Substance use disorders (SUDs) are common, affecting at least 1 of 3 adult Americans at some point in their lives. One of the many characteristics of SUDs that makes them unique is that the nature of the addictive process is such that denial, minimization, and lack of insight are a natural component of the development of the disorder. Accordingly, clients often deny, minimize, rationalize, and under-report, both intentionally and unintentionally, making clinical and forensic evaluations very challenging. Additionally, there are many incentives for clients to avoid full disclosure, because the stakes are often so high (e.g., child custody evaluations, employment evaluations, etc.). In spite of these challenges, there are many strategies and techniques that evaluators can use to differentiate fact from fiction, arriving at a solid and defensible conclusion that the clinician can feel confident with. This training was designed to provide you with those strategies.
Aaron Norton is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapy serving as Executive Director of the National Board of Forensic Evaluators, Adjunct Instructor at the University of South Florida, Southern Regional Director for the American Mental Health Counselors Association, and President of the Florida Mental Health Counselors Association. He has nearly 20 years of clinical experience at Integrity Counseling, Inc., was awarded Mental Health Counselor of the Year by the American Mental Health Counselors Association and Counselor Educator of the Year by the Florida Mental Health Counselors Association in 2016, Research of the Year by Florida Mental Health Counselors Association in 2020, and has been published in several social science journals and professional magazines in clinical mental health counseling.
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