Supporting AOD clients with cognitive impairment: what clinicians need to know

This webinar took place from 12:00-1:00pm (AEDT) on Thursday 17th February 2022.

Synopsis & learning outcomes:
Working with cognitively impaired clients in AOD settings can be a significant challenge, particularly when access to assessment services and resources are limited. Cognitive difficulties may arise from a range of aetiologies including acquired brain injury, mental health, substance use, or neurodevelopmental weaknesses and can have a significant impact on treatment outcomes and recovery.

This webinar will provide attendees with a practical understanding of:
- Cognitive functioning & key indicators of impairment;
- Common aetiologies and modifiable risk factors for cognitive impairment;
- Implementing strategies to address cognitive changes including compensatory strategies and lifestyle factors.

About the presenters:

Dr James Gooden is a Clinical Neuropsychologist, clinician researcher and NCCRED Scholar based at the Turning Point Neuropsychology Clinic in Richmond, Victoria, where he provides neuropsychological assessments in response to a range of diagnostic and support related referral questions to clients from the AOD sector. Referrals to the service regularly involve individuals experiencing a high degree of clinical complexity including comorbid traumatic or acquired brain injury, alcohol and polysubstance use, mental health difficulty, complex trauma, forensic and psychosocial issues. He has a strong interest in the AOD, brain injury and adult neuropsychology fields and maintains an ongoing research profile within the clinic and through affiliations with Monash University and the National Centre of Clinical Research on Emerging Drugs. He has presented at a range of national and international conferences and delivered training and workshops across the AOD sector.

Dr Vanessa Petersen is a Clinical Neuropsychologist at Turning Point focusing on diagnostic clarification of substance-related cognitive disorders. Her experience in the AOD sector, along with tertiary paediatric mental health and neurology demonstrates the passion she has for helping people with cognitive impairment. Vanessa’s research credentials include her doctoral thesis exploring substance use, sleep and cognition, work examining MDMA neurotoxicity, and ongoing research investigating the interplay between AOD, mental health and prescribed substances on cognition. She has presented her findings at both national and international conferences. Vanessa actively runs statewide workshops and training across the AOD sector.

Download the PDF handout for this webinar.

Download the Q&A resource for this webinar.

Watch the recording below:

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