Professor, Clinical psychologist, Lecturer and Therapist
Janina Fisher, Ph.D. is the Assistant Educational Director of the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute and a former instructor, Harvard Medical School. An international expert on the treatment of trauma, she is co-author with Pat Ogden of Sensorimotor Psychotherapy: Interventions for Attachment and Trauma (2015), author of Healing the Fragmented Selves of Trauma Survivors: Overcoming Self-Alienation (2017) and the forthcoming book, Transforming the Living Legacy of Trauma: a Workbook for Survivors and Therapists (in press). She is best known for her work on integrating newer body-centered interventions into traditional psychotherapy approaches. More information can be found on her website: www.janinafisher.com.
Clinical professor of psychiatry and author
Dr. Siegel is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine and the founding co-director of the Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA. He is also the Executive Director of the Mindsight Institute which focuses on the development of mindsight, teaches insight, empathy, and integration in individuals, families and communities.
Dr. Siegel has published extensively for both the professional and lay audiences. His five New York Times bestsellers are: Aware: The Science and Practice of Presence, Mind: A Journey to the Heart of Being Human, Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain, and two books with Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D: The Whole-Brain Child, and No-Drama Discipline. His other books include: The Developing Mind, The Pocket Guide to Interpersonal Neurobiology, Mindsight, The Mindful Brain, and The Mindful Therapist. He has also written The Yes Brain and The Power of Showing Up with Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D. Dr. Siegel also serves as the Founding Editor for the Norton Professional Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology which currently contains over seventy textbooks.
Clinician, consultant, lecturer, Coordinator - Traumatic Stress Research Consortium, Kinsey Institute
Deb Dana, LCSW is a clinician and consultant specializing in using the lens of Polyvagal Theory to understand and resolve the impact of trauma and create ways of working that honor the role of the autonomic nervous system. She developed the Rhythm of Regulation Clinical Training Series and lectures internationally on ways Polyvagal Theory informs work with trauma survivors. She is a founding member of the Polyvagal Institute, clinical advisor to Khiron Clinics, and an advisor to Unyte.
Deb’s clinical work published with W.W. Norton includes The Polyvagal Theory in Therapy: Engaging the Rhythm of Regulation, Polyvagal Exercises for Safety and Connection: 50 Client Centered Practices, and the Polyvagal Flip Chart. She partners with Sounds True to bring her polyvagal perspective to a general audience through the audio program Befriending Your Nervous System: Looking Through the Lens of Polyvagal Theory and her forthcoming print book Anchored: How to Befriend Your Nervous System Using Polyvagal Theory.
Lecturer, Author, Founder of Somatic Experiencing
Peter A Levine, Ph.D., is the developer of Somatic Experiencing®, a naturalistic and neurobiological approach to healing trauma, which he has developed during the past 50 years. He is the Founder of the Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute®/Foundation for Human Enrichment® and the Founder and President of the Ergos Institute for Somatic Education®, a leader in International Trauma Workshops, Lectures, and Webinars. His work has been taught to over 50,000 therapists in over 45 countries.
In recognition of his groundbreaking therapeutic works, Dr. Levine has received the Lifetime Achievement awards from Psychotherapy Networker, the US Association for Body-Oriented Psychotherapy, an honorary award as the Reiss-Davis Chair in Los Angeles for his lifetime contribution to infant and child psychiatry, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Training on Trauma and Attachment in Children (ATTACh) for “his lifelong commitment to healing children through research, education, and outreach.” He holds a doctorate in Biophysics from UC Berkeley and a doctorate in Psychology from International University. He has taught at the University of California, Berkeley; Mills College; Antioch University; the California Institute of Integral Studies; and the Santa Barbara Graduate Institute. He served as a Stress consultant for NASA in the early space shuttle development and has served on the American Psychological Association task force for responding to the trauma of large-scale disasters and ethno-political warfare. Dr. Levine is currently a Senior Fellow and consultant at The Meadows Addiction and Trauma Treatment Center in Wickenburg, Arizona and continues to teach trauma healing workshops internationally.
Dr. Levine is the author of several best-selling books on trauma, including Waking the Tiger, Healing Trauma (published in over 29 languages); In an Unspoken Voice, How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness; and Trauma and Memory, Brain and Body in a Search for the Living Past.
Psychiatrist, Author and Educator
Bessel A. van der Kolk M.D. is a clinician, researcher and teacher in the area of posttraumatic stress. His work integrates developmental, neurobiological, psychodynamic and interpersonal aspects of the impact of trauma and itstreatment.
Dr. van der Kolk and his various collaborators have published extensively on the impact of trauma on development, such as dissociative problems, borderline personality and self-mutilation, cognitive development, memory, and the psychobiology of trauma. He has published over 150 peer reviewed scientific articles on such diverse topics as neuroimaging, self-injury, memory, neurofeedback, Developmental Trauma, yoga, theater and EMDR.
He is founderof the Trauma Research Foundation in Boston, MA; past President of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, and Professor of Psychiatry at Boston University Medical School. He regularly teaches at universities and hospitals around theworld, His most recent 2014 New York Times Science best seller, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Treatment of Trauma transforms our understanding of traumatic stress, revealing how it literally rearranges the brain’s wiring — specifically areas dedicated to pleasure, engagement, control, and trust. He shows how these areas can be reactivated through innovative treatments including neurofeedback, mindfulness techniques, play, yoga, and other therapies
Professor, Author, Consultant
Dr. Kenneth V. Hardy is a Clinical and Organizational Consultant at the Eikenberg Institute for Relationships in New York, NY where he also serves as Director. He provides Racially Focused Trauma Informed training, executive coaching, and consultation to a diverse network of individuals and organizations throughout the United States and abroad. He is a former Professor of Family Therapy at both Drexel University in Philadelphia, and Syracuse University in New York, and has also served as the Director of Children, Families, and Trauma at the Ackerman Institute for the Family in New York, NY.
He is the author of:
- Culturally Sensitive Supervision: Diverse Perspectives and Practical Applications
- Promoting Culturally Sensitive Supervision: A Manual for Practitioners
- Revisioning Family Therapy: Race, Class, and Gender
- Teens Who Hurt: Clinical Strategies for Breaking the Cycle of Youth Violence.
In addition to his consultation work, Dr. Hardy is a frequent conference speaker and has also appeared on ABC’s 20/20, Dateline NBC, PBS, and the Oprah Winfrey Show.
Founder Internal Family Systems and The Center for Self Leadership
Richard Schwartz began his career as a family therapist and an academic at the University of Illinois at Chicago. There he discovered that family therapy alone did not achieve full symptom relief and in asking patients why, he learned that they were plagued by what they called “parts.” These patients became his teachers as they described how their parts formed networks of inner relationship that resembled the families he had been working with. He also found that as they focused on and, thereby, separated from their parts, they would shift into a state characterized by qualities like curiosity, calm, confidence and compassion. He called that inner essence the Self and was amazed to find it even in severely diagnosed and traumatized patients. From these explorations the Internal Family Systems (IFS) model was born in the early 1980s.
IFS is now evidence-based and has become a widely-used form of psychotherapy, particularly with trauma. It provides a non-pathologizing, optimistic, and empowering perspective and a practical and effective set of techniques for working with individuals, couples, families, and more recently, corporations and and classrooms.
In 2013 Schwartz left the Chicago area and now lives in Brookline, MA where is on the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.
Patricia L. Gerbarg, MD, assistant clinical professor in psychiatry, New York Medical College, graduate Harvard Medical School and Boston Psychoanalytic Institute, practices Integrative Psychiatry and serves on the APA CAIM task force and the American Botanical Council board. She researches mind-body practices for stress, anxiety, PTSD, and mass disasters. She and Dr. Richard P. Brown teach Breath-Body-Mind and co-authored Non-Drug Treatments for ADHD, The Healing Power of the Breath, and with Dr. Phillip Muskin How to Use Herbs, Nutrients, and Yoga in Mental Health, and Complementary and Integrative Treatments in Psychiatric Practice (American Psychiatric Association Publishing, 2017).
Richard P. Brown, MD, associate clinical professor in psychiatry at Columbia University, graduate of Columbia University Medical College and Cornell University Psychiatry Residency and Psychobiology/Psychopharmacology fellowship, lectures internationally and co-authored over 100 scientific articles, chapters and award-winning books. His neurophysiological theory, exploring effects of yoga breathing in treating anxiety, depression, PTSD and stress-related medical conditions, has been validated in clinical trials. A certified teacher of Aikido (4th Dan), yoga, Qigong, and meditation, he provides Breath-Body-Mind programs for healthcare professionals, yoga teachers, mass disaster survivors, first responders, veterans, school teachers, and patients with psychiatric and medical conditions.
Caroline Welch is the CEO and Co-founder, with Dr. Dan Siegel, of the Mindsight Institute in Santa Monica, California. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School with a master’s degree from the University of Southern California, she started her career in law as a corporate litigator. Welch has served as a Los Angeles County court-appointed mediator, as well as in- house counsel at MGM Studios and Spelling Entertainment Group. She began her mindfulness practice forty years ago while working in Japan as an English teacher.
Welch’s first book, The Gift of Presence: A Mindfulness Guide for Women (released March 2020) has been widely acclaimed, described as, “A gift for us all—filled with practical insights about the power of mindfulness” and “a must-read for women of all ages” by Arianna Huffington and a “wise and clear book that shows us how mindful awareness can give us back our life,” by Tara Brach. Publishers Weekly praised Welch’s work as follows: “In The Gift of Presence ... Caroline Welch ... sets out to distill reams of peer-reviewed science about mindfulness into plain, clear advice.”
Welch provides lectures and workshops on antisexism, antiracism, and well-being in our personal and professional lives. She and her husband, Dan, live in Santa Monica and have two adult children. For more information about Caroline Welch, please visit her website: www.carolinewelch.com
Founder, NeuroAffective Relational Model™ (NARM)
Dr. Laurence Heller is the founder of the NeuroAffective Relational Model™ (NARM), a specialized psychobiological approach to working with developmental trauma.
This model is presented in the best selling book Healing Developmental Trauma: How Early Trauma Affects Self-Regulation, Self-Image, and the Capacity for Relationship, which is currently published in more than 12 languages. He is also the co-author of Crash Course, A Self-Healing Guide to Auto Accident Trauma and Recovery. He has two books being published in 2020. One book the theme of shame and guilt and the second on the application of NARM for clinicians to accompany Healing Developmental Trauma. He has a popular online training program called The NARM Inner Circle. He speaks several languages and for many years has been conducting seminars in the NARM approach throughout the United States, Europe and worldwide. There are currently seven additional teachers of NARM across the globe.
Dr. Heller has been on the faculty of several major universities and has taught courses and seminars at medical schools, hospitals and pain clinics in the U.S. and Europe. He co-founded the Gestalt Institute of Denver and later the Rocky Mountain Psychotherapy Institute where he trained hundreds of mental health professionals. In the past 25 years, he has provided thousands of case consultations for therapists in the U.S. and Europe.
Professor, Author, Speaker
C. Sue Carter, PhD is Distinguished University Scientist and Director Emerita of the Kinsey Institute and Rudy Professor Emerita of Biology at Indiana University Bloomington and Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she co-directed the Brain-Body Center in the Department of Psychiatry. She formerly held the position of Distinguished University Professor of Biology at the University of Maryland and prior to that was Professor in the Departments of Psychology and Ecology, Ethology and Evolution at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Carter is past president of the International Behavioral Neuroscience Society and holds fellow status in that Society and in the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She is a former recipient of a National Institute of Mental Health Research Scientist Award. She has authored more than 400 peer-reviewed publications and edited 5 books including “Attachment and Bonding: A New Synthesis” (MIT Press). Dr. Carter is the scientist, who discovered the relationship between social behavior and oxytocin. Her work examines how oxytocin pathways are at the center of physiological systems that enable human sociality.
Renowned Speaker and Best Selling Author
Gabor Maté (pronunciation: GAH-bor MAH-tay) is a retired physician who, after 20 years of family practice and palliative care experience, worked for over a decade in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side with patients challenged by drug addiction and mental illness. The bestselling author of four books published in twenty-five languages, including the award-winning In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters With Addiction, Gabor is an internationally renowned speaker highly sought after for his expertise on addiction, trauma, childhood development, and the relationship of stress and illness. For his groundbreaking medical work and writing he has been awarded the Order of Canada, his country’s highest civilian distinction, and the Civic Merit Award from his hometown, Vancouver. To learn more, join his e-news list at www.drgabormate.com.
Euphrasia (Efu) Nyaki was born and raised in Tanzania where she earned a bachelor of science degree, trained as a Science teacher, and later on was trained as a healer using holistic methods. Efu is a Faculty Member of Somatic Experiencing®, and a Professor of Family Constellation System Therapy by Hellinger Institute. In the last 27 years Efu has been living in Brazil facilitating trainings and therapy for trauma healing using Somatic Experiencing® and Family Constellation System Therapy (Generational trauma healing). While living in Brazil, Efu has also been travelling in different countries such as India, Egypt, South Korea, China, Bolivia, Peru, Spain, Uruguay, Tanzania, Philippines, and Hong Kong facilitating trainings and workshops on different kinds of trauma healing. Due to Pandemic situation, Efu has been giving international trainings, workshops and individual therapy sessions online. Efu is a co-founder of AFYA: Holistic Healing Center located in the northeast of Brazil. Afya supports many people from the local community as well as national and international individuals that approaches the center in order to receive support in healing, using different types of natural and holistic healing methodologies.
Integrating Neurofeedback and Psychotherapy in trauma treatment
Sebern received her Bachelor of Science from the University of Massachusetts in 1976. She graduated from Antioch New-England with a Masters in Counseling Psychology in 1978. Sebern was one of the founders of the Family Planning Council of Western Massachusetts (now Tapestry Health) which began with one rural clinic in 1973.
From 1980 to 1997, Sebern was the clinical director of a residential treatment program for severely disturbed adolescents in western Massachusetts. At that time, it was considered to be one of the best programs in the state and the treatment outcomes were, at best, troubling. In efforts to better understand these kids and to enhance treatment outcomes, she introduced attachment theory in the mid eighties and in 1991, Dialectical Behavior Therapy. Her center became the first in the nation to adopt and implement DBT in a residential milieu.
Sebern was introduced to neurofeedback in the spring of 1996, when her friend, Kathy Zilberman asked her if she would be her first ‘subject’. She recounts the experience of a weekend of neurofeedback training in the introduction to her book, Neurofeedback in the Treatment of Developmental Trauma: Calming the Fear-driven Brain. When she went into private practice in 1997, she began to integrate neurofeedback with psychodynamic psychotherapy in the treatment of her traumatized patients. Her book published by Norton in 2014 (now also available on Audible) is a direct result of what she learned in working with her own brain and with those of her patients.
Sebern maintains a part-time private practice focused on the treatment of adults suffering the aftermath of neglect and assault in childhood in Northampton, Massachusetts. She trains and consults both nationally and internationally in the use of neurofeedback in the treatment of developmental trauma, on the central role of fear in those who have suffered these histories and on the integration of psychotherapy and neurofeedback. She is the 2013 recipient of the Joel Lubar Award for contribution to the field of neurofeedback and the 2017 recipient of the M.B. Sterman Career Achievement Award from the International Society for Neurofeedback and Research. In addition to her book, she has published numerous professional articles on neurofeedback and psychotherapy.
Artist, Writer, Speaker
Angela Findlay is a professional artist, writer and speaker with a long career working in prisons in Germany and England. Trained as an Artistic Therapist specialising in colour, Angela’s simple exercises help individuals and groups of all ages and abilities to tap into their creative potential. By focusing on process rather than result, her ways of working offer a safe space for deeply transformative and insightful experiences.
Angela’s time ‘behind bars’ and later as Arts Coordinator of London-based Koestler Arts, revealed the huge impact the arts can have in terms of rehabilitation. Her work has proved effective in many areas including trauma and shame, boundaries and emotional illiteracy. In 2016 she was invited by the Ministry of Justice to present the case for the arts to be included in new rehabilitation and education policies.
In the past decade, Angela’s Anglo-German roots led her to research the emerging field of collective and inherited trauma/shame and the role the arts can play in their healing. She writes a monthly blog, and her first book will be published by Penguin Transworld in April 2022. Her TEDx Talk: Facing the past to liberate the present is available on YouTube.
Angela has a BA(Hons) in Fine Art and her paintings are widely exhibited both nationally and internationally.
Psychologist, Consultant, Educator
Lisa Schwarz, M.Ed. is a Pennsylvania state licensed psychologist, consultant, and international educator based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Beulah, Colorado. She is the developer of the Comprehensive Resource Model (CRM) and has spent the past 25 years dedicating her work to creating innovative methods for working with dissociative disorders (including medical/somatic dissociation), attachment disorders, and gestational trauma. She is a certified Trauma Model practitioner from the Colin Ross Institute, trained in Robert Schrei’s Sourcepoint Therapy, and practices Usui Reiki. Lisa’s clinical work and teaching provides a combination of psychotherapy, neuroscience, and spirituality in facilitating holistic healing from traumatic events. She is the primary author of "The Comprehensive Resource Model: Effective Techniques for Treating Complex PTSD" (Routledge 2017) with CRM featured as the cover story in Newsweek in April 2017.
"Distinguished University Scientist"/Professor. Polyvagal Theory Neuroscientist
Stephen W. Porges, Ph.D. is Distinguished University Scientist at Indiana University where he is the founding director of the Traumatic Stress Research Consortium. He is Professor of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina, and Professor Emeritus at both the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Maryland. He served as president of the Society for Psychophysiological Research and the Federation of Associations in Behavioral & Brain Sciences and is a former recipient of a National Institute of Mental Health Research Scientist Development Award. He has published more than 300 peer‐reviewed scientific papers across several disciplines that have been cited in more than 30,000 peer-reviewed papers. He holds several patents involved in monitoring and regulating autonomic state. He is the originator of the Polyvagal Theory, a theory that emphasizes the importance of physiological state in the expression of behavioral, mental, and health problems related to traumatic experiences. He is the author of The Polyvagal Theory: Neurophysiological foundations of Emotions, Attachment, Communication, and Self-regulation (Norton, 2011), The Pocket Guide to the Polyvagal Theory: The Transformative Power of Feeling Safe, (Norton, 2017) and co-editor of Clinical Applications of the Polyvagal Theory: The Emergence of Polyvagal-Informed Therapies (Norton, 2018). He is the creator of a music-based intervention, the Safe and Sound Protocol ™ , which currently is used by more than 1500 therapists to improve spontaneous social engagement, to reduce hearing sensitivities, and to improve language processing, state regulation, and spontaneous social engagement.
Elaine Miller-Karas, LCSW is an author, radio show host, social worker, trauma therapist, co-founder, former Executive Director and current Director of Innovation of the Trauma Resource Institute and key developer of the Community and Trauma Resiliency Models.
She is the author of Building Resiliency to Trauma, the Trauma and Community Resiliency Models® (2015). She is committed to bringing accessible and affordable interventions based on neuroscience and the biology of the human nervous system to our world's community. Her models have been introduced to over 145 countries.
She is a recognized international speaker and has presented at the Skoll World Forum at Oxford University, Resiliency 2021 and the United Nations. Elaine’s book was selected by the United Nations and Taylor and Francis’ curated on-line library as one of the innovations helping meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. https://www.taylorfrancis.com/sdgo
She is a founding member of the International Transformational Resilience Coalition, an organization focused on healing the human trauma connected to climate change. http://www.theresourceinnovationgroup.org/intl-tr-coalition
Elaine is dedicated to the world's children and she has worked with collaborators to develop interventions for children, parents and teachers to help reduce the impact of trauma. She is a Senior Consultant to Emory University’s SEE Learning program, inspired and launched by His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 2019, building compassionate and ethical curriculum to the world's children K-12. www.seelearning.emory.edu
Her radio talk show launched on VoiceAmerica in January 2021 and is entitled Resiliency Within, Building Resiliency during unprecedented times. Her guests are inspiring global leaders promoting healing and resiliency from a variety of backgrounds.
Clinical Professor of Emergency & Health Services
Dr. Jeffrey T. Mitchell holds an M.A. in counseling psychology from Loyola University in Baltimore, Maryland, and a Ph.D. in human development from the University of Maryland at College Park. Dr. Mitchell is a Clinical Professor of Emergency Health Services at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). He serves on the Graduate Faculty of UMBC. He is a certified trauma specialist, Co Founder and past president of the International Critical Stress Foundation, Inc., and served as the clinical director of the Howard County Critical Incident Stress Management Team for 27 years.
Dr. Mitchell is a member of the International Journal of Emergency Mental Health’s editorial board. He also serves on the editorial review board for the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) and the Journal of Disaster Medicine. He is an adjunct faculty member at the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Emergency Management Institute in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Previously, he served as an elementary school teacher, an emergency medical technician, a paramedic, a firefighter, and a regional coordinator for the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS). He specializes in crisis intervention, stress management, and disaster psychology. He teaches an annual introductory stress management program for the Maryland State Police recruits. Dr. Mitchell is the author of 25 books and more than 275 articles on crisis and stress management. He has taught stress and crisis intervention courses in all fifty states and in 32 other nations. His work is recognized and utilized by the United Nations and he is a member of the working group on stress in the United Nations’ Department of Safety and Security. He was awarded the Bronze Medal from the Austrian Red Cross for his crisis intervention work after the disastrous Kaprun train tunnel fire in Austria in the year 2000. He has provided Critical Incident Stress Management support services at over 60 major disasters including the Oklahoma City Bombing, the attacks on America on September 11, 2001, and the El Salvador Earthquake in 1986. He provided support services to members of the Critical Incident Response Team for the Connecticut State Police in the aftermath of the horrific shootings of young school children and school personnel in Newtown. He provided support to the teachers and staff of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Specialist Public Health Nurse, VIG Practitioner
Judith Rees was appointed as Director of Operations at The For Baby’s Sake Trust in July 2015. She is a qualified practitioner in Video Interaction Guidance, an internationally leading parenting intervention which is provided to mothers and fathers participating in For Baby’s Sake to build their capacity to provide attuned sensitive parenting. Judith previously worked in the UK National Health Service for 33 years. Over this time she was a Staff Nurse, Midwife, Health Visitor, Practice Teacher, Safeguarding Children's Nurse and Team Leader for Health Visitors and School Nurses before setting up and being the Supervisor for the Family Nurse Partnership Team in Hertfordshire for the last 4 years. Judith’s commitment to safeguarding babies, children and families was reflected in her dissertation for her MSc in Child Protection and Child Welfare, when she produced an assessment tool for Health Visitors responding to police notifications of domestic abuse where there were children or an unborn baby in the family. Judith was a member of the Stakeholder Expert Reference Group on Trauma-Informed Care, producing national guidelines and care pathways on behalf of NHS England on trauma-informed practice for maternity and perinatal health settings.
CEO - The For Baby’s Sake Trust
Amanda McIntyre is CEO of The For Baby’s Sake Trust, a charity using a catalytic model of philanthropy to protect vulnerable infants and tackle complex social problems. Amanda led The For Baby’s Sake Trust’s multi-agency and interdisciplinary teamwork between highly respected experts to create For Baby’s Sake, the programme for expectant parents who want to break the cycle of domestic abuse and give their baby the best start in life. It is the first programme to work with both parents during the baby’s first 1001 days, starting in pregnancy, and combine a trauma-informed approach with a focus on infant mental health and attachment. Amanda’s career has focused on bringing together the public, private and voluntary sectors to improve public services and strengthen local communities. This included 18 years, until 2004, at the CBI (Confederation of British Industry),holding various positions including Head of Modernising Government. Amanda is from Belfast and lived in the city until heading for university in England in 1982. She retains strong family ties and ‘comes home’ regularly. Roll-on the end of lockdown!
Siobhan O’Neill is a Professor of Mental Health Sciences at Ulster University, and Interim Mental Health Champion for Northern Ireland. Her research programmes focus on trauma mental illness and suicidal behaviour in Northern Ireland, and the transgenerational transmission of trauma.
She is now on a mission as the Mental Health Champion to improve the mental health of the people of NI by promoting evidence-based services and care for those who suffer from mental illness and suicidal thoughts.
As Interim Mental Health Champion for Northern Ireland, she will advise and assist in the promotion of mental health and wellbeing though all policies and services throughout the province. Her role is as a public advocate for mental health, and to be a voice for those otherwise voiceless. Her goal is to communicate the collective voices of people with lived experience and their families and carers, and to advocate for communities impacted by mental health inequalities.
Holly’s recovery, resilience and courage has allowed her to live the life she loves. Holly is a partner, mother of two adults, coach, and public speaker and advocate. In 2018, Holly left her leadership job in the tech industry to follow her heart and relocated from the United States to Northern Ireland. Holly will soon graduate from Ulster University with her BSc in Therapeutic Communications and Counselling. Her research project is motivated by her own experience and the belief that it is essential that trauma survivors have choice in their healing including options for a combination of therapeutic and non-therapeutic interventions.
Holly is the Northern Ireland Ambassador for the National Alliance of Adult Survivor of Childhood Abuse. She co-facilitates the first Adult Survivor of Child Abuse (ASCA) meeting in Northern Ireland and is a Certified Professional Life Coach. Her mission is to set up a multi-disciplinary Trauma Recovery Program in Northern Ireland.
Holly is available for speaking engagements, podcast interviews, blog contributions and interviews.
Psychotherapist, trainer, author
Ros Townsend is an experienced psychotherapist who combines private therapy work with referrals from Occupational Health and the NHS. She has a special interest in working with those affected by psychological trauma and has worked extensively with survivors of domestic abuse, members of the blue-light services, and with military veterans through the veterans charity, PTSD Resolution, of which she is also a Trustee. She is author of the highly regarded self-help book, ‘PTSD: Understanding and Recovery’.
Ros is also a tutor for the Human Givens College and regularly provides bespoke training days for organisations looking to improve the wellbeing of their staff. She developed the current Trauma Awareness Training programme for PTSD Resolution, which is delivered across the UK, and has been engaged as a speaker at events designed to raise awareness in the field of mental health.
She lives near the coast in the South West of England with her two children, and, when not reading a book, can be found climbing mountains or wild swimming.
Lecturer, Trainer, Consultant, Chartered Psychologist, Psychotherapist
Dr Derek Farrell is a Principal Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Worcester (UK), an EMDR Therapy Europe Accredited Trainer and Consultant, a Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society, and an Accredited Psychotherapist with the British Association of Cognitive & Behavioural Psychotherapies (BABCP). He is President of Trauma Aid Europe and Scientific Advisor to the Board of Trauma Aid Germany. Derek has and continues to be involved in several international trauma capacity-building projects in Pakistan, Turkey, India, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia, Lebanon, Poland, Philippines, Palestine and Iraq. His PhD in Psychology was researching survivor’s experiences of sexual abuse perpetrated by clergy and consequently has written several publications on this subject matter, and presented internationally. In Geneva 2013, Derek was the recipient of the ‘David Servan Schreiber Award’ for Outstanding Contribution to EMDR Therapy. In addition, Derek was also shortlisted for the prestigious Times Higher Education Supplement (TES) Awards (2017) for ‘International Impact’ due to his Humanitarian Trauma Capacity Building work in Iraq with the Free Yezidi Foundation and the Jiyan Foundation for Torture and Human Rights. In June 2018 Derek was also awarded the Trauma Aid Europe ‘Humanitarian of the Year Award, in Strasbourg, France. In June 2020 Derek was awarded the Member of the (Most Excellent Order of the) British Empire (MBE) as part of Queen Elizabeth II Birthday Honours List for services to Psychology and Trauma.
Stephen is a Senior Youth Development Officer with the Youth Work Alliance, the headquarters for the voluntary sector youth services. Stephen studied at Manchester University and secured his Masters at Ulster University in 2004. Stephen has vast experience of working with young people suffering from the exposure to various traumas. He has worked with a variety of partners in health, education and employment and has developed a model of intervention with youth at risk that has proved to be successful in supporting their social, emotional and physical needs. He is a licensed trainer in Circle of Courage, a trauma based approach to developmental youth work and a Social Gaming and anti-gambling trainer.
Stephen is a director of Youthworks, a site Director for Amizade International, sits on the Board of Govenors at St. Joseph’s Primary School and has over 30 years practice as a youth work professional. He is a father of two and a grandfather to one who consume all his free time and are his greatest joy in life.
Therapeutic Practitioner, Trainer, international Public Speaker
Vivian is the Founder and Managing Director of Hydro-ease, Northern Irelands only dedicated floatation Centre. She is also the founder of Wellness Consultant and the regional coordinator for SMART Recovery UK. Vivian is committed to reducing the impacts of trauma and related symptoms using the latest approaches in neuroscience in unison with floatation therapy, developing Reconnection and Floatation Therapy (RAFT) her own unique approach to healing.
An inspirational and creative therapeutic practitioner, an authentic and engaging trainer and international Public Speaker Vivian firmly believes RAFT is the perfect antidote to our modern frenetic world
Having almost 3 decades of lived experience of adverse childhood experiences, trauma and addiction she was introduced to floatation for the first time in 2004. After having a very profound and enlightening experience she was kean to understand what had taken place. When the owner/operator of the float center could not provide the answers she sought she decided to find out for herself, this seen her returning to education and training alongside some of the most fascinating minds in the world of the modalities she has studied, working with everyone from leaders to vulnerable and disengaged young people throughout the Charity and Voluntary, Public and Private sectors across Scotland and Northern Ireland.
VP - YMCA National Executive Committee
Jade Irwin currently works for The Fostering Network and is the Vice President of the YMCA National Executive Committee. Jade has relayed that she drinks copious amounts of coffee, and thoroughly enjoys a long walk listening to a good podcast. She is passionate about nurturing environments both inside and outside work, the processes of rupture and repair in professional and personal relationships, and in regulation of self and co-regulation with others.
Director of Inspire’s Mental Health & Addiction Services
Alex is the current Group Director of Inspire’s Mental Health & Addiction Services.
Alex has managed mental health and addiction support services for over 17 years across Northern Ireland, working primarily in communities impacted by trauma and conflict. Alex has worked extensively in developing approaches to support the recovery of people, in particular those impacted by trauma and addiction. Alex is a strong advocate for person centred care and challenges some approaches which look to label, diagnose and create barriers for people with co-occuring conditions, such as trauma and addiction.
VSS Chief Executive Officer
Margaret Bateson is the Chief Executive of the Victims and Survivors Service (VSS) in Northern Ireland.
VSS was initially established in 2013 to provide support and services to victims and survivors of the Troubles/conflict. Since 2020, VSS has also been providing health and wellbeing services to survivors of Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA).
Margaret has over 15 years’ experience in leading organisational change, governance and service delivery in Northern Ireland, Europe and further afield.
With a commitment to co-designed and community-led services, she has overseen the implementation of a needs-based, trauma informed service delivery model since 2017, with a clear focus on achieving the best possible health and wellbeing outcomes for victims and survivors.
Prior to working with the VSS, Margaret worked in overseas development on community development and governance programmes and for the EU Programme for Peace and Reconciliation.