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What Lies Beneath: Treating the Trauma Underlying Substance Use Disorders

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About the Course:

For many individuals suffering from substance use disorders, making the decision to enter treatment is a challenging process requiring a great degree of humility and courage. Clients often initially approach treatment with limited knowledge and perspective of what is truly required of themselves to benefit from a residential treatment setting. Not surprisingly, surrendering from their “regular lives” into an often novel and emotionally challenging therapeutic setting will elicit self-protective mechanisms. These reflexive responses can prevent both the client and the clinician from gaining meaningful access to the areas of deepest vulnerability and suffering, particularly with a trauma history. Taking a multiplicity of the self-perspective is a useful approach to assist both clients and clinicians in understanding how to collaboratively explore all aspects of what appear to be therapeutic impasses. Using the authentic therapeutic alliance and applying nuanced experiential, somatic, emotion-focused, and family systems-based approaches, can facilitate access to the “parts” of self that rely on substance use to cope. Additionally, we will discuss how more novel experiential treatment approaches including Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy can deepen internal access to one’s self and enhance opportunities for relational intimacy and repair.

This course is based on the recorded webinar, What Lies Beneath: Treating the Trauma Underlying Substance Use Disorders created by Chantelle Thomas, PhD in 2022.

Publication Date:

1st Edition Apr 2022

Course Material Author

Chantelle Thomas, PhD
Dr. Chantelle Thomas is a clinical psychologist and the Executive Clinical Director of Windrose Recovery—a multi-level continuum of addiction treatment programs offering detoxification, residential and intensive outpatient programming. She has spent over 15 years working within the dual-diagnosis residential treatment space and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in health psychology at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. She is informed via an attachment focused perspective and uses a highly relational framework to support the facilitation of trauma work that is hinged on the concepts of vulnerability and authenticity. Dr. Thomas is also involved in clinical research trials at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health investigating psilocybin for addiction and depression, and MDMA for PTSD. She currently serves as an associate supervisor and trainer on the MAPS sponsored clinical trials of MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for PTSD for US and European clinical trials and the recently initiated Expanded Access Program.

Chantelle Thomas, PhD authored the material only, and was not involved in creating this CE course. They are identified here for your own evaluation of the relevancy of the material this course is based on.

Recommended For:

Counselors, marriage and family therapists, psychologists and social workers. This course is appropriate for all levels of knowledge.

Course Objectives:

After taking this course, you should be able to:

  1. Define clinical barriers and treatment assumptions uniquely manifesting for co-occurring substance use and trauma from both the clinician and patient perspective.
  2. Examine ways to strengthen the therapeutic alliance from an attachment-based lens that emphasizes resiliency and de-pathologizes the concept of "resistance" for dually-diagnosed individuals.
  3. Summarize the range of clinical strategies and more novel, somatic-based interventions (Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy, Somatic Experiencing) that can promote safety, support emotional intimacy, and invite deeper exploration of the parts of self that have become alienated through trauma and substance use.


Disclosure of Relevant Financial Relationships

Disclosure of Relevant Financial Relationships

CE Learning Systems, LLC is an independent provider of continuing medical education. CE Learning Systems, LLC has no proprietary or financial interest in medical or healthcare products over which the FDA (USA) or EMA (EU) has regulatory authority.

In accordance with our disclosure policies, CE Learning Systems, LLC is committed to ensuring balance, independence, objectivity, and scientific rigor for all accredited continuing education. These policies include assigning relevance to, and mitigating, all perceived or real conflicts of interest between any individual with control over the content and any ineligible company (commercial interest).

Any individual with control over accredited content, including planner, faculty, and reviewer, is required to globally disclose:

  1. Individual relationship(s) or lack thereof, and its nature, with any/all ineligible company, and
  2. any investigational, off-label, or non-FDA approved content or discussion

CE Learning Systems, LLC has reviewed these disclosures, assigned relevance based on the relationship and scope of content, and identified those with the potential to compromise the goals and educational integrity of the education. Relevant relationships, or lack thereof, are shared with the learner.

Education has been independently peer-reviewed to validate content, mitigate identified conflicts of interest, and ensure:

  1. All recommendations involving clinical medicine is based on evidence that is accepted within the medical profession as adequate justification for their indications and contraindications in the care of patients.
  2. All scientific research referred to, reported, or used in accredited continuing education in support or justification of a patient care recommendation conforms to the generally accepted standards of experimental design, data collection, and analysis.
  3. Content is appropriate, fair and balanced, unbiased, referenced, and non-promotional.

The planners have reported the following: There are no relevant disclosures.

Course Material Author

The authors have disclosed any disclosures within the material.

Commercial support

There is no commercial support for this distance-learning course.

Exam Questions

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Course Retired
Course Number 103203
1.5 CE credit hour
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  • Recorded Webinar
Exam Fee $8.96
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Course Materials $20.00

200 members have taken this course

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