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The Interplay of Bipolar Disorder, Trauma and Addiction in the LGBT Community

Jeff Zacharias

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In the LGBT community, the link between mental illness most notably bipolar disorder, trauma and addiction is undeniable. With heightened visibility comes the need to strengthen the clinical skills required to work alongside this stigmatized population. This workshop will address the mental health issues specific to the LGBT community, examine how addiction progresses due to mental illness and trauma and examine the best practices utilized to address illness, trauma and addiction.  Real-life clinical case examples, as well as evidence-based best practices and experiential components, will provide participants with insight into the importance of assisting those at risk. 

Jeff is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT), Certified Advanced Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Counselor (CAADC), Board Registered Interventionist (BRI-I) and Registered Dual Disorder Professional (RDDP) with extensive clinical experience in both the mental health and addictions fields. 

Currently, he is the President/Clinical Director of New Hope Recovery Center located in Chicago as well as maintains a private practice there.  His areas of interest including working within the LGBTQI community, all forms of addiction including with an individual client as well as their partners, severe and persistent mental health issues, personality disorders and trauma and its impact on recovery

He is a member of NASW, NALGAP and NAADAC and currently serves on the Board of Directors for NALGAP.   He has had articles published in “Praxis:  Where Reflection and Practice Meet”, “Addiction Professional” magazine.  “Renew” magazine where he wrote a monthly blog entitled “Recovering with Pride” and currently writes a blog for Psych Central focused on recovery issues within the LGBTQI community. Currently he is a Board Member for Bonaventure House in Chicago which is a home for people with AIDS and a resource center that provides counseling and an array of supportive services to them.  He has extensive experience speaking on issues related to addiction and the LGBTQI community most notably at NCAD, NAADAC, NASW Illinois, the NASW National Conference and the NAMI National Conference.    

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