Friday, June 16, 2017
9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.


UJA -Federation of NY
130 E 59th Street
New York, NY 10022

Registration starts at 8:00 a.m.

Continental breakfast included.

The Complexities of Therapeutic Intervention with Parents who are Substance Dependent

Parents with Substance Use Disorders (SUDs) often have histories of multiple trauma exposures, elevated levels of psychological distress (Suchman, et al., 2005) and decreased capacities to understand and reflect upon their children’s development and emotional experience (RF, reflective functioning) (Levy, Truman, & Mayes, 2001). Their children may also experience increased trauma exposure and impaired cognitive, social and emotional development. All of these factors can contribute to dysfunction in parent-child interactions, attachment insecurities and potential child maltreatment. Historically, programs intended to support parents in recovery have been centered on didactic parental education, yet the efficacy of these interventions has been mixed. In part because this is the case because they do not take into account the extensive parental trauma histories and neurobiological changes, necessitating a shift to parent-child relationship focused interventions grounded in attachment theory.

In this workshop, the presenter will first describe current research relevant to parenting in the context of traumatic stress and substance misuse. Second, a critique of some common approaches to programs for substance misusing parents will be offered. Third, a rationale will be offered for a dyadic intervention with these parents and their young children which takes into account attachment and focuses on reflective functioning and emotion regulation. Finally, the intervention, which strives to promote developmental progress and resilience, while supporting recovery from substance misuse will be described along with evaluation findings.

Participants will be able to:
1. Participants will be able to identify current findings on needs of very young children in families with parental substance misuse.
2. Participants will recognize the complex interplay of traumatic stress, substance misuse and parenting young children.
3. Participants will be able to understand the importance of adding a trauma-focused attachment lens to a dyadic parenting intervention for substance dependent parents and young children.
4. Participants will be able to identify the important elements of relationship-based clinical work with parents with SUDS and their young children.

About the Instructor

Ruth Paris, Ph.D., LICSW, is an Associate Professor of Clinical Practice at Boston University School of Social Work where she serves as the director of the Mildred Flashman Family Therapy Certificate Program. Her research and scholarship focus on attachment- based interventions for vulnerable families, with a specific emphasis on families with very young children. Through a series of multi-year research projects, Dr. Paris has evaluated and developed family-based interventions serving various populations including: traumatized mothers in treatment for substance dependence and their young children; immigrant/refugee mothers and children with trauma histories; women with postpartum depression and their infants; and post-deployment military families. She has taught clinical social work practice classes at Boston University as well as Smith College. These include, Introduction to Clinical Practice and Family Therapy, in addition to Clinical Research Methods for doctoral students among others. Over the past 15 years she has given more than 100 presentations at conferences such as the Society for Social Work and Research, the Society for Research on Child Development, the National Training Institute of Zero to Three, and the All National Conference of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network. Dr. Paris has published numerous articles and book chapters, most of which focus on interventions for vulnerable families.


Early registration (on or before May 19,  2017): $105
Regular registration (after May 19,  2017): $115
Adelphi Full-Time Student:  $65.00
Adelphi Full-Time Faculty:  $90.00

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.

Registration for this event is now closed. Please call 516.237.8519 if you wish to be a walk-in. Seats are still available.

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)
  • CASAC renewal (5.5 hours)
  • Education (6 hours)
  • Psychology (6 hours)
  • NBCC (6 hours)

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:

The Institute for Parenting
Linen Hall, Lower Level Room 8
p - 516.237.8513
e -