An Introduction to Dual Diagnosis

This popular course on Dual Diagnosis is delivered by subject expert Dr. Seán Foy.  ‘Dual Diagnosis’ is the term used when a person suffers from both a drug and/or alcohol issue and a mental health issue.The training sets out to provide a clear analysis of Dual Diagnosis Disorders and its implications for treatment and practice.

Seán has specialised in the areas of Addiction and Mental Health over the last 25 years and continues to be heavily involved in this area in his work as a Clinical Psychologist.  He has delivered briefings on Dual Diagnosis to the Oireachtas Group on Drug Policy Reform.

Traditionally there has been much debate around the best way to treat clients who have a dual diagnosis. This debate has resulted in clients being treated, in some cases, by two separate services. The American Medical Association states that up to 37% of alcohol abusers and 53% of drug abusers have at least one mental health diagnosis.

This programme can be delivered remotely to groups or organisations as requested. 

Suitable for anyone working in mental health or addiction services including nurses, social workers, project workers, psychologists, counsellors.

Members of The Psychological Society of Ireland and The Addiction Counsellors of Ireland can receive CPD points for completing this workshop.


“The interactive nature of the course and Dr. Oppeboen’s conversational style of teaching was very engaging. I found the content brilliant and very relevant and up to date. She made the whole process fun and so worthwhile. It was great to have participants with different clinical backgrounds on the course which meant we were able to see different practice examples.”

Dearbhla Ní Dhroighneáin, MA Social Work Student, NUI Galway

October 2021

“Great content and it was obvious the extent of Sean’s knowledge – sense of humour always welcomed….Sean delivered the training in a way that relaxed and interested me, the content and amount of research available will be very helpful going forward, hoping to move from project worker position to DD position in the coming months.  Hearing other people’s scenarios and fears/worries/concerns was also helpful and encouraging.”

Michelle O' Connor, Focus Ireland

February 2021

Programme Duration

2 days training.

Programme Aims

The aim of this workshop is to provide an introduction to Dual Diagnosis. There will be space and time allowed for the development of discussion around dual diagnosis and the knowledge and experience of the group members.

There will be “real” scenarios taken from the participants and then worked with by the group.  This is done to enhance the learning experience and to make the connection between theory and practice.

There will be a strong emphasis on knowing the interface between addiction work and psychiatry and the opportunity to explore the limits of one’s own competencies when working with dual diagnosis.

Programme Content

Throughout the training attendees will have the opportunity to discuss and explore the issue of Dual Diagnosis, some of this learning will be delivered through role-plays and scenarios provided by the trainer.

The methodology used in this training will be a combination of the following:

Participative: The participants will be asked to contribute to the training both in the large group and also in smaller ones. There will be a number of exercises throughout the training that are designed for the group to be split up into smaller groups.

Experiential: The training will allow those attending to contribute by using examples of anonymous clients that they have worked with or are currently working with.

Theory into practice: The training will allow some role plays that will encourage participants to put the theory  into practice.

Information giving: Information on further learning and reading on Dual Diagnosis will be distributed/emailed on the training days.

Participant led: The training will be flexible to the needs of the group. 

Learning Outcomes

  • To equip participants with the tools to enable them to develop and build on their own skills in working with clients who have a Dual Diagnosis.
  • To strengthen and underpin existing knowledge in relation to Dual Diagnosis within the group.
  • To enhance confidence in participants in working with clients who have a Dual Diagnosis.
  • To become familiar with the history, theory and principles of Dual Diagnosis.
  • To provide space and time for participants to explore the skills associated with working with people with a Dual Diagnosis. This will be achieved by role play’s of “real clients” taken from the group. 

Connect with Your Trainer

The Learning Curve Institute offers a unique post course support system whereby participants are provided with the contact details of the trainer and are free to contact him/her with any subsequent questions they may have.

Where appropriate, The Learning Curve Institute will also distribute a unique pre-course questionnaire to each attendee in order to ensure the training meets the needs of everyone in the room and is tailored to a suitable level while also covering specific situations or scenarios as highlighted by the group.

Programme Certification

eCertificate of Attendance in “An Introduction to Dual Diagnosis” from The Learning Curve Institute.