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Women and Addiction: Trauma-Informed, Gender Specific Treatment

May 17 Breakfast 8:30am-8:45am   Training 8:45am-4:00pm $159, 6 CEUs Presenter: Denise Tordella, MA, LPC Doubletree Hilton Hotel, 1726 Reisterstown Road Baltimore, MD 21208 United States + Google Map

Recent research on the treatment of chronic traumatization has increased awareness in the mental health and substance abuse treatment fields to explore the complex interactions between substance abuse disorders and traumatic experiences.

This workshop will focus on the gender-specific needs of women seeking treatment for substance abuse disorders.  Treatment for women is apt to be ineffective unless it acknowledges the realities of women’s lives, which includes the high prevalence of violence and other types of abuse. A history of being abused increases the likelihood that a woman will abuse alcohol and other drugs. We will explore the connection between trauma and substance abuse disorders and how to treat them concurrently.  We will discuss the issues of shame and stigma as they relate to women who are seeking treatment and strategies to reduce them.

Learning Objectives

  • Define sex and gender differences that affect women’s experience with substance use, treatment services, and recovery.
  • Define gender-responsive services and the core elements of those services.
  • Identify common reasons that women initiate substance use, along with risk factors and protective factors for women and girls.
  • Identify three common barriers women have to seeking and accessing treatment
  • Identify five (5) creative and body-oriented treatment strategies and modalities to support individuals in identifying and implementing adaptive coping methods that regulate arousal level and modulate affect and reduce the use of the maladaptive coping mechanism of substance misuse.
  • Discuss effective treatment principles and strategies for working with vulnerable women (e.g., pregnant women, adolescent girls, women involved with the criminal justice system, survivors of domestic violence)


8:45 –  Overview of Gender-Specific, Trauma-Informed Substance Abuse Treatment for Women

10:15 – Break

10:30 – Etiology and Risk Factors for Women/Barriers to Treatment

12:00 – Lunch

1:00 – Expressive Treatment Modalities

2:30 – Break

2:45 – Specific treatment principles and strategies for working with vulnerable women with substance abuse disorders

3:45 – Questions, evaluations, closeout.

4:15 – Workshop ends

Woman and Addiction
“Denise is a true expert in issues related to trauma and addiction and has a great way of sharing her knowledge as a presenter.” Kim M.