Trauma Talks

Agenda 2020

8:00 – 8:45


8:45 - 9:00

Welcome & Opening Remarks
Dr. Dana Ross & Dr. Carrie Clark, Trauma Talks Program Co-Chairs

9:00 - 10:00

Levine Family Lecture - Keynote Address

10:00 - 10:15

Question and Answer Session

10:15 - 10:45

Refreshment Break and Networking

10:45 - 12:00

Concurrent Session #1
Workshop A Internal Family Systems Therapy: A Promising Approach to Address Trauma and Intergenerational Trauma

Presenters: Susan K MacRae, RN, M.Ed, RP, Nancy McCallum, MD, and Sushma Persaud, MSW, RSW

Skill Level: Basic/Intermediate

Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS) therapy is a promising treatment for childhood trauma and intergenerational trauma.  IFS aligns with current trauma-informed principals including compassion, relationality and systems thinking, however IFS offers several unique features.

One unique feature of IFS is the emphasis on re-establishing client internal attachments rather than emphasizing therapist attachment (Schwartz & Sweeny, 2020 p. 49).  IFS also conceptualizes the human psyche grounded in wholeness with “a seat of consciousness as its core” AND in inherent multiplicity (“as opposed to a product of external influences being introjected or as a consequence of a once-unitary personality being fragmented by trauma”) (Schwartz & Sweeny, 2020 p. 39).  During trauma, according to IFS, parts become extreme and polarized and block access to distressed parts and the individual’s Self leadership leaving extreme containing and distracting parts to manage internally. IFS provides helpful approaches to witness and unburden personal and intergenerational traumatized parts as well strategies to repair internal relationships (Schwartz & Sweeny, 2020).

At Women’s College Hospital we have been introducing IFS in individual and group interventions in stage 1&2 trauma treatment with exciting results.  This presentation will provide an overview of IFS, explain some unique features in working with trauma, and discuss methodologies we have been exploring. 

Learning Objectives:

Participants in this workshop will be able to:

1. Explain unique features of the Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS) Model compared to other therapy models
2. Describe the IFS formulation of personal and intergenerational trauma
3. Name three IFS therapy strategies specific to personal and intergenerational trauma

Workshop B Collaborative Approaches in Caring for Refugee Families (Invited Workshop)

Presenters: Dr. Debra Stein, MD, Dr, Janet Lee-Evoy, MD, Dr. Vanessa Redditt, MD, and Ellen Tang, MSW, RSW

Skill Level: All

Learning Objectives:

Participants in this workshop will be able to:

1. Describe global refugee migration patterns and the context of refugee resettlement in Canada
2. Identify ore-migration, during migration, and post-migration factors impacting mental health of refugee adults and children
3. Explore collaborative models of care and community resources in supporting refugee families through examining case studies

Workshop C To Help Out Communities Grow and Strengthen Our Language and Way of Life

Presenters:  Loretta Assinewai-Fox and Hazel Fox-Recollet

Skill Level: Basic

The effects of the Residential School System has had profound traumatic and post traumatic effects on the Indigenous people of North America. We acknowledge our people who are successful with living their life in a healthy way and that have the ability to speak our language fluently. However, there are many challenges and hardships that our people are experiencing which is demonstrated in statistics everywhere, this affects our accessibly to consistently hear and converse in the language with others.

The Strategy “Naaknegeh” We can break down unhealthy cycles by investing in our little ones and their families especially the families that want lasting change by committing to the following:

  1. Commit to language acquisition and retention by consistently hearing the language at home with the support of a fluent speaker.
    2. Commit to family/community support to establish routine at home that supports healthy active living for all family members.
    3. Commit to abstain from all media and access internet only for Anishinaabemowin and learning about home-school-community partnerships to improve life success for everyone is school, employment and community volunteerism.

The presenters will present the participants with understanding of the ripples of the historical trauma that Indigenous people have endured from a very personal and lived experience lens. They will offer the audience a unique way in which they are working on with their home community and other surrounding communities to help mobilize efforts to heal communities through language and culture in a way that has never been provided before.  The presentation will also incorporate the Ojbwe/Odawa dialect so that participants can hear the language and experience its healing effect.

Learning Objectives:

Participants in this workshop will be able to:

1. Gain an Indigenous “Anishinaabe” perspective about informed trauma and how historical oppression affects the well-being of future generations. Presenters will share personal narrative/lived experience to validate the phenomena
2. Gain an Indigenous “Anishinaabe” perspective on the importance of integrating Indigenous “Anishnaabe” worldview into intervention to help strengthen cultural identity through language and cultural life teachings for healing and wellness
3. Gain an Indigenous perspective on the importance of appropriate planning and development using teachings of the Medicine Wheel to support healting and wellness within Indigenous “Anishinaabe” communities.

12:00 - 13:00

Lunch and Poster Session

13:00 - 13:15

Fitness Break

13:15 - 14:15

Dr. Catherine Classen Keynote Address

Dr. Janet Smylie, MD, MPH, St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto
"Story Medicine: Indigenous Approaches to Understanding and Addressing Trauma"

14:15 – 14:30

Question and Answer Session

14:30 - 15:00

Refreshment Break

15:00 – 16:15

Concurrent Session 2
Workshop D Story Medicine: A Cultural Adaptation of Narrative Exposure Therapy for Indigenous Clients

Presenters: Tessa Colthoff Drs. C. Psych. Assoc., Nicole Muir B.Ed, Ph.D, Genevieve Blais, B.Sc., Christian Wells, and Janet Smylie, MD

Skill Level: Intermediate

There is a broad range of interventions available to people who are suffering from the effects of trauma. Most of these treatments are based on Euro western medical constructs and are provided within the context of non-Indigenous treatment facilities. This interactive workshop will introduce a western treatment method, Narrative Exposure Therapy, and discuss the way it was adapted to fit with Indigenous story-telling approaches and trauma therapy needs. We will do this by detailing the design and implementation of a clinical trial, the Story Medicine research project.  This will include a discussion of the specific Indigenous study population; the project’s approach and governance structure; and the Story Medicine treatment and client manuals.  We will review specific adaptations of the original intervention and how these were decided on.  We anticipate that participant clinicians will leave the workshop feeling better equipped to adapt NET for their specific clientele.


Learning Objectives:

Participants in this workshop will be able to:

1. To advance understanding of an Indigenous adaptation of a western trauma intervention
2. To highlight components of NET that were both adapted and maintained for Story Medicine
3. To demonstrate components that can be utilized by other clinicians to adapt NET for their clientele
including creating the manual and community consultation

Workshop E In the Realm of the Unspeakable: Trauma-Informed Primary Care

Presenters: Dr. Nili Kaplan-Myrth, MD, CCFP, PhD

Skill Level: Intermediate
Trauma is ubiquitous. As the trusted, first point of contact for their patients, family physicians across
Canada must be competent to provide trauma-informed care and knowledgeable about trauma-informed resources in the community. In the wake of women bravely speaking out in public spheres about sexual violence, and with the emotional outpouring of the #metoo movement, it is now time to talk about trauma and women’s health. Experiences of childhood and adult sexual, physical and emotional trauma are common across generations of Canadians, irrespective of race, gender, social class. How are family physicians and other health care providers and institutions equipped to respond to patients who have experienced trauma? This is a presentation to discuss the institutionalized barriers and inequalities to accessing care for trauma, our biases and blind spots, our challenges as the providers and recipients of trauma-informed health care.

Learning Objectives:

Participants in this workshop will be able to:

1. Define trauma-informed care (from a family medicine perspective)
2. Assess barriers to accessing care for patients who have experienced trauma
3. Propose roles for family physicians and interdisciplinary/allied health care providers as patient advocates and review primary care resources for trauma

Workshop F Intergenerational Resilience

Presenters:  Bryanna Petrie, MSW, RSW (pending)

Skill Level: Basic

What is intergenerational resilience? How do we foster it? Us as First Nations, Inuit and Metis people have purposely been severed from our ceremony and our land for a long time, undergoing intense trauma. We are finally legally able to return to our ceremony, so what does this process look like for our interconnected cultural resilience? This workshop cultivates knowledge in our resilient sacredness using
traditional teachings, 21st century trauma findings, and experiential exercises. From the beginning of the workshop participants will be invited into a ceremonial space with smudging and drumming. Throughout the workshop participants will connect with their spiritual, physical, mental and emotional wellbeing in a culturally sensitive and trauma-informed way. Participants will leave the workshop with an understanding of intergenerational resilience, as well as, practical tools to nurture it. This workshop is
accessible to all people with a knack for curiosity

Learning Objectives:

Participants in this workshop will be able to:

  1. Comprehend intergenerational resilience
  2. Understand culturally safe practices
  3. Participate in experiential exercise to nurture resilience

16:15 - 16:30

Closing Remarks

Dr. Dana Ross and Dr. Carrie Clark, Trauma Talks Program Co-Chairs

*schedule subject to change

Women's College Hospital