At the Intersection of Intimate Partner Violence and Substance Use Disorders

Date:November 4, 2021
Location:via Zoom
Time:9 am - 11:30 am

Presenter:  Liz Winter, Ph.D., LSW

For over 20 years, Dr. Winter has provided training and consultation in human services, with a focus on stress, resilience, and well-being for both clients and workforce. Dr. Winter is a faculty member in the Child Welfare Education and Research Programs at the University of Pittsburgh, School of Social Work, where she has taught and written on Addiction, Traumatic Stress, Children and Families at Risk, Child Maltreatment, and Child Sexual Abuse. Liz Winter earned her doctoral and master’s degrees in Social Work at the University of Pittsburgh and her law degree from the University of Oxford. She is a Certified Consultant in Team-Based Learning™ and currently works with the Pennsylvania Child Welfare Resource Center incorporating Team Based Learning™ into statewide training. She also has a private practice addressing a variety of concerns including health and wellness, and resilience. Since 2014, she has served as the Facilitator for the Child Fatality and Near Fatality Review Team for Allegheny County, analyzing practice and systems issues with the goal of preventing future incidents


Human services workers, including those working in behavioral health, housing and homelessness services, intimate partner violence (IPV), child welfare, probation, other first responders, and many others interact with those who experience family violence and who also struggle with substance abuse. One of the challenges of the work is to remain engaged and compassionate on the one hand, while also managing feelings of concern, disappointment, and sometimes anger, when those we work with make decisions that seem to take them back into danger.

Some of the big questions:
• Why do they go back?
• Don’t they understand what will happen?
• How can this person do this now, when things were starting to go well?
• Why should I keep caring when people just make dangerous decisions?

We will review how IPV can affect those struggling with SUDs, and the flip side of how SUDs can impact decision-making regarding dangerous relationships.
We will address the following concepts:
· Decision-making in the context of toxic stress.
· Recognizing what is safe and what is not.
· How addiction interacts with fear and stress
· How a safer environment can be intolerable
· How providers can strengthen boundaries, while remaining empathically engaged
· How providers can recognize and use opportunities for vicarious Resilience

This workshop will include presentation of information, followed by case-based activities for participants with instructor-facilitated debriefing, and the workshop will close with a large group discussion. Questions are welcome throughout the workshop.

Learning Objectives:
Participants will be able to
1. Describe how IPV can affect substance use and vice versa
2. Describe how toxic stress can impact decision-making
3. Recognize opportunities for vicarious resilience and self-compassion

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