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Treating Co-occurring PTSD and Substance Use in Adolescents

25 September, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm AEST


Natalie Peach & Joanne Cassar, National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC)

 About the 2018 case presentations: The Anxiety Practitioners Network is pleased to bring you the 2018 series of Case Presentations aimed at providing a more relaxed atmosphere for discussing anxiety treatments. These presentations provide an opportunity to see some of the most experienced clinicians present one or more detailed cases highlighting issues in their area of expertise.

About this topic: Post-traumatic stress disorder and substance use disorders commonly co-occur. Once established, both disorders serve to maintain and exacerbate the other, leading to extensive social, educational, physical and psychological impairments and a chronic course of illness. International guideline recommendations have shifted away from traditional sequential models of treatment for these disorders towards integrated models where both disorders are treated simultaneously.

This case presentation describes the use of an integrated therapy for PTSD and substance use with an adolescent client presenting with PTSD and co-occurring problematic cannabis use. The client is a participant in a UNSW clinical trial of COPE-A therapy, which combines CBT for substance use and PTSD, including prolonged exposure. This treatment is based on an efficacious adult model which has been adapted for use with adolescents.

About the presenters: Natalie Peach is a psychologist and postdoctoral research fellow at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC), University of New South Wales. Natalie is the project coordinator on the COPE-A clinical trial at NDARC, investigating the efficacy of integrated exposure-based therapy for co-occurring post-traumatic stress and substance use disorders in adolescents. She has recently completed a PhD on phenomenological relationships between psychotic symptoms, PTSD symptoms and childhood trauma in young people with early psychosis.

Joanne Cassar is a clinical psychologist. She is currently working on the NHMRC funded COPE-A project where she provides concurrent treatment for substance misuse and traumatic stress in adolescents. Previously Jo provided behavioural activation therapy to people with comorbid substance dependence and depression. Jo has a Master of Clinical Psychology from Macquarie University. For a number of years she has worked at UNSW, Sydney as well as in private practice. She works with a variety of clinical presentations and has a particular interest in the comorbidity of substance use disorders and other psychiatric presentations along with the impact of mental health and substance use on families.


25 September, 2018
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


Brian O’Grady
0412 220 145


Bat and Ball Hotel
495 Cleveland St
Redfern, NSW Australia
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