Family Education Seminar

Community wide, FAMILY EDUCATION SEMINAR continuing on November 9th, 2019. Register Below!

The next Family Education Seminar will be held on Saturday, November 9th 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
Andreas Bienert, MA, LPC, NCC, CSAC, PhD
Andreas Bienert will be presenting a lecture on the ‘Science of Addiction’. Dr. Bienert is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Substance Abuse Counselor in the state of Virginia, and a Nationally Certified Counselor. Dr. Bienert has worked in the mental health field since 2005. He is recognized for his work within inpatient and outpatient levels of care with individuals struggling to recover from addiction and trauma and has worked with children, adolescents, adults, in addition to couples and families. This experience has also led him to pursue further training and expertise, including neurofeedback and EMDR. As a native of Austria, Dr. Bienert grew up in a country that has deep roots in psychological theory. His bi-cultural background and focus in clinical mental health has led him to a number of volunteer opportunities and leadership roles. As an Austrian with professional experiences and associations in the United States and Europe, Dr. Bienert brings a broad and rich cultural sensitivity to the counseling and other mental health fields. He carries a strong vision that includes the development of counseling services and access to counselor education and professional supervision in countries where these services are still in early developmental stages. Dr. Bienert currently serves as the Program Coordinator of the Intensive Outpatient Program at The Farley Center in Hampton, VA, as well as an Assistant Professor at Colorado Christian University in its online Master of Arts in Counseling Program. Additionally, Dr. Bienert serves as a steering committee member of the International Registry of Counselor Education and Related Educational Programs (IRCEP), where he contributes to quality assurance efforts within International Counselor Education programs. Dr. Bienert is also part of a cross-cultural training team, which has led him to consultation and teaching efforts in Ukraine, and he continues to supervise students cross-culturally throughout their clinical training program.

Dr. Allison Jackson
“Let’s Kick some ACEs and Rise Strong: A Lecture on Building Resilience and Rising Strong ™ in Recovery” In this short workshop session, Dr. Jackson will briefly review the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). Yet beyond ACEs, individuals, families and support networks can embrace what is strong and not just focus on what is wrong. Resilience is essential to the mental health and substance use recovery process (which are often not separate journeys). Dr. Jackson will also interweave Dr. Brené Brown’s empirical findings from her Rising Strong™ work, specifically as it relates to making a choice to own our hurt versus offload it onto others and/or ourselves in painful ways. Strategies for reckoning with emotion will be explored as one step in the recovery pathway.

Dr. Jackson aims to bring trauma-and-resilience-informed practices to professionals who serve at-promise youth, families, and adults in their communities. She lives out her mission by providing educational opportunities directly to community members as well as to people in the direct care and leadership levels of an organization. She grew up in Richmond, VA. She is a person of lived experience from whom we can learn valuable lessons about life and resiliency. As a professional, she has provided leadership development services via behavioral health, education, child welfare, and criminal justice systems for more than 20 years. Her clinical practice and research focus on advancing effective trauma-informed treatment practices for persons who experience behavioral problems. She offered outpatient therapeutic services for military servicemen and women and their families. Also, she provided crisis therapy services to youth and adults who were diagnosed with mental health problems.

VCAM Presenters
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, meditation, 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!