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Family Dynamics in Addiction Treatment, Pittsburgh, PA

Tom Callahan
Vice President, Eastern Recovery Division & Executive Director, White Deer Run, Inc.
 
Tom has been with the White Deer Run/Cove Forge Behavioral Health System for 13 years. He was recently promoted from Regional Director to Vice President of the Eastern Recovery Division. This position provides clinical and operational oversight for the CRC Health Group programs located within the White Deer Run, Inc. system in Pennsylvania.
 
He has spent three decades working with individuals and families who have been affected by addiction and mental illness. Tom has developed both inpatient and outpatient models for treating co-occurring disorders and is responsible for developing the model currently used at Cove Forge. His journey has taken him through every level of care, as he has been in private practice since the early ‘90s and has served as a Field Placement Supervisor to many students entering the field. Tom is committed to contemporary, integrated Disease Model Treatment focusing on hope and present day change.
 
Tom holds a Master’s degree in counseling and is licensed to practice in the state of Pennsylvania. He has also been certified as an addiction’s counselor, a co-occurring disorders counselor, and a clinical supervisor. He has provided trainings and lectures across the state. In 2010, Tom was awarded the Northeast Recovery Division Core Values Award and in 2012, he received the award for Executive of the Year Residential Eastern Recovery Division.
 

Karen A. Plavan, PH.D.

Karen A. Plavan serves as the Director of The Oasis Recovery Center where she counsels individuals and as an interventionist, helps families with their loved ones recover from addiction.   Dr. Plavan is also the Chair of The Coalition for Leadership Education and Advocacy for Recovery (CLEAR), one of the oldest alcohol/drug coalitions in the US.  
 
Dr. Plavan is also the Co-Chair of the annual Pittsburgh Pastoral Care Conference now in its 14th year.   Dr. Plavan taught addiction courses in the Counselor Education, Graduate Program in Addiction Studies at Penn State University and taught  “Addiction and Grace” at The Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.  She also has taught in many developing countries including Belize and Egypt.
 
Dr. Plavan coordinated the Demand Treatment Leadership Team in Pittsburgh and organized one of the first Emergency Room screening projects in the US through a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Boston University.  She designed a prevention project called “Everything Counts” for the National Media Outreach Center at QED Communications focusing on addictive organizations and communities. She also served as President of the Allegheny County Alcohol and Drug Planning Council for six years and volunteers for several non-profit organizations.
 
Dr. Plavan received her M.Ed. & Ph.D. in Counselor Education from The University of Pittsburgh.  She worked at WPIC and assisted with the opening of the ADAPT program -- a dual-diagnosis program for adolescents.  She was the first Director of the Women’s Center and Shelter in the North Hill’s, now called Crisis Center North.  She also worked as the Director of the International Center at Point Park College and as an ESL counselor at the Allegheny Intermediate Unit.   Dr. Plavan coordinated the United Religions Initiative (URI) launched in Pittsburgh in 2000.  Over the years, she has served on various non-profit boards volunteering her time in the community.
 

Amanda Thomas
Family Advisor, MPhEd, LAMFT
 
Amanda has more than 15 years of experience in a wide range of clinical and educational settings for adolescents, young adults, and families. As a licensed master's level marriage and family therapist, Amanda has extensive clinical experience though out the continuum of care from primary treatment and to out-patient private practice working with adolescents, adults and families. 
 
In her master's thesis, which she designed, Amanda researched psychological outcomes of adolescent outdoor interventions. Her findings and experience working with adolescents and their families led Amanda to pursue advanced training in Marriage and Family Therapy at Denver Family Institute under the supervision of James D. Thomas, LMFT. 
 
As a co-founder of Forging Futures, Amanda's expertise uniquely blends the care and patience she offers families, with her experience and knowledge of therapeutic programs, including outdoor and wilderness programs. Amanda believes that the most effective way to help a client is by also helping the family. At Forging Futures she assists families addressing such issues as emotional distress, alcohol and drug abuse, eating disorders, academic underachievement, and learning disabilities 
 
In addition to her work with Forging Futures, Amanda also serves in a leadership role at a state level to AAMFT.
Amanda's vibrant personality, love of people, and clinical instincts allow her to quickly assess and to guide clients toward healthier relationships with themselves and others. Amanda grew up in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania and enjoys spending time outside with her family, either paddle boarding in the summers or backcountry skiing in the winter. Her passions also include yoga, running, gardening and culinary pursuits.
 
 
William Harris, CSAC, CRPS, ADS
Clinical Program Supervisor at Mount Regis Center
 
William Harris, CSAC, serves as the clinical program supervisor at Mount Regis Center where he oversees the day-to-day clinical program operations, facilitates large and small groups, provides individual and group counseling as needed and serves as the liaison between patients and utilization review. 
 
Bill has over 20 years of experience as a substance abuse counselor and program manager for a variety of treatment modalities including inpatient, residential, intensive outpatient therapy, psychiatric centers and extended care programming.  Bill is certified as an advanced relapse prevention and Acudetox specialist and received his formal education in chemical dependency counseling from the Community College of Baltimore County.
 

Douglas J. Edwards, MBA
Publisher of Addiction Professional

Douglas J. Edwards is Publisher of Addiction Professional, having formerly served as editor in chief of Behavioral Healthcare and Addiction Professional.  Edwards has been serving the addiction treatment community since 2000 in multiple editorial and marketing roles.  Edwards will serve as moderator of the discussion.