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Social Work Conference to Focus on Trauma Effects Awareness and Treatment


JONESBORO – “Trauma Focused Treatment: Building Trauma Informed Services for Children and Adults” is the subject of the Spring Social Work Conference hosted by Arkansas State University’s Department of Social Work, Friday, Feb. 16. The conference will focus on increasing awareness of the effects of trauma along with recommendations for best practices and innovative services for clients with a history of trauma.

"I believe that the topic of this year’s conference is extremely important because many of our clients have a history of trauma," stated Evi Taylor, assistant professor of social work. "It is imperative that social workers understand the effects of trauma on individuals, families and communities in order to provide effective services."  

Bree Conklin, an adjunct instructor at the University of West Florida since 2013, will be the keynote speaker during the morning session from 8:45-10:15 a.m. Her address is “Twinkle Lights: Lighting the Way Through the Darkness of Trauma.”

Conklin presently maintains a full-time private practice, specializing in chronic and complex trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression and infant mental health.  She is certified in trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy and child-parent psychotherapy.  In 2016, she was recognized as the social work educator of the year by the northwest unit of the Florida chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.

Featured speakers for the morning breakout sessions from 10:30-11:45 a.m., include Jody Long and Melissa Halsell, “The Trauma of Sexual Assault,” Kathy Helpenstill and Kalika Rodgers, “Minimizing Childhood Trauma During Child Maltreatment Investigations,” Lynda Nash, “Trauma and Use of Service Dogs,” Johanna Grymes, “Bibliotheraphy to Address Trauma Issues for Very Young Children,” and Joseph Richmond and Amy Hyman, “Traumatic Effects of Natural Disasters.”

The afternoon breakout session speakers are Kenya Duncan, “The Effects of Trauma Experienced by Adults Abused as Children,” Chaplin Windy Lovette, “Not All War Wounds Are Visible,” Kimberley Boyett, “Family Trauma From Suicide,” and Peggy Goodwin, “Brainspotting: Healing From Trauma.”

Matthew Knight, director of education at Mid-South Health Systems, will close out the conference from 2:30-3:45 p.m., with “Intention: Finding a Life More Remarkable.”

"I am very excited about all the speakers that will be presenting at the conference," continued Taylor. "They have a tremendous amount of experience working with survivors of trauma and providing some of the newest treatment interventions. I am confident that everyone who attends the conference will gain knowledge, skills and resources that will enhance the quality of care they provide to their clients."

The annual conference is held in the Carl R. Reng Student Union, 101 N. Caraway Road. Registration is at 8:15 a.m. with activities running from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Cost is $75 for social work professionals, $50 for A-State social work faculty, and $25 for students and field supervisors. Lunch is included in the registration fee. All attendees are asked to pre-register and pre-pay by Friday, Feb. 9.

For more registration information, contact Evi Taylor, assistant professor of social work, at (870) 972-3984 or through email at etaylor@AState.edu.

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