Morning Workshop 4

Understanding Dual Diagnosis: Mental Health Needs and Treatment Strategies for Individuals with Intellectual and/or Developmental Disabilities

Philip Smith, PhD
CEUs: 2 Clinical


Individuals with disabilities are the nation’s largest minority group. As such, understanding the unique mental health needs of this group is essential for clinicians working with individuals with dual diagnosis. This workshop will present an overview of the distinction between disorders that are considered to represent developmental disabilities and DSM-V diagnoses of mental illness, and will use this information to provide a framework for considering the clinical needs of individuals with this type of dual diagnosis. Participants will gain insight into risk factors that disability presents for mental illness, challenges related to appropriate diagnosis, and strategies to adapt in order to provide effective treatment in light of the disability.

Learning Objectives

  1. Distinguish between developmental disabilities, DSM-V diagnoses that would be considered a disability, and other forms of mental illness that would be treated through psychotherapy, medication, and conventional mental health treatments.
  2. Identify at least 2 factors that place individuals with disabilities at increased risk of mental illness.
  3. Explain 3 significant concerns related to identifying trauma in the cases of individuals who are dually diagnosed.
  4. Identify at least 5 strategies to adapt clinical interviewing and/or treatment processes for individuals who are dually diagnosed.

About Philip Smith

Philip Smith holds a PhD in clinical psychology and has provided psychotherapy in a clinic serving individuals with Intellectual /Developmental Disability for several years. He has also provided statewide training on Mental Health supports for individuals with dual Mental Illness and IDD diagnoses for the past 8 years.

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