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ICAAD mental health and addiction conference - Day 2

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One of the biggest European conferences on Addiction will take place in Kensington, London from the 1st to the 3rd of May,

PROMIS and Withersdane will have a stand there and look forward to seeing our professional colleagues plus some of our alumni there. Although it’s a conference primarily aimed at professionals, ICAAD as a new conference seems to be aiming itself at a slightly broader group to include people in recovery who are still interested to hear some of the latest ideas in the recovery world.

I’m struggling at this conference to choose which lectures to attend. All of the following talks are ones that I would like to see and yet you will notice there are still many that overlap with each other. It’s going to be a really difficult choice between some of these and may end up boiling down to who I might get another chance to see soon. If I can influence at all, the following are the ones that I would really like to see:


2 – 330 pm Miles Adcox
Why saying the unsaid may be the hardest and the most important thing you will ever do.

Miles is the CEO and owner of a great clinic in the US called Onsite. Onsite specialises in balanced living, healthy relationships, trauma/codependency and training. Onsite has long had an excellent reputation as a place that people in recovery go to deepen the work they have started. I have family members who went to Onsite 30 years ago, and it’s great to see that when Miles took it over, he continued the very high standards they have. Miles is a great speaker and leader, and so I would love to see his talk this time. The focus of this talk is going to be his ANCHOR method of leadership: Authenticity, Nurturing, Courageous, Humility, Open and Resilient.
I noticed there is a lovely interview he has given on Youtube, it’s short but gives a good feel for what Miles is about:

9:30 – 11 AM Dr Andres Fonseca
The links between substance misuse and cognitive disorders – Clinical implications

I haven’t heard Dr Fonseca speak before but I have included this in my recommendations because it is such an interesting subject. There is a devastating two way relationship between cognitive disorders and addiction. Repeated Alcohol withdrawal damages the brain and Kosokoffs syndrome can result ( appearing somewhat like dementia ) On the other hand, people with cognitive disorders and brain injuries can develop problems with addictions so it’s a very relevant and interesting topic.

11:30 – 1 PM Heather Hayes
From Vision to Reality: Navigating recovery in action with patient, family and communities

Heather Hayes is another legend in the field of intervention, alongside the afore mentioned Judith Landau. Heather is also very notable for the ethical stance she has taken publicly in trying to challenge the large unethical practice of patient brokering in the USA.
This workshop on intervention will explain the place of an intervention in the longer term treatment progress for a client.
She gave this excellent talk recently bringing together her experience as an addiction professional, interventionist and hostage negotiator.

11:30 – 1 PM Dr Mark Griffiths
The SNS Paradox: Exploring how social networking sites can bring users both a sense of connection and disconnection

Dr Mark Griffiths and Jacky Power are presenting this interesting paper on how people’s Facebook use will affect them differently depending on their attachment style. Dr Griffiths is the most preeminent psychologist working in the field of process addiction. His early work specialised on gambling addiction and then he published research on computer game addiction. This most recent work is focussing on social networking, ‘internet addiction’ as it is known colloquially.
I found this brief but interesting teaser for a talk Mark gave in which he explains that excessive use is not necessarily the same thing as addiction and that some aspects of what some describe as addictive behaviour could be used to positive ends.

4 PM to 530 PM Tim Leighton
Mechanisms of Change: How does treatment really work?

Tim Leighton is another preeminent researcher in addiction. Tim founded the Clouds research department and also their training programs for addiction counsellors

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