Addiction and Trauma Experts From Elements Behavioral Health to Deliver Keynote Presentations at BFI Summit in Atlanta

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Renowned psychotherapist and sexual addiction expert Rob Weiss, LCSW, CSAT-S, and noted international trauma specialist Christine Courtois, PhD, ABPP, will join a prestigious panel of behavioral health experts at “Freud Meets Buddha,” a mindfulness, trauma and addiction summit hosted by the Ben Franklin Institute in Atlanta.

Atlanta, GA (PRWEB) Sept. 1, 2015 — Sexual addiction psychotherapist, author and clinical educator Robert Weiss, LCSW, CSAT-S, complex trauma expert Christine Courtois, PhD, ABPP, and nearly a dozen other international specialists on trauma and addiction will present at the Ben Franklin Institute’s Summit for Clinical Excellence from October 7 through 10, in Atlanta, Georgia.

Titled “Freud Meets Buddha: Mindfulness, Trauma & Process Addictions,” the summit is an opportunity for clinicians to explore evidence-based approaches, including mindfulness, for the treatment of trauma and addictive disorders.

Weiss’ keynote presentation, “Sexual Evolution: Love & Sex Reformatted for the Digital Age,” on October 8, from 1:30 to 3 p.m., will look at new developments in ways that digital technology is affecting dating, relationships and marriage, with current examples such as the Ashley Madison data breach. “The Ashley Madison breach has painfully exposed how social media and other online outlets for sexual exploration are changing the way we conduct our relationships, sexuality and connections to the outside world,” says Weiss, author of several books on dating and relationships, including Always Turned On: Understanding Sex Addiction in the Digital Age and Closer Together, Further Apart: The Effect of Technology and the Internet on Parenting, Work, and Relationships.

“The talk will be a very current exploration of the relationship between rapidly changing sexual norms and sexual health. We’ll explore treatment options for those who have developed a serious addiction to online porn and cybersex as well as those who are struggling to sustain meaningful real-world relationships,” says Weiss, who is senior vice president of clinical development for Elements Behavioral Health.

Weiss will also present “Understanding Narcissism & Addiction as Tools for Emotional Survival,” from 3:30 to 5 p.m. that same day. The talk will examine how early childhood emotional or physical trauma can shape later addiction and self-protective strategies, and will provide insight into how therapists can best serve this population, with constructive, compassionate care.

Dr. Courtois, national clinical trauma consultant for Elements Behavioral Health at the Brightwater LandingSM treatment center in Pennsylvania, will deliver two talks on October 9, including the keynote presentation “Healing from Trauma: From ‘Survival/Hyper Aroused Brain’ to Learning/Mindfulness Brain,” from 1:30 to 3 p.m. “Post-traumatic stress disorder is a condition characterized by a ‘hyper aroused brain and body’ that often results in chronic fear, anxiety, depression and other painful emotional states,” Dr. Courtois says. “We’ll discuss new approaches to trauma and hyper arousal and explore how some physical and emotional approaches, such as therapist acceptance and attunement, physical grounding and somatosensory focus, and mindfulness, can help quell those reactions.”

Later that day, Dr. Courtois will present “Alphabet Soup of Trauma-Focused Treatments: How Does the Clinician Keep Up and Know What to Do?” from 3:30 to 5 p.m. The talk will cover the myriad modalities now available for the treatment of trauma, focusing on which have an evidence base that includes empirical support for their use, and will explore how the therapist chooses from among them. A Washington, D.C.-based psychologist with more than three decades of experience treating complex trauma, Dr. Courtois is chairf the American Psychological Association’s Guideline Development Panel for PTSD and specializes in complex developmental dissociative forms of traumatic stress.

The BFI Summit will be held at the Doubletree Atlanta, 3342 Peachtree Road, NE Atlanta, Georgia, 30326. The cost (after Sept. 3) is $449 for the entire conference, which does not include the ethics workshop or networking luncheon. It offers up to 24 CE credits. For information or to register, go to the BFI website or to the Elements Behavioral Health events page.

The Summit is cohosted by The RanchSM treatment center in Tennessee, and Promises Treatment Centers®, located in Malibu and West Los Angeles, California, and in Austin, Texas.

About Elements Behavioral Health

The RanchSM and Promises Treatment Centers® are members of Elements Behavioral Health, a network of behavioral health programs located throughout the United States. The Elements Behavioral Health® family of programs offers comprehensive, innovative treatment for substance abuse, sexual addiction, trauma, eating disorders and other mental health disorders. Through its programs, the company is committed to delivering clinically sophisticated treatment that promotes permanent lifestyle change, not only for the patient but for the entire family network. For more information, visit

About Robert Weiss, LCSW, CSAT-S

Robert Weiss is widely considered one of the nation’s foremost experts on sex and technology addictions along with the intimacy disorders that often underlie these problems. A media expert to CNN, The Wall Street Journal, Time magazine, The Oprah Winfrey Network, ESPN, The New York Times, USA Today, NBC News and the Today Show, among others, Weiss also has provided clinical training and program development for the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. military, and behavioral treatment centers throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. 

About Christine Courtois, PhD, ABPP

Dr. Courtois is a leading authority in the treatment of trauma, having worked in this area for over 35 years. She is a board certified counseling psychologist who has directed the development of practice guidelines for the treatment of complex trauma for three professional organizations and has been appointed chair of the American Psychological Association’s Guideline Development Panel for post-traumatic stress disorder. Dr. Courtois has written or co-edited 10 books on healing from incest, child sexual abuse, complex traumatic stress disorders and other types of trauma.

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