Clarification 2017 Seattle Trauma-Informed Care Conference
Every year, I receive hundreds of emails with various questions, as well as misconceptions, about the annual Seattle Trauma and Dissociation Conference. Here, I will clarify the description, objectives/goals, whom is invited, and what attendees can expect. In particular, it is most important to share Ivory Garden and their directors’ intention for putting on the conference.
One of the most common misconceptions arise from folks confusing this conference with others that focus mainly on Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). Recently, I have been asked, “I don’t have DID. Can I come?” These folks assumed that our conference is identical to another held on the east coast. We are not associated with any other group and/or conference. Anyone interested in learning more about how trauma affects people is invited and do attend the Seattle conference every year.
Another recent question, “I want to be interviewed for a movie. I will talk to anyone, be part of DID research. I have DID. I have a lot to teach people.” Again, this sort of thing is happening at a few other conferences for which we are not associated. Before registering for the Seattle conference, attendees agree to the terms of service that protect attendees privacy (no filming, interviewing, exploiting, etc).
Yes, folks with DID are totally welcome as is anyone else interested in learning about trauma and its effects.
Finally, many assume that, because some of our speakers have presented every year, that the conference is similar each year. This could not be less true. Every year, the theme is different, as are many of the speakers. Planners work hard each year to make the next year better than the last.
Mainly, the Seattle Trauma and Dissociation Conference is professional. No one is asked to ‘tell their story’ on camera, or be part of a research study, or to make a name for themselves – none of that. The conference is a success because everyone treats each other with respect. All sorts of people come to learn and experience being together. Ivory Garden/directors have no incentive and/or personal motivation for providing this event.
The conference activities remain focused on the following:
Theme and description:
“Demystifying Trauma-Informed-Care within the Dissociative Spectrum”
This year’s theme reflects the need for an awareness of trauma and how it effects people differently. Relating to traumatized individuals knowledgeably, compassionately and respectfully, within daily or professional environments, is vital to the well-being and stability of clients, friends, and peers who have experienced trauma in their lives.
Attendees will be able to:
1) explain and define the relationship between childhood trauma and how it effects people within the dissociative spectrum including: different types of trauma (sexual abuse, physical/emotional abuse, human trafficking, ritual abuse) and effects of trauma (dissociative disorders, developmental delays, neurological effects, addiction, eating disorders, self-harm, suicide ideation, depression, and anxiety).
2) explain and describe current designs of psychotherapy treatment studies and outcomes through literature, strategies, techniques, neurology and clinical implications of treatments in the area of trauma and dissociation.
3) explain, describe, and define how practicing trauma-informed care can resolve issues within therapeutic relationships including: ethical, boundaries, safety, shame, trust, confidentiality, attachment to perpetrator, cultural differences, core beliefs, expectations, and misunderstandings.
4) demonstrate practical knowledge of trauma-informed care within the dissociative spectrum through open discussion, brief case consultations, question and answer sessions, workshops, and discussion panels presented by renowned experts in the field of trauma and dissociation.
5) demonstrate the skills, education, and knowledge gathered during this conference that can be practiced in daily life or within the clinical setting – whether professionals, survivors of trauma, or those who support trauma survivors.
Below, find Ivory Garden mission statement:
Ivory Garden is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization which provides programs and resources that support survivors and those who support survivors of childhood trauma, as well as raising public and professional awareness of the effects of childhood trauma:
1). Provide international forums, and chat rooms where folks who live with the effects of childhood trauma, as well as families, friends, mental health professionals, educators and other supporters can meet, share experiences, and find valid resources in safe and respectful environments.
2). Provide educational materials and opportunities to survivors of childhood trauma in order to further understand and promote healing.
3) Provide educational opportunities to those who support survivors of childhood trauma including: family, friends, mental health professionals, educators, and other interested parties.
4). Provide other needed services in support of the Mission, as determined by the Board of Directors of Ivory Garden.
Clearly, our conference is not exclusive to any one population, but to everyone interested.
What can attendees expect while at the conference?
This conference is carefully planned with attendees in mind. The venue is 5 star. Attendees come from all over the world and generally, come in on Thursday, October 19, 2017. There is an informal reception at 1:00 p.m. where everyone can get together, set up exhibit tables, get their name tags and programs, and relax before the workshops begin on Friday, October 20th. Most of the speakers remain throughout the conference interacting with everyone. Speakers are carefully chosen because of their the ability to present effectively to diverse audience. Complete attention is paid to attendees needs and expectation in a professional, but informal, environment. Attendees are welcome to come and go as they please, move between speakers, and visit Seattle.
Of course, people do enjoy getting together with acquaintances, peers, and friends as well as meeting new people – to have a good time. We all look forward to this wonderful experience.
I am aware that questions remain for some. I am available to answer and clarify for anyone interested.
Mostly, I would like to thank all who support Ivory Garden and conferences in so many ways.
Pat Goodwin, MA
President, Ivory Garden