Dr. Stephanie Covington – Program

Dr. Stephanie Covington is the keynote speaker at  the conference on women, addiction, trauma and treatment and also offers three workshops. Two of the workshops are aimed at professionals: Beyond Trauma: A Healing Journey for Women and Voices: A Program of Self-Discovery and Empowerment, on adolescence girls and  young women. She also offers a special workshop on her book A Woman’s Way through The Twelve Steps.


Registration site

First day: September 1, 2015

9:00 am – 10:30 am Morning Plenary

Gender Matters: Creating Trauma-Informed Services

Over the past thirty years, our knowledge of women’s lives has increased dramatically, and we have added significantly to our understanding of the treatment needs of women and girls. One dominate and reoccurring theme in the lives of women and girls is the interrelationship between addiction, mental health issues, and all forms of interpersonal violence (as well as other traumatic experiences). With this increased awareness of the impact of interpersonal violence, social service providers are beginning to consider what this means in their specific settings.

This presentation offers an integrated approach to women’s treatment, based on theory, research, and clinical experience. The treatment philosophy and guiding principles discussed are designed to create a foundation for clinical thought and practice. These principles can be applied in any setting (inpatient, outpatient, private practice, therapeutic community, criminal justice, and so on) and to any modality (individual, group, or family therapy). This theoretically-based comprehensive treatment model integrates theories of addiction, women’s psychological development, and trauma. It provides an overview of the elements needed for creating gender-responsive and trauma-informed services.


  • Discuss the history of women’s treatment
  • Define trauma-informed, trauma-specific and gender-responsive services
  • Describe the process of trauma and common responses

Evening Presentation 19:00 pm – 21:00 pm

A Woman’s Way through The Twelve Steps: A Trauma-Informed Approach

When Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) was founded in 1935, most – if not all – of the participants were men. Women’s use and abuse of alcohol and other drugs was hidden, along with the pervasiveness of domestic violence, incest, and other forms of abuse against women. In the past thirty years, however, we have developed a strong body of research about women’s lives and women’s addictive disorders. Many women have entered recovery programs based on the Twelve Steps of AA, and we have discovered that women’s needs in recovery and their pathways to recovery differ in some significant ways from those of men. This evening presentation discusses some of these gender differences and the program materials that are anchored by the best-selling book A Woman’s Way through The Twelve Steps. The focus is on themes in each of the Steps (such as: letting go, acceptance, Higher Power, gratitude, making amends, and others), as well as providing interactive exercises.


  • Define gender-responsive services
  • Describe history of Twelve Step programs
  • Demonstrate exercises to help women understand the themes/concepts in each Step

Second day: September 2, 2015

Morning Workshop 09:00 am – 12:00 am

Beyond Trauma: A Healing Journey for Women

While research and clinical experience indicate a high incidence of co-occurring disorders in women’s lives, counselors and clinicians often struggle with the realities of providing treatment. This morning workshop is based on a woman-centered trauma treatment curriculum, Beyond Trauma, designed for use in outpatient, residential, and criminal justice settings. Cognitive-behavioral techniques, mindfulness, expressive arts, and the principles of relational therapy are integrated in this strength-based approach. The curriculum also has a psycho-educational component that teaches women what trauma is, its process, and its impact on both the inner self (thoughts, feelings, beliefs, values) and the outer self (behavior and relationships, including parenting). The workshop includes interactive exercises that demonstrate techniques that counselors can use to help clients develop coping skills, as well as emotional wellness. The abbreviated five session version entitled Healing Trauma is also discussed.


  • Understand the historical background of trauma treatment
  • Describe two trauma-specific interventions for women
  • Demonstrate specific therapeutic interventions

Afternoon Workshop 13:00 pm – 16:00 pm

Voices: A Program of Self-Discovery and Empowerment

Adolescence is a time of tremendous discovery, struggle, and growth. This process is particularly difficult for girls as they face unique challenges along the road to healthy development. Their challenges can be exacerbated by our culture – which often offers girls a toxic environment in which to grow. Many young women lose their voice in this process. This workshop is based on the trauma-informed curriculum, Voices: A Program of Self- Discovery and Empowerment for Girls. It is designed to encourage girls and young women to find and express themselves. The program materials (facilitator’s guide and participant’s journal) can be used in schools, treatment facilities, and juvenile justice settings. This training describes the world of girls, as well as providing an overview of the elements needed for creating gender-responsive and trauma-informed services. The focus is on interactive exercises that demonstrate the strategies that counselors can use with girls and young women. The topics covered include developing a positive sense of self, building healthy relationships, substance abuse, physical and emotional wellness, sexuality and planning for a positive future. The issues of girls in the juvenile justice system are also addressed.


  • Understand the world of girls/young women
  • Discuss theoretical foundation for girls’ services
  • Explore elements of gender-responsive and trauma-informed services
  • Demonstrate specific therapeutic strategies
    • Self
    • Relationships
    • Healthy Living (physical, emotional, and spiritual)
    • The Journey Ahead