26th Annual Summer Institute on Addictions

IDFPR and IL Certification Board Approved:
Counselors, Social Workers, CADC, Employee Assistance Counselors, Psychologists, Nurses
Each Workshop: 3 CEUs

Main Page | Thursday Schedule | Friday Schedule


8:30am – 10:00am – Keynote
Aaron Weiner, PhD, ABPP, and MAC

About Aaron Weiner: Aaron Weiner, Ph.D., ABPP is a board-certified psychologist and addiction specialist, and speaks nationally on the topics of addiction, behavioral health, and the impact of drug policy on public health. He earned his doctorate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and completed his fellowship in Addiction Psychology at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System. His perspective is informed by years of experience growing and directing addiction service lines for hospitals and healthcare systems, the current state of medical and psychological research, and his own observations in private practice. Dr. Weiner is the President-Elect of the Society of Addiction Psychology, a member of the Physician Speakers Bureau for the National Safety Council, and on the Science Advisory Board for Smart Approaches to Marijuana.

10:30am – 1:30pm (3 CEUs)

Workshop I:
Topic: Using Interactive Games to Enliven Recovery from Addiction
Presented by Barney Strauss, LCSW, CADC

About Barney Strauss: Barney Strauss is a certified Problem and Compulsive Gambling Counselor. He is also a Certified Group Psychotherapist by the International Registry of Group Psychotherapists. In addition to leading interpersonal therapy groups, he leads activity-oriented therapeutic programming, both within traditional office-based groups as well as in outdoor settings. Barney specializes in treating addictions to drugs, alcohol, and behaviors such as gambling, sex, the Internet, and eating. He also addresses underlying issues such as anxiety, depression, and relationship problems.

As an adjunct to office-based treatment, Barney offers a full day of experiential adventure therapy for families and groups. This type of therapy is conducted in either indoor or outdoor settings, and the physical nature of it often allows individuals’ previously hidden strengths and vulnerabilities to be worked with.

Barney’s approach to therapy is an interpersonal, client-centered approach, wherein the client’s own treatment goals are of central importance. While issues that initially bring the client into treatment tend to be the primary area of focus, the therapeutic relationship that develops with me is available to be used toward the client’s therapeutic goals.

This workshop will provide an overview of how experiential activities can be used to evoke therapeutic principles such as asking for help, trusting others, and creative problem-solving. The presentation will include theoretical material and evocative images. Participants will also be invited to engage in a series of virtual games and problem-solving activities. Application of the activities to back-home work settings will conclude the workshop.

Learning Objectives:
• Apply specific activities to therapeutic goals and/or objectives.
• Select activities that are appropriate for a given population.
• Safely lead a series of activities with clients or other populations.

Workshop J:
Topic: Elements of Personal Power and Empowerment
Presented by Dr. Serena Wadhwa

About Serena Wadhwa: Dr. Wadhwa is a psychotherapist who specializes in substance use disorders, trauma, and stress-related disorders. She is a professor and program director of the Addictions Counseling program at an Illinois university. Dr. Wadhwa enjoys a variety of roles as a consultant, creator, presenter, trainer, stress coach, yoga instructor, and blogger. She authored two books on stress and books relating to the workplace.

In this workshop, we’ll focus on how to empower. We will explore definitions of what personal power is, how personal power is lost, and elements of personal power. Empowerment, in some ways, helps one advocate for themselves, reduces stigma and steps into one’s assets. Participants will learn various strategies to help clients cultivate personal power including strategies such as value clarification, developing a mission statement, exploring routines and rituals, and differentiating between active and passive participation. This workshop includes discussions and activities.

Learning Objectives:
• Identify a working definition of personal power.
• Identify five aspects of personal power.
• Identify two ways to empower the self or another.

1:30pm – 2:00pm – LUNCH BREAK

2:00pm – 5:00pm (3 CEUs)

Workshop K:
Topic: Motivational Interviewing and Cultural Responsiveness: Evidence-Informed Strategies for Multicultural Practice
Presented by Gabriela Zapata-Alma, LCSW, CADC

About Gabriela Zapata-Alma: Gabriela Zapata-Alma, LCSW, CADC, is a liberation-centered bilingual and multicultural clinician and educator whose driving force is social justice. In addition to a small practice, Gabriela is a Lecturer at the University of Chicago, where they direct the Alcohol and Other Drug Counselor Training Program; as well as the Director of Policy and Practice on Domestic Violence and Substance Use at the National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma, and Mental Health. Gabriela brings over 15 years of experience supporting people impacted by structural and interpersonal violence through evidence-based clinical, housing, resource advocacy, and HIV-specific programs. Currently, Gabriela authors best practices, leads national capacity-building efforts, and provides trauma-informed policy consultation to advance health equity and social justice.

Motivational Interviewing is a highly evidence-based approach to supporting people who are navigating self-defined goals in the areas of substance use, mental health, physical health, and more. As a practice that is based in partnership, acceptance, and empathy, MI has been found to have positive effects with people of diverse ages, genders, and racial and ethnic identities. At the same time, practitioners must guard against the assumption that any approach could be ‘culturally neutral’ or universally applied across contexts and experiences. Instead, practitioners are invited to reflect on their application of MI strategies while increasing their responsiveness to individuals and families as unique ecosystems of cultural identities and experiences within a larger societal structure. This experiential workshop will offer an overview of available evidence, multi-level strategies to increase cultural responsiveness in MI practice, and tangible tools and resources to enhance practice.

Learning Objectives:
● Identify at least three MI-consistent techniques that can enhance culturally responsive practice.
● Increase awareness of when MI-consistent techniques may require adaptation to enhance cultural responsiveness.
● Develop a foundational understanding of available research evidence and resources to aid in culturally responsive MI practice.

Workshop L:
Topic: Systemic Racial Trauma and Somatic Healing Concepts
Presented by Becky Carter, LCPC

About Becky Carter: Becky Carter is a biracial, cisgender, transracially adopted female. Her ancestors are West African and Sicilian. She has two black adopted children. Becky is a trauma therapist with 20+ years of experience in helping both women and men heal the wounds of relational trauma that occur in-utero and beyond. She is a member and presenter with the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation, a somatic experiencing therapist, and is trained in Transformative Touch Therapy. Becky specializes in treating Racial Trauma, Sexual Trauma and has a special dedication to supporting adoptees and their families. Becky facilitates the Men’s Trauma Collective, a group for male survivors of sexual trauma. Becky presents in the community on various topics including the somatic impact of systemic racial trauma.

This training is an exploration of Systemic Racial Trauma, Somatic Experiencing Concepts, and tools for healing. Concepts from authors such a: Resmaa Menakem, Robin DiAngelo and Ibram X. Kendi will be highlighted in their exploration of how white bodies can unknowingly perpetuate racism and how to cultivate an expansive and curious approach toward examining racial biases. Becky weaves in her own experiences as a biracial, brown – bodied person and discusses how racial trauma impacts the nervous system of bodies of color. Participants will engage in somatic exercises as a method of learning about the somatic concepts of titration, pendulation, constriction and expansion in relation to race related topics. In addition, the traumatic impact of systemic racism will be explored along with various somatic treatment techniques.

The training will include basic concepts from Somatic Experiencing and Polyvagal Model. There will be discussion regarding recognition of concepts such as Systemic Racism, White Supremacy, White Privilege, White Gaze and Microaggressions. Definitions and examples of the concepts such as Intergenerational, Ancestral, Social and Systemic Racial Trauma will also be discussed.

Learning Objectives:
• Participants will learn about Systemic Racism and related concepts.
• Participants will develop an understanding of how Racial Trauma impacts the nervous system.
• Participants will explore various somatic healing methods for Racial Trauma
• Participants will gain a better understanding of Developmental Trauma and Oppression


Workshop Registration & PricingSingle Workshop1 Day2 Days3 Days
General Admission$80$135$255$360
Senior Rate (62+ years of age)$70$80$175$250
Student Rate$70$80$175$250

For questions or concerns, contact:
Lisa Abrams, LCPC, CSADC
Director of Staff Training & Development
312-226-7984 ext. 581