Behavioral Addictions: Treatment Strategies for Clinical Practice

Thomas Broffman, PhD, LICSW, CAADAC, CCS, CEAP
Mon, July 10 and 17, 2023 (2 days)
Register Now for CE programs now
9 am – 12 pm
6 CECs

$120 – UConn SSW Alumni & Current Field Instructors
$150 – All Others

While only one behavioral addiction is officially recognized by DSM-5 (disordered gambling), a second is now a “Condition for Further Study” (Internet Gaming Disorder) and many more are likely to follow in subsequent editions of DSM. This 2 session webinar will focus on the recognition of behavioral addiction through a deeper understanding of the theoretical framework of any addictive disorder. It is likely that counselors in all settings will encounter clients with behavioral addictions, and we should be prepared and willing to address these addictions. Rather than assuming this type of clinical work requires a brand-new set of skills, clinicians need only to add to their previously established skill set to address behavioral addictions. There is a lot of shame around addiction in general and behavioral addictions specifically. Many clients may present with other issues (e.g., depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, relational conflict, low self-esteem) rather than disclose an addiction to sex, gaming, gambling, food, shopping, exercise or another behavior. The “Four C’s” that can help counselors identify behavioral addictions are:

  1. If the behavior is compulsive.
  2. If the individual has lost control over their behavior.
  3. If the behavior continues despite negative consequences.
  4. If the individual experiences cravings or mental preoccupation with the behavior when not engaging

Upon completion, learners will be able to:

  • Demonstrate practical knowledge on behavioral addiction and articulate its activity in terms useful in a clinical setting
  • Describe the effects behavioral addictions
  • Describe the process for diagnosing behavioral addiction and differentiating the symptoms of behavioral addiction from those of other medical or psychiatric disorders
  • Describe the screening tools for various behavioral addictions
  • Explain the various pharmacologic and psychosocial treatments for behavioral addictive disorders and describe the factors that should be considered in selecting a treatment modality to match the needs of a specific patient
  • Describe the precipitants of relapse and current evidence-based practices to prevent and manage relapse