Speakers

Naya Arbiter

Ms Arbiter is internationally recognised for her contributions to the TC model, particularly in the area of services to women and children and to those incarcerated or under criminal justice supervision. She has authored 14 volumes of TC curriculum used at all Amity centres. She lives in Arizona with her husband, 4 cats, 3 parrots, 3 dogs and optimism


David Best

David Best is professor of criminology at Sheffield Hallam University and Associate Professor of Addiction Science at Monash University in Melbourne. He has written extensively on the subject of desistance from crime and recovery from addiction


Catherine Comiskey

Professor Comiskey is the Professor in Healthcare Modelling at the School of Nursing and Midwifery Trinity College Dublin, Dublin University, Ireland.  Comiskey holds a Ph.D. degrees in biomathematics, biostatistics and epidemiology.  In 2007 she was appointed by Minister of Education and Science to serve on the board of The Irish Research Council. She served as the Inaugural Chairperson of the Children’s Research Network of Ireland and Northern Ireland.  In 2012 she was appointed by the Department of Health to Chair the National Advisory Committee on Drugs and Alcohol and in 2013 she was appointed by the EU to serve on the Scientific Committee of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction.  Professor Comiskey has over 100 applied publications in substance use, healthcare statistics, epidemiology and educational capacity development.


George De Leon

George De Leon is an internationally recognized expert in the treatment of substance abuse, and acknowledged as the leading authority on treatment and research in therapeutic communities. He holds a Ph.D. Degree in psychology from Columbia University.  He currently serves as Science Director of the NIDA funded Behavioral Science Training Program (BST) at NYU School of Nursing

He is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine. He has published over 170 scientific papers and chapters, has authored and edited seven books and monographs including The Therapeutic Community: Theory, Model and Method, considered the definitive text in the field.


Michael Donnellan

Michael Donnellan was appointed Director General of the Irish Prison Service, by the Minister for Justice and Equality, in December, 2011. Since his appointment Michael has set about delivering on his vision of safer communities through excellence in a prison service built on respect for human dignity.  One of the overarching high level objectives underpinning the Prison Service’s current Strategic Plan is ensuring Ireland’s compliance with domestic and international human rights obligations and best practice.  Prior to his appointment as Director General, Michael served as Director of the Probation Service from 2005.  Before this he served as Director of two children detention schools in Dublin. He has previous experience in health and social services in Ireland and the UK.


Sharon Dawe

Sharon Dawe is a Professor in Clinical Psychology at Griffith University. She has been working as a researcher and clinician in the field of substance misuse and mental health for over 20 years at the Institute of Psychiatry, University of London (UK), National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, UNSW, and now Griffith University, Brisbane on a range of clinical interventions for heroin, alcohol and other substance misuse. Her current work focuses on reducing child maltreatment in high risk families with parental substance abuse and mental illness. She has developed the Parents Under Pressure program in collaboration with Paul H Harnett (University of Queensland). This has been trialled extensively in Australia and is undergoing rigorous evaluation in the UK. Sharon is passionate about improving the outcomes for children living in adverse circumstances through enhancing family capacity to manage difficult life situations.


Eamon Keenan

Dr Eamon Keenan is a Consultant Psychiatrist in Substance Misuse and Clinical Director of the Addiction Services in CHO 7 and the National Drug Treatment Centre. He has been seconded into the role of National Clinical Lead for the HSE Addiction services for a two year period. He is also a Senior Clinical Lecturer in Addiction Studies in the Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Trinity College Dublin.


Rod Mullen

My first ‘encounter group’ was at Synanon in March of 1967 – just a year after I graduated from the University of California at Berkeley and I have been involved in the therapeutic community movement since then, first at Synanon and then at Amity since 1982. I’m fortunate to have spent the majority of that time working with and inspired by my life partner Naya Arbiter


Wouter Vanderplasschen

Wouter is associate professor at the Department of Special Needs Education at Ghent University. He is a senior Wouter’s research during the past 15 years includes accessibility, effectiveness and quality of care in substance abuse treatment and concerning recovery in general.

His research interests include addiction recovery, case management, treatment methods, vulnerable groups, therapeutic communities, continuity of care and evaluation of treatment.

He has supervised several studies on the role of treatment, case management and psychosocial support in addiction recovery, resulting in several journal articles, books and monographs.


Rowdy Yates

Rowdy Yates is an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the University of Stirling, Scotland and was formerly the facilitator of the Scottish Addiction Studies group at the Faculty of Social Science, University of Stirling. He was a professional musician and heroin addict in the 1960s, finally getting clean in 1969.  Shortly after that he co-founded a small support group based on therapeutic community methodology and he has worked in the substance misuse field ever since.  Prior to his more recent academic appointments, he was a frontline worker, manager and, ultimately, director of the Lifeline Project; one of the longest established drug specialist services in the UK. He has published widely on addiction issues; including an edited book (with Barbara Rawlings) on drug-free therapeutic communities; a handbook on the purchasing, management and evaluation of drug and alcohol services; and an edited collection (with Margaret Malloch) on recovery and pathways out of addiction.  In addition, he has published numerous journal articles and reports, most on aspects of therapeutic community methodology and practice.  In 1994 he was awarded the MBE for services to the prevention of drug addiction.  In 2012 he was made Phoenix Futures’ first Honorary Graduate.  He is the current Executive Director of EWODOR (the European Working Group on Drugs Oriented Research), President of the EFTC (European Federation of Therapeutic Communities) and former Chair of Recovery Academy UK