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District Meeting | Attachment, Trauma and a Developmental Model of Addiction and Recovery: Integrating Mental Health and Addiction Theory and Practice

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Mental health and addiction theory and practice share a long history of controversy. The developmental model of addiction, with its focus on the trauma of loss of control and a radical, transformational process of change in recovery, provides a missing bridge in theory and practice for these controversial fields. We will review the developmental/trauma model of addiction, including the stages and tasks of treatment for the patient, accenting disordered attachment to alcohol and the loss of control as central organizing principles in the experience of being addicted and the process of recovery. We will define active addiction as a traumatic attachment disorder and the process of recovery as trauma treatment and new development in recovery. Key therapist issues we will explore include beliefs, values, transference, countertransference and themes of power and control. We will outline the multiple roles of the therapist at each stage of recovery development including how to listen, how to integrate theoretical frames, and how to define a treatment alliance. The therapist is guided by a deep belief that the process of healthy development and change in recovery involves an understanding of paradox and radical transformation for client and therapist.

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CSCSW | PO Box 880712 | San Diego, CA 92168-0712 | (310) 254-9471 |

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