International experts to discuss addiction, burnout

Christophe Sauerwein, academic director for The International Conference on Addiction and Associated Disorders, and Dr. Philippe Wuyts, a psychiatrist with expertise in anxiety, depression and burnout, will present back-to-back lectures on these critical health topics when they visit Salve Regina on Wednesday, Sept. 12.

Both experts will present their lectures – free and open to the public through the support of the Gruben Charitable Foundation – beginning at 5 p.m. in the DiStefano Lecture Hall. Those interested in attending are asked to register at salve.edu/addiction.

Christophe Sauerwein: “Who says I’m an addict?”

Sauerwein, a psychotherapist based in London, will share what is known and not yet known about addiction, challenging pre-conceived ideas and reviewing avenues to help those experiencing pain and struggle. He will explore the origins of the disease of addiction and explain how it develops progressively, always manifesting itself in multi-faceted ways – some obvious and some hidden. He will also focus his talk on how the disease affects upper social classes with specific traits and symptoms, and how it is actually more difficult to help individuals from this social background to get the help they deserve.

Sauerwein holds an MBA and MSc in psychology, with a practice that specializes in the treatment of childhood traumatic experiences and complex multiple addictive disorders. He has conducted several clinical studies highlighting their links. He is one of the few French therapists to have culturally transposed Anglo-Saxon therapeutic models.

Dr. Philippe Wuyts: “The Rise of Burnout”

Wuyts will look into the reasons for the current increase in “burnout syndrome” on a global level, linking the tenets of globalization, automation and technology in modern society as contributing factors to the rise of burnout pathology. He will review statistics on the syndrome and discuss its complex psychopathology and development over time. With the audience, he will also examine how chronic stress leads to the emergence of symptoms and, eventually, burnout, which can manifest itself as compassion fatigue syndrome and major depressive disorder.

Wuyts obtained his M.D. from the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium. He trained in general adult psychiatry at the University Psychiatric Center at Leuven and at King’s College, London. He also holds an MBA from EDHEC Business School, France. He is currently active in his private practice in Paris where he works predominantly with the international population of expats, students and diplomats.

Based in New England, The Gruben Charitable Charitable Foundation’s mission is to preserve, improve and rehabilitate the health of people and the places in which they live. The foundation’s trustee and executive director, Diana Oehrli, is the daughter of Elizabeth “Lisette” Prince of Newport, who together with her children, including sons Guillaume and Regis de Ramel, established The Norman Prince Neurosciences Institute with a transformational gift from The Frederick Henry Prince 1932 Trust.

The Gruben Charitable Foundation recently gave $184,000 to the Lifespan Addiction Recovery Center’s Family Education and Support Program at Rhode Island Hospital. Developed specifically for family and friends of individuals struggling with opioid use disorder, the program employs a dual-pronged approach. Patients and their loved ones together attend a weekly group session, learning about addiction, recovery, treatment, and interpersonal dynamics. Separately, family and friends are also provided a group forum to share their experiences and the challenges of supporting someone in recovery.

“My family’s historical philanthropy has always centered on health, so focusing on addiction keeps with that tradition,” Oehrli says. “Addiction is a painful, chronic disease and I truly believe educating the family is key to helping people get better and halting addiction’s spread to future generations. There is an incredible need to provide comprehensive treatment, and I believe Rhode Island Hospital and Lifespan have begun to create a model for addiction recovery medical centers across our country.”

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