Addressing Diverse Populations in Substance Abuse Treatment: How Can Cultural Competence be Improved?
February 7, 2020 | 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Trainer: Ken Thomas, LCADC, LPC
Disparities in mental health services exist for racial and ethnic minorities. These groups face many barriers to availability, accessibility, and use of high-quality care. This workshop is designed to educate both the substance abuse counselor and mental health professional on the prevalence of substance abuse among diverse populations. Understanding and appreciating an individual’s cultural background will expand treatment opportunities. Participants will learn why there is a need for individualized substance abuse treatment that is sensitive to the client’s culture. Because verbal communication and the therapeutic alliance are distinguishing features of treatment for both substance use and mental disorders, the issue of culture is significant for treatment.
Learn why meeting the needs of diverse clients involves two components: (1) understanding how to work with persons from different cultures and (2) understanding the specific culture of the person being served. This workshop will teach participants why being a culturally competent clinician differs little from being a responsible, caring clinician who looks past first impressions and stereotypes, treats clients with respect, expresses genuine interest in clients as individuals, keeps an open mind, asks questions of clients and other providers, and is willing to learn
For questions about registration and continuing education, please contact Kyla Smith at KylaS@CarePlusNJ.org or (201) 265-8200 ext. 5228.
Kenneth N. Thomas is a Licensed Professional Counselor as well as Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug (LCADC) in New Jersey and Certified Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CAADC) in Pennsylvania. Kenneth completed a yearlong internship and facilitated workshops with Korean exchange students from Korea to help in their Western immersion experience. Kenneth has developed and conducted numerous cultural competency trainings to meet New Jersey Department of Consumer Affairs criteria for the N.J. drug and alcohol training curriculum. Kenneth trainings have been presented at New Jersey City University as a part of their drug and alcohol tract as well as other for-profit and not-for-profit venues. Kenneth has also developed and presented custom trainings for Family Connections NJ, Care Plus N.J., the Essex County Traumatic Loss Coalition, Centenary College and participated on a panel at Princeton Theological Seminary addressing “Addictions and Grace”. Kenneth is currently an adjunct professor at New Jersey City University and is currently the Clinical Supervisor at a community based mental health clinic serving Bergen County and surrounding areas in northern New Jersey. Kenneth specializes in addictions, co-occurring disorders, grief/loss, anxiety and depression as well as acculturation issues and stress. Kenneth is also a trauma informed therapist and trained in EMDR.