Family Education Seminar

Community wide, FAMILY EDUCATION SEMINAR continuing on August 10, 2019. Register Below!

The next Family Education Seminar will be held on Saturday, August 10th 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, PhD, M.A., LPC, NCC, CSAC
Dr. Bienert will be presenting the lecture on the Science of Addiction. He 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 on 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.

Bianca Waechter, LPC, MBA, ACS
Bianca M. Waechter has worked in the field of addiction for over five years. She holds licensures in Virginia as a Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Substance Abuse Counselor, as well as national certifications as a Master Addiction Counselor, National Certified Counselor, and Approved Clinical Supervisor. Bianca has spent her career working with those suffering from addiction, as well as their families and loved ones. She specializes in integrating 12-step recovery into addiction treatment as well as cognitive-behavioral therapy. A native New Yorker, Bianca attended Christopher Newport University for her undergraduate studies. She returned to Virginia in 2012 to complete Masters degrees in both counseling and business at The College of William and Mary. Bianca serves on Tidewater Chapter Board of the Virginia Association of Addiction Professionals.

VCAM Presenters
Dr. James Thompson
Dr. Thompson, CEO and co-founder of VCAM and a Richmond Top Doc for three years running, will be presenting a lecture on the Science of Addiction. Dr. Thompson is leading the industry with his compassionate, caring team by providing affordable, 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.

Matt J. Markowicz, MA, MSW, CSAC
Mr. Markowicz is a veteran, husband, father of two, social worker, counselor and a person in long term recovery. He will be presenting a brief review of community support throughout Richmond and beyond for families and for their loved ones with substance use disorder. He is a counselor at the Virginia Center for Addiction Medicine (VCAM) and will be coordinating their upcoming Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). After completing enlistment with Air Force, he completed his Associates, Bachelors and Masters using the G.I. Bill. He went on to work with adolescents in Hawaii and became a CSAC in 2013. In 2014, he and his new family relocated to Richmond, VA where he worked as an addiction counselor with VCU, Richmond IOP, The Farley Center and FCCR. He recently completed his MSW and plans to continue to network, build and strengthen the recovery capacity of the area in an effort to heal effectively and successfully those impacted by the disease we call addiction.

Register Below!