• Discount available for PAA Members.


The impact of addiction ripples into every domain of life, including our homes and at work. Addictions and behavioural excesses always have a cause, often triggered by an underlying mental health disorder. Under the addiction mask is a true horror story that needs to be told and understood. Dr. Alderson will highlight the warning signs that precede addiction and the symptoms that happen after it has occurred. By knowing and acting upon the signs and symptoms, potential horror stories can become a “feel good” story with a happy conclusion. Then your presenter will bring you into the experience of addictions. His amazing simulations may affect you for a long time (at least until lunch!). The experiential component begins there before moving into skill-based exercises and roleplays to keep you engaged throughout the day. The main drug classes will be covered with emphasis on alcohol, cannabis, opioids, and stimulants. Behavioural addictions will be overviewed too, focusing mostly on gambling, Internet-based disorders (i.e., gaming disorder, Internet, and social media), and sex and love. Is there no escape from addiction? There is! The bulk of this live workshop focuses on evidence-based treatment of addictions.

Learning Objectives

  • Experience a drug simulation with lights and sound (some of this may create a strobe effect – keep your eyes closed if necessary!).

  • Learn about the main drugs of abuse.

  • Develop a basic understanding of etiology through addiction theories and neuroscience.

  • Become familiar with the known risk factors and protective factors.

  • Enhance your understanding of common behavioural addictions.

  • Discover the evidence-based medications for each drug of abuse.

  • Practice evidence-based treatments in dyads or triads.


Dr. Kevin Alderson, R. Psych.

Kevin Alderson, Ph.D., is a professor emeritus of counselling psychology from the University of Calgary. He has been a registered psychologist since 1986 and served as president of the College of Alberta Psychologists in 2018-2019.

Dr. Alderson holds the highest level of membership within the International Society of Substance Use Professionals, and he is also a professional member of the Association for Addiction Professionals (NAADAC). Dr. Alderson sits on the editorial board of both the Journal of AlcoholismDrug Abuse & Substance Dependence and the Austin Journal of Drug Abuse and Addiction. He holds membership in the American Counseling Association, the American Psychological Association, the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association, and the Canadian Psychological Association. Between 2008 and 2020, Dr. Alderson was the editor-in-chief of the Canadian Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy. He is the founder of Canada’s first doctor of counselling and psychotherapy degree program at Yorkville University.

Dr. Alderson has authored 11 books and several scholarly articles and book chapters. He completed an MSc in clinical, school, and community psychology from the University of Calgary and a Ph.D. in counselling psychology at the University of Alberta. Dr. Alderson is married and is the father of two adult children. Outside of counselling, he enjoys racket sports, dancing, hiking, camping, and weight training.

Continuing Education

The Psychologists’ Association of Alberta (PAA) is approved by the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) to offer Continuing Education (CE) for psychologists. This workshop is offered for four (4.0) hours of CE Credit. Full attendance at the workshop is required to receive Continuing Education Credits. Partial credit will not be awarded, and late arrivals or early departure will preclude awarding of Continuing Education Credits. PAA maintains responsibility for the program.

Credits: 4.0

Cancellation and Refunds

Upon purchase, the product will be available for one year. Cancellation and refunds may be applied for by email or phone call to the PAA Membership Officer. Cancellations received within 24 hours of registration for the Continuing Professional Development activity will receive a full refund of the registration fee. Cancellations received within 48 hours of registration for the Continuing Professional Development activity will receive a full refund of the registration fee, less a $35.00 + GST processing fee. PAA reserves the right to cancel any activity, in which case a full refund of the registration fee will be provided. No refunds will be issued if a CE Certificate has been generated. 

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