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Online Learning

The Neurophysiology of Addiction & Brain Based Relapse Prevention

Credit Available - See CEUs tab below.

Tim Worden, Ph.D.
6 Hours
Audio and Video
Original Program Date :
Jan 15, 2015
Media Type:
Online Learning


  • Guide your treatment strategies through an understanding of the neurological changes caused by addiction
  • Structure a comprehensive treatment approach by understanding the five brain-based tasks of recovery
  • Effectively assess relapse potential
  • Take home a relapse prevention plan, based on neuroscience which will integrate seamlessly into your sessions regardless of your psychotherapeutic approach

Working with clients whose progress is continually hindered by ongoing addiction is frustrating. No matter the progress, the issues of relapse appear and despite your best techniques, the client continues to flounder in therapy.

Join addictions expert Dr. Tim Worden, to put these frustrations behind you – and see improved treatment outcomes. Tim will give you easy-to-understand language to use in explaining the neurophysiology of addiction to the client. Armed with a better understanding, your clients will become more open to an approach that guides the individual through a blending of psychotherapy with an innovative relapse prevention plan – one that you’ll know exactly how to formulate after attending this seminar.

Regardless of your psychotherapeutic approach, this approach can be assimilated into your sessions easily. Tools and worksheets designed for relapse planning and the best strategies to apply case-by-case for co-occurring disorders such as trauma, anxiety and depression will be yours by the end of day. Any mental health professional, not just those trained in addiction counseling, will take home new skills and confidence to succeed.


The Neurophysiology of Addiction

  • The continuum of abuse to dependence
  • Normal neuro-transmission
  • The neurophysiology of dependence
  • Addiction’s influence on co-occurring disorders such as depression and anxiety

The Neurophysiology of Motivation and Desire

  • Addiction’s hijacking of the reward and motivational system
  • The relationship between emotional dysregulation and relapse
  • The relationship between the frontal lobes, motivation and relapse

The Five Tasks of Recovery

  • Core emotional issues such as depression and anxiety that are driving the addiction
  • Strategies for day-to-day emotional regulation
  • Relapse prevention
  • Changing the Motivational System: Life satisfaction and dopamine
  • Structuring ongoing recovery support

Relapse Prevention From a Brain Perspective

  • Dopamine–driven triggers for relapse
  • Cognitive, behavioral, and emotional relapse prevention strategies
  • Motivational coping: the essence of a brain-based relapse prevention plan
  • Practice the feeling of not wanting to relapse

The Elements to Long-Term Relapse Prevention

  • Effectively assess relapse potential
  • Prepare for the dopamine spikes
  • Train the family/support system
  • Identity as a non-user without loss
  • The Life Plan: long-term life satisfaction free of addiction


  • Explain to clients the fundamental brain changes that occur with addiction.
  • Develop a treatment approach that addresses the five fundamental tasks of recovery.
  • Practice a comprehensive systematic relapse prevention plan.
  • Implement the four essential strategies in the relapse prevention plan.
  • Utilize cognitive and experiential techniques to increase the client’s motivation to prevent relapse.
  • Identify clients who are likely to relapse from those that are not likely to relapse.

To order the book, 127 More Amazing Tips and Tools for the Therapeutic Toolbox, please visit our product store.

To order the book, 101 Trauma-Informed Interventions: Activities, Exercises and Assignments to Move the Client and Therapy Forward, please visit our product store.


ADA Needs
We would be happy to accommodate your ADA needs; please call our Customer Service Department for more information at 1-800-844-8260.


Satisfaction Guarantee
Your satisfaction is our goal and our guarantee. Concerns should be addressed to: PO Box 1000, Eau Claire, WI 54702-1000 or call 1-800-844-8260.


General Credits

This course is available for 6.0 total CPDs

The HPCSA has declared that any on-line courses CPD/CEU credited by a certified US board, is automatically CPD/CEU credited in South Africa. 

As there are different boards for different disciplines, we at Acacia suggest that you use the Counselling CPD/CEU credits. These correspond to South African credits of one CPD/CEU per 60 minutes. If you choose to use your discipline's credits, please do so at your discretion.

Florida Social Workers

PESI, Inc. is an approved provider with the Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling. Provider Number 50-399. This self-study course qualifies for 6.25 continuing education credits. 



Tim Worden, Ph.D.'s Profile

Tim Worden, Ph.D. Related seminars and products

Executive Director and Clinical Psychologist

Futures Wellness & Recovery

Dr. Tim Worden, Ph.D. the founding executive director and consultant of Futures Wellness & Recovery Center in Tequesta, Florida is a licensed clinical psychologist and Neuropsychologist, currently in private practice specializing in addictions and health psychology in the Los Angeles area. He received his doctorate from the University of South Florida over 25 years ago. His work in substance abuse includes inpatient (Palo Alto VA), outpatient (Linn County Drug & Alcohol Program), and several residential treatment centers as a staff psychologist, including clinical director positions at New Seasons Recovery and Summit Malibu. He has been a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Clinical Psychology at the University of Florida focusing on pain management and neuropsychology, as well as the clinical director of a neuro-rehabilitation program where he functioned as a neuropsychologist and rehabilitation psychologist for 10 years.

During this time he developed his unique psychotherapeutic approach called Neuro-Emotional Therapy (NET), which emphasizes the neurologically based emotional-motivational factors involved in change. He has dove-tailed this therapeutic approach with advanced training in Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), which emphasize emotional regulation. He has co-authored several articles on anger, anxiety and health, and has developed the Life Satisfaction Questionnaire, the Human-Styles Questionnaire, the Values Clarification Inventory, and co-authored the Work Attitudes Inventory, which focuses on Integrity in the Workplace. He is completing books on eliminating guilt and shame, relapse prevention: a motivational approach, and life satisfaction.

Target Audience

Psychologists, Counselors, Social Workers, Addiction Counselors, Marriage & Family Therapists, Nurses, and other Mental Health Professionals

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