Social Justice Summit

January 8th and 9th 2021

Healing Self in Community Across Cultures Around the World

Communal, Embodied, & Narrative Paths for Understanding Self in the Healing of Trauma

Join us for this exclusive 2 day social justice summit Presented by trauma research foundation

People around the world have been dealing with overwhelming challenges that are hardly imaginable. Yet, we human beings are incredibly resilient, and survive by forming connections and collaborations for mutual support to create novel solutions. 

This summit presents programs from Kenya, Zimbabwe, Jordan/Syria, Rwanda, China, the United States, dealing with US veterans, using narrative and embodied modalities to help individuals & communities who had overwhelming traumatizing experiences.

These approaches, created under extreme conditions with very limited resources can be highly relevant to individuals in all communities whose treatment is largely determined by prevailing medical or academic paradigms that may have limited applicability for many of the populations we service.

Online - worldwide

Experience from the comfort of your own home

January 8th - 9th

From 08:15am Eastern Time (ET) - recordings available until February 8th

Join us with...

Bessel van der Kolk M.D.

Bessel A. van der Kolk M.D. is a pioneer clinician, researcher and teacher in the area of posttraumatic stress. His work uniquely integrates developmental, neurobiological, psychodynamic, somatic and interpersonal aspects of the impact of trauma and its treatment.

His #1 New York Times Science best seller, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Treatment of Trauma transforms our understanding of traumatic stress, revealing how it literally rearranges the brain’s wiring—specifically areas dedicated to pleasure, engagement, control, and trust. He shows how these areas can be reactivated through innovative treatments including body work, psychodrama, mindfulness techniques, parts work, yoga, and neurofeedback, Dr. van der Kolk and his various collaborators have published extensively on the impact of trauma on development, such as dissociative problems, borderline personality and self-mutilation, cognitive development, memory, and the psychobiology of trauma. He has published over 150 peer reviewed scientific articles on such diverse topics as neuroimaging, self-injury, memory, neurofeedback, Developmental Trauma, yoga, theater and EMDR.

He is founder of the Trauma Center (now the Trauma Research Foundation) in Boston, MA; past President of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, and Professor of Psychiatry at Boston University Medical School. He regularly teaches at universities and hospitals around the world.

Dr. van der Kolk will be introducing each day and participating in the presentation Large Scale Peer Support with Dr. Hailan Guo. 

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Plus special lectures and practices with...

Eugenia Mpande, MSSc

Eugenia Mpande is a psychosocial trauma professional, counsellor and a mental health activist working in Zimbabwe. She is an expert in delivering people centred community-based trauma healing interventions in situations of continuous traumatic stress. A holistic psycho-social interventions specialist focusing on community cohesion, reweaving the community social fabric and supporting individuals and groups to step into their agency ultimately improving local communities’ self-resilience and social justice.
She is highly experienced in communicating psychological concepts in a localized context for easy and practical use by communities. Eugenia has devoted much of her 20 years profession to extensive work with individuals (adults and children), families, community groups and members from civil society organisations who have lived both traumatic and trauma genic experiences. Over the years, she has developed trauma informed care programmes and materials for communities, volunteer facilitators and frontline workers. She has been trained in several Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) protocols including EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing).


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Susan Wyatt

Occupational Therapist Susan Wyatt is an expert in transcultural mental health and community-based trauma healing, with an international career spanning Australia, the Great Lakes Region in Africa, and Zimbabwe. She has contributed to the nexus between clinical mental health and peace building, with recent publications for the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, and the Pan African Reparations Initiatives. Susan is due to complete her Masters in Anthropology and Development in 2021, focusing on conflict and development. Her career includes over 12 years of practice in specialist services such as the Torture and Trauma forum and in International Portfolio development for NGO’s. She’s also worked as a senior clinician in government developing national level multicultural mental health frameworks and policies. Susan is now based in Zimbabwe working as an independent Psychotherapist trainer and development consultant with local and international groups, providing strategic navigation, capacity building and technical backstopping.

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Meagan Corrado, DSW, LCSW

Dr. Meagan Corrado currently serves as a Senior Trauma Consultant for the American Institutes for Research.  She is a Doctor of Social Work and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.  She earned her DSW from the University of Pennsylvania in 2016 and her Masters of Social Services from Bryn Mawr College in 2009.

Corrado has extensive experience developing training and trauma-informed curricula.  As the creator of the Storiez Trauma Narrative intervention, she developed innovative training programs to support clinicians, community leaders, and trauma survivors as they process past experiences and look toward a more hopeful future.  In conjunction with her Storiez intervention, Corrado authored nine books- six therapeutic guides and three children’s books.

Corrado is an experienced educator and trainer. She instructed graduate-level social work students at Bryn Mawr College and the University of Pennsylvania. She trained thousands of clinicians and community leaders in trauma-informed approaches.

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Stephan Wolfert, MFA, US ARMY VETERAN, RYT-200

Stephan received his Master of Fine Arts degree from Trinity Rep Conservatory in Providence, RI. Stephan is the founder of DE-CRUIT: a non-profit treating trauma through Shakespeare & science. 

DE-CRUIT received the 2020 Aaron Stein award from American Group Psychotherapy Association (AGPA) given to an organization that utilizes creative applications of group therapy to benefit the community, especially in non-psychiatric settings and the 2019 Max Gabriel Award from National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI). 

On Broadway, Stephan helped to create the military segments for Twyla Tharp and Billy Joel’s Tony Award-winning Movin’ Out.  Stephan is a playwright and actor who continues to perform his award winning, critically acclaimed show, Cry Havoc, in the US and Europe.

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Dawn Stern

Dawn Stern is the COO of DE-CRUIT- a non-profit that treats trauma through Shakespeare and Science. Dawn’s father was a Vietnam Veteran and she was born in Japan on a military base outside of Tokyo.

Before joining DE-CRUIT Dawn had a varied career as an actor for 22 years, a playwright, and as a restaurant general manager in both New York and Los Angeles.

In her role as COO of DE-CRUIT, she oversees development, on-site workshop productions, and day to day operations.

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Barbara J Love, PhD

Dr. Barbara J. Love is a Professor Emeritus, Social Justice Education, College of Education, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts. Her current focus is on Developing Liberatory Consciousness, Black Liberation and Community Development, Peer Counseling for Trauma Recovery and Healing, Racism and Climate Activism. She has worked with a broad range of organizations throughout the U.S., Europe the Caribbean and  Africa. Her research focuses on personal, organizational and societal transformation and strategies for liberation. She has authored and coauthored a variety of publications including “Developing a Liberatory Consciousness”, “Understanding Racism And Internalized racism”, and chapters in Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice including “Knowing Ourselves as Instructors”, “Racism”, and “Ageism and Adultism”.

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Richard Schwartz, PhD

Richard Schwartz began his career as a family therapist and an academic at the University of Illinois at Chicago. There he discovered that family therapy alone did not achieve full symptom relief and in asking patients why, he learned that they were plagued by what they called “parts.” These patients became his teachers as they described how their parts formed networks of inner relationship that resembled the families he had been working with.

Dr. Schwartz developed Internal Family Systems (IFS) focusing on the relationships clients held among their various ‘parts’, noticing that there were systemic patterns to the way they were organized.

A featured speaker for national professional organizations, Dr. Schwartz serves on editorial boards of four professional journals, he has published numerous books and over fifty articles about IFS. IFS trainings and workshops are also being held in several European countries.

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Deran Young, MSW

After obtaining her Bachelors degree in Social Psychology, Deran moved to pursue a Masters in Public Administration and Masters in Social Work.  While obtaining her Masters in Social Work at the University of Texas, she was blessed with an amazing opportunity to visit Ghana West Africa twice, first as a graduate assistant and second during a final field placement/internship.

Deran is the creator and CEO of Black Therapists Rock as she noticed a gap in mentorship, knowledge sharing and unity among helping professionals. She saw this as an opportunity to organize counseling professionals towards ACTION in decreasing the stigma and other barriers to psychological and social well being among African Americans and other vulnerable populations.

She is also an online ambassador for the IFS Institute, where she serves as a primary advisor on critical issues of race relations, economic privilege, and sexism.

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Melissa Nussbaum Freeman

Melissa is a theatre maker: an eclectic performance-installation artist/director/playwright/actor/teaching artist/activist.

Her work is significantly influenced by her adult life in Mexico, 1985-2009, where she lived and worked as a midwife/healer/educator, gave birth to her son, raised her family, and trained in Theatre Arts (BFA) at the Centro Morelense de las Arts. And by two core values: Tikum Olam (repairing the world) and Welcoming the Stranger.

NEFA’s Creative City Grant, 2017, funded her project, The Table/La Mesa: The Welcome Project. This project was a new iteration of her Expressing Boston Fellowship, The Welcome Project, and helped to establish Red Sage Stories: Playback Theatre & Art for Social Change as an artistic community resource. “On the Bus”, devised work from Roxbury/Dorchester stories dramatized by RSS of being welcomed was performed for hundreds of neighborhood residents. RED SAGE STORIES, offers Playback Theatre in Spanish, Cape Verdian Creole, and ASL, teaching and performing with and for youth, adults, and seniors. They regularly perform at Haley House, Roxbury.

Playback Theatre is an extraordinary theatrical tool for healing, artistry and building community.

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Ilya Yacevich, MA, LMFT

For over two decades, Ms. Yacevich has specialized in working with children and families with histories of complex and inter-generational trauma, and provided organizational consultation/ program development in a variety of settings, including clinics, residential treatment centers, shelters, schools, NGOs, and community-based programs.

She is an Ashoka Fellow, and an American- Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (New York State), and holds as master’s degree from St. Mary’s University, USA and post-graduate training in International Trauma Studies and Traumatic Stress Studies. She has special interest in international/ cultural issues pertaining to mental health, and in strengthening trauma-informed supports with communities where infrastructure is lacking.

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Anita Shankar, MPH

Ms. Shankar believes access to relevant mental health resources is a social justice issue. As Senior Director of the Global Trauma Project, she utilizes the Trauma-Informed Community Empowerment (TICE) Framework to build the capacity of community leaders and government officials.

Ms. Shankar’s 20 years of public health experience is influenced by the fields of popular education, youth development, harm reduction, and positive sexuality. She earned her Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of North Carolina, USA and Bachelor’s in International Development from the University of California, Berkeley, USA.

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Michael Niconchuk

Michael Niconchuk is a neuroscience researcher, author, and technical expert in mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) in conflict settings and the neuroscience of intergroup conflict. Michael currently serves as the Mental Health and Armed Conflict Program Director at Beyond Conflict and Senior Technical Expert for Mental Health and Psychosocial Support at Questscope in Amman, Jordan.

In his role, Michael leads various initiatives focusing on mental health and conflict, building programs to support community mental health among conflict-affected populations, and addressing links between mental health and cycles of violence in communities, including challenges such as the reintegration of former combatant populations, deradicalization and mental health of violent extremists, and social stability in trauma-affected communities. Michael is the author of several innovative scientific publications on issues of neuroscience, trauma, violent extremism, and intergroup relations. Mike is the author of the Field Guide for Barefoot Psychology and oversees the program’s implementation in the Middle East and Americas.

Michael is a former Fulbright Scholar and is fluent in English, Spanish, and Arabic. He holds degrees from Tufts University (BA, International Relations) and University College London (MSc Social Cognition).

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Vivian Khedari, PhD

Vivian Khedari DePierro holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology by the New School for Social Research and is a Predoctoral Psychology Intern at Montefiore Medical Center who first trained as a psychologist at Universidad Católica Andres Bello in Caracas, Venezuela. She has extensive clinical experience working with children and adults and is particularly interested in the treatment of psychological trauma and working with at-risk youth, forcibly displaced people and immigrants.

She has led research on the physiological markers of complex and acute trauma in the U.S, South Sudan and South Africa; and recently completed the first randomized controlled trial of The Field Guide for Barefoot Psychology with Beyond Conflict in Jordan. Vivian integrates her research work into her clinical practice, working through a lens that considers clinical theory, psychobiology and the cultural and sociopolitical context.

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Hailan Guo, PhD

Hailan is the Founder of Hailan Family Well-being, Standing Member of Advisory Council, China’s Family Education Association and Author of best-selling serial books Imperfection is Perfect (I-III).

Hailan began her career as an ophthalmologist and Research Scientist in China and USA for 21 years. She then acquired her degree in Human Development from Peabody College, Vanderbilt and subsequently provided crisis intervention, trauma recovery and stress management training services to immigrants and refugees from 32 countries at Centerstone, Nashville, TN. After the Grand Sichuan Earthquake in 2008, she went to the earthquake zone with her whole family and lived there for three years to provide crisis intervention and trauma treatment for over 100,000 students and teachers. Her program was granted China’s Most Influential Charity Project Award.

In 2012, she was appointed the Chief Supervisor and Trainer of Her Village Well-being Program, which serves China’s largest community of professional women (>200M people). In 2015, she founded Hailan Family Well-being and dedicated to enable lay people to become their own mental well-being coaches via an integrated “865 Self-coaching model ”.

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Pat Ogden, PhD

Pat Ogden, PhD,is a pioneer in somatic psychology, the creator of the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy method, and founder of the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute.

Dr. Ogden is trained in a wide variety of somatic and psychotherapeutic approaches, and has over 45 years of experience working with individuals and groups. She is co-founder of the Hakomi Institute, past faculty of Naropa University (1985-2005), a clinician, consultant, and sought after international lecturer. 

Dr. Ogden is the first author of two groundbreaking books in somatic psychology: Trauma and the Body: A Sensorimotor Approach to PsychotherapyandSensorimotor Psychotherapy: Interventions for Trauma and Attachment (2015) both published in the Interpersonal Neurobiology Series of W. W. Norton.Her third book in this series, The Pocket Guide to Sensorimotor Psychotherapy: Essays and Articles, will be published in 2020, and she is working on Sensorimotor Psychotherapy for Children, Adolescents and Familiesand Sensorimotor Psychotherapy for Groups with Dr. Bonnie Goldstein.Her current interests include groups, couples, children, adolescents, and families; complex trauma; Embedded Relational Mindfulness; implicit bias, intersectionality and culture; the relational nature of shame; presence, consciousness, and the philosophical/spiritual principles that underlie Sensorimotor Psychotherapy.

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Raymond Rodriguez, LCSW-R, Rev.

Raymond Rodriguez is an Afro-Latino Licensed Clinical Social Worker(NY; LCSW; 077444-1) with over twenty years of experience working with community-based programs. He holds a master’s degree in Social Work from Columbia University, and is a trauma specialist assisting clients with complex psychological trauma and PTSD. In addition to private practice, he is the founder and clinical director of Aldea Counseling Services, a group psychotherapy practice in Harlem, NY, servicing primarily people of color.

He has taught at Hostos Community College of the City University of New York, Columbia University School of Social Work, and Smith College School of Social Work, and is currently on faculty at the Trauma Studies Center of the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy and the Integrative Trauma Certificate Program of the National Institute for the Psychotherapies. Raymond formerly served on the boards of the National Association of Puerto Rican and Hispanic Social Workers and the No More Fear Foundation.

His clinical interests include family therapy, working with immigrant client, race-based oppression, LGBTQI empowerment, spirituality, and working with marginalized communities in community-based mental health. He lives in the Bronx with his partner and son.

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Matthew Sanford

Matthew Sanford is an expert in mind-body transformation. As a survivor of traumatic injury and living with a spinal cord injury for 42 years of his life, Matthew has become and internationally recognized yoga teacher who specializes in teaching people with all levels of ability.  He is the author of the award-winning Waking: A Memoir of Trauma and Transcendence and is the Founder of the non-profit Mind Body Solutions, an organization dedicated to helping people transform trauma, loss, and disability into hope and potential.  

Matthew has also emerged as a leading voice in the integrated health movement. He won the 2010 Pioneer of Integrative Medicine Award from the California Pacific Medical Center’s Institute of Health and Healing. Previous recipients include Dr. Deepok Chopra, Dr. Dean Ornish, and Dr. Mehmet Oz. He also has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, People Magazine, and American Public Media’s On Being. For more information, visit

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Limited spaces available


Friday 8th January

Saturday 9th January

Sessions will also be recorded and the videos made available for all attendees for 30 days


Healing the Trauma of Torture and Organized Violence— Empowering Embodied Approaches in Community Based Group Programs: Lessons from Zimbabwe

Presented by Susan Wyatt, the first part of the presentation will unpack collective trauma theories and showcase its manifestations by way of Zimbabwe as a case study. It will include the Cycles of Violence framework, and place mental health as a critical aspect of resilience building and restorative processes. Two different community level group-based programs will be presented, exploring the fusion of cultural wisdom with best practice methodologies to facilitate social mechanisms of healing. These programs will exhibit the use of body integration activities, expressive art, storytelling and the polyvagal theory in practice.

Next, Eugenia Mpande will focus specifically on the structure and services provided by an NGO, Tree of Life in Zimbabwe. Tree of Life has partnered with the Centre for Victims of Torture, and work with survivors of organised violence. Eugenia will outline their localised 8 session, community-based ‘Trauma Healing and Empowerment’ approach which supports survivors to reconnect with self, nature, family and community.  Tree of Life has facilitated over 1600 trauma healing workshops since 2003, for more than 14,000 survivors.


  1. Summarize key aspects of collective trauma and its impacts
  2. Outline mental health approaches to resilience building and restorative program design
  3. Demonstrate the effective use of best practice methodologies integrated with culturally appropriate community level group-based programs


UTILITY/VALIDITY STATEMENT: The content of the presentation, when applied according to psychological practice guidelines, within the expertise of the practitioner do not pose any risks.

If you feel safe and loved, your brain becomes specialized in exploration, play, and cooperation; if you are frightened and unwanted, it specializes in managing feelings of fear and abandonment.

Bessel van der Kolk

Allowing ourselves to be vulnerable and honest is what makes us interesting.

Licia Sky

Healing Storiez— Developing Trauma Narrative Intervention to Support Clinicians, Community Leaders, And Trauma Survivors As They Process Past Experiences And Look Toward A More Hopeful Future

This presentation speaks to the power of narratives in work with trauma survivors. It focuses on the following key ideas: (1) words have power, (2) narratives have the capacity to break through walls of avoidance and fear, (3) narratives help us transition from a place of fragmentation and chaos to a place of order and organization, (4) narratives give us space to grapple with the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, (5) narratives provide us with the opportunity to engage in creative play, (6) narratives provide a container for our experiences, (7) narratives speak to the universality of human experience, and (8) narratives provide opportunities for growth, change, and empowerment. The final half of the presentation includes several important reminders for helpers as they assist trauma survivors in telling their narratives.


  1. Identify eight ways that narratives assist trauma survivors in processing experiences and recovering from the impact of adversity.
  2. Discuss potential barriers to the facilitation of healthy narrative processing.
  3. Demonstrate six key concepts to apply as they support individuals in creating trauma narratives.


UTILITY/VALIDITY STATEMENT: The content of the presentation, when applied according to psychological practice guidelines, within the expertise of the practitioner does not pose any risks.


The DE-CRUIT Method: Body, Breath, Play, and Awareness to Treat Trauma Across Cultures

Therapists understand the profound healing that can occur when we “speak what we feel, not what we ought to say,” as Shakespeare writes in King Lear. But how can Shakespeare help us do this? Experience how classical actor training methods using body, breath, play, and awareness can help treat trauma across a range of populations. Drawing on psychological, social, and neurological science, the DE-CRUIT method encourages trauma survivors to use Shakespeare’s characters and spoken verse to awaken self-awareness, discover a new physical presence, observe inner thoughts and behaviors without judgment, and exchange limiting habits for new positive patterns of growth and reflection. No previous experience or acting training necessary.


  1. Explain how the voice, breath, and body awareness can ignite confidence, creativity, and the capacity for self-regulation
  2. Demonstrate how to use Shakespeare’s dramatic verse to help trauma survivors provide language to articulate their traumatic events. 
  3. Explain techniques from classical actor training and Shakespeare that assist in the process of healing trauma
  4. Demonstrate how to build a supportive environment to help trauma survivors discover lifelong practices of self-discovery and growth


UTILITY/VALIDITY STATEMENT: The content of the presentation, when applied according to psychological practice guidelines, within the expertise of the practitioner do not pose any risks.

The secret of change is not to focus all of your energy on fighting the old, but on building the new.


A part is not just a temporary emotional state or habitual thought pattern. Instead, it is a discrete and autonomous mental system that has an idiosyncratic range of emotion, style of expression, set of abilities, desires, and view of the world. In other words, it is as if we each contain a society of people, each of whom is at a different age and has different interests, talents, and temperaments.

Richard Schwartz

Facing and Healing the Legacy Burdens of Racism

A conversation with Richard Schwartz, founder of IFS, and Deran Young, founder of Black Therapists Rock, about the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement and how to engage in meaningful dialogue about race and racism. The session will discuss the current trauma associated with the ongoing legacy burdens of racism and how to address it, helping white people and BIPOC recognize and heal from the complex and multiple layers of intergenerational pain of racism, and moving the IFS Institute forward as an inclusive, accessible organization.


  1. Analyze current trauma experienced by individuals and communities as a result of legacy burdens of racism
  2. Develop and discuss methods that lead to intergenerational, collective healing from racism
  3. Identify a process by which IFS and other organizations can become inclusive and accessible to all people.


UTILITY/VALIDITY STATEMENT: The content of the presentation, when applied according to psychological practice guidelines, within the expertise of the practitioner do not pose any risks.

Phenomenal Peer Counseling: A Model for Healing Social Identity Based Trauma

In this session, we identify and discuss manifestations of trauma resulting from social identity based inequalities. Recent research examining the connection between social identity based inequality as sources of trauma and its effect on individual well-being is presented.  Contemporary manifestations of cross generational trauma are explored. Barriers in access to healing are identified and discussed. 

Phenomenal Peer Counseling is presented as a model for healing social identity based trauma. An overview of the basic theory and embodied skills of peer counseling is presented. The liberatory consciousness framework and  phenomenological foundations of peer counseling is presented along with peer counseling methods of embodied listening and discharging.  Phenomenal storytelling and meaning making and somatic processing along with combined aware attention from a peer counseling partner provide the platform for the healing work.

This presentation is based on the assumption that all humans have the right to the opportunity to heal from trauma. A key benefit of peer counseling is its capacity to bridge the gap in access to healing. Phenomenal Peer Counseling is especially suited for members of a population toward whom social identity based inequalities have been targeted.


  1. Explain social identity based inequality as a source of trauma.
  2. Identify and discuss manifestations of trauma resulting form social identity based inequalities.
  3. Discuss barriers in access to healing from social identity based trauma.
  4. Explain peer counseling as a model for healing social identity based trauma.  
  5. Explain peer counseling as a model to bridge the gap in access to healing.


UTILITY/VALIDITY STATEMENT: The content of the presentation, when applied according to psychological practice guidelines, within the expertise of the practitioner does not pose any risks.

A liberatory consciousness enables humans to live their lives in oppressive systems and institutions with awareness and intentionality, rather than on the basis of the socialization to which they have been subjected.

Barbara Love

Attunement is the envelope that makes exploration with safety, trust, curiosity, openness, spontaneity, compassion, play, humor, imagination, and connection possible.

Licia Sky

Playback Theatre: Interactive Storytelling - a Communal, Embodied, & Narrative Path for Understanding Self in the Healing of Trauma

By design, Playback Theatre is an inclusive space where audience participants can see their shared true and personal story immediately dramatized with improvised words, gesture, music, and metaphor by trained actors. Each person’s story is worthy of art; valuable not just to the teller but to the whole community. Seeing the story portrayed outside of one’s self allows for fresh perspectives that often lead to relief, discovery and healing. While the community listens, watches and often identifies with someone else’s story, it is the teller of each story who acknowledges if the essence of their story was expressed in the enactment. If the teller does not feel represented, the actors “re-do” the enactment, thus, holding up the teller as the protagonist and authority of their own story. This experience is empowering to the teller and the community. Participants may attend to simply listen, watch and only share if it feels right.


  1. Demonstrate how an embodied arts practice assists in personal and community healing
  2. Practice deep listening in small break out groups
  3. Explore experientially expressing a feeling with gesture and sound



UTILITY/VALIDITY STATEMENT: The content of the presentation, when applied according to psychological practice guidelines, within the expertise of the practitioner do not pose any risks.

Which Stories Matter? The Conundrum of Effective Global Mental Health

Global Trauma Project (GTP), based in Nairobi, Kenya, works between and within communities to support trauma-informed practice, particularly within under-resourced settings. Their work strengthens local leadership by promoting social justice and confronting oppression. Presenters will share their expertise in implementing community-based initiatives around the world, allowing a global audience to learn from experts who are too often absent from critical global mental health discussions. 

GTP will introduce their model of “Trauma- Informed Change Making,” which supports grassroots caregivers in establishing trauma-informed wellbeing initiatives focused on reducing sexual/ gender-based violence, historical and intergenerational trauma, community conflict, and violent extremism. Presenters from Kenya, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and the United States will share their experiences utilizing Trauma-Informed Community Empowerment (TICE) – GTP’s evidence-based framework that allows for fidelity to effective mental health supports and flexibility to local contexts. As an adaptable, contextualized foundation, TICE builds the capacity of community providers, who are often doubly at risk because they are themselves experiencing high stress, and serving trauma-impacted communities.

Previous validated impacts of a national trauma healing program in South Sudan showed that GTP participants demonstrated significant changes in mental health: a 64% decrease in posttraumatic stress symptoms, 26% decrease in emotional dysregulation and 15% improvement in a physiological indicator of stress.  The TICE Framework is currently being contextualized to the interconnected realities of COVID-19, Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV), and Violent Extremism.  Case examples will explore how TICE’s 6 Core Components are applied globally within program assessment, staff support, curriculum design, training, mentoring, and supervision.


  1. Discuss the Trauma-Informed Change Making (TICM) Model and Trauma-Informed Community Empowerment (TICE) Framework
  2. Demonstrate how TICE Core Concepts have been contextualized to different communities
  3. Explain quantitative and qualitative evidence for TICE’s effectiveness
  4. Identify issues of power and privilege relevant to working in under-resourced communities


UTILITY/VALIDITY STATEMENT: The content of the presentation, when applied according to psychological practice guidelines, within the expertise of the practitioner do not pose any risks.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

Martin Luther King Jr.

Being able to feel safe with others is probably the single most important aspect of mental health. Safe connections are fundamental to meaningful & satisfying lives.

Bessel van der Kolk

Working in Syrian Refugee Communities in Jordan– Storytelling, stigma, and meaning-making during times of injustice: rethinking community mental health for refugees, migrants, and survivors of conflict

This presentation will discuss the unique challenges of community mental health work in contexts of stigma, conflict, and continued injustice. The presentation will explore the cultural and regional history of mental health in the Middle East, with a focus on how conflict in this region has led to trauma for refugees, migrants, survivors of conflict, and others and has also contributed to insufficient models of care for trauma-affected populations in the region. Using the Middle East and forced migrants as a lens to explore alternative systems of healing, Beyond Conflict will share their experience of a cross-cultural and innovative method for community mental health, using storytelling, neurobiology education, and emotion regulation, and will explore further innovative tools for assessing mental health and the impact of mental health programs in non-Westeren communities.


  1. Summarize an understanding of the fields of global mental health and mental health in humanitarian emergencies 
  2. Discuss the state of the literature with regards to mental health and peace-building and social stability outcomes in conflict-affected communities 
  3. Explain the cultural and regional history of mental health in the Middle East and Islamic world 
  4. Explain how injustice and chronic insecurity interact with mental health and trauma markers 
  5. Identify alternative expressions, symptoms, and systems of trauma and healing
  6. Demonstrate the role of narrative and storytelling in community mental health interventions and in stigma reduction
  7. Give examples of how emotion regulation can play a significant role in both mental health and social justice outcomes 


UTILITY/VALIDITY STATEMENT: The content of the presentation, when applied according to psychological practice guidelines, within the expertise of the practitioner do not pose any risks.

Large scale peer support: Community based 865 Self-Coaching Program in China – Bringing healing and transformation to lay people in grand scale

Traditionally in the western world, trauma healing and profound personal transformation has been utilized by mental professionals in 1:1 format. Yet the resources of healing – love, wisdom and compassion – resides in every single human being, and community based safe deep connections are the best container to foster profound life changes. 

In China, Hailan Family Well-being, a pioneering peer education organization, established a community-based healing and transformation program to help lay people to heal and grow. Over the past 10 years, they’ve trained over 1200 lay people to become “self-growth coaches”, and tens of thousands of people in emotional regulation, Internal Family System (IFS)  and Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC). 

Dr. Hailan Guo, founder of this organization, will share her experiences of effectively bringing healing and transformation to lay people in grand scale via her innovative 865 Self-coaching model. She will introduce how the 865 self-coaching system came into being, how it works and share their best practices in China. 


  1. Summarize the origins of and how the 865 self-coaching model was developed and implemented
  2. Demonstrate how community-based connections lead to profound life changes
  3. Describe the implementation of a self-growth coaching program and how this technique can be used to generate large scale healing systems


UTILITY/VALIDITY STATEMENT: The content of the presentation, when applied according to psychological practice guidelines, within the expertise of the practitioner does not pose any risks.

Being able to feel safe with others is probably the single most important aspect of mental health. Safe connections are fundamental to meaningful & satisfying lives.

Bessel van der Kolk

Every waking moment, our brains and bodies assimilate a myriad of sensory stimulation from the environment, as well as images, thoughts, emotions, body sensations, and movements from our internal state. In a millisecond, through operations so complex that they elude the full understanding of even the most brilliant minds, our brains compare this wealth of current data to memories of past experience.

Pat Ogden

Sensorimotor Psychotherapy: Facing the Effects of Systemic Oppression and Racism

White people of privilege are not readily faced with, and therefore often not aware of, the constant disadvantages, microaggressions, discrimination, institutionalized racism and even the ongoing threat of violence that marginalized people face every day, personally, professionally, in the media, and in political discourse. This results in unwittingly perpetuating perspectives and policies that not only exclude but may apply dominance over BIPOC and other marginalized people and the wisdom of their healing traditions and practices.

To begin to address these inequities, several years ago I initiated a Think Tank with four colleagues who have made social justice and sociocultural awareness the center of their work and who are my teachers in these arenas. Our purpose was to create a process of moving the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute (SPI) from a reactive position to a proactive position with respect to systemic oppression and racism. In addition, we collaborated to write about the impact of Western/Eurocentric perspectives and white supremacy on the field of psychology in general and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy in particular. 

This presentation explores the ongoing process of examining and changing the ways in which I myself and my school, SPI, have inadvertently participated in perpetuating privilege oppression dynamics, with the intention of becoming an organization that upholds an anti-racist and anti-oppression perspective and holds itself accountable to anti-racist and anti-oppressive practices. Unveiling the many inevitable and far reaching tendrils of racism, systemic oppression and bias is not an end-point, but an ongoing commitment that requires challenging oppression and racism in all its forms– personal lives, our work and our teachings.”

Grappling with these issues in our personal lives, our work and our teachings is an essential next step not only for the field of psychology, but as a nation US and throughout the world. By doing so, we can show up for social justice, motivate others through our example and do our part to actively participate in creating a more equitable world.


  1. Analyze the underlying factors leading to social inequality for BIPOC and other marginalized groups.
  2. Explain the methods by which SPI and other organizations can modify their philosophies so that anti-oppression practices become a way of life. 
  3. Describe how the awareness of social justice leads organizations away from a reactive position toward a proactive position with respect to systemic oppression.


UTILITY/VALIDITY STATEMENT: The content of the presentation, when applied according to psychological practice guidelines, within the expertise of the practitioner does not pose any risks.

Bodies, Stories, and Healing from Trauma

In the most general terms, most traumatic injuries come from ‘outside’ of the survivor and takes hold on the ‘inside,’ whether in mind, body, or whatever we call spirit.  Eventually, healing requires a reverse of this direction.  In this process, both the body and narrative stories can help. This experiential workshop explores a number of body sensations and storytelling insights that can aid in the creation of healing narratives to help both individuals and communities.  In a world full of trauma and limited resources, everyone has access to their own bodies and to their own stories.


  1. Discuss how the practice of certain body sensations can help survivors heal from trauma.
  2. Practice mind-body techniques and insights that help develop deepened inward awareness and outward releasing action.
  3. Explain how the body can aid in the creation of healing narratives.
  4. Discuss how the archetype of story and storytelling can provide a framework for healing trauma, both individually and communally.


UTILITY/VALIDITY STATEMENT: The content of the presentation, when applied according to psychological practice guidelines, within the expertise of the practitioner do not pose any risks.

Allowing ourselves to be vulnerable and honest is what makes us interesting.

Licia Sky

Scholarships Scheme

For more than three decades, the Trauma Research Foundation has been dedicated to an integrative approach to developing innovative treatments for traumatized children and adults, researching the efficacy of those methods, and to training students and clinicians from around the world in the science of treatment development, their clinical applications, and dissemination.

Healing Self in Community Across Cultures


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APA CE Statement

This program, when attended in its entirety, is available for 11 continuing education credits. Sadar Psychological is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Sadar Psychological maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Many other professions accept APA CEs. Please check with your state licensing organization to confirm if they will accept APA CEs. APA CEs are accepted by BCIA for recertification credits.

Presenter Statement

The views of the presenters are theirs and do not necessarily represent a position by Sadar Psychological. Sadar Psychological is committed to accessibility and non-discrimination in its continuing education activities. Sadar Psychological is also committed to conducting all activities in conformity with the American Psychological Association’s Ethical Principles for Psychologists. Participants are asked to be aware of the need for privacy and confidentiality throughout the program. If program content becomes stressful, participants are encouraged to process these feelings during discussion periods. Please address questions, concerns, and any complaints to Alexandra Van Derlyke at

ADA Statement

If participants have special needs, reasonable accommodations will be made for persons who request them, consistent with ADA requirements.

APA Code of Ethics Statement

It is the responsibility of every attendee to abide by the standards set forth in the APA Code of Ethics for maintaining security and confidentiality of test materials and proprietary information presented as part of this continuing education program. Any materials used as part of this program may not be copied or otherwise distributed, and no proprietary information will be disclosed by attendees to any person not registered for this program.

Conflict of Interest Statement

There is no commercial support for this program nor are there any relationships between the CE Sponsor, presenting organization, presenter, program content, research, grants, or other funding that could reasonably be construed as conflicts of interest.

Refund/Cancellation Policy

The Trauma Research Foundation will honor cancellation requests submitted by email until January 5th, 2021. There will be a $50 administrative fee subtracted from all refunds. Refunds will not be issued after this date.

Utility/Validity Statement

The content of this presentation, when applied according to psychological practice guidelines, within the expertise of the expertise of the practitioner do not pose any risks.

Target Audience

Counselors, Psychologists, Social Workers, Psychotherapists, Addiction Counselors, Therapists, Marriage & Family Therapists, Case Managers, Nurses, Physicians, Other Mental Health Professionals