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Digital Recording

Reconceptualising “Addiction" as Chronic Emotion Dysregulation

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Amber Rules, B.CHC (Applied Psychotherapy), M.PACFA
1 Hour 02 Minutes
Nov 21, 2022
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Digital Recording
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For too long, addiction has been misunderstood and stigmatised. Engaging in ongoing substance use or repetitive harmful behaviours has been conceptualised as selfish, lazy, immature, self-indulgent and irresponsible, and treatment options can range from controlling and disrespectful to punitive and coercive. This presentation will help participants reconceptualise addiction as an attempt to manage chronic dysregulated emotional states, and empower the clinician to use collaborative, person-centred interventions that assist with emotion regulation through a compassion-based, harm-reduction lens while upholding ethical, evidence-based and respectful practice standards. 



This online program is worth 1.25 hours CPD.



Amber Rules, B.CHC (Applied Psychotherapy), M.PACFA's Profile

Amber Rules, B.CHC (Applied Psychotherapy), M.PACFA Related seminars and products

Sydney Addictions Recovery

Amber Rules is a psychotherapist, counsellor, group therapist, clinical supervisor and mental health facilitator. She has extensive experience with addictions and specialises in working with the family members of people who use substances and repetitive harmful behaviours or have complex mental health needs through harm minimisation and compassion-based lenses.

She is the Clinical Director of Sydney Addictions Recovery, a specialist counselling clinic in Sydney’s Inner West. She is also the Director and Founder of Rough Patch; an affordable counselling serve that uses a unique social enterprise model to make counselling more accessible and affordable. Previously in her career, Amber has worked in both public and private inpatient rehabilitation centres and hospitals, specialist outpatient counselling services, and private practice.

Before becoming a therapist, Amber worked in the entertainment industry. She has an understanding of the difficulties that come with creative, non-traditional and high-profile careers and is experienced in helping clients manage addiction and mental health difficulties that sometimes accompany these occupations.

Amber also has lived experience of substance involvement, family addiction and intergenerational trauma, and draws on this in her clinical practice.

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Amber M. Rules is the founder and director of Rough Patch Affordable Counselling & Mental health Supports and has an employment with Sydney Addictions Recovery. She receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Amber M. Rules is a member of the Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and Other Drugs, the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy Australia, and the Australia and New Zealand Mental Health Association.


  1. Demonstrate the link between trauma, addiction and chronic emotional dysregulation.
  2. Apply the Bio-Psycho-Social Model to the phenomenon of addiction and addiction treatment.
  3. Determine core harm reduction principles and the vital, life-saving importance of harm reduction strategies in addiction treatment.


  • Demonstrate why emotion dysregulation is at the core of addictive behaviours, and help clients employ emotion regulation skills 
  • Assess and formulate risk when working with clients who are actively engaged in substance use or dangerous repetitive behaviours 
  • Implement harm reduction and emotion regulation strategies with clients immediately

Target Audience

  • Counselors
  • Marriage & Family Therapists
  • Physicians
  • Psychologists
  • Social Workers



Overall:      4.7

Total Reviews: 195

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