Addictions Masterclass

New! Filmed Spring 2020

Presented by Carolyn Coker Ross, MD, MPH, CEDS & Colleagues

On-Demand | Available Now


12 Hours | Pre-approved for 12 CEUs


This is an On Demand course. Participants can watch, pause, and re-watch the sessions at their convenience.

All course content (quiz, certificate, videos) will be available until June 1, 2021. Extensions cannot be granted under any circumstances. 

Registration will close on May 1, 2021. 

Alcohol and drug use disorders as well as behavioral addictions affect millions of people worldwide and are a significant public health problem.  Addictive disorders often co-occur with other mental health disorders such as mood and anxiety disorder that are seen commonly in health care provider and therapist offices.  The Addiction Masterclass provides an overview of alcohol and drug use disorders and also of behavioral addictions to provide clinicians with an understanding of their clinical presentation and options available for effective treatment.  The Addictions Masterclass also offers an understanding of the effects of all addictions on brain neurochemistry as well as the impact of early childhood experiences on brain development and later risk for addictions.  Additional webinars include therapeutic techniques specifically addressing problems commonly seen in clients with alcohol, drug or behavioral addictions with a special focus on mindfulness, integrative, natural and nutritional therapies and the impact of addictions on the family.  Presenters are experienced clinicians who specialize in the treatment of addictions from the fields of medicine, psychology, nutrition and other counseling disciplines.

Online Course Format

  • Presented by Carolyn Coker Ross MD MPH CEDS & Kate Martin, M.Ed., LPC-MHSP & Courtney Phifer, MS, RD, LDN & Dr. Rebecca E. Williams & Carolyn B. Allard, PhD, ABPP & Christina Veselak, MS, LMFT, CN
  • 12 Session Online Training
  • 12 CEUs
  • Non-Interactive – registrants will have access to lectures, PowerPoint presentation, demonstrations, video clips, and experiential exercises.

Session 1    Addictions 101

Substance use disorders represent a global public health problem that affects people of all ages, both sexes and all socio-economic groups.  Our understanding of the causes and treatment of addictions has evolved with newer research focusing on addictions as a chronic disease affecting the brain reward system and having periods of relapse and remission.  By understanding addiction related research, clinicians will be even more empowered to work with clients struggling with substance use disorders.

  • What are the Predisposing factors for the development of addictions?
  • How does Genetics play a role in risk for addictions?
  • How do we define addictions/how has this changed?

Presenter Carolyn Ross

Session 2   The Neurobiology of Addictions

Much has been learned in recent years regarding how the brain makes decisions and the interplay between various parts of the brain that result in unwanted behaviors.  There are high rates of cross-addiction in people with substance use disorder.  The element of cross-addiction speaks to the fact that for many individuals, there may be common underlying etiological factors, including a family history of addiction, trauma, attachment disorders and major depression that promote the development and maintenance of both SUD and ED.  This shared etiology and its’ impact on the brain is the subject of this workshop.

  • List 2 ways in which trauma affects neurodevelopment.
  • Discuss the impact of attachment insecurity on neurodevelopment.
  • List 2 ways in which prenatal and early childhood toxic stress  affects neurodevelopment

Presenter Carolyn Ross

Session 3   Alcohol Use Disorder

         Alcohol use disorder is the most prevalent of all addictions, affecting millions of people around the world.  Problem drinking or AUD is a chronic relapsing brain disease characterized by compulsive alcohol use, loss of control over alcohol intake, and a negative emotional state when not using.  This webinar covers the criteria for diagnosis of AUD, health risks associated with problem drinking and currently available medications for the treatment of AUD.

  • Prevalence of alcohol-use disorder
  • Criteria for diagnosis
  • Special issues: Adolescents; Foetal alcohol syndrome
  • Treatment options for alcohol use disorder

Presenter Carolyn Ross

Session 4   Opiate Addiction

Prescription pain pills and other opioids have been prescribed in alarmingly high amounts which has led to what is being called the “opioid epidemic” in the United States.  Opioids were originally prescribed for pain management but when abused can be highly addictive and can lead to overdose and death in many individuals.  Current research offers very successful options for medication for the treatment of opiate use disorder.

  • Prevalence of opiate addiction
  • Criteria for diagnosis
  • Morbidity and mortality
  • Special issues: Pregnancy
  • Medication-assisted treatment

Presenter Carolyn Ross

Session 5    The 3rd Leg of the Stool: Nutritional Approaches to Reducing Cravings and Relapse

Addiction is a chronic brain disease and in this webinar, natural remedies for addiction and for recognizing physical cravings that may mimic cravings for drugs and alcohol are discussed.  Other causes of cravings and the importance of blood sugar stabilization and the use of natural remedies for supporting brain neurochemistry are discussed.   This presentation will describe how amino acid supplementation and simple dietary modifications effectively address these issues, and reduce cravings and relapse rates.

  • Amino acid therapy for supporting neurotransmitter restoration
  • How stabilising blood sugar reduces cravings and relapse
  • Pyroluria: A barely recognised driver of cravings and relapse

Presenter Christina Veselak

Session 6   Nutrition Therapy in Recovery

Registered dietitian and eating disorders specialist Courtney Phifer will discuss the importance of nutrition therapy in recovery from substance use disorders. She will discuss commonly co-occurring eating disorders and highlight secondary eating disorder behaviors (food rules, food rituals, exercise misuse) and treatment approach.  She will discuss the importance of reconnecting to natural body cues (hunger and fulness) in recovery from an eating disorder or substance use disorder.

  • Recognize individuals in substance abuse recovery who could benefit from nutrition counseling or education program.
  • Identify the secondary eating disorder behaviors and give examples of each.
  • Name the four different types of exercise disorders and their characteristics.

Presenter Courtney Phifer

Session 7   Trauma-Informed Guilt Reduction 

Guilt and shame related to ones’ actions or inactions during a traumatic event are risk factors for subsequent problems such as posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, substance use disorders, and suicidality. Dr. Allard will present on Trauma Informed Guilt Reduction (TrIGR), a brief (4-6 session) psychotherapy designed to help trauma survivors accurately appraise posttraumatic guilt and shame and re-engage with important values to aid in recovery from posttraumatic distress. and train audience members on the protocol.

  • Review the relationship between trauma and guilt
  • Learn a quick intervention to address trauma-related guilt and shame that can reduce posttraumatic distress

Presenter Carolyn Allard

Session 8   Addiction is a Family Disease

Substance use disorders affect not just the person with the addiction but the family system as a whole.  Addictions represent trauma to the family and given that many addictions have a genetic component, there may also be trauma that is passed down from generation to generation that must be taken into account to help the family heal.

  • Family roles in addictions
  • Codependency/enabling
  • The importance of healthy relationships in recovery
  • Intergenerational addictions
  • Salvaging the family and breaking the cycle (trauma-informed care)

Presenter Kate Martin

Session 9   The Stressed-Out Co: Using Effective Nutritional Intervention with Substance Use Disorder Family Members

This presentation explores how the physiological effects of on-going stress on the bodies and brains of family members, such as neurotransmitter depletion and adrenal fatigue, create many of the symptoms that family members experience, such as rage, fatigue, obsessive worry, and the inability to maintain self-care behaviors. It then goes on to describe many simple psychoeducational interventions the practitioner can make to address and often resolve these issues.

  • Three lifestyle changes which will support optimal adrenal function
  • How ongoing stress depletes the brain of key nutrients, leading to on-going symptoms
  • Four key amino acids to support stress manage
  • Three psychoeducational strategies to support positive change in family members

Presenter Christina Veselak

Session 10    Other drugs of abuse and therapeutic techniques to overcome resistance

Research and new treatments have made tremendous strides in improving our understanding of addictive processes.  While currently, much attention is focused on the opiate epidemic, other drugs of abuse such as stimulants, benzodiazepines, tobacco and more contribute to the ongoing suffering from drugs of abuse.  This webinar will give an overview of drugs of abuse not covered in earlier webinars and will also address common points of resistance that are encountered in working with people with addictions.

  • Emerging Trends in other drugs of addiction – explosion of methamphetamine, bath salts and other drugs of abuse
  • Cross-addiction
  • Therapy techniques to address resistance in recovery such as denial, abstinence, self-care and stress management.

Presenter Carolyn Ross

Session 11  Mindfulness and Self-Compassion for Addiction: Powerful Practices to Strengthen Recovery.

Practicing mindfulness and self-compassion has lots of important benefits for your clients recovering from addictive behaviors.  Incorporating mindfulness skills into recovery has been shown to decrease cravings, improve the ability to cope, reduce the risk for relapse, and decrease anxious and depressive symptoms.  However, many clients report barriers to starting or continuing a mindfulness and self-compassion practice.  This presentation will outline the five key questions to ask when your clients give limited information about their behaviors.  We will explore how mindfulness and self-compassion can be applied to treatment.   We will also outline mindfulness and self-compassion skills that will enhance your clients recovery and overall well-being.

  • Checklist on addiction: Five key questions to ask when the puzzle pieces don’t fit together
  • How mindfulness and self-compassion can be applied to addiction treatment
  • Incorporating mindfulness skills into treatment with patients

Presenter Rebecca Williams

Session 12   Process or Behavioral Addictions

Addiction is a term usually applied to alcohol and drug use disorders. However, individuals with a process addiction become addicted not to a drug or substance but to a process or behavior.  The neurobiology of this type of addiction is very similar but the behaviors are wide ranging and cross-addiction with substance use disorders can make process addictions difficult to treat. 

  • What is a process addiction
  • Overview of process/behavioral addictions:
    • Gambling
    • Eating disorders
    • Sex addiction
    • Internet gaming addiction
  • Shared factors with other addictions.

Presenter Carolyn Ross

Clinical Professionals: All mental health professionals including, but not limited to Clinical Counsellors, Psychologists, Psychotherapists, Social Workers, Nurses, Occupational Therapists, Hospice and Palliative Care Workers, Youth Workers, Mental Health Workers, Addiction Specialists, Probation Officers, Police Officers, Speech Language Pathologists, Vocational Rehabilitation Consultants and all professionals looking to enhance their therapeutic skills.

Carolyn Coker Ross, MD, MPH, CEDS is an internationally known author, speaker, expert and pioneer in the use of Integrative Medicine for the treatment of eating disorders and addictions.  She is a graduate of Andrew Weil’s Fellowship Program in Integrative Medicine. Dr. Ross is the CEO of The Anchor Program™, an online coaching program for binge eating disorder, emotional eating and food addiction.  She is the former head of the eating disorder program at internationally renowned Sierra Tucson and has served as medical director at two other programs.  Dr. Ross is a consultant for treatment centers around the US who want to include her unique integrative medicine approach to help clients recovering from eating disorders and addictions.  She is the author of three books, the most recent of which is The Food Addiction Recovery Workbook.  You can reach Dr. Ross at or

Kate Martin, M.Ed., LPC-MHSP is a mental health therapist in private practice in Nashville, Tennessee. She has spent her career helping clients heal from eating disorders. An avid Intuitive Eating practitioner in her personal and professional life, Kate believes in body liberation for everyone, not just those suffering from eating disorders. Kate has a perfect four year old son who shows her every day that we are born with the ability to eat intuitively, and that life should be fun.

Courtney Phifer, MS, RD, LDN is a registered dietitian who provides individual nutrition counseling and education to adults and adolescents for a variety of issues, including eating disorders, disordered eating patterns, emotional eating, medical diagnoses, weight management, meal planning, etc. She helps clients develop a healthy relationship with food by practicing a non-diet approach of balance and moderation, teaching permission vs. restriction. She prides herself on being a nutrition myth-buster. Courtney has worked in behavioral health for over ten years, specializing in eating disorders and addictions. She uses a small-step goal-oriented client-driven approach incorporating body positive, mindfulness, connection to body cues practices and more.

Dr. Rebecca E. Williams is a psychologist, an award-winning author, and a leader in the field of wellness and recovery from mental illness and addiction.  She has co-authored two popular books on integrating mindfulness into addiction recovery. The Mindfulness Workbook for Addiction: A Guide to Coping with the Grief, Stress, and Anger that Trigger Addictive Behaviors and her latest book, The Gift of Recovery: 52 Mindful Ways to Live Joyfully Beyond Addiction provide counselors and clients skills to enhance recovery and live a calmer, more balanced life. Learn more at

Carolyn B. Allard, PhD, ABPP, is Associate Professor and Program Director of the PhD Program at the California School of Professional Psychology (CSPP) at Alliant International University. Prior to her current position, she served as Program Director of the Military Sexual Trauma & Interpersonal Trauma Clinic and the San Diego Advanced Fellowship in Women’s Health for over 10 years at the Veterans Affairs (VA) San Diego Healthcare System and University of California San Diego Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Allard is a licensed psychologist and has her Board Certification in Clinical Psychology, and she has extensive experience in clinical practice and training and consultation, with expertise in the treatment of trauma related conditions (e.g., PTSD, depression, substance use disorders, etc.). She is a certified trainer and consultant for empirically supported trauma focused treatments. Dr. Allard is also an active researcher, with a concurrent research appointment at the VA. Her research is focused on the identification of individual, socio-cultural, and contextual predictors of posttraumatic distress and treatment outcomes, with a specific interest in trauma-related guilt and shame, and the goal of developing and testing interventions to address these factors to improve outcomes. Dr. Allard is also engaged in public education and social advocacy. She is President of the American Psychological Association’s Trauma Division (Division 56) for 2020, with the mission of bridging culturally informed trauma research, practice, and advocacy to effect positive change in our local and global communities.

Christina Veselak, MS, LMFT, CN is the founder and director of the Academy for Addiction and Mental Health Nutrition and Garden Gate Counseling and Consulting/Relapse Prevention Services in Wayne, WV. Christina has been a licensed psychotherapist for over 30 years, and specializes in individual counseling, addiction recovery and Mental Health Nutrition. She has spent most of her career becoming highly trained in the use of diet and supplements in improving mental health and addiction recovery outcomes in diverse communities. She has consulted for supplement companies, IV detox programs and residential addiction treatment, helping them integrate nutritional approaches into their programs and curriculum.  She is an experienced public speaker, and has presented at conferences and trainings around the country. Christina is also a founding member and former Executive Director of The Alliance for Addiction Solutions, a non-profit organization which promotes the use of nutritional and other natural modalities to support repair of the addicted brain.   Christina is committed to staying abreast of the rapidly growing science of orthomolecular psychiatry, functional nutrition and biochemistry support for optimal mental and behavioral health. She is passionate about sharing this life-saving knowledge with both the general public and treatment professionals.

RegistrationEarly bird FeeRegular Fee
Individual Enrollment$449.00N/A
Full-Time Student$359.00N/A

All fees are in Canadian dollars ($CAD).

For group and/or student rates please view our Terms & Conditions and contact for more information and registration. 

  • Canadian Psychological Association
    The Alberta College of Social Workers (ACSW) and the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Social Workers (NLASW) accept CPA-approved continuing education credits