Get to Know Our Keynote Speakers

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Fred Dyer, Ph.D., CADC, Hope Recovery Center, Minneapolis, MN

Fred Dyer, Ph.D., CADC, is a trainer, speaker, consultant, author, and Founder and Executive Director of Hope Recovery Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Fred attended and graduated Carver College in Atlanta, Georgia, with a Bachelor's degree. He has worked with adolescents and adults in multiple settings. Fred graduated from the Grant Hospital Clinical Training Program for Addiction Counselors in 1994, as well as the Illinois School of Professional Psychology with a certificate in Mental Health Counseling in 1995 along with a Master's Degree in Psychology/Counseling from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology obtained in 1997. Fred attended Adler School of Professional Psychology from 1999-2002 in the PsyD Program and then went on to graduate from Richardson University in 2005 with a Ph.D. in Psychology. Fred has been a Certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor since 1996 and has trained throughout the United States as well as consulted and trained at numerous substance use treatment conferences and several alcohol and drug studies schools, juvenile justice/criminal justice symposiums, child and adolescents mental health conferences. Fred has consulted and trained for the Department of Drug Control in Bermuda from 2006 to present. He has published several workbooks and has written over 150 articles on adolescent substance use and emerging adults and persons with co-occurring disorders.

About the Keynote:

  • The Connection Between Emerging Adults, Gambling, Homelessness, and Substance Use Disorders

Gambling problems continue to be a challenge for emerging adults with substance use disorders. Besides the difficulties of transitioning into adulthood, the transition is complicated with gambling and it's interfacing with substance use, which both have the potential outcome of homelessness and, due to funding, sometimes can create treatment challenges.

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Mark Sanders, LCSW, CADC, On The Mark Consulting, Chicago, IL

Mark Sanders, LCSW, CADC, is an international speaker, trainer, and consultant in the behavioral health field whose work has reached thousands throughout the United States, Europe, Canada, Caribbean, and British Islands.

Mark is the author of five books, which focus on behavioral health. Recent writings include "Slipping through the Cracks: Intervention Strategies for Clients Multiple Addictions and Disorders", "Recovery Management: and Relationship Detox: Helping Clients Develop Healthy Relationships in Recovery". He has had two stories published in the New York Times best-selling books series, Chicken Soup for the Soul. Mark has been a certified addictions counselor for 34 years. He has received numerous awards including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Illinois Addiction Counselor Certification Board and the Barbara Bacon Award for outstanding contributions to the Social Work profession as a Loyola University of Chicago Alumni.

Mark is co-founder of Serenity Academy of Chicago, the only recovery high school in Illinois. He is past president of the board of the Illinois Chapter of NAADAC. He has had a 30 year career as a university educator, having taught at the University of Chicago, Illinois State University, Illinois School of Professional Psychology, and Loyola University of Chicago, School of Social Work.

About the Keynote:

  • The Role of Treatment Providers, Communities and Families in Breaking Intergenerational Patterns of Addiction, Trauma and Dark Secrets

In this presentation you will learn prevention, intervention and treatment strategies to help break intergenerational patterns of addictions, trauma and dark secrets in families.  We will discuss the role of prevention specialists, treatment providers, persons in recovery, families and entire communities in breaking these patterns. Other topics include: the unique risk and protective factors for children of parents with process addictions and substance use disorders; fetal alcohol syndrome as a risk factor and intervention strategies; the impact of siblings on the intergenerational transmission of addiction; breaking intergenerational patterns of addictions in addressing generational dark secrets and traumatic stress disorders in families.

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Dan Smith, BACC, ICGC-II, LCSW, SAP, BetNoMore Gambling Programs, Hillsboro, MO

As Clinical Director of BetNoMore Gambling Programs with Assessment Counseling Solutions, St. Louis Missouri, Smith's approach to treatment is well established. He has spoken extensively throughout the United States. As a counselor, licensed clinical social worker, and nationally recognized clinical educator, he has been an active teaching clinician and administrator for nearly three decades. Smith has provided basic and advanced clinical training in gambling, co-occurring disorders, clinical supervision, spirituality, schizophrenia, and substance abuse for many years. His most recent innovative workshops include self-care, grief, meditation, and complementary medical approaches (including labyrinth work and cross cultural drumming) to both addiction and the spirituality of wellness.

About the Keynote:

  • Mindfulness and Meditation As Clinical Necessities in SUD and Gambling Treatment

This workshop provides both novice and experienced professionals with the practical knowledge needed to implement successfully mindfulness and meditation practices in clinical addiction and mental health treatment settings.  The 75 minute session will explore strategies in overcoming client resistance and staff skepticism; provide a useful, pragmatic context for doing meditation with clients who have little to no experience; and review the current trends in mindfulness.  The speaker provides ample evidenced based research from the field as well as the facilitator's own clinical and recovering experience.

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James Walsh, Ph.D., LPCMN, BACC, James M. Walsh Pastoral Counseling, Wilmington, DE

James Walsh, Ph.D. is a Pastoral Counselor in private practice in Wilmington, Delaware. He was an Assistant Professor at Wilmington University in the MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling program, where he taught as a core faculty member for 13 years. He has received extensive training in the applications of mindfulness meditation within clinical mental health practice, including instruction at the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School with Jon Kabat-Zinn. Dr. Walsh is a Board Approved Clinical Consultant through the National Council on Problem Gambling and has taught workshops for several state gambling councils, most notably in Delaware and Maryland.

Dr. Walsh was appointed to the Board of Mental Health and Chemical Dependency Professionals, a board of the Division of Professional Regulation, from 2005 through 2011, including two years as Board President. He served as a board member of the Delaware Mental Health Counselors Association and the Delaware Professional Counselors Association, including service as Board President. He is a Psycho Forensic Evaluator Consultant for the Office of the Public Defender in Delaware.

Dr. Walsh received his Ph.D. in Pastoral Counseling from Loyola University in Maryland. Dr. Walsh was also the Delaware Director of a 501(c3) non-profit, the Global Investment Fund for Tomorrow (GIFT), founded by noted Delaware Philanthropist Sam Beard, from 2017 through mid-2019. His primary activity with GIFT was to promulgate Mindfulness training throughout Delaware, with the intention to bring this stress-reduction skill to underserved populations.

About the Keynote:

  • Burnout and Gambling Disorder: Help For the Professional

People in high stress careers suffer from higher rates of job distress, burnout and impairment than the general working population. When these professionals have not developed effective stress management skills, they are at an increased risk for job distress to progress to burnout or even impairment. This is particularly true for persons in high profile, high trust careers that are heavily regulated and require professionally mandated certifications and/or licenses, such as attorneys, mental health professionals, accountants, physicians and real estate agents. When distress progresses to burnout and impairment, professionals with ineffective stress management skills often turn to stress relievers that can lead to addiction, particularly process addictions such as gambling. Disordered gambling is even more prevalent, and dangerous, when these high stress professionals have access to money. This workshop will acquaint attendees with the research in the area of stress management as it relates to burnout and impairment. The typical signs and symptoms of burnout and impairment will be explained, and simple screening tools will be identified and taught. Attendees will be provided access to resources that promote stress management. Epidemiological research concerning the extent of Gambling Disorder among professionals will be reviewed, with an emphasis on its impact on licensed professionals.

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Ken Winters, Ph.D., Oregon Research Institute-MN Location, University of Minnesota Adjunct Professor, Falcon Heights, MN

Ken C. Winters, Ph.D., is a Senior Scientist at the Oregon Research Institute and adjunct faculty in the Department of Psychology, University of Minnesota. Dr. Winters retired as a professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Minnesota, where he founded and directed the Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research for 25 years. He received his B.A. from the University of Minnesota and a Ph.D. in Psychology (Clinical) from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. His primary research interests are the assessment and treatment of addictions, including drug abuse and problem gambling. He is on the editorial boards of the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, Journal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse, and the Psychology of Addictive Behaviors. He has received numerous research grants from the National Institute of Health and various foundations and state agencies over a 30-year period, some of which focused on problem gambling. Dr. Winters was the 2005 recipient of the Senior Investigator Award by the National Center for Responsible Gaming and served on their Scientific Advisory Board for nearly a decade, and now is a member of the national Center for Problem Gambling's Research Committee.

About the Keynote:

  • Sports Betting is Here and It's Going to be an Emerging Clinical Issue

Given significant technological advances, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2018 permitting states to offer and regulate sports wagering, and multiple international governments already regulating and licensing sports wagering operators, there is little doubt that sports wagering will continue to grow exponentially in the U.S. This expanding landscape of sports wagering poses several public health issues and is an alert to the problem gambling treatment field. The presenter will review the status of sports betting in the U.S. and provide take-home keys for clinicians as it can be expected that more problem gamblers will cite sports betting as their preferred gambling indulgence.