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Let’s Go to a Conference!

Let’s Go to a Conference!

Robert J.Ackerman PhD
During this past year I attended several state summer schools and conferences on behavioral health, mental health, and alcohol and drug addiction. In most cases I attended as a speaker and enjoyed meeting the many attendees. Although I have been presenting for many years, I still look forward to conferences. I find them very energizing for myself and for the participants. Conferences offer the opportunity to break our daily routines, the opportunity to connect with other clinical professionals, and the opportunity not to be the expert for other people for a few brief days. In short I believe attending a conference is a good way to handle burnout. 


Presentation topics at the conferences range from new information about old and continuing problems to new scientific discoveries about human behavior and to improve clinical techniques. Sometimes I am asked to present on a topic that I did years ago only to realize that these topics are now being heard by an entirely new audience who is hearing the information for the first time. At the same time, I must constantly update my presentations for today’s issues. I find that those attendees who get the most out of a conference are those who come as professionals and leave as consumers. A good conference has something that each person can identify with personally as well as professionally. I hope you have the opportunity to attend a conference soon; it will be good for you!


In this edition of Counselor we offer our first in a series of information on process additions. As you know, process addictions share many similarities to alcohol and drug addiction without the alcohol and drug abuse or in combination with them. Behaviors such as compulsive gambling, sex addiction, internet addition, work addiction, and other behavioral addictions are all examples of process addictions. Many of the interventions utilized to treat substance abuse lend themselves to the treatment of process addictions. Obviously, the types and kinds of addictions we are facing today are increasing as well as the necessity to learn about them and to develop successful treatment outcomes. We begin our series on process addictions with an overview, and with feature articles on problem gambling and food addiction. Additionally, this issue will also offer you a brand new national directory focusing on process addictions and eating disorders.  


Aside from process addictions, this issue will also feature another article adapted from the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment on affect regulation training for alcohol use disorders. Bill White will also return, but this time as an interviewee; Mark Sanders will be interviewing Bill on the revised version of the classic book, Slaying the Dragon. Lastly, Dr. David E. Smith brings us an exciting article—cowritten with colleagues Dr. Wachter and Jennifer Golick—on adolescents and integrated treatment models. 


Finally, I would like to inform you that October is National Bullying Prevention Month. We will take part in raising awareness through our “Inside Books” column, which will feature Bullies: From the Playground to the Boardroom


I hope you enjoy this issue of Counselor.
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Formerly Professor of Sociology at the University of South Carolina, Beaufort. Dr. Ackerman is a co-founder of the National Association for Children of Alcoholics and the Chair, Advisory Board of COUNSELOR: The Magazine for Addiction Professionals. He has published numerous articles and research findings and is best known for writing the first book in the United States on children of alcoholics. Twelve books later, many television appearances, and countless speaking engagements, he has become internationally known for his work with families and children of all ages. His books have been translated into thirteen languages.