Seeing the Common Humanity in Addiction: Offering an Integrated Relational Treatment

  • 19 Feb 2017
  • 11:00 AM
  • Bromall, PA (exact address will be emailed)
  • 0

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Seeing the Common Humanity in Addiction: Offering an Integrated Relational Treatment

February 19, 2017

Irini Gouzos, MA; Candace Irabli, MA; Shay Selden, MA; & Veronica Slaght, MA

This event offers 2 CEUs

An individual living with addiction experiences life at the intersection of a dream and a nightmare: The dream of refuge and safety is met with the compulsive repetition of trauma and loss.  From a social justice perspective, psychotherapists have a responsibility to respond to the addiction epidemic sweeping the nation, but many therapists believe that addiction is treatment-resistant and therefore refuse to work with these patients, or do so only with the prerequisite that a patient be sober. This brunch invites participants to recognize the common humanity in those suffering from addiction and offers a relational approach to addiction treatment.  

From a relational perspective, addictions arise from attempts to ameliorate painful emotions that the addict is unable to regulate on his/her own. In the absence of meaningful relationships with others, yet still possessing the dream of security, the addict turns to objects of addiction for comfort. The addiction superficially fulfills the dream of security and offers escape from the waking nightmare that the user may not have the tools to navigate. This presentation will explain several integrative approaches that can be used in a relational addiction treatment, including the harm reduction model, the stages of change, and the 12-step approach. A case will be presented and a conversation will be facilitated to expand our understanding and engagement with this current social issue.

Learning Objectives: After attending this program in full, participants will be able to:

1. Describe an attachment perspective on addiction.

2. Plan an integrative approach to addiction treatment.

Irini Gouzos is a fifth-year PsyD student at Widener University's Institute of Graduate Clinical Psychology.  She has experience in the fields of substance abuse and sex addiction treatment, at various levels of care. While earning her PsyD, she is pursuing a joint Master's Degree in Clinical Human Sexuality Studies. 

Candace Irabli is a fifth-year PsyD student at Widener University's Institute of Graduate Clinical Psychology.  She has worked in the treatment of substance use disorders and eating disorders throughout her training. While earning her PsyD, she is pursuing a joint Master's Degree in Clinical Human Sexuality Studies.

Shay Selden is a 5th year PsyD student in Widener University's Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology. There, she has also completed a dual-degree in human sexuality, and is completing a concentration in diversity and multicultural psychology.

Veronica Slaght is a fifth-year PsyD student at Widener University's Institute of Graduate Clinical Psychology. She is currently completing her doctoral training at Swarthmore College's Counseling and Psychological Services. 


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