Remote Learning: An Overview of Dual Diagnosis

This one day course, run over two mornings, on Dual Diagnosis is delivered live online by subject expert Dr. Marie Oppeboen, Psychiatrist.  Marie specialises in the area of Dual Diagnosis and regularly contributes to the debate around this subject. She continues to practice in the area and has real life experience of the work. 

The training sets out to provide a clear overview of Dual Diagnosis Disorders and its implications for treatment and practice. 

‘Dual Diagnosis’ is the term used when a person suffers from both a drug and/or alcohol issue and a mental health issue. Traditionally there has been much debate regarding the best way to treat clients and service users who have a dual diagnosis. This debate has resulted in clients being treated (in some cases) in 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 remote training course will allow you to interact with Marie and other participants in a virtual classroom where, in addition to the workshop content there will be live discussions, question & answer sessions and skills practice. You can access the course wherever you have an internet connection; on a desktop, tablet or even a smartphone.

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

Note: Attendees will be expected to have their cameras on during the training. This helps generate engagement and interaction with their trainer and other participants. If special circumstances mean that a participant may have to switch off their camera occasionally please let us know in advance. It is not permitted to record this workshop.

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


“The course was presented with passion for the topic which was infectious.  The break out rooms worked really well. I finished the course with a broader awareness of dual diagnosis which will improve my practice. But also even more compassionate for the struggles the people face with accessing the right services and the impact it has on them.  Sean is a wealth of knowledge and experience and it was an honour to be a part of the training.”

Kim Haugh, Bridge to Work Coordinator, Ruhama

May 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

One day training workshop delivered over two mornings. 

Programme Aims

The aim of this workshop is to provide an overview of 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 is valued. There will be “real” scenarios taken from the group 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 clients or service users who have a dual diagnosis.

Programme Content

  • What is Dual Diagnosis?
  • Aetiology and incidence of dual diagnosis
  • Mental Illness and Addiction
  • Working with a client or service user who has a diagnosis of dual diagnosis
  • Evidence based practice in dual diagnosis
  • Implications for treatment and service delivery in Ireland
  • Bringing it all together

Participants will be emailed copies of the presentation, relevant literature and a recommended reading list to enable them to develop their understanding of Dual Diagnosis. 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. There will be the opportunity over the training to allow participants to experience “real” situations and scenarios to transfer the learning of the workshop into practice.

Training Objective

To equip participants with the tools to enable them to develop and build on their own skills in working with clients or service users 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 become knowledgeable of specific mental disorders.

To allow time to explore the skills associated with working with people with a Dual Diagnosis. This will be achieved by role plays of “real clients” taken from the group.


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

  1. 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.
  2. Experiential: The training will allow participants to contribute by using examples of anonymous clients that they have worked with or are currently working with.
  3. Theory into practice: The training will allow some role plays that will encourage participants to put the theory of dual diagnosis into practice.
  4. Information giving: Attendees will be provided with a copy of the presentation and information on relevant reading by email.
  5. Worker led: The training will be flexible to the needs of the group.

Connect with Your Trainer

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

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 them with any questions they may have.

Programme Certification

All participants will receive an eCertificate of Completion in An Overview of Dual Diagnosis from The Learning Curve Institute.