1.5 Hour: Addiction and the Brain: Understanding the Role of Shame and the Whole-Person Way Out

Recorded: Summer, 2022

1.5 CE Credit Hours

Addiction is a ravaging disease that affects millions of people all over the world – and it is not limited to substance use disorders. Behavioral and psychological addictions are also responsible for much heartache our clients face daily.

This short class introduces viewers to brain-based effects of addiction in general and provides insights into how client behavior may point the way to causal effects. A clear cycle is presented to help clinicians understand the chain of events that perpetuate addiction and a framework for addressing psychological effects is proposed, explained, and modeled by case study.

Substance use disorder therapists will gain perspective from this view and those who do not regularly treat addiction, or who see those with non-substance-use addictions in their practice, will have a new foundation on which to build effective treatment of this important issue.


  1. Explain psychological addiction in the brain with regard to input from the limbic system, pre-frontal cortex, and the role of dopamine release
  2. List types of addictions and their potential correlations to preferred emotional states in the client as a means of better understanding causal effects in addiction
  3. Analyze key psychological and neurophysiological points in the cycle of addiction, including the role of non-conscious processes in perpetuating addictive behaviors
  4. Organize understanding of these key points into a framework that improves client awareness and agency and guides clinician in helping with recovery work

1.5 CE Credit Hours

EPDC CE Hours: 1.5
Presenter: Hannah Smith

Hannah Smith, MA, LMHC, CGP (She/Her), is the founder of Potential Finders Network and is a book author and blog writer, coach/consultant, international board-certified group leader, and nationwide trainer from the Seattle area. She has extensive study and practice in neuroscience- informed clinical treatment and is certified in Interpersonal Neurobiology by the Mindsight Institute. Her experience, both personally and professionally, in the US and abroad, has allowed her to develop multi-modal, culturally competent, cutting-edge & relevant training programs. Hannah guest lectures in academic, clinical, and corporate settings around the US and globally. She has developed an engaging presentation style, making the learning of difficult information both accessible and fun! Her passion is to educate others on practical, whole-person approaches to life with the aim of helping those she works with reach their greatest potential!