Family Education Seminar

Community wide, FAMILY EDUCATION SEMINAR continuing on March 14th, 2020. Register Below!

The next Family Education Seminar will be held on Saturday, March 14th at the Virginia Center for Addiction Medicine. If you are concerned that someone you love has a substance use issue, would like continued education on the disease of addiction and how it affects the family, or just need support as you navigate through the recovery process, please join us for a day of lectures and activities presented by some of the top doctors, clinicians and experts in the Richmond area.

Let’s Reduce the Stigma

To those who study it, the truth is plain to see - addiction is not a moral failing but a devastating disease of the mind that can be treated and healed. Nevertheless, there is still so much isolation, shame, and stigma attached to substance abuse for addicted patients and their families that it is difficult for many to seek the help they so desperately need. One of the ways we fight against stigma is by educating families throughout our community on the reality and nature of the disease and giving them the means to counteract it. Families are often surprised to learn that things they did out of love and concern for a family member struggling with addiction were sometimes not helpful. The keys to turning things around are knowledge and informed compassion. Our goal in this effort is to equip families with the knowledge and resources they need to grow and heal and by doing so, help us reduce the deadly effects of stigma in our community. Addiction is “a family disease” and family members are profoundly affected when a loved one suffers. We hope that our program will help family members to recognize the many ways their lives have been impacted by the illness of their loved one. More importantly, we hope they’ll be introduced to the kind of understanding, practices, and treatments that are needed to begin their own journeys of recovery.

Guest Speakers
Adina Silvestri EdD, LPC
Adina will be presenting a lecture titled, ‘Healing Shame in Recovery: A Multi-pronged approach to Working Through Shame in Recovery’. Shame needs no introduction. It’s something we have all experienced, and most likely have wanted to forget. The word itself comes from old English and means “to cover.” It really is the hidden affect. We can’t address healing if there is shame, so how do we overcome shame?

Through this workshop, you will learn:

1. Audio & Video examples of how to address shame and the power of vulnerability

2. Learn about the limiting thought patterns of people in recovery who are in the “shame spiral” and learn to incorporate new thought patterns one can use now

3. Engage in a few exercises to work through shame so that you will be open to more love and kindness towards yourself.

Adina is a licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist in Richmond, Virginia who works with children and families. She specializes in treating women with substance abuse issues and in helping children who have experienced trauma lead full and productive lives. Dr. Silvestri helps women with Binge Eating issues recover from shame and find hope and healing. Dr. Silvestri’s clinical work includes providing supervision to counselors-in-training. Dr. Silvestri is an innovative counselor educator; she teaches aspiring counselors the skills needed to become empathetic and creative. In addition to her clinical work and teaching, Dr. Silvestri is the host of Atheists in Recovery podcast which works to address the spiritual and scientific belief systems of people in long term recovery. She writes for publications such as the Dr. Oz show, American Counseling Association, Richmond Family Magazine, and other recovery and wellness publications. In her spare time, she mentors students through Blue Sky Fund and her hobbies include sailing, running and learning Japanese.

VCAM Presenters
Dr. James Thompson - CMO & Co-Founder
Dr. James Thompson will be presenting a lecture titled, ‘What is Addiction and How Does it Happen?’. Is addiction really a disease, or is it just bad behavior? Modern neuroscience confirms what was suspected for centuries: Addiction is a disease of the brain with a strong genetic predisposition. It appears after the first drink/drug but before the madness sets in. In other words, addiction is a disease of the ‘choice-making’ circuit in our brains, especially that part we use to control how we use drugs and alcohol. The good news is that knowing how addiction works helps patients and families get better. Dr. Thompson is leading the industry with his compassionate, caring team by providing comprehensive outpatient care to those experiencing addiction and alcoholism in our community and beyond. He co-founded VCAM with a vision, to create an outpatient treatment center that combines the standard tools of addiction medicine-ambulatory detox, and Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT)-with psychiatry, counseling, and recovery coaching, to make individualized treatment plans that encompass the specific recovery needs of his patients. That vision continues to develop with the addition of the Family Program which will be available not only to patients’ families, but to the community at large. He understands from a personal level how important it is to educate family members and loved ones on the disease of addiction, and more importantly, afford them a chance to grow and heal in their own recovery.

Evelyn Zak, BA, CSAC, CADC, C-IAYT
Evelyn will be presenting a lecture on the impressive array of community resources in the Richmond area and beyond. Evelyn has extensive knowledge in this area since she has worked in the field of addiction since 2008 and her specialties include recovery guidance and management, relapse prevention, yoga, relaxation, mindfulness, mediation, substance abuse and problem gambling. In addition to being a writer, researcher, editor and proofreader, Evelyn currently facilitates psycho-educational and substance abuse process groups at VCAM and Dominion Outpatient Services (IOP and Aftercare).

Register Below!