Advanced Diploma in Addiction Psychotherapy

Advanced Diploma in Addiction Psychotherapy

A ground-breaking training programme taught by renowned experts in their field.

A total of 50 days over 2 years part time and designed for practitioners who want to expand their career and opportunities in the treatment of what is commonly referred to as addictions

This course aims to develop an overarching philosophy and “trans-theorical” framework for working with a cluster of clinical presentations commonly termed “addictions”.

In our approach to addictions we embrace diverse, multicultural, marginalised groups as well as mainstream client populations.

We work with a wide definition of the term addictions. Addiction may find expression as an addictive personality and lifestyle, that, in turn may manifest in many ways:

  1. Substance addictions (e.g. chems, alcohol, prescription drugs)
  2. Behavioural addictions (e.g. compulsive sexual behaviour, gambling)
  3. Relationship addictions (e.g. co-dependency, love addictions, disordered eating)

Addictions may also coincide with clinical and psychological presentations, such as hyper sexuality, psychosis and the chronic or acute trauma which may give rise to these conditions.

Our philosophy is Integrative, drawing on a wide range of theoretical orientations and disciplines including psychodynamic and relational approaches, Alan Schore’s Affect Regulation Theory and the Minnesota Model of Addiction Treatment, CBT, neuroscience, systemic, traumatology , transpersonal, somatic, medical and psychiatric.

The training programme brings together a diverse range of professional disciplines and expertise to enable you to deconstruct the cause and effect of the addictive lifestyle and becoming knowledgeable of a variety of models for the treatment of individuals within the wider context of bio-psycho-social integration. We give particular attention to neuropsychology and the application of psychedelics in possible treatments.

Our training is taught at level 7


For Whom is This Training
Applications are invited from counsellors, therapists, and psychologists, psychosexual and relationship therapists. Mental health professionals will be considered. Applicants are expected to have a minimum of 2 years professional experience and be familiar with principles of self reflection and supervision.

Faculty

Faculty
Pamela Roberts, Prof Frederick Toates, Dr Stroma Macfarlane, Robert Hudson, Thomas Brosnan, Dr Sharon O’Driscoll, Georgia Swift, Josh Dickson and guest speakers

Pamela Roberts pciture
Pamela Roberts, course director
Prior to running her successful Private Practice, Pamela worked with the Priory Group from 2009, appointed Addiction Programme Manager in 2014 and was a leading figure in the Priory addictions community and guided the success of the Priory Hospital Woking addictions programme until handing over this role in November 2020. She continues to support Priory offering therapy at their Woking site and online through Priory Connect. She is also a member of the team at Portobello Behavioural Health.

Pamela has 20 years of experience as a psychotherapist and has always had an interest in psychology with specific interests in complex and developmental trauma and PTSD, and addiction.

Her therapy is also informed by 25 years of experience in the business travel industry. She started her travel career with British Airways, behind the scenes, not crew. This led to a long-term career with Hogg Robinson Business Travel International acting as a Business Analyst and Account Manager, for the multi-million pound travel budgets for three of the top ten clients for HRBTI.

Pamela is regularly called upon by the media to offer an opinion, contributing to both national and international press titles including; The Times, BBC, The Express, The Daily Mail, The Huffington Post and The New York Times, Contributions also include; quotes, chairing podcasts, blogs and views on prominent issues used by a number of websites and social media platforms.

 

Dr Sharon O'Driscoll picture
Sharon O’Driscoll
Sharon O’Driscoll is a BPS accredited counselling psychologist having gained a Doctorate in Counselling Psychology from the University of Roehampton in 2013. She currently works in private practice with adults, adolescents and teenagers.

Prior to this and alongside her private practice she worked for the Priory group for 5 years as an addiction therapist. Sharon’s academic interests lean towards addiction and social justice. She is currently developing a training programme for mental health professionals exploring developing white awareness. In addition, Sharon is a Psychosocial volunteer for the British Red Cross.

 

Frederick Toates picture
Prof Frederick Toates
Professor Frederick Toates was born in Cambridge, England. He was a student at City University, London and the University of Sussex, later working at Odense University, Denmark and the University of Central Lancashire.

He is now Emeritus Professor of Biological Psychology at the Open University, where he has over 45 years’ experience. Fred has taught undergraduate classes not only in the UK but also in the Netherlands, Moldova, Romania, France, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and the USA.

His books include How Sexual Desire Works: The Enigmatic Urge (2014) and his most recent is Understanding Sexual Serial Killing (2022) written with his wife Olga Coschug-Toates.

Fred’s research concerns motivation and the biological roots of addiction. He lives in Milton Keynes.

 

Robert Hudson picture
Robert Hudson
Robert Hudson is the Clinical Director and Founder of The Hudson Centre. He is a UKCP accredited psychotherapist.

Robert specialises in Compulsive Sexual Behaviour therapy recovery, and trauma. He is a Sex Addiction & Trauma Specialist and CSAT-S certified Therapist and Supervisor, a registered member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (MBACP) and an accredited member of the College of Sexual and Relationship Therapy (COSRT).

Robert’s professional experience includes working with men and women in private practice. He works with individuals, couples and adult families (both same sex and heterosexual couples) and groups. Robert actively considers issues of diversity, sexuality and equality as these affect all aspects of his work.

Robert holds a BSc; MSc; MA & Diploma in Integrative Psychotherapy.
He is currently completing his doctoral research DPsych studies.

 

Thomas Brosnan picture
Thomas Brosnan
Thomas is a Psychotherapist and a Behaviour Change Expert who specialises in Addiction and Relationships. For over 20 years, he has worked extensively with Individuals of all ages, couples, families and groups to help them uncover their truth, to take ownership of the present and connect to their future self.

Thomas holds a Masters in Addiction Psychology and Counselling, a Post Graduate Certificate of Education, a Level 4 Certificate in Counselling Children and an Advanced Diploma in Couple and Relationship Therapy.  Further to this, he is a Registered Member of the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP), an Advanced Practitioner and Accredited Member of the Addiction Professionals (formerly FDAP), a Certified Motivational Interviewing coach and a Level 2 iheart Facilitator.

Thomas has extensive experience of working in schools and both the public and private rehabilitation sectors such as the Priory and the NHS and within the SEND communities too. He is also a published author where his piece on Parenting Styles and Metacognitions as Predictors of Cannabis Use was the first of its kind and his most recent research, which focuses on Exercise Addiction is due for publication with Cambridge University Press.

 

Josh Dickson picture
Josh Dickson
Josh Dickson (MSc., SMMGP, FDAP (Acc.), EMDR (Acc.) is an accredited EMDR Consultant, an accredited FDAP Drug and Alcohol Professional and a licensed Heartmath coach, working as both the owner and director of Resurface (residential retreats addressing trauma, creativity, resilience and positive psychology), a group consultant at Start2Stop, co-Director of Flow Space and also works in private practice.

Josh has a special interest in treating trauma and promoting positive psychology. He is an experienced group facilitator, lecturer and public speaker. He is active in research around flow states, trauma and recovery.

 

Georgia Swift picture
Georgia Swift
Georgia is a psychotherapist who works both in the UK and internationally with adults and children. Before opening her private practice, she worked with specialist  therapy  services supporting clients with baby loss, child exploitation, rape and sexual abuse. While working as Professional Lead with a National Charity supporting families affected by criminal trauma she wrote and delivered the training programme for volunteer telephone listeners and counsellors.

Georgia’s specific areas of therapeutic interest include working with children in the care of the local authority, private addiction treatment and criminal justice. In recent years Georgia has enjoyed tutoring trainee counsellors at level 2,3 and 4 with a private training company in West Sussex.

Before qualifying in Humanistic Counselling at the University of Chichester Georgia held a lengthy career spanning over 20 years working with vulnerable children and adults. Specialist roles included Drug Rehabilitation Requirement (DRR) Case Manager with the National Probation Service, Education Liaison Officer in an inner-city provision (PRU), Youth Court Officer, Defence Team Court Clerk. While acting as the Bail and Remand Officer for South and South East Hampshire she chaired the Wessex Bail and Remand steering group and completed a professional certificate in Effective Practice (Youth Justice) with the University of Portsmouth.

Away from the world of therapy Georgia sits as a Magistrate and as a professional conduct panel member for a counselling association.

Georgia works with a renowned Harley Street Clinic that specialises in treating individuals and families impacted addiction and trauma.


Dr Stroma MacFarlane picture
Dr Stroma MacFarlane
Dr Stroma is a Consultant General Adult Psychiatrist and did her specialist training in the Wessex region having worked as a consultant psychiatrist in the NHS for seven years based in Portsmouth at Solent NHS Trust working across community and acute services at varying points. For the last three years up until 2016 she was the Clinical Director for the Adult Mental Health and Substance Misuse services providing assessment and treatment of addictions, and eating disorders.

Dr Stroma began her training in Psychiatry in 2000 in the Wessex region working across Hampshire in various sub-specialties including substance misuse, Rehabilitation Psychiatry and Acute and Community based Adult Psychiatry.

She is also looking forward to providing a Women’s Mental Health Service addressing the specific psychiatric needs of women.

She left the NHS in May 2016 and began working in full time private practice as a visiting Consultant at the Priory.

Dr Stroma now has a busy practice in Surrey and is a Visiting Consultant at Priory Woking. She sees patients in Guildford. She is also the Addictions Lead Consultant at the Priory Hospital Woking.

Dr Stroma has over 20 years’ experience working with adults with a wide variety of mental illness including Mood disorders, Anxiety Disorders, Substance Use disorders and Women’s Mental Health problems.

Dates

Dates
25 weekends, 50 full days, over 2 years
2023 – 2025
Full day: 9.00am to 5.00pm

2023
Weekend 1:  25th – 26th March
Weekend 2:  22nd – 23rd April
Weekend 3:  20th – 21st May
Weekend 4:  24th – 25th June
Weekend 5:  22nd – 23rd July
Weekend 6:  21st – 22nd September
Weekend 7:  21st – 22nd October
Weekend 8:  18th – 19th November
Weekend 9:  2nd – 3rd December

2024
Weekend 10: 13th – 14th January
Weekend 11: 17th – 18th February
Weekend 12: 16th – 17th March
Weekend 13: 20th – 21st April
Weekend 14: 18th – 19th May
Weekend 15: 15th – 16th June
Weekend 16: 15th – 14th July
Weekend 17: 7th – 8th September
Weekend 18: 5th – 6th October
Weekend 19: 9th – 10th November
Weekend 20: 7th – 8th December

2025
Weekend 21: 11th – 12th January
Weekend 22:  8th – 9th February
Weekend 23: 8th – 9th March
Weekend 34: 5th – 6th April
Weekend 25: 10th – 11th May

Fees

Fees
Fees are £9.800. Payable by one non-refundable deposit of £200 (to reserve your place), plus 24 instalments of £400 a month. All prices include VAT at 20%.

Location

Location

The course is hosted at the
University of West London
St Mary’s Rd
Ealing, London W5 5RF

university building picture2

Full Course Content

Full course content

What do we offer
This training will enable the students to critically examine and implement different approaches and models of addiction counselling in their own professional practice to maximise the support their clients need to find their own answers to their problems. We do include evidence-based practices.

Our teaching style is largely experiential, interspersed with didactic teaching, group process, skills training and live supervision. The overriding ethos is humanistic-integrative and relational. We will introduce a process of assessing addiction and treatment/therapy plans. We will consider 1:1 therapy, groups therapy, residential treatments programmes, and the incorporation of self-help groups.

The training may be particularly attractive for those who want to work with diverse, multicultural, marginalised groups of clients struggling with addiction and/or social exclusion. We enable you to increase awareness of the wider systems and context within which your clients and their family operate. Differences and similarities are equally valued on the course.
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Students are also personally challenged to become more resilient and resourced, improving their capacity to deal with the traumatic experiences their clients present.
Teaching and supervisory methods emphasize the multi-layered, multi-faceted processes of this impactful work, including the intentional use of self.

The programme is designed to support those who wish to become professionally accredited in the field. The course content meets the criteria of Addiction Professionals (AP). There is a requirement of 150 hours of client work and the completion of 3 written assignments, totalling 12,500 words.

Course Description

Course philosophy: What are addictions
Addiction is an umbrella term for a range of extraordinarily complex issues and often seen as manifestation of a deeper emptiness of being. It stretches beyond personal difficulties and can be diagnosed as an expression of a collective malaise.

Addictive qualities may be functional as well as holding the potential for disaster. We celebrate tenacity, rigour, and determination. When we are striving for excellence, these qualities can appear to lead to amazing accomplishments: the diligent student, the successful businessperson, the great athlete. Some addictions seem to support great success.

We start taking addiction seriously when it rips away at what is most important in life. Addiction interferes with personal development, blocks self-awareness, and deepens a sense of dislocation. Relationships are destroyed and empathy is replaced with disconnection. Shame and guilt create an abyss of loneliness in which a person may disappear. Addiction can take up every aspect of a person’s life.

Objects of addiction can be complex, even interchangeable, leading to an addictive lifestyle. An alcohol addiction can be replaced by an addiction to exercise, or any other way to avoid the fundamental longing underlying the need to silence the inner pain. Addiction simply acts as the escape from whatever it is that seems unbearable.

The course explores the different held “beliefs” about addiction. We will investigate ideas from a single root causation to pluralistic influences.

Some questions underpinning the training:

  • Is addiction genetically predetermined in everyone, but circumstances trigger it, or are some personality types more impulsive and therefore prone to compulsive behaviours?
  • Can we bring about change? If so, how?
  • Is addiction a ‘necessary’ attachment? is addiction a kind of pseudo attachment
  • Should we focus on minimising harm and risk, or do we embrace abstinence?

To answer these questions we will explore the biology of addiction, the psychology of addiction, psychopharmacology, co-morbidity, relationships and addiction, trauma and addiction, the social structure of addiction and how the environment and culture influence addiction. This leads to our BERSEC approach.

The BERSEC approach
We developed an integrative overarching perspective to look at addictions and how to treat them best. Addictions have many causes that are fully intertwined with each other. With the use of the BERSEC approach we dynamically assess clients on the following aspects:

  1. Biology: Brain and body – mind, physical and mental health, co-morbidities, personality types, gender
  2. Emotions: Affect dysregulation and regulation – anger, fear, shame and guilt, joy/pleasure, trauma
  3. Relations: Couples, families, trans-generational, co-dependency, attachment, sexuality
  4. Social: Social groups, employment, dislocation, de-socialisation, belonging and connection, political, economical, age
  5. Environment: Covid, climate change, poverty
  6. Culture: Belief systems, race influences, principles/values

The BERSEC model will be an integral part of the course and we will return to it often.

Course participants will also be supported in a critical examination of existing treatment models and how their own practice can accommodate new concepts and knowledge.

At the end of this course students will have acquired

  • A critical understanding about the theoretical underpinnings of the principal approaches to psychological treatments for addiction and be able to assess how useful they are in different settings for each specific client and their family
  • A firm commitment to professional guidelines and ethical practice in addiction psychotherapy, from start to ending of the treatment
  • A critical evaluation of legal issues around addictions
  • Education in the following evidence-based mainstream approaches to addiction therapy: Alan Schore’s Affect Regulation Theory and the Minnesota Model of Addiction Treatment
  • Practical and applicable insight in the intertwining of psychopharmacological, psychological, spiritual, economic and social psychological factors in the development of addiction (including commonly encountered mental health problems) through the BERSEC model
  • Information about the recent research and contributions in understanding addiction, especially the neuroscience of addiction and the use of psychedelics
  • Integration of intergenerational issues in addiction therapy
  • Enhanced awareness about the impact of working with addiction on the therapist
  • Knowledge about mental health and addiction treatment services in the UK
  • The ability to conduct and accumulate supervised a minimum of least 100 hours

Course content
Modules
The course covers a range of subjects that are structured to develop competent professional practitioners in the field. Subjects are being taught by a range of specialists. The integrative BERSEC model is designed to be a guiding map throughout the course.

During the course the following subjects will be taught. Modules are structured around the clustering of these themes:

  • The BERSEC approach of addiction, Alan Schore’s Affect Regulation Theory and the Minnesota Model of Addiction Treatment
  • Manifestations of addiction, i.e. substance/behavioural/process addictions
  • Concepts of addiction: disease, psychodynamic, moral and lifestyle models
  • Aetiology of addiction
  • Psychology of addiction
  • Biological Psychology of addiction
  • Psychiatry and medicine of addiction
  • Co-morbidity including bi-polar, psychosis, ADHD, depression and addiction, PTSD, developmental trauma
  • Cross/poly addiction
  • Chronic pain and addiction
  • Neuroscience, reward/gratification pathways and addiction
  • Epigenetics causes of addiction
  • Intergenerational impact on addictions
  • Intersectionality and addiction
  • Addictions and cultural differences
  • Addictive personality
  • Relapse prevention
  • Post-Acute-Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS)
  • Kindling Effect (withdrawal symptoms)

Behavioural addictions

  • Compulsive sexual behaviour, hypersexuality and paraphilias
  • Pornography
  • Couples impacted by sexual compulsive behaviour
  • Gambling, Gaming and Social media addiction
  • Shopping

Relationship addictions

  • Co-dependency
  • Love addiction
  • Disordered eating and the addictive process

Substance addictions

  • Alcohol
  • Prescription drugs
  • Cocaine
  • Cannabis
  • Opioids
  • Chemsex

Treatments

  • Evidence-Based Psychosocial Interventions
  • Residential treatment group process
  • 12 Step Program
  • Couples therapy
  • CBT and addiction
  • Motivational Interviewing, integrative/relational/depth therapy approach
  • Compassionate approach
  • The use of psychedelics in treatments

Addictions and the UK

  • Family and children and addiction
  • Professional guidelines
  • Legal issues, probation, law/criminality
  • Services in the UK

Faculty
The faculty includes a highly experienced team of specialists representing clinical expertise in all of the above.
Pamela Roberts, Prof Fred Toates, Dr Stroma Macfarlane, Robert Hudson, Thomas Brosnan, Dr Sharon O’Driscoll, Georgia Swift, Josh Dickson.
We will also invite guest speakers during the 2 years.

Dates 2023 – 2025
2 year Diploma – 25 weekends (400 hours) = 1 weekend per month per year.
Sat/Sun 09.00 to 17:00 hours.

Entry requirements
Applications are invited from counsellors, therapists, and psychologists, psychosexual and relationship therapists, and other Mental health professionals.  Applicants are expected to have a minimum of 2 years professional experience and be familiar with the principles of self-reflection and supervision.

Upon receipt of your application and 2 references we invite you for a face-face interview. During this interview we will assess your readiness for training, academic potential, professional motivation and personal interests.

Assessment
Attendance
Attendance is Saturdays and Sundays from 9.00 to 17.00 hours. Students must schedule at least 100 hours of clinical work during the latter part of the course, with supervision required at a ratio of 1:6.

As well as attending all modules (or minimal 85%), students are required to schedule peer support meetings, monthly, of 2 hours. Students are also required to work in a self-directed fashion which includes relevant background reading, preparation for essays and case study submissions. Students will also need to attend for individual tutorials at least once or twice each year.

Written work
Year 1
Essay (3500 words) – Self-reflection
Project (4000 words) – research for example 12 step meeting/SMART/Al Anon/Drug and Alcohol service/residential treatment

Year 2
Case Study (5000 words)

Location
Ealing Broadway, London

Accreditation
Accreditation with NCIP and working towards accreditation with Addictions Professionals (AP).

Assessment

Assessment
Attendance
Attendance is Saturdays and Sundays from 9.00 to 17.00 hours. Students must schedule at least 100 hours of clinical work during the latter part of the course, with supervision required at a ratio of 1:6.

As well as attending all modules (or minimal 85%), students are required to schedule peer support meetings, monthly, of 2 hours. Students are also required to work in a self-directed fashion which includes relevant background reading, preparation for essays and case study submissions. Students will also need to attend for individual tutorials at least once or twice each year.

Written work
Year 1
Essay (3500 words) – Self-reflection
Project (4000 words) – research for example 12 step meeting/SMART/Al Anon/Drug and Alcohol service/residential treatment

Year 2
Case Study (5000 words)

Entry requirements

Entry requirements
Applications are invited from counsellors, therapists, and psychologists, psychosexual and relationship therapists, and other Mental health professionals.  Applicants are expected to have a minimum of 2 years professional experience and be familiar with the principles of self-reflection and supervision.

Upon receipt of your application and 2 references we invite you for a face-face interview. During this interview we will assess your readiness for training, academic potential, professional motivation and personal interests.

For an application form click here

Or send an email with your details to info@naos-institute.com and we will contact you