Numbing the pain: Making the link between childhood trauma and addiction
There is increasing evidence that adverse childhood experiences such as childhood sexual abuse, physical abuse, neglect, relational trauma, and early childhood stress significantly increases vulnerability and elevated risk of developing addictions. To manage the impact of abuse, trauma, and emotional dysregulation, many survivors resort to substance misuse, disordered eating, gambling, workaholism, sex, exercise or unhealthy relationships to self-medicate and to regulate their emotions and mood.
Despite the growing evidence of the link between early childhood trauma and addictions, many alcohol, drug, and addiction services tend to focus on harm minimisation and often do not have the resources to explore the underlying causes of addiction.
This CPD training day will look at early adverse childhood experiences, in particular, childhood sexual abuse, complex and relational trauma, and their link to addiction. It will explore the nature of addictions within the context of attachment deficits and lack of emotional self-regulation.
The focus will be on enabling practitioners working with addictions and substance misuse to develop a deeper understanding of the link between addictions and complex trauma and how to work more effectively with substance-dependent clients.
About Valerie Adlparvar
Christiane Sanderson is a senior lecturer in Psychology at the University of Roehampton with 30 years’ experience working with survivors of child sexual abuse, domestic abuse and complex trauma. She has delivered consultancy and training to voluntary and statutory agencies including the Metropolitan Police Service and the NSPCC.