Nov 10 2020
Nov 10 2020: 1:00pm–4:15pm

De-escalation, Management of Aggressive Behavior, and Patient Engagement Strategies: A Trauma-Informed Approach

Mental Health and Behavioral Health

About this Presentation

Aggressive and drug-seeking behavior creates unique and often frustrating challenges in clinical settings, often these behaviors a fueled by substance use and trauma related disorders. This presentation will offer strategies for addressing these behaviors in an assertive and therapeutic approach while retaining patient engagement. This interactive and experiential presentation offers an overview of the impact of trauma on the recovery process from a social, biological, psychological, and spiritual perspective and will provide clinicians with skills to work people affected by substance use and trauma throughout their recovery, as well as, understanding the conceptual framework of trauma-informed practice. 

Bradley Conference is designed to provide education for psychologists, social workers, physicians, nurses, certified counselors, speech/language and occupational therapists, teachers, milieu associates, and other professionals who work with children, adolescents or adults.Topics address different behavioral health populations and treatment modalities and are intended to provide practical, state-of-the-art information.

This presentation will be held virtually, on Zoom.


Chris Dorval MSW, LICSW LCDP, LCDCS, ICADC holds the position of clinical director at Northeast Addiction Treatment Center and is currently the project coordinator for Rhode Island College School of Social Work SBIRT Training and Resource Center. A Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW), Licensed Drug and Alcohol Counselor (LADC), and a Licensed Chemical Dependency Clinical Supervisor (LCDCS), Dorval graduated from Rhode Island College with a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master’s degree in clinical social work (MSW). Dorval has been a nationally recognized speaker, trainer and clinical consultant in the areas of in addiction, trauma, and men’s health, as well as, having worked as a clinician and clinical supervisor in various levels of care in addiction treatment.

Dorval is an adjunct faculty at Rhode Island College in the School of Social Work, and has been a frequent guest lecturer on addiction, trauma and men’s health at Rhode Island College in the political science department, nursing, and psychology department, as well as, Brown University in both The Warren Alpert Medical School and School of Public Health. Dorval is on faculty for the Addiction Technology Transfer Center (ATTC) in connection with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). 

Dorval has extensive training in trauma informed care, treating co-occurring trauma and addiction, and is committed to helping others in their own personal journeys in recovery. Dorval has specialty training in multiple trauma-focused therapies Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Emotional Freedom Technique, Cognitive Processing Therapy, Prolonged Exposure Therapy, and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT). 

In 2018, Dorval was the recipient of the Social Worker of the Year Award in Addictions from the Rhode Island Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. As a person in long-term recovery himself, Dorval is passionate about working with those affected by addiction and trauma and has dedicated his practice to this focus. As a father, husband, son, and friend Dorval believes in developing healthy family and interpersonal relationships and addressing the underlying issues driving a person’s symptoms are essential to sustained recovery.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this session, participants should be able to:

  1. Describe the impact of trauma and substance use on the brain, body, and behavior.
  2. Distinguish a case study from a trauma-informed framework.
  3. Illustrate 3 therapeutic trauma-informed interventions for addressing behavioral escalation.


  • Target audience: psychologists, physicians, social workers and other interested health care professionals.
  • Instructional level: Intermediate.
  • 3.0 CE hours/credits (see below.) 
  • Beverages and light snacks will be offered.


  • Program fee: $59 Lifespan employee discounted rate: $49.
  • Online registration closes on Wednesday, September 30.
  • Phone registration: Please call the department of behavioral education at 401-606-5752
  • For refund/cancellation information please email or call Liz DeFreitas at 401-606-5752.
  • To request reasonable accommodation for a disability, please contact the Rhode Island Hospital CME office at 401-444-4260

Register online

Continuing Education Hours/Credit

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation criteria and policies of the Rhode Island Medical Society (RIMS) through the joint providership of Rhode Island Hospital and Bradley Hospital.  Rhode Island Hospital is accredited by the Rhode Island Medical Society to provide continuing medical education for physicians.      

Rhode Island Hospital designates this live activity for a maximum of 3.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s).  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. 

Rhode Island Hospital is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Rhode Island Hospital maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

CEUs for this event have been submitted, pending approval by the National Board for Social Work (NASW), designating this live activity for a maximum of 3.0 continuing education credits for certified counselors, marriage and family therapists.