Shalem hosted its second biannual Attachment Conference this past November, featuring some leading experts in the area of Attachment therapy and research. About 280 therapists, social workers and other professionals participated.
As with the first conference, tickets sold out, additional tables had to be added, and we still had a waitlist of people who wanted to attend.
Our keynote speakers were Dr. Sue Johnson and Dr. Janina Fisher, who shared the two days. They also participated in several panel conversations together, responding to questions from the participants.
Dr. Sue Johnson is an internationally renowned Canadian therapist and researcher who developed Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples. Her books Hold Me Tight, Love Sense, and Created for Connection present a clear and effective framework for understanding and improving couple relationships. Her Hold Me Tight workshops for couples have been a powerful resource for many who want to connect more closely in their relationships.
Dr. Johnson presented her latest research and understanding about how people are created for intimacy, what helps intimacy grow and last, and how to intervene when relationships get into trouble. She explained some of the unique experiences of couples where one or both partners have experienced trauma and how trauma can affect their relationships, equipping therapists to better support these couples in treatment.
Trauma and its effects were also the focus of Dr. Janina Fisher’s presentations. She described the effects of trauma on the developing nervous system during infancy and childhood—effects that can last a lifetime.
She also shared treatment methods and resources to help people who have been affected by past trauma, demonstrating how Sensorimotor Psychotherapy approaches are used with these clients.
Conference participants were overwhelmingly enthusiastic about their experiences, saying how well-organized the event was and much they enjoyed hearing such relevant speakers, and eating great food in such a lovely venue.
The entire Shalem staff team participated to make this event the success that it was and we are so grateful for the contributions of each one!
The planning and visioning has already begun for our next conference in 2018! It will be another one you won’t want to miss!
Susan Winter Fledderus is a Clinical Therapist with Shalem Mental Health Network