Adelphi to Host Conference “Working With Life's Traumas: Psychodynamic Perspectives on the Treatment of Child and Adult Survivors of Trauma”

Garden City, NY, May 07, 2011 --( On Saturday, May 14, 2011, Adelphi’s Gordon F. Derner Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies will host the conference “Working with Life’s Traumas: Psychodynamic Perspectives on the Treatment of Child and Adult Survivors of Trauma.” The event will take place from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 1 South Avenue on the Garden City campus at the Thomas Dixon Lovely Ballroom of the Ruth S. Harley University Center.

“We all know people who have had traumas and we've all had traumas in our own lives to different degrees,” says Dr. Stephen Hyman, the conference coordinator. “And we know people who've had horrible traumas,” he adds. “But there are also daily traumas, and the Working with Life’s Traumas workshops will focus on people and professionals who are going to be emphasizing areas of traumas that happen in everyday life.” The traumas of the everyday range, says Dr. Hyman, from the trauma of aging to the effects of divorce on both parents and children. It’s a topic relevant both to psychiatric professionals and also to the general community.

“It’s not often thought about,” says Dr. Hyman, “but the workshops will also focus on the pressures faced by therapists, helping them find ways to cope with the stresses and emotions brought about by their job, how therapists can cope with feelings of anger or depression that can rise from helping the victims of trauma.” The conference speakers recognize that trauma can profoundly disrupt emotional stability, interpersonal relationships, physical health, professional functioning and even brain development. As noted in the conference brochure written by Dr. Hyman, "The scars of trauma can be as blatant as a black eye and broken bones or they can be as private and hidden as a tormented soul." Conference speakers have expertise in understanding and treating victims of various types of life's traumas. The keynote speaker, Dr. Mary Gail Frawley-O'Dea is co-author of Treating the Adult Survivor of Childhood Sexual Abuse and is the author of Perversion of Power: Sexual Abuse and the Catholic Church. Most recently she authored an article in the National Catholic Register entitled "Where is Catholicism's Tahrir Square?" which discusses the Church's response to sexual abuse by the clergy. Dr. Frawley-O'Dea will be discussing the stresses experienced by the therapist as well as by the patient in the treatment of sexual abuse survivors.

Other speakers include Adelphi Professor Michael O'Loughlin of the Derner Institute and Adelphi's Dr. Kate Szymanski, associate professor in the Derner Institute. Professor O'Loughlin's very moving presentation focuses on the importance for therapists and family members to be able to bear witness to the traumas of our patients and of our loved ones. Dr. Szymanski will speak about post-traumatic growth. She will present clinical examples that describe the experiences of people whose development, at least in some areas, has surpassed what was present before the trauma occurred. Afternoon workshops include: Domestic Violence, The Trauma of Aging, Traumatic Childhoods, The Trauma of Divorce, and The Spiritual Abuse Inherent in Sexual Abuse by a Clergyperson.

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About Adelphi University: Adelphi is a world class, modern university with excellent and highly relevant programs where students prepare for lives of active citizenship and professional careers. Through its schools and programs—The College of Arts and Sciences, Derner Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies, Honors College, Ruth S. Ammon School of Education, University College, and the Schools of Business, Nursing, and Social Work—the co-educational university offers undergraduate and graduate degrees as well as professional and educational programs for adults. Adelphi University currently enrolls nearly 8,000 students from 41 states and 60 foreign countries. With its main campus in Garden City and centers in Manhattan, Hauppauge, and Poughkeepsie, the University chartered in 1896, maintains a commitment to liberal studies in tandem with rigorous professional preparation and active citizenship.

Adelphi University
Kali Chan
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