Friday, November 30, 2018 from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM EST
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Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel Trade Center 
181 Boston Post Road W
Marlborough, MA 01752

Driving Directions 


Rosemary Marshall 
Spectrum Health Systems, Inc. 

Applying Mindfulness Techniques and Practices in the Treatment of Substance Use Disorders

Presenter: Romas Buivydas, PhD, LMHC

This training event will explain what mindfulness practice is as applied to the treatment of Substance Use Disorders: Mindfulness is actively paying attention to the present moment taking stock of what you are thinking and feeling and offering no criticism or judgment. Mindfulness is simply making a neutral, comprehensive inventory of what you are experiencing. The idea of "living life in the moment" comes from the idea of being mindful. This training will also discuss the three primary components of mindfulness:

  1. It is intentional. The client has to make a conscious effort to catalog what they are going through, from one moment to another in their struggle with SUDs.
  2. It is accepting. The client cannot deny what she is sensing.
  3. It is nonjudgmental. A client who criticizes themselves for what they are feeling is not being truly mindful, in the same way that a client who thinks highly of their emotions has not achieved actual mindfulness.

By teaching how to achieve this sense of balance, clients learn how they can regulate their emotions and thoughts. While this has a number of applications in everyday life, mindfulness plays a very important role in substance abuse recovery: clients will learn how to rethink the nature of stressful situations and stimuli that may otherwise trigger a harmful train of thought that leads to drinking or using. Prior to a mindfulness intervention, clients may have been oblivious to the various factors that start the chain reaction of negative thought and unhealthy behavior. Mindfulness treatment gives clients the chance to examine those factors on a level playing field, in a calm, supportive and safe environment. In time, the triggers become less daunting and more manageable. Constant worry or stress directly leads to depression and anxiety (which in turn can lead to relapse); and mindfulness therapy is effective in reducing the worry that many depressive and addicted clients feel.

Teaching mindfulness as part of the therapeutic stage of recovery will have a significant effect on the client's recovery, both from the physical and psychological effect of drugs and alcohol on their system.

Learning Objectives

After participating in this program, attendees will be able to:

  • Learn what mindfulness is as it applies to the treatment of SUDs
  • Learn the various exercises that are used in mindfulness practice
  • Become more aware of their own mindfulness practice
  • Learn how to help clients become non-judgental of themselves
  • Learn how to teach mindfulness practice to their clients
  • Discuss how mindfulness can help prevent relapse by reducing stressors
  • Be able to practice various mindfulness exercises

Continuing Education Hours 6.0

NASW  - National Association of Social Workers - LICSW

NBCC - National Board of Certified Counselors - LMHC

LADC - Massachusett Department of Public Health, Bureau of Substance Abuse Services

NAADAC - National Association for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors - CAC/CADAC