Wherever you are you can breathe mindfully. We all need to go back to ourselves from time to time, in order to be able to confront the difficulties of life.

— Thich Nhat Hanh

A New Understanding of Addiction


In stock

Categories: ,


A New Understanding of Addiction
Joni Lavick, MFT and
Gaetano Vaccaro, PhD

September 8, 2018
10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Getting CEU’s doesn’t have to be dull. Come join us!

$195 – Full Tuition
$165 early registration before August 3, 2018

30% off for students in clinical training.
Use the coupon “student30”

Half of the DSM-5 is devoted to substance related and addictive disorders. With the overwhelming explosion of information about addiction treatment many therapists simply refuse to see clients with an active addiction.

The purpose of this two-part training is to examine the benefits and shortcomings of the various models for assessment, diagnosis and treatment and to strengthen your confidence and expertise in the treatment of addictive disorders. Both workshops are didactic and experiential. Both workshops will provide individual and family interventions you can use in your practice for your clients with addictive disorders.

Part One will differentiate the unique signature of each type of addictive behavior in order to formulate a clear diagnostic picture of the client. Part Two will demystify addiction treatment options and strengthen your ability to work with both substance abuse disorders and process addictions.

Workshop Overview: 

Section 1. Description of The Theoretical Models of Addiction.

We will discuss how the definition of addiction informs treatment. You will learn the constructs of the disease model, the brain-based model, the behavioral/learning model, and other alternative models of addiction. 


Section 2. Forming The Therapeutic Alliance.

This section will focus on assessment of addiction and entry into treatment. We will explore the use of Motivational Interviewing techniques (‘Rolling with Resistance’, ‘Starting where the client is at’) and the Stages of Change model to understanding a client’s readiness and motivation for treatment. Is “hitting bottom” really necessary?  What does “Tough Love” really mean? 

Lunch on your own.

Section 3.  Choosing and Blending Your Approach. 

The afternoon session will focus on an exploration of various treatment modalities. We will describe, demonstrate, and practice and a wide array of interventions currently in use. These may include, CBT, DBT, EMDR, MI, Narrative, SE, Sensorimotor psychotherapy, and other strengths-based resource modalities.

$195 – Full Tuition
$165 early registration before August 3, 2018

30% off for students in clinical training.
Use the coupon “student30”

Joni Lavick, MFT maintains a private practice in Santa Monica. She is a clinical supervisor at Counseling West, and Antioch University, and works with families coping with addiction at The Canyon Recovery Center.

She is a graduate of Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles with a Master’s in Counseling Psychology and has a Bachelors degree in Social Work from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

Joni’s philosophy and clinical practice is asset-based, integrates body and mind, and holds that it is the therapeutic relationship that heals. Her Universal Treatment Plan is the distillation of 25 years of training and experience to help clients grow through identifying strengths and enhancing resources.

Joni has been working with HIV positive individuals since 1988. In 2005 she received a National HIV Leadership Award from thebody.com. The Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Psychotherapists Association’s honored her expertise and advocacy in 2000, with their Annual Community Service Award. She is a former Director of Mental Health Services at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center.  Joni is a member of the teaching faculty at the Insight Center in Los Angeles.

She has over 20 years of experience treating individuals with sexual compulsivity, methamphetamine addiction, alcoholism and other substances, depression and anxiety. Currently she serves on the board of The Women’s Association for Addiction Treatment.

In addition to her expertise with HIV, addiction, and LGBT issues, she has special training in the scoring and administration of Mary Main’s Adult Attachment Interview, studied Intersubjective Systems Theory with Robert Stolorow, and is certified as a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner by Peter Levine’s Foundation for Human Enrichment.

Her publications include “Trauma and HIV: Frozen Moments, Frozen Lives” BETA, Spring 2008 and “Conquering Anxiety; Living with HIV” BETA, Winter 2007. An experienced public speaker she has presented at many national conferences, university classrooms, and community based organizations.

Gaetano Vaccaro, Ph.D. is a licensed Clinical Psychologist and an expert in Program Management, Organizational Change, and Optimal Performance. Dr. Vaccaro has over twenty-five years of experience as a psychotherapist, clinical program director, workshop facilitator, life-coach, and management consultant for program design and implementation.

Dr. Vaccaro is currently in private practice and also facilitates the Family Program workshops at Foundations Recovery Network RTC – The Canyon at Peace Park. He is a part of the counseling and consulting team of REACH RECOVERY, providing both direct clinical care and administrative program design and evaluation. Dr. Vaccaro is also a principal with EAGAN MEDICAL GROUP and he has done extensive counseling with adult survivors of sexual trauma, substance abuse and process addictions.  Dr. Vaccaro is a multi-disciplinary psychologist who received his doctorate at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Jungian Depth Psychology, and his Masters degree in Positive Psychology & Spiritual Psychology from the University of Santa Monica.

Dr. Vaccaro was recently the interim Clinical Director at Alta Mira Recovery Center in Sausalito, CA, serving to restructure and redevelop a comprehensive dual diagnosis treatment program. Dr. Vaccaro previously served as Director of Program Development and Clinical Director at Moonview Sanctuary, a psychological treatment center focusing on holistic multidisciplinary treatment of psychological disturbances and addictions. He was formerly the Manager of Clinical and Behavioral Research at the LAGLC Jeffrey Goodman Clinic and for eleven years he specialized in HIV/AIDS treatment and education, as well as treatment for sexual compulsivity, addictive behaviors, and mood disorders.

Space is limited to 24.


Continuing Education
Continuing Education Units are available for this training.  There is a $20 charge for each CE certificate.  Certificates are issued after the evaluation is submitted.

Psychologists: The Insight Center is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Insight Center maintains responsibility for this program and its content. This course is provides 6 CE units.

MFTs / LCSWs: MFTs / LCSWs / Professional Counselors: The California Board of Behavioral Sciences now accepts APA CEs. This course provides 6 CE units.

Nurses: The Insight Center, Provider Number 14914, is an approved provider by the California Board of Registered Nursing. This course provides 6 CE units.