9:00 AM
Developmental Psychology and Substance Use Disorder Progression: Exploration of Dual Diagnosis Concerns via a Case Analysis of “Jim M.” from Childhood to Adulthood to Death—What Could Have Been Done Differently?

Daniel B. Jacobs, Psy.D., William James College, Newton, MA.

Historically psychologists have not received enough training in substance abuse assessment and intervention techniques. Given the powerful negative impact of alcohol and other substance abuse concerns on the lives of youth and adult clients, and their families, this situation is untenable and needs to be addressed better in undergraduate and graduate training programs. One way to help in the understanding of the complexities of clients impacted by the burden of dual diagnosis concerns is to utilize a developmental psychology perspective which allows for wider integration of complex data linked to childhood and family developmental histories in case conceptualization and can be used in seeing the risk- and intervention-points that increase the likelihood of later development of substance use disorder concerns.

In this session we will look at an in-depth case analysis of “Jim M.”, following the developmental narrative from childhood into adulthood and then sadly his death from overdose, and we will look at possible alternative intervention points. We will discuss screening techniques, individual, family, and community interventions, and key lessons and ideas gleaned from this one case that can prove useful in clinical and counseling work with others. We will also consider evidence-based psychological and behavioral interventions that foster self-efficacy and can reduce substance abuse concerns in a variety of settings, and we will explore lessons learned from creating and teaching a graduate-level course designed to train psychologists to be prepared to tackle this issue directly. This session is for those interested in learning more about dual diagnosis treatment.


Daniel B. Jacobs, Psy.D.

William James College