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VAPA annual meeting and Trauma Informed Care: Substance Use and Co-Occurring Treatment with COVID consideration for helping professionals

April 29, 2022 @ 8:00 am 4:30 pm EDT



Melissa Hill is a licensed alcohol and drug counselor and has been practicing in the field of mental health and addictions counseling for the past 9 years. She has specialized in working with adolescents and young adults with co-occurring mental health and substance use issues and has a strong focus on community mental health. Within her current position at Centerpoint, Melissa provides individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy, recovery support services and clinical supervision. Melissa has been certified in Seeking Safety: An Evidence-Based Model for Trauma and/or Addiction and is working toward certification in EMDR therapy. She additionally uses a blend of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Narrative Therapy, Psychodynamic Therapy, Motivation Enhancement Therapy, Systemic Therapy, Play Therapy and Expressive Art.


In today’s world, people have experience collective trauma inflicted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Whether impacted directly or indirectly, those working in the helping profession have been holding this collective trauma for others for the past two years. What a heavy weight to hold! A trauma-informed approach to substance use and co-occurring treatment allows helping professionals to understand the signs, symptoms, and risks of trauma so that they can better support the health needs of their clients. This 6-hour workshop will provide:

  • Strategies that will be illustrated with case examples, group discussion and activity-based participation
  • Understanding of the role of trauma on the nervous system
  • Understanding of the correlation between trauma and addiction
  • Understanding of the critical role of relationship in healing trauma
  • Information about Seeking Safety and other addiction treatment approaches
  • Information about Body-based and EMDR Therapy
  • Strategies to support regulation during chronic trauma caused by the Covid-19 pandemic   
  • Considerations around race, ethnicity, culture, sexuality, and gender identity
  • Strategies to understand secondary trauma and prevent burnout



Morning: 9:00am – 12:00pm EST

  • Introduction to training
  • Defining trauma
  • Recognize the signs and symptoms of trauma
  • Understanding the physiology of trauma

Break: 10:30am -10:45am EST

  • Understanding co-occurring mental health and substance use issues
  • Determining therapeutic goals and objectives through a collaborative and motivation enhancing process.

Lunch: 12:00pm – 1:00pm EST

Afternoon: 1:00pm – 4:30pm EST

  • Empowering clients
  • Exploring client-centered evidenced-based care

Break: 2:30pm- 2:45pm EST

  • Understanding specific considerations around oppressive systems and diverse needs.
  • Exploring secondary trauma

6 Credits: NAADAC CU’s are approved

Social Worker CE’s, Allied MH CE’s and Psychologists CE’s pending