Trauma and Substance Use

Intermediate-2 CEs | taught by Rebecca Fornaro, LSW
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Rebecca Fornaro, LSW
Rebecca Fornaro, LSW
Trainer

About the instructor

Rebecca is a Licensed Social Worker with several years’ experience working with diverse populations.  She has worked in several treatment facilities and has conducted individual, group and family therapy.  She has experience working with people who struggle with substance use, anxiety, depression, grief, PTSD and trauma-related issues.  Rebecca has specialized in trauma-informed care and believes in a strengths-based approach. She approaches every client with empathy and compassion in order to meet them where they are and empower them to make behavioral changes and heal from past trauma.  Rebecca utilizes cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing and mindfulness in sessions with clients. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Marist College and a Master’s degree in Social Work from Monmouth University.


This training will benefit mental health clinicians, social workers and anyone else who wants to learn about how trauma and substance use are correlated.  This course will first provide an overview of trauma and trauma symptoms.  Viewers will see that there are many different symptoms of trauma because trauma affects everyone differently depending on their experiences and protective factors.  Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder will also be described including symptoms and how it is diagnosed.  

After having an understanding of trauma, the training will focus on Substance use and how it correlates to trauma. The term “circular relationship” will be explained and how it relates to trauma and substance use.  The course will also provide an overview on how trauma is a risk factor for substance use.  The benefits of both group and individual therapy when treating people who have experienced co-occurring substance use and trauma will be discussed.  The curriculum for Seeking Safety will be explained as well as the benefits to using it in a group setting.   

The last part of the training will discuss different skills that can be utilized by people who experience co-occurring substance use and trauma.  The first skill will be about identifying triggers.  A handout will be provided that can help to recognize triggers and what situations cause them.  The second skills will involve creating a relapse prevention plan.  Viewers will be walked through the different aspects of a relapse prevention plan and will be provided with knowledge on why each part is important.  

Course Contents

2 Videos
1 Quiz
2 PDFs
3 Presentations
2.0 hrs