Wellness Conference: April 6-8, 2016

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2016 Schedule

Wednesday, April 6:

9 - 10:20 a.m.

“Resilience: Building Coping and Health Skills” — Kenneth Guidry, M.S.W.

Why do some people “bounce back” more quickly and fully than others? What helps these individuals rise above adversity and thrive in spite of negative circumstances? This session defines “resilience” and examines its characteristics. Specific skills will be discussed, as well as the ability to learn and adjust those skills as leaders, students, family members, and other roles we play in life.

10:30 - 11:50 a.m.

“Changing the Dialogue and Definition of Substance Use Disorder Treatment: Implications of Chronic Disease Management” — Bert Toews, M.D., Kelly Politte, M.S., and Diana Quealy-Berge, Ph.D.

Viewing substance use disorder as a chronic disease opens the door for new and more thorough ways of helping individuals break the bonds of addiction. From specially trained nurses and doctors to data management plans and insurance coverage, the face of addictions treatment is changing. This presentation will explore cutting-edge strategies for coordinating and delivering services to those living with substance use disorder.

11:50 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Lunch (on your own)

1 - 2:20 p.m.

“Collaborative Treatment for Depression in Primary Care”  — Susan Follum, M.S.W., and Angela L. Neff, APRN-BC

This session discusses how depression is treated using a collaborative model in the primary care setting: Who is involved in the team? What is the process of treatment? What modalities are used? What is psychogenomic testing, and how can it be used to help individuals with depression?

2:30 - 3:50 p.m.

“Effects of Watching Pornography” — George Conner, M.S., and Lori Hicks, M.Ed.

Questions abound regarding the effects of watching pornography, particularly in terms of its impact on the male brain. Research over the years has explored such topics as whether porn is addictive, how it affects intimacy, whether it can be beneficial in some cases, and more. The presenters will provide findings of numerous studies discussing the implications – for both men and women – of watching pornography.

4 - 5:20 p.m.

“Advocacy for Abused and Endangered Children” — Rosemary Bartle, M.S., and Kayleigh Clark, M.S.W.

During this session, participants will learn about the specifics of child abuse, the reporting laws in Wyoming, what happens after a report is made, and how various agencies in Natrona County and throughout the state work together to find healing and justice for child victims and their families. The presentation will provide an example of a nationally recognized forensic (court admissible) interview process, investigation and prosecution, and follow-up services offered to victims, including an overview of trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy for children and adolescents – an empirically-based treatment.

Thursday, April 7:

9 - 10:20 a.m.

“Mindfulness Practice for Effective, Detached Psychotherapy” — Lou Farley, Ph.D.

Research has confirmed the physical and psychological benefits of mindfulness practice. This presentation will describe beneficial changes in the neurological pathways within our brains that occur when we engage mindfully in our lives. These changes can support our better health as people and optimal functioning as therapists. How therapist-client interactions can be optimized by understanding, and working with, our neuro-circuitry will be discussed. The presenter will also offer opportunities for experiencing a variety of mindfulness practices, originating in both Western and Eastern traditions.

10:30 - 11:50 a.m.

“Trauma and Recovery in Families”  — William Howell, M.S.

This session explores working with children who have experienced trauma, and discusses how to equip family members with strategies to help those children as well. Feelings often associated with trauma will be examined, and coping skills for dealing with emotions will be taught.

11:50 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Lunch (on your own)

1 - 2:20 p.m.

“How Do I Choose My Plate?” — Joanne Theobald, M.S.W., and Kelsey Phillips, Ph.D.

How do we decide what to eat? If we know how to eat healthy, why do we often do otherwise? This interactive presentation focuses on the food choices we make and the factors influencing those choices. Presenters will discuss the USDA ChooseMyPlate dietary guidelines and online resources that make it easier (and even fun!) to eat more mindfully.

2:30 - 3:50 p.m.

“What is a Sex Offender?” — George Conner, M.S., and Lori Hicks, M.Ed.

Although some people picture a sex offender as a stranger dressed in dark clothing, jumping out of the bushes to attack his victim, this description isn’t especially accurate. Perpetrators are a diverse group, and use a variety of behaviors to gain access to those they intend to harm. This session will present the facts about sex offenders, and dispel many myths and fears that are often held about this population.

4 - 5:20 p.m.

“Are You the Right Kind of Happy? Finding Fulfillment in the Mundane Moments of Life” — Erin Sims, M.S.

You don’t need a vacation or that brand new car to feel happier. Learn practical tricks to cultivate more joy in each day by exploring the impact of gratitude, finding purpose, and caring for yourself in meaningful ways. Even the busiest person can implement these simple, positive suggestions for finding happiness on a daily basis!

Friday, April 8:

Both Friday events require pre-registration. Register today!

9 a.m. - noon

“Addictions, and Science, and Bears – Oh My! Choice vs. Disease Model in Opiate Addiction” — Frank Del Real, M.D., and Bert Toews, M.D.

“He keeps going back to it because he has no self-control.” “Why doesn’t she just stop?” The power of opiate addiction is still misunderstood by many. This in-depth presentation will explore the science behind the human body’s reactions to addictive substances, and to withdrawal from them. Using the disease model of viewing and treating those who struggle with such substances, the most current treatment trends – including new medications – will be discussed. With our society seeing a recent resurgence in heroin use, this presentation offers vital and timely information for mental health professionals.

Noon - 1 p.m.

Lunch (on your own)

1 - 5 p.m.

"Psychological First Aid" — Daniel Mosley, Ed.D.

Psychological first aid is an evidence-informed modular approach to assist all people in the immediate aftermath of disaster or terrorism. It consists of a systematic set of helping actions aimed at reducing initial post-trauma distress and supporting short/long-term adaptive functioning. PFA can help you to create a compassionate environment for disaster survivors and workers, assess what a person might need at a particular time, provide immediate support to those in stressful situations, and help others to cope in the face of stressful events. While this training is one of the necessary steps toward becoming a disaster mental health volunteer for the Red Cross, it is also valuable as a stand-alone skill-set.