Tag: The SASSI Institute

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 for more FREE LIVE Clinical Q&A Sessions

Please join us for one of our new Clinical Q&A sessions online. The Q&A is hosted by our Clinical Director, Kristin Kimmell, LCSW, LCAC, and lasts one-hour. We invite you to ask questions or share experiences regarding unusual or difficult profiles you may have come across, but all questions are welcome. You can also join just to listen to the group discussion.

Join us for one or both sessions. There are two dates currently scheduled: Tuesday, November 15th and Tuesday, December 13th from 1-2 pm ET. Click here to register today. Due to time constraints, each session will be limited to the first 25 registrants. As new dates are added we will post them to our blog page or you can check the registration page via the link within this blog.

Note that these Q&A sessions do not provide CEUs and are not a substitute for SASSI Training.

See you there!

Research Update: New Publication in Women’s Health

The SASSI Institute recently published an article in Women’s Health on early intervention and resources for expectant mothers with substance use problems and service shortages in the present age. Within it, we discuss the need for more research and collaboration in regards to substance use disorder  and criminal Justice, especially to assist women avoid the stigmatization and ostracizing they may experience; many simply by virtue of having experienced the disease of addiction. When combined with the criminalization of drug use, society inevitably finds itself entrapping these women in a revolving door fed by the “drug-crime” connection, but now also including newborns. Babies should NOT be born in prison, especially sick babies; however, when they are, quality prenatal care, early intervention, and community support upon release from prison are imperative to help those babies and their mothers have positive long-term outcomes. Please consider this a call to action, we welcome your interest in collaborative efforts.

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

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

Pre-employment Screening / A Profile Review on the Proper Use of the SASSI-4

A recent caller wanted help in interpreting a profile completed by a 33-year-old male. He was instructed to complete the FVA/FVOD side of the questionnaire for the last 12 months. The administrator revealed during the call that the assessment was a pre-employment screening for the Department of Transportation. The helpline does receive regular calls from counselors who administer the SASSI-4 for the Department of Transportation after a driver has failed a drug or alcohol test for substances, but not for pre-employment screening.

In review, the client comes up with a high probability of a substance use disorder based on Rules 2,5,6 and 9. The RAP is 0 and the Rx Prescription Drug Scale is 0.

The FVA is below average use, the FVOD is on the 50th percentile. The SYM scale of 7 is above the 85th percentile, considered elevated and thus Rule 2 meets the criteria of a High Probability of a Substance Use Disorder. The rest of the scale scores are within the norm (between 15-85th percentiles) so clinically are not significant but are significant in meeting the criteria of a Substance Use Disorder if accounting for the additional rules of # 5, 6 and 9. The SAT of 5, being in the norm indicates the client was not in denial about his usage.


Although the results do not account for current or actual use, further assessment may include urine screens that would give a more accurate representation of current use of substances. He does come up with a high probability of a Substance Use Disorder, so deeper inquiry is necessary.

The administration of this SASSI was part of a pre-employment screening and our position on the proper use of the SASSI in this regard, is very explicit:

From our User’s Guide and Manual: *

“The purpose of the SASSI is to help identify people who are likely to have substance use disorders so that early intervention and treatment can be initiated when appropriate.”

“To use the SASSI to discriminate against individuals violates the intent of the authors and may even violate the law.”

“SASSI results should not be used to abridge the rights of individuals or to disqualify applicants for positions, such as jobs or benefits, such as public assistance programs.”

Thus, it is extremely important to use the results in the most therapeutic way possible with the best intentions of helping individuals with a substance use disorder.

If you have any questions, please contact the Clinical Director, Kristin S. Kimmell, LCSW, LCAC at kristin@sassi.com.

*SASSI -4 User Guide & Manual – Chapter 1 (overview), pg.7
SASSI-4 Online User Guide – Proper Use of the SASSI. pg. 8

FREE LIVE Clinical Q&A Registration Open

As discussed in a prior blog, we are expanding our free clinical phone service by offering free live clinical Q&A sessions online. These Q&A sessions are open to everyone. The Q&A will be hosted by our Clinical Director, Kristin Kimmell, LCSW, LCAC, and will last one-hour. We invite you to ask questions or share experiences regarding unusual or difficult profiles you may have come across, but all questions are welcome. You can also join just to listen to the group discussion.

Our first free Q&A session is scheduled for Tuesday, October 4th from 1-2 pm ET. Click here to register today. Due to time restraints, the session will be limited to the first 25 registrants. As new dates are added we will post them to our blog or you can check the registration page via the link above in this blog.

Note that this Q&A does not provide CEUs and is not a substitute for SASSI Training.

We hope you will join us!

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).

Coming Soon: LIVE Clinical Q&A Sessions

Since the release of the original SASSI in the late 80’s we have had the pleasure of providing free clinical consultation and support for those using our instruments via our toll-free phone line. Our clinicians have enjoyed speaking with professionals about SASSI results and strive to make it a useful and pleasant experience. We are planning to expand on this service by offering free live clinical Q&A sessions online. We invite users of our instruments, those considering implementing our instruments, and students, to join our Clinical Director, Kristin Kimmell, LCSW, LCAC, for these FREE live one-hour sessions. Here you will be able to ask questions or share experiences regarding unusual or difficult profiles you may have come across, but all questions are welcome. You can also join in simply to listen to the group discussion and are not required to ask questions.

We hope this will be a useful expansion of our clinical service and look forward to having engaging group discussions. We believe we can learn from you as well and these discussions will help us be sure that our research is up to date with current concerns in the field of SUD. We will be announcing the date, time and registration information for our first Clinical Q&A next month on our Blog so be on the lookout for it!

SASSI Online Tips & Tricks Volume 3 | SASSI to Go

In this edition of SASSI Online Tips and Tricks we take an in-depth look at our SASSI to Go delivery option! SASSI to Go is an application designed to be used offline for administration of SASSI questionnaires.

SASSI to Go is downloaded to a laptop or thumb drive, then the questionnaires are administered to clients with or without an Internet connection.

Read more

2023 Price Increase

As you are no doubt aware, operational, production, and administrative costs have risen dramatically in recent months. SASSI has resisted raising prices as long as possible, but due to the nature of the current economic climate, we can no longer continue to absorb the increased cost.

Therefore, effective January 1, 2023 we will be implementing a price increase on our products.

The SASSI Institute appreciates your continued loyalty and support. We know you have options for your business and we thank you for partnering with us. It is our hope that in our mutual mission of saving lives our professional relationships continue for many years to come. As always, please know that we are only a phone call away.