June 13-15, 2024 | CBT for Use Disorders (In-person)



June 13-15, 2024 | Wolfe’s Neck Farm, Freeport, ME
June 13 & 14: 8:30am-4:00pm
June 15 (optional): 8:30am-12:00pm

Workshop Abstract:
This 2-day workshop (with optional third day of role play, exercises, and practice), located on the beautiful Wolfe’s Neck Farm in Freeport, ME, with food provided by local farm-to-table catering, will provide mental health professionals an opportunity to experience the latest developments in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for substance use and other addictive disorders, including alcohol and drug misuse, problem gambling, shopping, sex, Internet gaming, and binge eating. We focus on five essential components of individual and group CBT: structure, collaboration, case conceptualization, psychoeducation, and standardized techniques. We also highlight the complexity of CBT and distinguish between the content and processes involved in CBT. Most of the time spent in this workshop will revolve around lively activities, including case presentations, discussions, critiques of recorded CBT sessions, demonstrations, and role-playing.

Workshop Description:
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is regularly described as “evidence based” or “empirically supported.” In fact, some researchers have described CBT as “the gold standard of psychotherapy,” However, even the most experienced and skilled cognitive-behavioral therapists understand that CBT doesn’t always work. In this 2-day workshop we describe and distinguish between CBT content and process, in order to contextualize common problems in the provision of CBT. We consider structure, collaboration, case conceptualization, psychoeducation, and specific techniques, with emphasis on potential challenges common to each of these processes. Participants have opportunities to ask questions, observe and critique CBT demonstrations, role-play, present and discuss de-identified cases, and engage in other experiential learning activities.

We begin this workshop by emphasizing that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a superordinate category that contains an assortment of “branded” therapy approaches (e.g., Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Behavioral Activation, Cognitive Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Exposure and Response Prevention, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, etc.). These approaches have some obvious similarities and differences. Perhaps the most conspicuous similarity is that they focus on patients’ thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. They are typically structured, time-limited, and present-focused, providing structured techniques to facilitate desired patient outcomes. Differences mostly regard their various primary focal points (e.g., automatic thoughts, beliefs, schemas, acceptance, commitment, behavior change, compassion, emotion regulation, mindfulness, interpersonal processes).

During this workshop we discuss the many misconceptions regarding CBT. Perhaps the most egregious is that CBT involves a superficial, formulaic, expedient process that is always effective for all disorders. Those who regularly practice CBT know well that CBT is not superficial, formulaic, or expedient. Instead, CBT engages a complex process, involving complex content. To further complicate matters, CBT patients form a diverse group whose members vary in their responses to therapy and therapists. For example, some benefit from directive therapy, some from non-directive therapy; some require a high degree of structure, others prefer much less structure; some desire relaxed, friendly relationships with therapists, others prefer more formal, professional relationships with therapists.

We also highlight the complexity of CBT. We distinguish between therapy content (“What needs to be changed”) and process (“How change is facilitated”). We identify five CBT components that have proven helpful in organizing CBT process and content. These five components include:

1. Structure – organization, use of time, focus, consistency
2. Collaboration – setting goals and expectations jointly and explicitly, both in sessions and between sessions; recognizing and repairing alliance ruptures
3. Case conceptualization – collecting and integrating all relevant information: thoughts, beliefs, behaviors, context, antecedents, consequences, readiness to change, barriers to change
4. Psychoeducation – transmission of salient knowledge and skills from therapist to patient
5. Structured techniques – activities aimed at facilitating change

This list provides a convenient rubric for identifying potential targets for enhancing CBT practice.

Therapists are encouraged to consider their own approaches to therapy and ask themselves:

• “Do I provide enough structure, or do I allow conversations with patients to drift?”
• “Are my patients and I in agreement regarding the goals of therapy?”
• “Do I fully and effectively conceptualize my patients?”
• “Does this therapy facilitate a meaningful learning experience for my patients?” “Am I choosing the right activities for enabling meaningful change?”

Participants in this workshop will be asked to consider these questions as they reflect on the complexity of CBT. As time permits, they will be invited to role play patients who they find challenging, and the facilitator will demonstrate strategies and techniques for optimizing CBT processes. Towards the end of this workshop, the essential features of intentional practice will be presented, and participants will be encouraged to continue learning effective CBT strategies and techniques long after this workshop ends.

1. List at least three different CBTs (e.g. ACT, CT, behavioral activation, contingency management) and describe similarities and differences between them
2. Describe at least three misconceptions of CBT that have developed over more than four decades
3. Explain how misconceptions of CBT have contributed to problems in learning and practicing CBT
4. Describe CBT content and process with emphasis on their relevance to therapy success and failure
5. Conduct thorough, structured CBT case conceptualizations, including corresponding implications for treatment
6. Describe the structure of individual CBT sessions
7. Describe the structure of group CBT sessions
8. Relate at least two cognitive science constructs to the practice of CBT (e.g., attention, executive functions, heuristics, biases, etc.)
9. Describe System 1 and System 2 thinking
10. Relate System 1 and System 2 thinking to the practice of CBT, especially while working with diverse populations


Bruce S. Liese, PhD, ABPP is a Professor of Family Medicine, Community Health, and Psychiatry at the University of Kansas Medical Center and Clinical Director at the Cofrin Logan Center for Addiction Research and Treatment. He has taught more than 100 courses and workshops and supervised hundreds of psychotherapy trainees. He has co-authored more than 75 publications, including three textbooks. His most recent book, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy of Addictive Disorders, was published in 2022 with co-author Dr. Aaron T. Beck. For his service to the APA Division on Addiction Psychology, Dr. Liese received a President’s Citation (2015) and the Distinguished Career Contributions to Education and Training Award (2018). He also received an APA Presidential Citation for his community work (2018). Dr. Liese continues to provide psychological services to approximately 25 patients per week and he volunteers to facilitate a SMART Recovery group attended by an average of 30 attendees per week.


Contact hours:
up to 17 contact hours for social workers, licensed clinical professional counselors, and behavioral health professionals
up to 17 category I contact hours for psychologists. CCSME is a pre-approved sponsor and provider of Professional Education Activities for Psychologists.
up to 17 contact hours for Alcohol and Drug Counselors pending approval from the Maine Board of Alcohol and Drug Counselors.
up to 17 contact hours for CHES. CCSME is a designated provider of continuing education contact hours (CECH) in health education by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc.

Attendees are required to be present for 100% of the first two training sessions and complete the course evaluation in order to receive a certificate. The third day is optional. 

Need-based scholarships available – contact Casey at ccoddaire@ccsme.org for more info.

logo for maine behavioral health workforce development collaborative; first letter of each word in varying colors

Additional information


Maine resident/work in Maine $75, Out of state $200