Conference on Refugees and Trauma, March 15-17

If you are in the Philadelphia area, I want to give a final shout out for an important conference put on by the American Bible Society’s Mission: Trauma Healing. This will be our 5th (I think) Community of Practice conferences where trauma recovery practitioners meet to learn and encourage each other in the work of trauma healing. If you have never been before but want to hang out with folks doing trench work around the world, this is the place to be. Missionaries, mental health experts, ethnologists, linguists, pastors, humanitarians, and everything in between are the common attendees. This tends to be a rather intimate conference where you get plenty of time to talk around tables with folks doing what they talk about.

This year our conference theme is We are Sojourners: Refugees and Trauma (conference information and registration link).  What makes me excited this year is the diversity of presenters. We have well-known psychiatrist Curt Thompson presenting on attachment injuries related to trauma. We have presentations and a documentary unveiling about African Americans in the US (yes! Refugees can live in a land for generations and not be fully “home”). There will be presentations by Diane Langberg as well as presentations by experts on the current refugee crisis from the Middle East.

In addition, there will be this activity on Tuesday night which includes musician Michael O’Brien at historic Christ Church.

Those who have attended before should realize that this is now held in Center City Philadelphia at the office of the American Bible Society and not at the Mother Boniface Spirituality Center in the North East.

If you are interested in the wide world and burdened about trauma and refugees, come and meet your family!


Filed under "phil monroe", conferences, Counselors, Diane Langberg, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Training, trauma

5 responses to “Conference on Refugees and Trauma, March 15-17

  1. Tom

    Hey Phil, This Trauma Healing thing is BIG, BIG. Several of my colleagues will be there, including Darrell Whiteman. Glad to see you’ve got some anthropologists on the roster.

    I have a question about one speaker – Curt Thompson. What is his position on repressed/recovered memories and attendant therapies? For reference, I scanned Curt’s book, “Anatomy of a Soul.” In Chapter 5 “Remembering the Future,” he discusses “implicit memories” and seems to be channeling Bessel van der Kolk – body memory,etc. He also narrates a hypothetical case of a woman who is violently raped in a park on her way home from work, but remembers nothing about the event except that the next day she is anxious and fearful. Thompson goes on to sketch out a memory retrieval technique that combines visualization and handwriting/journaling. So in 15 pages, there’s theory, case, and methodology in what sounds for all the world like a pretty standard apologetic of recovered memory ideas and therapy. I’d be interested in your thoughts here.

    • Tom

      I’m not the only one connecting Thompson w RMT. From Dave Smith in Good Reads:
      “One of the suggestions was to write an autobiography – especially covering the earliest and formative memories of your life. … Anyway – I did this… Little by little, over a period of about a week, memories surfaced from the fog of forgetfulness, with each recovered memory triggering another.” Wow!

  2. Josh

    Hi Phil,

    I’m a graduate student in Christian Counseling and I was an admin assistant at a resettlement agency here in Phoenix for a short while and I’ve lived overseas previously. I’ve been thinking about what I want to do after I graduate and I got your email about this conference. I was thinking it could be helpful to get a better idea of what work is out there in this area and learn quite a bit now from people who are already in the field. Do you think this is the right setting for that? I wasn’t sure since I’m still in the beginning part of my program but I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity since it seemed like it was a perfect fit.

    If you could let me know I’d appreciate it!

    P.S. – your article on the ACA & AACC codes of Ethics really helped me make sense of it all and how they apply specifically to the Christian counselor. Thank you!

    • It *could* be really good. You would get a great sense of some of the things being done. However, there may not be tons of US based folks there working with refugees in the US. However, I know the World Relief person working with refugees will be present. In the past it has led to many wonderful conversations with others. Do you know what area of work you want to go deeper? If you want a higher percentage of mental health experts who are licensed, you might find them at Mental Health in Missions conferences (every fall in Ohio).

      • jbmccoy

        Thanks Phil! Sounds like it would be a great conference. I’m not sure I can make it this year but will watch for it in the future. Thank you for your input! I’ll check out the Mental Health in Missions conference as well. I’d love to get to both. Maybe I’ll see you there! 😉

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