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Fantasies and Families: Working with the Systemic Unreal in Addiction Recovery presented by John Bundrick, LPC, ICGC-II and James Abrams, LPC, LAC 8:30am-9am Registration and Networking 9am-12pm Presentation Eligible for 3.0 Continuing Professional Development credits Overview: What is the interior world of the younger clients that struggle with a variety of addictions and mental health issues? For many, it is a world of fantasy that is in stark contrast to the reality of their circumstances when they present for treatment. This can lead us as providers to dismiss their internal world, fall into the trap of placing our own values on them, and labeling them as resistant to change, much in the way that society has done. Parents can also escape to their own fantasy world as they avoid the present crisis and resort to their unrealistic expectations for change. What has resulted is an existential dilemma for two generations with both using fantasy as primary coping mechanism. This presentation will explore these concepts of multigenerational fantasy and discuss ways to address them in treatment with a new lens. Learning Objectives: Contrast socio/economic/cultural expectations of millennials with those of their parents' generation (fantasy versus reality) i.e. impact of recession of 2009 on millennials via student debt , lack of good jobs, fulfillment of meaning/purpose while previous generation was able to rehabilitate economically and existentially Explore role that fantasy has had on millennials in avoiding authentic emotional experience/distress and committing to facing challenges of reality Various means of avoidance: substance use, gaming, social media, role-playing/avatar, cultural theft/appropriation via music Review prevalence of substance use/gaming/social media use in millennials What is the primary substance that they present for in treatment - THC THC potency today versus THC when parents of millennials might have used THC What is the fantasy trap that parents fall into: "not doing hard drugs" when client may have had to go to ED with hyperemesis, suicidal thoughts or go to inpatient psych unit with psychosis due to dabbing/waxing About the Presenters: John Bundrick, LPC, ICGC-II is a Licensed Professional Counselor and International Certified Gambling Counselor- Level II. He has worked extensively with clients in residential, inpatient, outpatient, and drug court settings. He previously worked as a Primary Therapist at the Center of Recovery in Shreveport, LA, specializing in the treatment of clients with gambling disorder and co-occurring mood and substance use disorders. After relocating to Denver, CO, John most recently worked as a Primary Therapist at Sandstone Care’s Intensive Outpatient Program. Treatment at this facility focuses young adults presenting with co-occurring substance use and mood disorders. He has since established a private practice in Littleton, CO. John has spoken numerous times as an expert on the assessment and treatment for gambling disorder. John is a member of the National Council on Problem Gambling, the Problem Gambling Coalition of Colorado, NAADAC, and the American Counseling Association. James Abrams, LPC, LAC Committed to bringing a modern sensibility to the practice of psychotherapy, James uses a background in existential philosophy and the techniques of mindfulness to get to what really matters in his work as a therapist. James seeks to get clients speaking openly about the motivations for how they interact with the world and with themselves. By bringing clients’ awareness to the 'behind the scenes' that make up the stuck and painful patterns of their day to day life, they are able to grow into new ways of feeling and behaving. He is currently in practice with The Colorado Center for Clinical Excellence, where he specializes in working with teens and adults with addictions of any kind.