Trauma and Addiction: CBT Strategies and Techniques That Work!

New! Filmed Spring 2020

Presented by Jeff Riggenbach, Ph.D.

On-Demand | Available Now


6 Hours |  Pre-approved for 6 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.

The relationship between trauma and addiction is well established in the literature. This is no surprise, as clinicians know all too well that people with unresolved trauma and emotional wounds often turn to substances as a way to self-medicate; And, people with addictions may drive while impaired, gravitate towards toxic relationships, go to dangerous places to get their substance of choice, or engage in many other behaviours that increase their risk of being traumatized.

The good news is, there is hope! Evidence shows increasing incidence of recovery for people struggling in the areas of trauma and addiction.

While neuroscience has taught us much about this phenomenon in recent years, evidence-based CBT treatments, which to this day appear to still be at least as effective as many “newer” approaches, seem to have almost gotten lost in the shuffle.

Want to Reground yourself in foundational clinical concepts for effectively treating this population?

This breakthrough webinar led by internationally recognized CBT expert Dr. Jeff Riggenbach will enhance your treatment approach, advance your clinical skills , and arm you with proven tools and techniques that you can implement with your clients the very next day in your practice.

Participate in this 6 hour online training and leave a more trauma informed clinician with a practical, evidence based approach that will equip your clients struggling with trauma and addiction to reclaim their lives and be well on their road to recovery.

Online Course Format

  • Online Training –Presented by Jeff Riggenbach, Ph.D.
  • 2 hours per session, 3 sessions
  • Each session will consist of 2 hours of teaching content
  • Non-Interactive – registrants will have access to lectures, PowerPoint presentation, demonstrations, video clips, and experiential exercises.

Trauma and Addiction

  • The clinical chicken or egg
  • Statistics and research
  • Dual Diagnosis


  • Types of addictive behaviour disorders
  • Signs and symptoms
  • Self-medicating: when the solution becomes the problem

Neurobiology of Trauma

  • The limbic system and cortisol
  • The amygdala and “fight or flight“
  • Neuroimaging studies

Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder

  • Research and statistics
  • Signs and symptoms
  • Fostering awareness

Symptom Clusters

  • Reliving
  • Avoidance
  • Hyperarousal
  • Numbness and other emotional experiences

Integrated Evidence-Based Treatment Approach

  • Sequential analysis
  • Cognitive distortion’s role in fostering addictive behaviour disorders
  • Common schemas maintaining symptoms of trauma and addiction

Addiction Conceptualization and Treatment

  • Enhancing motivation
  • Diary cards
  • Individualized client recovery maps
  • Targeting function of addictive behaviours
  • Awareness of triggers and avoiding re-traumatization
  • Managing urges
  • Complex chain analysis
  • Opposite action and Emotion regulation skills
  • Coping cards and cue cards
  • Addict letters
  • Developing self-control


  • Three stages of treatment
  • Fear conditioning
  • Three steps to exposure

Psychoeducation and Skills Training

  • PTSD psychoeducation and rationale for treatment approach
  • Informed consent and collaboration
  • Grounding techniques and acceptance – based strategies
  • Strategic distraction
  • Imagery and challenging
  • Calming the amygdala

Exposure Based Work

  • Writing an impact statement
  • Exploration of pre-trauma positives
  • Key elements to trauma narrative
  • Over engagement and under engagement
  • Dealing with avoidant thoughts and behaviours
  • Monitoring for flashbacks

Moral Injury

  • Restructure cognitions related to guilt and shame
  • Connecting to spirituality

Post traumatic growth

  • Silver lining technique
  • Peer support and relational healing
  • Values-based recovery

Relapse Prevention

  • Identifying red flags
  • Staying connected
  • Trauma toolkit

Community Support, Family Involvement, and Relational Healing

  • The role of community
  • Helping family members cope
  • Dealing with enabling
  • Develop an improved understanding of the relationship between trauma and addiction
  • Implement evidence – based treatments for trauma and addiction
  • Acquire case conceptualization skills to create individualized client roadmaps to recovery
  • Demonstrate understanding of the specific cognitive model of addiction
  • Identify schemas involved in maintaining symptoms of post-traumatic stress and addictive behaviours
  • Learn a proven three step method for treating trauma from CBT orientation
  • Implement behavioural pattern breaking strategies for ending the vicious cycles of addiction
  • Build strategies for helping trauma survivors who self-medicate
  • Develop competency in imagery related strategies for dealing with recurrent nightmares
  • Utilize complex chain analysis to help clients analyze how they could have thought, felt, and behaved differently when coping with their urges
  • Identify key nuances in client language that assess function of addictive behaviour and have significant treatment implications

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, School Counsellors, Behaviour Specialists, Addiction Specialists, Marital & Family Therapists, Speech Language Pathologists, Vocational Rehabilitation Consultants and all professionals looking to enhance their therapeutic skills.

Jeff Riggenbach, Ph.D. is a best-selling author and internationally recognised trainer in the area of cognitive-behaviour therapy. He has 20 years of clinical experience developing and directing CBT based programmes for mood disorders, PTSD and others anxiety disorders, personality disorders, and substance use disorders in psychiatric hospitals and outpatient clinics.

Dr. Riggenbach trained at The Beck Institute of Cognitive Therapy and Research, is a member of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy and lectures nationally and internationally on issues related to CBT for PTSD, Addictions, and other symptom sets. He has facilitated seminars and workshops in all 50 United States, and is on faculty with educational institutes in Canada, the UK, Australia, and South Africa.

Jeff has authored three books, including his best-selling, The CBT Toolbox: A Workbook for Clients and Clinicians which, due to its popularity, is approaching publication of it’s 2nd edition. This has earned him the reputation for being “the practical tools guy.” His trainings routinely receive the highest marks from seminar participants in terms of practical application, clinical relevance, and entertainment value.

RegistrationEarly bird FeeRegular Fee
Individual Enrollment$249.00N/A
Full-Time Student$199.00N/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