Frequently Asked Questions – 2017 Trauma and Dissociation Conference
- Is this conference a fundraiser? Yes, to benefit attendees: survivors, professionals, supporters, volunteers, and speakers. Registration and donations all go toward funding the conference and making it available to as many folks as possible.
- How do I know if this conference will benefit me? This conference is designed and planned to benefit EVERYONE who is interested in different types of trauma, how it affects all people, and how trauma-informed care can guide each to providing positive interaction.
- I am a survivor of trauma and want to meet other survivors. How many survivors attend this conference? Last year about half of the attendees (about 90 people out of close to 200 people) were survivors of trauma. All reported that they enjoyed themselves, met other survivors from around the world, created new friendships, and felt positive about their experience.
- I am a clinician and would like to not only attend, but also refer my clients? Is it common for clients as well as their clinicians to attend? Yes, clients as well as their clinicians often attend. There has never been problems with this though it does depend on your relationship.
- How do you insure safety during the conference? We take into consideration several aspects of ‘safety’. The hotel provides a safe environment having security staff as well as surveillance throughout the hotel. We also understand that attendees all have personal needs concerning ‘safety’. During this weekend, Ivory Garden will have at least two exhibit tables where attendees can come anytime and sit with staff if they are feeling overwhelmed. Speakers are chosen who have the unique ability to speak to all attendees with the understanding that some may become ‘triggered’ by certain topics. There will be areas and rooms in the hotel, such as the art room, where fun, interesting, and relaxing workshops will be offered as well as being a place to relax. Other areas of the hotel will be open for people to gather quietly. The conference will be the only one being held at this venue. The people who you see will most likely be a part of the conference. And, ‘terms of service’ are clear – meaning that all attendees understand that respect and validation provides ‘safety’ for all.
- Will any sort of ‘therapy’ be offered during this conference? No! This conference is educational in nature. Plenaries and workshops are provided for everyone to learn from experts in the field of trauma. This is a one-of-a-kind event where attendees have a chance to interact with other ‘like-minded’ folks who want to learn and experience through positive interaction. The information learned can be taken with each to provide quality intervention and/or to better understand the personal therapeutic experience. Resources for therapy will be provided through exhibitors.
- I really want to go, but live far away and can’t afford the cost. What can I do? Ivory Garden relies on public donations for its budget. During the past years, we have been able to provide scholarships, helping with roommates, etc. We have not had a budget to help provided travel expenses, but we do hope to in the future. Another option is to ask for others to sponsor your trip. Because Ivory Garden is a 501(c)(3), the sponsor(s) can donate the funds in your name and receive the paperwork for the tax write-off. Many have found this to be a simple answer to others funding their trip.
- I want to hear others’ experience – ‘survivor stories’. Will there be any survivors telling their stories? How can I get involved with telling my story? Yes, but they are within the context of education and their experience with healing. Stories will not be of a triggering or ‘negative’ context. There will be some who will be sharing their books with attendees. If you wish to share your book and/or story, please contact Pat Goodwin – email@example.com to get permission. There will be sign-up sheets at the conference. There are about 30 sessions open.
- What about CE’s? I am not a social worker and need to get ‘credit education’ units. Ivory Garden is a provider for CEUs by the Washington Chapter, National Association of Social Workers (NASW) for Licensed Social Workers, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapists and Licensed Mental Health Counselors. (Provider number #1975-362). In this case, if you need CEU’s, we do the paperwork for you, provide your certificates, and send everything in. Up to 17 CEU’s are available to all. You would want to include the small fee with your registration. On the other hand, everyone can apply for their own CE’s regardless of your profession. Nearly all of the speakers and topics qualify for CE’s. Don’t pay us for CE’s unless you are one of those listed above, but do collect a certificate and ask Ivory Garden staff to help you sign in and out on a separate form. Contact us once you get home, and we will provide the information that you need to the agency. For instance, several teachers, nurses, doctors, and other professionals did attend last year. Many employers supported them by financing their trip and time off from work. And, we were able to help them get their CE’s.
- How do I know that this conference is ‘reputable’ and ‘professional’? Ivory Garden-hosted-conferences have been supported and promoted by several professional organizations. There has never been an official or credible complaint from anyone concerning any Ivory Garden-hosted-conference. Please take time to research this question through the IRS, Washington State, and other reputable organizations.
- When should I arrive for the conference and how long should I stay? The actual conference begins on Friday morning – October 20th. If you are coming from outside Seattle, we have special rates for hotel rooms – including three days before and after the conference. If you come on Thursday – October 19th, we will have an open house where you can meet others, pick up your program, name-tag, and get settled. If you live in Seattle, you are also welcome to stop by on Thursday and spend time getting settled. Everyone is welcome to be there on Thursday. If you need to come in on Friday, that is fine also. We also have registration options for coming just one day. Many attendees decide to go home on Monday and set up plans to see Seattle and such. Parking is free and all attendees are welcome to enjoy the hotel amenities while there. Whenever you decide to come and/or leave, you will benefit greatly by attending.
- I am not a member of Ivory Garden. Do I need to become a member to attend the conference? Not at all. Unlike most other events, this conference is ‘hosted’ by Ivory Garden meaning that Ivory Garden folks plan, promote, and provide for attendees the best conference available for you all. Ivory Garden folks do not speak or present at the conference. It is not meant to promote any person(s) and/or Ivory Garden as an entity. Everyone is welcome, regardless of whether they have or have not ever belonged to Ivory Garden or any of its programs.
- How will I be ‘represented’ at the conference? Can I remain anonymous? We respect everyone’s privacy. When you register to the conference, you will be asked what you would like to appear on your name-tag. You can write whatever you like, add your credentials, or just put a name. Your personal information remains confidential.
- What can expect during the conference? The conference is very well planned and organized. You will receive a binder which will have clear schedules, speakers bios, personal day-timers, hand-outs, Ivory Garden board of directors, sponsors, etc. Every morning, we will make announcements, there will be an information table clearly marked where everyone is welcome to ask questions and gain clarification.
- Can I talk to the speakers one-on-one? All of the speakers are kind and approachable. Most will have exhibit tables during the conference. You are welcome to speak to any of them.
- I am both a survivor and a clinician. How do I register? Remember that registration fee is a donation. Choose whichever you feel fits you the best. We are not going to check whether you are either. We thank everyone for supporting this conference. If you mark any, you may still ask for CEU’s regardless.
- What about roommates or ride-sharing? Please contact Pat Goodwin firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will work toward privately matching you with others looking for the same
- How do I apply for a scholarship? Contact Ivory Garden staff and put in a request.
- I would like to speak at the conference this year. Should I submit a proposal? I know that this is common practice, but we have never requested proposals. This may change in the future. We do ‘hand-pick’ our speakers for their ability to speak and connect with the diverse audience of survivors, professionals, and supporters. This year, our schedule is completed. If you would like to be a sponsor, the information is on the website.
- Are seats limited? Yes, we have approximately 212 seats available. When they are full, the conference will be considered ‘sold out’. We expect that it will sell out this year. If you hear that it is sold out, but don’t find that on our website, please contact us to make sure the information is correct.
I am sure that there are other questions. Please contact me with any questions, and I will add them to this list.
Thank you all for your continued support. We look forward to seeing you again this year.
Pat Goodwin, President, Ivory Garden