Defining Trauma and Resilience Conference

presented by SERD, Antioch University New England


Thursday April 12th, 2018

8:45am-9:50am: Keynote Speaker

Nicole Weiss, PhD, Is Emotion Dysfunction Always Dysfunctional? Trauma, Emotions, and Risky Behaviors among Racial and Ethnic Minority Women 

Nicole H. Weiss is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology in the Department of Psychology at the University of Rhode Island and Director of the Study of Trauma, Risk-taking, Emotions, and Stress Symptoms (STRESS) Lab. Her clinical and research interests focus on the role of emotion dysregulation in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and related risky, self-destructive, and health compromising behaviors, most notably substance use and HIV/sexual risk. Specifically, her work aims to clarify the role of emotion dysregulation in the development and maintenance of PTSD, as well as explore whether maladaptive ways of responding to negative and positive emotions heighten involvement in risky behaviors among individuals with PTSD. Her research aims to better understand the influence of cultural and contextual factors, such as racial and ethnic minority status and gender, on the ways in which PTSD emotion dysregulation, and risky behaviors interact. weiss/

Location: Community Room, 1st Floor


10:00am-11:50am: Training for Graduate Students in Clinical Trauma Work


Families and Trauma Treatment in an Inpatient Setting, Brett Rayford, PsyD, MBA, and Kathryn Scheffel, PhD, Albert J. Solnit Children’s Hospital, Middletown, CT.

Brett Rayford is a clinical psychologist with 28 years’ leadership experience in mental health, substance abuse treatment, criminal justice, juvenile justice, and child welfare. For the past 18 years, he has held key roles at the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF) as Bureau Chief of Juvenile Justice ; Bureau Chief of Adolescent and Transitional Services, and Director of Adolescent and Juvenile Justice Services. Prior to his work with the DCF, Dr. Rayford served as the Director of Health, Mental Health and Addiction Services for the Connecticut Department of Correction, where he was responsible for program development and the management of treatment services for the population of 20,000 inmates. Earlier in his career, he held positions at Yale University School of Medicine, Yale Psychiatric Institute, and the Connecticut Mental Health Center. He is a member of the American Psychological Association and  the Association of Black Psychologists. He has also served as a board member of the Clifford Beers Clinic and as a community member of the Yale Medical School Human Investigative Review Board.

Kathryn Scheffel is a clinical psychologist with specialties in anxiety disorders, trauma, self-harm behaviors, parenting skills, and psychological assessment. For the past five years, Dr. Scheffel is a clinician at the Albert J. Solnit Children’s Center, in Middletown, Connecticut. She treats youths, ages 12-18 years, with complex issues and their families. She supervises psychology practicum students and co-leads an assessment seminar providing group supervision on testing cases. In addition, Dr. Scheffel treats adults and adolescents at her community private practice. Dr. Scheffel’s therapeutic modalities include Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, Cognitive Behavior Therapy, and Dialectical Behavior Therapy. Dr. Scheffel earned her Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in Clinical and School Psychology. She completed her pre-doctoral internship training at the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Federal Correctional Complex in Petersburg, Virginia.

Location: Community Room, 1st Floor


12:00pm-12:50pm: Lunch

Lunch Option: Food Truck, Price Range: $5-$10, Located in the parking lot


1:00pm-2:50pm: Training for Graduate Students in Clinical Trauma Work

Understanding Dissociation: The Heart of Traumatic Experience, Ann L. Rosoff, PhD, Psychologist in Private Practice, Manchester, NH.

Ann Rosoff received her doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1987, and worked in partial hospitalization and psychiatric inpatient settings before entering private practice in 1991. At present, she is a partner at the Green House Group, PA, in Manchester, where she works with adults and couples, and supervises other clinicians.  Ann was EMDR trained in 2004, and now identified herself as an EMDR therapist.  Her approach to treatment integrates elements of attachment and developmental theory, research on trauma and resilience, and neurobiology. In her work with patients, she draws from a wide variety of treatment techniques that include psychodynamic, family and cognitive therapies, Internal Family Systems and Ego State work, hypnosis, mindfulness, and somatic experiencing. She has a special interest in treating complex trauma, and has submitted a paper for publication: How we do what we do: The therapist, EMDR, and the treatment of complex trauma. Ann began working with dissociation (without knowing it) many years ago, and is still learning.

Location: Community Room, 1st Floor


3:00pm-3:50pm: Keynote Speaker

Stephen Soldtz, PhD, Psychological Ethics, Interrogations, and Torture: Lessons from a Decade of Struggle.

Stephen Soldz is a psychologist, psychoanalyst, social activist, and researcher in Boston. He is the Director of the Social Justice and Human Rights Program at the Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis. His research has spanned the areas of psychotherapy process, personality, adult development, substance abuse policy, tobacco control, and program evaluation. For over a decade, Dr. Soldz has been in the forefront of efforts to withdraw psychologists from aiding abusive interrogations and end US torture. He published numerous professional articles, book chapters, and popular articles on U.S. torture, the roles of psychologists in military and intelligence operations, psychological ethics in national security settings, and the role of psychology and psychoanalysis in understanding social phenomena. He is a member of the Board of the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis (NAAP), the Board of APA Division 39 (psychoanalysis), a representative to the APA Council of Representatives, Cofounder of the Coalition for an Ethical Psychology, an Adviser to Physicians for Human Rights and a past president of Psychologists for Social Responsibility. With Steven Reisner, he shared the 2016 NAAP Vision Award and the 2017 Division 39 Leadership Award. Dr. Soldz was a consultant on several Guantanamo legal cases.

Location: Community Room, 1st Floor


4:00pm-4:45pm: A Pause to Remember the Holocaust

Albert Levis, MD, a Holocaust Survivor, will speak about how the Holocaust has influenced his work in psychiatry. His son, Max Levis, PhD, a Harvard Divinity school graduate and a psychologist, whose life has been greatly affected by his father’s experience in the Holocaust,  will preside over the ceremony to create a meaningful, reflective space which includes candle lighting and a moment of silence.

Location: Community Room, 1st Floor


5:00pm-6:30pm: Poster Session, Lobby

A Cross cultural Comparison of Continuous Trauma and Responses of Haitian, Israeli, and Chinese children. Abimbola Afolayan, PsyD, Psychological and Counseling Services, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH.

A Qualitative Analysis of Counseling Practiced in Haiti. Vincent  Pignatiello, PsyD, Director,Psychological Services Clinic, Antioch University New England, and Josefina Irigoyen, PsyD, Private Practitioner, Austin, TX, and Allyssa Lanza, PsyD, Fredericksburg Community Based Outpatient Clinic, Hunter Holmes McGuire VAMC, Richmond, VA .

A Brief Examination of the Transgenerational Effects of Genocide.
Katherine Russell, PsyD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Albany Medical Center, State
University of New York, Albany, NY.

Resilience in Disaster Response Workers: A Study of Self-Care and Self-Compassion. Marie Macedonia, MS, Antioch University New England.

Harvard Trauma Questionnaire: A Comparison of Two Trainee Samples. Kathryn deBros, MSEd, Jordan Graves, MS, Samuel V. Highland, BA, Heather Lawson-Spratley, BA, Matthew Tanner, MA, Nirmala Jayaraman, BA, and Maria Neizvestnaya, MA, Antioch University New England.

Trauma-Informed Assessment and Intervention for Intellectual Disability. Jacqueline Gilbert, BA, Antioch University New England.

Trauma-Informed Approaches in Schools and their Impact on Juvenile Delinquency. Branwen Gregory, MS, JD, Amber Maiwald, MA, Richelene Cesar, BA, BS, Nicole Williams, MS, Angela L. Walter, BA, and Tessa Smith, BA, Antioch University New England.

Individual Differences and Moderating Factors in Mild Traumatic Brain Injury. Sarajane Rodgers, MSc, Jane Studeny, MS, Randal Williams, MA, Haley Gisonno, MA, and Melanie Sklar, BA, Antioch University New England.


Judge for Prize-winning poster: Cheryl Wilckzak, PsyD, Psychologist in Private Practice, Greenwich, CT.


6:30pm: Free Indian Ethnic Food Dinner in the Lobby, cash bar, music, and social time, Located in Room E101


Friday, April 13th, 2018

8:45am-9:50am: Keynote Speaker

Kari A. O’Grady, PhD, When All Hell Breaks Loose: Resilience Processes in Cosmology Episodes.

Kari O’Grady is an associate professor of psychology and pastoral counseling at Loyola University Maryland. Dr. O’Grady is the director of Loyola’s Center for Trauma Studies and Resilience Leadership. She has written several books, articles, and book chapters and presented at professional conferences on the topics of disasters, resilience and sense-making. Dr. O’Grady and her doctoral students in the Trauma Studies Center have researched the psychological, social, and spiritual processes involved in resilience following extreme trauma throughout the world, including DR Congo, Haiti, Liberia, Afghanistan, China, and the United States. She was also invited to teach the psychology of disasters and spirituality at one of China’s premier universities, Remnin University of China, during the summers of 2014 and 2015. Dr. O’Grady is a Council Representative for the American Psychological Association for Division 36 (The Society for the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality).  She serves as the Multicultural and Diversity Issues chair of her department. She teaches Crisis Intervention, Research Methods, and Diversity Issues in counseling courses to masters and doctoral students.

Location: Community Room, 1st Floor


10:00am-11:50am Symposia

Symposium. Resilient Warriors

Empowering Veterans after Sexual Trauma. Melissa Boudreau, PsyD, Brockton Veterans Center, Readjustment Counseling, Brockton, MA.

First Responder Mental Healthcare: Evidence-Based Prevention, Postvention, and Treatment. Allyssa Lanza, PsyD, Fredericksburg Community Based Outpatient Clinic, Hunter Holmes McGuire VAMC, Richmond, VA.

An Examination of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Substance Use Disorders in Non-military Men. Sean Demartino, PsyD, Psychology Department, Springfield College, Springfield MA.

Discussant: Cheryl Wilczak, PsyD, Psychologist in private practice, Greenwich, CT.

Location: Community Room, 1st Floor


Symposium. Contextual Trauma and Resilience

Religious Influence of Mothers on Children: Focus Groups in a Primary Care Clinic in Haiti. Ashland Thompson, MA, MS, Antioch University New England.

Iraqi Refugees, Uncertainty, and Clinical Life Preservers: A Humility Approach. Megan Marsh, PsyD, Counseling Center, Colby College, Waterville, ME.

Cultic Abuse Recovery: Counseling Considerations, Rachel Oblak, MA, Private Practice, Williston, VT.

Discussant: Vincent Pignatiello, PsyD, Director, Psychological Services Center, Antioch University New England.

Location: Room 269


Symposium. Racial Trauma: A Unique Form of Trauma

A Systematic Review of Studies Examining the Relationship Between Racial Discrimination and Trauma in the United States. Katherine Kirkinis, MA, and Alex L. Pieterse, PhD, State University of New York, Albany, NY.

Racial Trauma on College Campuses, Alex Agillga, BA, and Christina Martin, BA, State University of New York, Albany, NY.

Discussant: Sally M. Hage, PhD, Program Director, PsyD Counseling Psychology Program, Psychology Department, Springfield College, Springfield MA.

Location: Room 274


Symposium. Substance Use Disorders

Co-Occurring Substance Abuse and Mental Disorders among Incarcerated African-American Men. Kathleen Giarratano, BA, The Sage Colleges, NY.

Effects of Cumulative Victimization on Substance Abuse Outcomes among LGBTQ Individuals: The Role of Psychosocial Mediators. Jillian Ryan Scheer, MA, Boston College, Boston, MA.

Discussant: Jan Peterson, MA, JD.

Jan Peterson was a Public Defender with the NH Public Defender Program. She was the managing attorney in the Keene office, serving Cheshire and Sullivan counties for 24 years, retiring in 2016. She received the Champion of Justice award from the NH Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Her interests beyond litigation and defense of indigent defendants included developing alternatives to incarceration for those with mental health and substance use disorders.

Location: Room 277


11:50am-12:50 pm: Lunch

Lunch Option: Food Truck, Price Range: $5-$10, Located in the parking lot


1:00pm-1:50pm: Roundtable Case Conceptualizations and Treatments

Location: Community Room, 1st Floor

Not Reduced by It: Trauma Resilience in People of Color. Jill Lee-Barber, PhD, Emily Newbury, MS, Christopher Johnson, MS, and Abigail Nicolas, MA, Counseling Center, Georgia State University. Atlanta, GA.

Ethnic and Racial Trauma in Graduate Students of Color: Voices from the Creative Arts Therapies. Tomiyo Kawano, PhD, and Dominique Terrell, MA, Applied Psychology Department, Antioch University New England.

Trauma Counseling for International Graduate Students Returning to their National Environments of War, Internal Strife, and Instability. Michiko Ishibashi, MA, Counseling Services, International University of Japan, Minamiuonuma City, Niigata Prefecture, Japan.

Trauma and Personality Disorders: The Benefit of Clinical Supervision. Mackenzie McNamara, MS, State University of New York, Albany, NY.

Black Lives Matter: Creating a “Cultural Third” in the Therapeutic Relationship. Michael Goddard, BA, and Ashland Thompson, MA, MS, Antioch University New England.

Community Resilience: How Rural School Children Overcome Sudden Loss. Branwen Gregory, MS, JD, and Samuel V. Highland, BA, Antioch University New England.

Trauma-Informed Mindfulness-Based Yoga Practices for Women in an Urban Residential Treatment Site. Randal Williams, MA, Antioch University New England.

Saving Grace: Trauma-Informed Residential Treatment for Cambodian Girls Rescued from the Sex Slave Industry. Caiti Levitan, BA, Antioch University New England.

Healing with Water: Narrative Therapy Intervention for a Woman with PTSD. Kate Lambos, BA, Antioch University New England.


2:00pm-3:50pm Experiential Workshops

Moving Through Trauma: Dance/Movement Therapy as a Neural Exercise. Christina Devereaux, PhD, Dance/Movement Therapy and Counseling Program, Applied Psychology Dept., Antioch University New England.

Location: Community Room, 1st Floor

Cultural Trauma and the Holocaust: “Even in Darkness it is Possible to Create Light”. Lauren Weisberg, MS, Predoctoral Psychology Intern, Albany Medical Center, State University of New York, Albany, NY.

Location: Room 269

Trauma and Recovery: The Perspective of Biological and Ecological Psychology. Daniel Walter Gaiser, MSW, MBA, Clinical Social Worker, Partial-Day Hospital for Adults, Maine Medical Center Outpatient Psychiatry, Portland, ME.

Location: Room 274


4:00pm-4:50pm: Audience Discussions of Political Contexts

UPDATED Location: Community Room, 1st Floor

Puerto Rico in the Aftermath of Hurricane Maria

Sexual Assault in the Workplace

Charlottesville, VA

Domestic Violence

Mass Shootings and School Shootings

Refugees and Immigrants from Haiti and African and Muslim Nations


Cleansing the 01/12/2018 Whited Sepulcher: Learning Resilience from Haiti, DR Congo, Zimbabwe, and the United States. Kari A. O’Grady, PhD, James Douglas Orton, PhD, William Guri, MS, Chun-Shin Taylor, MS, Jessica Haas, MS, Marion Tuscano, MS, and Glenda Dickonson, MS.

Contextual Trauma Topics Selected by the Audience


5:00pm-5:50 pm: Closing of the Conference

Gargi Roysircar, EdD, Antioch Multicultural Center for Research and Practice, Professor of Clinical PsychologyAntioch University New England.

Location: Room E101


About our Conference:

This is a free conference organized by students for students for an exchange of ideas, learning, and skills training at the graduate level. There is no registration fee. Donations are invited for disaster mental health services with checks made out to: Disaster Shakti, Antioch University New England. To learn about Disaster Shakti, see the link below.

Disaster Shakti/SERD

Deadline for Proposals: December 11, 2017



1. Proposals must be submitted online. You can submit the proposal online here.
2. Proposals sent via mail or email will be rejected.
3. Proposals for all categories of presentations should contain an abstract (400 word maximum), in addition to the information requested for specific presentation types.
4. A proposal author cannot submit more than one proposal either as a first author or co-author. That is, one presenter can make only one presentation as a first author or co-author, regardless of type of presentation. We wish to provide access to as many deserving presenters as possible.
5. The deadline for proposal submission is 12-11-17
All presentations must address trauma and resilience. Proposals that address other mental health issues will not be considered.
1. SYMPOSIA are 1 hour and 50 minute sessions in which no more than four people may present.
2. EXPERIENTIAL WORKSHOPS are programs designed to provide participants with practical experience, specific skills, and self-reflection processing. Time is 1 hour and 50 minutes.
3. STUDENT POSTER PRESENTATIONS are opportunities for master's and doctoral students in psychology to present their recent scholarships during an hour-long poster session. A student must be the first author on all poster presentation submissions, and each submission should contain no more than four authors.
4. ROUNDTABLE CASE CONCEPTUALIZATION AND TREATMENTS are 50 minute dialogues about a theme of trauma and resilience in client presentations. There should be no more than two individuals (e.g., practicum student and supervisor) facilitating discussions on case presentations. A roundtable will accommodate six individuals.
All abstracts should include:
1. A clear outline of the major ideas to be presented. (maximum 400 words)
2. A summary of the research methodology, in the case of an empirical study.
3. A brief summary of the findings, in the case of an empirical study.
Proposals from advanced doctoral students and students involved in other graduate level work related to trauma and resilience are encouraged to submit proposals.