Thursday, November 1, 2018
9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.


Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library 4079 Albany Post Rd Hyde Park, NY 12538

The Troubled Triangle: The Developmental Neurobiology of Addiction, Attachment and Trauma

With Kurt White, LICSW, LADC, CGP 

About the Program

Addiction work is trauma work. Recent studies show that as much as 80% of co-occurring clients have histories of trauma—often multiple episodes of trauma. Rates of PTSD and other trauma-related disorders are endemic to addicted populations. Early experiences alter gene expression and brain development: exposure to an environment of disrupted attachment, persistent fear, trauma-related experiences and exposure to addictive substances, all have significant effects on the developing brain. This new science of attachment and neurobiology can be a guide to effective treatment interventions with addicted individuals. Both theory and implications for technique will be explored. Clinicians who see themselves as addiction specialists often feel uncomfortable with the trauma related presentations in substance use disorders. Conversely, many skilled trauma therapists have had little training in addiction.

This workshop aims to help both groups bridge the gap in both knowledge and skills for working with this complex population using new knowledge on the neurobiology of attachment. The instructor will examine the disruptions to healthy attachment patterns and how this predisposes individuals to develop addiction in mid- to late-teen years.

Participants will be able to:

  1. Describe three ways in which normal brain development is disrupted by trauma.
  2. Better understand attachment as a core concept in development.
  3. Understand the ways that trauma disrupts normal attachment patterns.
  4. Discuss how brain development affects the emergence of substance use disorders, including in cases where trauma is present.
  5. Apply knowledge of attachment and development to working with clients who have addiction and/or histories of trauma.

» Register

About the Instructor

Kurt White, LICSW, LADC, CGP, is the Director of Ambulatory Services at the Brattleboro Retreat in Brattleboro, Vt., and is a social worker and drug and alcohol counselor by trade and training. He currently serves as president of the Vermont Association of Addiction Treatment Professionals (VAATP), which represents addiction treatment agencies in Vermont. Kurt is adjunct assistant professor at Smith College School for Social Work, where he teaches Group Theory and Practice. He is also adjunct faculty at Antioch New England Graduate School, where teaches in the Applied Psychology program.


Adelphi University is committed to providing an environment which is responsive to the needs of individuals with disabilities including students, faculty, administrators, staff and the larger community. The institution is equally supportive of full compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. The Committee on Individuals with Disabilities (CID) pledges continued active support in achieving universal access and ensuring that academic programs, facilities, and activities are made available to all students, employees and visitors with disabilities.

Accommodations will be made to support learners with special needs to participate in the training/workshop. Please contact the Institute for Parenting Coordinator at 516.237.8513 to request such accommodations.

Credentialing Information and Continuing Education

New York State Office of the Professions (NYSED) regulations require that participants must be present for the entire approved educational activity, 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m., in order to receive continuing education credits.

There is no accommodation in the State Regulation for late arrival, late return from lunch or breaks, or early departure. At present, there is no procedure for granting partial credit for approved continuing education events.

If there are any changes in State Regulation, this policy will be updated accordingly.

This program has been approved for the following continuing education credits:

  • Social work (6 hours)
  • LMHC (6 hours)
  • LMFT (6 hours)
  • CASAC renewal (5.5 hours)
  • Psychology (6 hours)
  • Education (6 hours)
  • ASHA (0.55 CEU's)

Successful completion for the award of approved continuing education credits requires attendance at entire training/workshop and submission of a completed evaluation form.

Cancellation Policy

No refund can be made for cancellation seven or fewer working days before the event or for no-shows. Cancellations more than seven working days before a workshop will result in a refund less a $15.00 cancellation fee. Requests for refunds must be received in writing.

All registered participants will be notified via email if there is a training/workshop cancellation. Registered participants will be offered a full refund or registration in another offered training/workshop.

For further information, please contact:

Renee Rawcliffe, LMSW
Director, Continuing Education and Professional Development
Social Work Building, Room 235
p – 516-877-4339
e –

Joanna Suppa, LCSW-R
Coordinator of Continuing Education and Professional Development
p – 516.877.3216
e –