Wellness Conference: April 5-7, 2017

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2017 Schedule

All presentations are in Strausner Hall, Rm. 217, unless otherwise noted.

Wednesday, April 5:

9 - 10:20 a.m.

Leave 'Em Laughing: The Serious Benefits of Laughter Wellness — Teresa Wallace, MS

Research has long indicated that humor is good for mental health. Some may argue that laughter isn't truly the "best medicine," but it can certainly provide physical, emotional, and social benefits. This session explores laughter in its various forms, focusing especially on "simulated laughter"- that which isn't triggered by a humorous event, but is purposely self-generated in order to enhance well-being. Several laughter exercises will be introduced, and yes there may be dancing!

10:30-11:50 a.m.

Health Disparities Impacting the LGBT Community: A Wyoming Approach — Rob Johnston, M.Ed.

This presentation explores the achievement of health equity for the LGBT population. Participants will be able to describe health disparities in the LGBT population, explain LGBT definitions, and describe ways to overcome barriers to providing better care to LGBT people.

* Lunch (on your own) *

1-2:20 p.m.

Frisky Business: Animals for Emotional Support — Brent Heuer, MA and Susan Serge, MA

What is the difference between service animals and emotional support or assistance animals? Why are requests for emotional support animals on the rise? This session will discuss laws and guidelines for the need and use of such animals, as well as benefits to clients.

2:30-3:50 p.m.

Caregivers of Older Adults: Risk and Protective Factors Kelly Shipley, MSW

Caring for older adults, whether as a professional or a relative, is often a challenging task. This session will discuss issues related to working with this population, including ideas for self-care. How do you put yourself first while also attending to the needs of others?

Note: There will not be a 4 p.m. presentation in order to allow attendees to have a dinner break before the 6 p.m. session.

6-8 p.m.

Marijuana: Get Informed! — Ben Cort and Diana Quealy-Berge, Ph.D.

Join us for this special evening presentation that will answer the following questions: What are the real facts about the short and long-term effects of use and abuse of marijuana? How is the marijuana being sold today different from the marijuana available years ago? What are the implications of marijuana legalization, and what lessons does legalization in Colorado and other states have to teach us? This session will take place in the Wheeler Concert Hall in Casper College's Music Building.

Thursday, April 6:

All presentations are in Strausner Hall, Rm. 217, unless otherwise noted.

9-10:20 a.m.

Yoga Plus Therapy — Jennifer L Greenup, MSW, and Lorraine Reed, RN, CPNP, RYT

Yoga plus therapy is grounded in evidence-based practice skills, utilizing trauma-informed care, dialectical behavior therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy and trauma sensitive yoga. It combines physical, emotional, and mental strategies to help develop the skills necessary to handle day-to-day stressors, and is the only program of its kind in the Rocky Mountain region.

10:30-11:50 a.m.

Addictions and the Child Welfare Field — Jeremiah Volk, MSW and Roberta Volk, BSW

This session will address the role addiction plays in the area of child welfare. The inner workings of the child protection system will be discussed as well as the ways in which substance abuse treatment providers can effectively work with clients whose families have come into contact with this system.

* Lunch (on your own) *

1-2:20 p.m.

Battle of the Bulge: Obesity Across the Age and Professional Spectrum — Alex Ukleja, MD

Obesity prevalence has increased to the point that there are few of us who aren't personally or socially impacted. Why is this problem suddenly so widespread, and what resources are available across the professional spectrum to battle it? Relevant research and strategies will be discussed.

2:30-3:50 p.m.

"Nutrition and Mental Health" — Melanie Connell, MA

Eating well has a significant impact on the body, soul, and spirit. Mood starts with food! The Standard American Diet (SAD) truly impacts our experience with anxiety, depression, and even impulse control. We have easy access to a "natural pharmacy" through the alteration of diet.

4-5:20 p.m.

Secondary Trauma — William Howell, MA and Erin Ford, MA

Working with clients who have experienced trauma greatly impacts counselors and other professionals. This session discusses the ways in which we are affected, and the warning signs of secondary trauma. Ideas for self-care will also be shared.

If you are interested in either or both of the Friday sessions, pre-registration is required. Payment will be collected on-site at the conference.

Friday, April 7:

All presentations are in Strausner Hall, Rm. 217, unless otherwise noted.

9 a.m.-noon

Silence in the Presence ... — Lou Farley, PhD


Silence in our personal and professional lives opens doors to many tangible and intangible benefits for ourselves and our clients. This presentation will focus on five aspects of silence: the personal benefits of silence: physical, psychological and emotional; the therapeutic benefits of silence within sessions; the cultural benefits of silence; impediments to silence in our lives; and integrating effective silence into our interior and social spaces. Activities, thoughtful discussion, and lecture will be incorporated to assist participants in going beyond merely conceptualizing the beauty and power of silence. Participants may find, personally and professionally, a deepening and clarifying of their relationship with silence, enriching their own as well as their clients' lives.

* Lunch (on your own) *

1-4 p.m.

Case Studies in Professional Ethics — Lance Goede, MA


Ethical violations of many kinds occur in Wyoming, and attendees will be challenged to review several case studies that are typical. This will be an opportunity to review and apply Wyoming guidelines and professional ethics codes to those situations in small groups, with open discussion by the entire group.