Brooke Monaco, PhD is a licensed clinical psychologist who earned her degree from the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University in San Diego. Her work has focused on the dissemination of evidence-based treatments for PTSD, including Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE). She has led SMART Recovery meetings and was the President and Treasurer for the San Diego Regional Advisory Board for SMART Recovery. Dr. Monaco also has experience working in the Substance Dependence Research Group at the New York State Psychiatric Institute/Columbia University administering and adapting structured clinical interviews for DSM-5 substance use disorder assessment. Dr. Monaco has worked as a Clinical Interviewer with the San Diego Veterans Affairs Healthcare System assessing PTSD in active duty Marines before and after their deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. Dr. Monaco is a trainer for CMC:Foundation for Change and has co-led multiple weekend-long trainings to intensively train parents in CRAFT and MI skills.
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It is critical to change the conversation around substance use disorders. Our society and pop culture is full of myths about substance use that perpetuate shame, stigma, and helplessness. In reality, family members can help; it’s not hopeless; and being kind and compassionate really matters.
During a weekend-long training, one parent was struggling through a challenging situation. On Sunday morning, she reported back to the group by telling us she had applied skills (communication, self-care, and setting limits) after only having learned about them the previous day. This was a reminder to me about how crucial the skills we teach are, and how useful they can be when dealing with the chronically stressful situation of having a child with a severe substance use issue.