PhD, is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Psychology Professor at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville where he has won the Great Teacher Award and the Champion for Diversity Award. He is also the Mental Health Consultant Coordinator for the East St. Louis Head Start program. His edited books include Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy: Components of Evidence-Based Treatments (2018), Science-Based Therapy (forthcoming with David Tolin), Investigating Pop Psychology (forthcoming with Richard Wiseman), Pseudoscience in Therapy (forthcoming with Cara Santa Maria). His co-authored books include Great Myths of Child Development (2015), Great Myths of Adolescence (2019), and Thinking Critically about Child Development (2020). He has also written a skeptical game book for children called Dr. Huckleberry’s True or Malarkey? Superhuman Abilities (2021).

Psychopharmacology and the Biology of Addiction Webinar

Increase your understanding of how drugs of abuse interact with each other as well as what takes place in the brains of experimenters, abusers and addicts. Improve your ability to communicate with medical professionals and your clients.

On March 29th and 31st, 2022, Dr. Donald R. Osborne, Jr., author of the newly released book “You Can’t Fall Out of a Hole: Ripping the Band Aid off of Our Addiction Epidemic,” will be hosting a live webinar to increase your knowledge on the subject of Psychopharmacology and the Biology of Addiction.

Information that will be presented and discussion will be about the following:

Central Nervous SystemPeripheral Nervous System
Autonomic Nervous SystemSomatic Nervous System
Sympathetic Nervous SystemParasympathetic Nervous System
How the Brain WorksTolerance and Cross-Tolerance
Rebound / WithdrawalDrug Half Life / five to eliminate
THIQ in Alcohol MetabolismDopamine Depletion by Cocaine
Determining BAC by number of drinks consumed

The following drugs/drug classes will be examined:

OpioidsAlcohol
Sedative-HypnoticsCannabis Sativa
CocaineSympathomimetics
InhalantsHallucinogens
Club DrugsCaffeine
Nicotine

For each of the drugs/drug classes, the following information will be provided and discussed

  • Examples
  • Route of Administration
  • Absorption
  • Distribution
  • Effects
  • Metabolic Half-Life
  • Elimination
  • Rebound/Withdrawal

The webinar will be live from on March 29th, 9:30-1pm ET, and March 31st, 1:30-5pm ET. The webinar will be available on-demand afterwards.

To register, click the date you are interested in below:

New Workshop: Community Reinforcement Approach for Substance Use in Adults

We hope some of you have been able to participate in at least one of our new Professional Development webinars. We are excited to be able to partner with fellow colleagues in the field of addiction to be able to provide continuing education on professional topics of interest.

We have recently partnered with Courtney Hupp, MSW, LCSW, CADC, an EBT Clinical Coordinator at Chestnut Health Systems in Illinois. She had an active role in the Assertive Continuing Care (ACC) study, funded by NIAAA, in which she administered the ACC and Community Reinforcement Approach (CRA) protocols to residential clients’ post-discharge, as well as supervised other therapists on the study. Courtney will be offering her workshop “Community Reinforcement Approach for Substance Use in Adults” live online through the SASSI Institute’s training platform on February 8th. The treatment model known as CRA recognizes that, at least initially, alcohol and drug use is about reinforcing consequences — that make us more likely to repeat actions. This is true whether we are hanging out with friends, playing a favorite game, eating a good meal, or using alcohol or other drugs. People who use alcohol and drugs get something out of it – or they wouldn’t keep doing it. 

The overall goal of CRA is to help individuals reconnect with or discover new sources of positive reinforcement within their community to compete with alcohol or drug use. How do CRA clinicians do this? By listening to and learning from their clients what is important to them. They then help them connect to pro-recovery activities that have meaning and value to their client. In addition, CRA clinicians help their clients identify goals and learn how to achieve them. CRA clients also learn a variety of new skills, such as problem-solving and positive communication (with partners, friends, and others), which help them attain a better quality of life. Practicing new skills is a critical component of the skills training used in CRA. Every session ends with a mutually-agreed upon homework assignment to practice skills learned during sessions. This intervention has been implemented in outpatient, intensive outpatient, and residential treatment settings. This research-tested intervention has been used in over 500 organizations across the United States and Canada. Courtney Hupp will provide an introduction to the CRA model, a summary of the research base, and details about how to use a variety of CRA skills during sessions. 

What You Will Learn:

  • An Introduction to the CRA model
  • History of CRA research and implementation
  • Goals of CRA treatment
  • An overview of the CRA session structure and treatment guidelines
  • How to use some of the CRA procedures during sessions like a Functional Analysis for substance use, Happiness Scale, Sobriety Sampling, and Increasing Prosocial Recreation
  • General clinical skills necessary to implement CRA

For registration information click here.

Live Assessment Webinar – Includes ASAM Placement Criteria

After screening, the assessment process is critical to effective addiction treatment. In fact, treatment can only be as effective as the thoroughness of the assessment process. The assessment process can and should result in clients’ reduced denial or “resistance” and easily transition into therapy.

On December 7th and 8th, Dr. Don Osborne will be presenting a live webinar on Comprehensive & Advanced Assessment of Addiction That Parallels the ASAM Patient Placement Criteria.

In this program you will learn:

  • Understanding a comprehensive approach to assessment.
  • Be able to describe a continuum model of addiction’s progressive nature with problems, tolerance and loss of control.
  • Be able to formulate specific relevant questions to ask during the interview process.
  • How to use Motivational Interviewing to engage clients and develop a rapport with them.
  • How to obtain collateral information about the client from family members and other sources.
  • How to use the DSM-5’s criteria for Substance Use Disorders to diagnose clients and decrease their resistance to treatment.
  • Gaining clients’ trust, reduce denial and resistance to treatment.
  • Gain clients’ agreement that they are addicted to some substance or behavior at a particular stage of the addiction process.
  • How to match the assessment with the patient placement criteria that determine the specific level of care advocated by ASAM (American Society of Addiction Medicine).
  • How to transition from screening to the assessment to the therapy stages of treatment.

Registration is now open, click here to sign up. Course completion earns 3 CEUs.

Please note that this workshop is not on the SASSI screening tool.

In-Person SASSI Training and other Professional Development Courses

Many of our SASSI trainers and other instructors have expressed a desire to get their boots back on the ground and start offering live in-person, hands on workshops again. While we have all been adapting to with what has become a new social norm of online training, webinars, and conference events, many have decided that they are ready to embrace in-person events again.

If you have a group that you would like to discuss arranging a live on-site SASSI Training for, please let us know. You can reach us at training@sassi.com and we can have the trainer/s in your area reach out to you for planning. You can also find a list of available trainers and their contact information at https://sassi.com/sassi-training-us/ and https://sassi.com/sassi-training-canada/. As always, training online for groups and individuals is available.

We also offer professional development webinars on various topics found at https://sassi.com/other-training-online/. On the top of that page there is a link to complete a form to request a quote for a private in-person or online training.

Stay safe and be well.

The Power of Narrative Therapy

Last month, Dr. Hugh Marr, a longtime trainer on the SASSI and clinical psychologist in the private practice of psychotherapy in the Washington, DC area gave an interview on the Shrink Rap Radio podcast. Dr. Marr has taught both substance abuse counseling and psychotherapy at area universities; and has worked in all phases of community mental health, culminating in running a partial hospital program for clients with the co-occurring disorders of substance use and major mental illness. He is the author of A Clinician’s Guide to Foundational Story Psychotherapy: Co-changing Narratives, Co-changing Lives (Routledge, 2020); and the coauthor of the books What Story Are You Living? (CAPT, 2009) and Introduction to Archetypes (CAPT, 2002). His forthcoming workbook for a general audience, also to be published by CAPT, will be titled Finding Your Story. You can view a clip from that interview here or a link to the interview in its entirety can be found here.

The SASSI Institute is excited that Dr. Marr has developed a workshop based on his five-star rated book: A Clinician’s Guide to Foundational Story Psychotherapy: Co-changing Narratives, Co-changing Lives. This workshop is being offered through The SASSI Institute’s Professional Development Platform. A link to a flyer with additional information on the workshop can be viewed here.

We hope you enjoy the interview and that you will join us for this informative webinar.

To register for the webinar and see our other titles, click here.

Healing the Family: Conjoint Family Therapy for Addicted and Dysfunctional Families

Please join us for this insightful live webinar presented by Dr. Donald Osborne. Following is a description of what will be discussed:

Addiction is a Family Disease
Families are systems of relationships with each member playing their part to maintain a homeostasis or equilibrium. This is true of addicted and dysfunctional families as well as healthy ones. Individual family members assume roles within the system. Families with an addicted member may point to the addict as the troubled one and fail to recognize the damage being done to everyone in the family. Families very often unintentionally contribute to the addiction. Roles and behavior follow predictable patterns. Children are particularly vulnerable to developing life-long dysfunctional ways of coping, including developing serious mental health issues or becoming alcoholic or drug dependent themselves. Treating an alcoholic or otherwise addicted individual and not helping the entire family change as a unit frequently leads to treatment failure. Family education is not enough. Conjoint family therapy or multiple families group therapy has worked well in disrupting the dysfunctional homeostasis of addicted families, and then helping them construct a much healthier system of relationships. The chance of addicts recovering increases as their whole family recovers. Dr. Don Osborne delivers a webinar on counseling the family unit as a focus of addiction treatment.

What You Will Learn:
• An Introduction to systems theory
• Systems theory’s application to understanding human interaction
• How to get family members to participate in therapy
• An introduction to transaction analysis as a communication tool for changing family interactions
• A historical perspective of the special application of systems to addicted and dysfunctional families
• Family roles
• Family Scripts
• How to use genograms to identify life scripts and repeated patterns of behavior
• How to use Olsen’s Circumplex family model to help families change
• How to help families contract for new behavior

Please click here for registration information.

Foundational Story Psychotherapy Webinar

We are happy to announce the next in our line of Professional Development webinars: Foundational Story Psychotherapy: Understanding and Co-Changing Clients’ Stories (Part 1) presented by Dr. Hugh Marr. Below is additional information on this workshop:

We humans are narrative creatures. Much of our communication, our cognition, our memory, and even our understanding of our self is storied. By late adolescence virtually all of us have developed a life story, a story that helps determine what we expect from others, in which settings we are most comfortable, how we treat ourselves and what we can hope for. Our life story is comprised of smaller vignettes or foundational stories. As a result, the coin of psychotherapy is narrative, and clients tell an average of 4.1 stories in each session.

Despite the ubiquity of narrative, most of us receive very little education in the structure of narrative and its application to substance abuse and mental health counseling. Given our narrative bones, all therapies must deal with narrative, although most of them do so implicitly, focusing on only a limited number of aspects of story.

In this workshop, we will examine the narrative underpinnings of substance abuse counseling and psychotherapy; and we will broaden our understanding and use of different approaches to alter both foundational and life narratives. We will look at the special impact of trauma on clients’ life stories and the resultant substance abuse and emotional struggles. Participants will come away with greater ease and more tools to understand and help clients change the problematic stories they live.

This workshop is designed to enable participants to:

  • Define foundational and life stories and describe the relationship between the two
  • Gather and use client’s stories to help them understand and change substance abuse and emotional problems
  • Describe the importance of witnessing and demonstrate thematic listening
  • Identify the relationship among substance use, mental illness, and trauma
  • Describe one use of story-based ritual to assist therapists in creating healthy boundaries between work life and home life

Visit www.sassi.com/other-training-online for registration information, provides 4 CEs.