CADTP Spring Conference

Presenters and Conference Agenda

May 8 & 9, 2024

Return to Conference PageConference Agenda

Unlocking Your Inner Strengths: Cultivating Lasting Resilience Inside and Out of the Counseling Room

Matt Hersh, Ph.D. • Biography

The vital work you do is not easily appreciated by those outside of your field. You’re not just a substance use disorder counselor, manager, or administrator. You help transform and heal lives. But when we engage in such demanding and transformative work, we also need to shore up the positive qualities that allow us to be mindfully present and optimally resilient both with ourselves and our clients. This presentation will help you build vital internal resources of well-being to better support you and how you show up for your clients. Through didactic instruction, discussion, and experiential practices, we’ll focus on positive and expansive qualities such as gratitude, self-compassion, self-forgiveness, and optimism. These sustainable inner resources can then be shared implicitly and explicitly with your clients for the betterment of us all.

The Neurochemistry of Relapse

Julia Ross, MA • Biography

Chronic cravings and negative moods are almost impossible to eradicate in recovery because they are symptoms of neurochemical dysfunction. That’s why emotional and spiritual tools alone can’t touch them. Fortunately, simple nutritional tools can, as you’ll learn from treatment pioneer and best-selling author Julia Ross, M.A.

Roland Williams

Avoiding Stress and Burnout: Self-Care for Care-Givers

Roland F. Williams, MA, MAC, ICAADC, LAADC, NCAC II, CADCII, ACRPS, SAP • Biography

We unfortunately often take better care of other people, or phones and even our cars than we take care of ourselves. Our jobs continously present us with heart wrenching, emotional challenges on a daily basis. Studies confirm that caregivers are subject to a high level of compassion fatigue as well as high stress, and potential for relapse and burnout.

In this training we will examine how we can neglect our own needs as we administer to the care of others. The presentation will provide practical activities to quantify and identify the specific areas of our lives which need attention and each participant will leave with a concrete, measurable and specific action plan to improved self-care, lower stress and avoid burnout.

Roland Williams

Balancing Act: Integrating Self Care into Clinical Practice

Julie Seitz LGSW, MSW, LADC • Biography

Maintaining fidelity to the regulations, implementing best practice standards and providing quality care is demanding. The focus is often on helping others; it is easy to neglect our own well-being. This session will explore the critical importance of integrating self-care practices into our professional lives as clinicians. While keeping a pulse on current practices, we will delve into strategies for maintaining healthy work-life balance, managing stress and cultivating resilience. Discover the balance between caring for others and caring for ourselves can both enhance our professional satisfaction and effectiveness of our clinical work. Learning Objectives: Understand the importance of self-care in the context of clinical practice. Recognize the impact of self-care on professional performance and patient outcomes. Acquire practical tools and resources for implementing self-care in daily clinical routines.

Dr. Nola Veazie<br />

Creating a Work Environment That Promotes Wellness and Rejuvenation

Dr. Nola Veazie • Biography

Burnout has a significant physical and psychological effect on counselors that sometimes goes unnoticed. Day-to-day client responsibilities often exceed the counselor’s responsibility to care for him or herself. Counselors may ignore initial warning signs such as headaches, shoulder pain, or psychosomatic complaints that may be related to job stress. Supervisors might give the counselor time off for self-care but neglect to change current processes or policies, contributing to work-related stress. Supervisors may miss or ignore warning signs until the counselor’s behavior affects client care or negatively impacts the organization. We will discuss the warning signs and consequences of counselor burnout and the positive actions the supervisor can take to create a work environment that promotes wellness and rejuvenation.

John Durbin

Adherence to our Ethical Code of Conduct: Using our Inspiration Through Rejuvenation to Maximize Professional Boundaries (parts 1 and 2)

John R. Durbin, SUDCC-II, CADC-II CA  • Biography

Strict adherence to our various codes of behavior, including our SUD Counselor Code of Conduct, can seem burdensome and challenging at times. How can we best use our newfound “Inspiration Through Rejuvenation” to recommit ourselves to Ethical Conduct through strengthening our Professional Boundaries to such an extent that ‘helping people appropriately’ naturally flows from a place of strength?  How do we turn “HAVE to” to “GET to”? What are the signs of healthy and unhealthy boundaries from an SUD Professional’s perspective?

In this course, we will review the key tenants of our Code of Conduct – providing specific examples of what adherence and non-adherence would look like. Additionally, we will explore different elements of Ethical Conduct through the lens of bringing our professional boundaries, resilience, and strength-based language to bear on each. Finally, we will explore real-world scenarios of potentially unethical conduct, discuss what solutions are most appropriate, decide what actions would need to be taken, and how we can best insure the health and safety of all through compliance with our Code of Conduct moving forward.


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Dr. Jessica Rodriguez

Dr. Rodriguez was named the Executive Director of Gateway Corp in 2012.  Gateway Corp was developed as a non-profit, public charity and founded October 27, 2011. November 2014, she developed a clinical hub for Gateway Corp called OnSite Strategies. OnSite is also a United States Trademark.

She has held the position of CEO, Clinical Director, Lead Educator and Clinical Trainer as well as the Clinical Business Developer. She has fulfilled the roles of a clinical consultant, professional development consultant and has clinically supervised many SUD/addiction counselors, mental health professionals and addiction and family interventionists for over 12 years.

She has been active in the mental health field since 1995. She has also clinically trained throughout the US and provides clinical oversight for several organizations in California.

Dr. Rodriguez released her first book, “When the Rainbow Ends a Shadow from Heaven Appears” in 2017.” Her newest book, “The Cart, From Adversity to Collateral Beauty” is scheduled to be released in the Fall of 2022.

Dr. Rodriguez is currently a writer for Rapporteur Magazine. Her focus is about Mental Wellness also covered topics to include ACE’s, trauma, anxiety, and Systemic Racism.

Adriana Popescu, Ph.D.

Dr. Adriana Popescu is a licensed clinical psychologist and empowerment coach with over 25 years of experience in the mental health field. She specializes in treating addictions and trauma, and has directed a number of treatment programs in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is the Founder and CEO of Firebird Healing, a trauma healing program, and the Clinical Director at Avery Lane, an innovative and holistic treatment program for women with co-occurring addiction and mental health disorders and trauma.

Adriana has contributed to a number of books, including TJ Woodward’s Conscious Being Workbook, the Conscious Recovery for Addiction and Conscious Recovery for Mental Health Workbooks, and the Conscious Creation Workbook, all of which she co-authored with him.

She has a private practice in San Francisco and travels around the world speaking, coaching, and facilitating transformational and empowering workshops. She also hosts a fascinating podcast called Kaleidoscope of Possibilities – Alternative Perspectives on Mental Health.

Adriana loves to bring the most innovative and effective tools to her work, empowering people to overcome their imagined limitations, release their self-judgments, and discover the brilliance within – creating a life of infinite possibilities.

Her first book, “What If You’re Not as F*cked Up As You Think”, was released in October.

Aven Armstrong-Sutton, Ph.D(c), RSW

Clinical Services Manager at Kinark Child and Family Services

Aven L. Armstrong-Sutton has been a practicing licensed social worker for over a decade. With diverse experience in settings such as health promotion, foster care, youth homelessness, outpatient mental health & addictions, and student support services, Aven currently serves as a Clinical Services Manager at Kinark Child and Family Services, managing a Live-In-Treatment Program and three outpatient treatment programs. Maintaining a part-time private practice, Aven’s multidisciplinary and integrative approach focuses on trauma and resilience among under-served communities.

June Price Tangney, Ph.D

Dr. Tangney received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from UCLA. She is currently University Professor and Professor of Psychology at George Mason. She is a Recipient of International Society for Self and Identity’s Distinguished Lifetime Career Award and Fellow of the Association of Psychological Science and of APA’s Division of Personality and Social Psychology.

Dr. Tangney is coauthor (with Ronda Dearing) of Shame and Guilt, coeditor (with Ronda Dearing) of Shame in the Therapy Hour, coeditor (with Jess Tracy and Richard Robins) of The self-conscious emotions: Theory and research, and coeditor (with Mark Leary) of the Handbook of Self and Identity. She has served as Associate Editor for Self and Identity, Consulting Editor for Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Psychological Assessment, Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, and Journal of Personality, and is currently Associate Editor of American Psychologist.

Her research on the development and implications of moral emotions has been funded by NIDA, NICHD, NSF, and the John Templeton Foundation. Currently, her work focuses on moral emotions among incarcerated offenders. She draws on theory and research in psychology and criminology to develop novel interventions that leverage inmates’ moral emotions and prosocial values. A recipient of GMU’s Teaching Excellence Award, Dr. Tangney strives to integrate service, teaching and clinically-relevant research in both the classroom and her lab.

Christina Veselak, MS, LMFT, CN

Founder and Director of the Academy for Addiction and Mental Health Nutrition

Christina T. Veselak, MS, LMFT, CN, is the founder and director of the Academy for Addiction and Mental Health Nutrition, which teaches practitioners around the world how to use diet, along with amino acid and nutrient therapy, to help prevent cravings and recurrent drug use. She has been a licensed psychotherapist working in the SUD treatment field since 1985 and a certified nutritionist specializing in mental health and addiction recovery since 1993.

Sean Bezdek, LMFT, MBA

Sean is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with over 25 years of experience working in mental health and substance abuse settings, in inpatient, PHP, and private practice. He holds b a master’s degree in Marital and Family Therapy from Philips Institute and an MBA from Baker College.

Sean’s clinical practice has specialized in working with Personality Disorders, Couples, Adolescents, and individual suffering from chronic mental illness. As a clinician Sean enjoys working with clients who can be resistant to traditional treatment and believes in the philosophy of “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink. BUT you can feed them saltines to make them thirsty!”

Sean is the Program Director for Akua Mind Body’s Sacramento inpatient mental health program. His prior leadership experience includes oversight of acute inpatient, utilization management, hospice/palliative care, home health and skilled nursing. Sean’s approach to management is to ensure the work that needs to get done gets done. “Our job is patient care. This include everything from making coffee to running groups. There is not one person who is more important that the other when it comes to providing exceptional care to the clients we serve.”