Workshops and Conferences

I am available to speak at events and facilitate workshops on the following topics:

Complex Trauma – Complex trauma is the exposure to multiple traumatic events often of an invasive, interpersonal nature and the long term impact that these events have on the individual who experienced them. This workshop will equip clinicians with the knowledge, self-insight and skills to effectively respond to clients who suffer from complex trauma. 

Through a Trauma Informed Lens: Rethinking Addiction Treatment – 80 % of individuals with a substance use disorder have a history of trauma. Traditional addiction treatment can re-traumatize a trauma survivor and lead to poor outcomes. This workshop explores the intersection of trauma and addiction and offers strategies on how to concurrently treat trauma and addiction in an integrated manner.

When Motherhood and Addiction Collide – Pregnant and parenting women with substance use disorders would benefit from specialized trauma informed treatment that addresses both the substance use and parenting. This workshop outlines an integrative treatment model that goes beyond teaching parenting strategies and focuses on repairing the attachment bond between mother and child is both a treatment intervention for mom and a prevention strategy for the child. 

From the Bottom Up: Treating Trauma in Substance Abuse Settings– The neurobiology of trauma demonstrates that trauma is stored in the body where cognitive techniques are ineffective. Approaching the trauma from the bottom up, or through the body first, calms the nervous system and makes it possible for the client to then respond more easily to cognitive interventions. This workshop presents the theory behind body based treatment and offers a variety of interventions in an experiential format. 

Upcoming speaking engagements and workshops

Through a Trauma Informed Lens: Rethinking Addiction Treatment. Rutgers Center of Alcohol and Substance Use Studies Professional Development Seminar Series, Thursday February 13, 2020.

From the Bottom Up: Treating Trauma in Substance Abuse Settings. Rutgers Center of Alcohol and Substance Use Studies Professional Development Seminar Series, Thursday May 28, 2020.


Ruisard, D. (2015). Transformation through attachment: the power of relationship in clinical social work.Clinical Social Work Journal, 43(2). Doi10.1007/s10615015-0537-2

Bosk, E., Paris, R., Hanson, K., Ruisard, D., & Suchman, N. (2019). Innovations in child welfare interventions for caregivers with substance use disorders and their children. Children and Youth Services Review101, 99–112.