2015 Forum

Opening Keynote Address – Matthew Stanford

stanfordMatthew S. Stanford, Ph.D. began his tenure as CEO/Executive Director of the Hope and HealingCenter & Institute (HHC/I) in the spring of 2015. Formerly, Professor of Psychology, Neuroscience, and Biomedical Studies at Baylor University (2003-2015) and Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of New Orleans (1994-2003) he has served the academic community in a variety of leadership positions including institutional review board chair, graduate program director, and department chair.
A fellow of the Association for Psychological Science he is the author of over 100 peer- reviewed journal articles and book chapters in psychology, psychiatry, and neuroscience. His research on the interplay between psychology and issues of faith has been featured in such national publications as The New York Times, USA Today, and Christianity Today, as well as many news websites including Fox, MSNBC, Yahoo, and US News & World Report. Dr. Stanford is the author of two books, Grace for the Afflicted: A Clinical and Biblical Perspective on Mental Illness (InterVarsity Press, 2008) and The Biology of Sin: Grace Hope and Healing for Those Who Feel Trapped (InterVarsity Press, 2011).
Stanford earned his doctoral degree in behavioral neuroscience at Baylor University and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. Professionally he has worked with a variety of mentally ill and brain-injured individuals, including those with aggression, personality disorders, posttraumatic stress disorder, stroke, substance dependence, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and traumatic brain injury. Prior to coming to HHC/I, Dr. Stanford co-founded and served as the executive director of the Grace Alliance, a faith-based, non-profit mental health organization that provides services and support to individuals living with serious mental illness and their families. Presently he serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Family and Community Ministries and Behavioral Sciences and the Law, and is a member of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Mental Health Advisory Group, and the American Bible Society’s Trauma Healing Institute Advisory Council. Matt and his wife, Julie, are the parents of four children and reside in Houston, Texas. For more information about our Opening Keynote Speaker, visit: http://www.hopeandhealingcenter.org

Closing Keynote Address – Eric Arauz

arauzEric Arauz, MLER is the President of the Trauma Institute of New Jersey. He is an internationally recognized theorist, speaker, systems consultant, trainer and national award-winning author. Eric is a volunteer adjunct faculty instructor at the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in the department of Psychiatry. He consults on trauma-informed practice and recovery-based psychiatric treatment with organizations from the state of Oregon; the University of Colorado-Denver; state Psychiatric hospitals in Colorado, Missouri and New York; Parkland Health Systems Dallas, Texas; Cone Behavioral Health North Carolina; the US Army and the state of NJ’s Children System of Care.
His work in Trauma focuses on the Neurobiology of Helplessness with interventions based on Interpersonal Neurobiology, Stress Physiology, the Polyvagal Theory, Prolonged Exposure therapy, Neuro-education, Cognitive and Somatic Narrative Reconstruction and Trauma-Informed Storytelling. He co-created the Psych Congress national Trauma Institute in conjunction with faculty of the Ralph H. Johnson Veterans Hospital and the Medical University of South Carolina. He also created the American Psychiatric Nurses Association Trauma-Informed Recovery curriculum for the national Recovery to Practice grant by SAMHSA as a five-year faculty member. He is currently completing the 94 hour Interpersonal Neurobiology course through UCLA and the Mindsight Institute with Dan Siegel M.D..
Eric has hosted Grand Rounds at the Resnik Neuropsychiatric hospital UCLA, the University of Illinois-Chicago Medical Center, Beth Israel New York City, Parkland Community hospital Dallas TX, the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and many others. He has won fellowships and national awards for his work from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA-US Department of Health) and the American Psychiatric Nurse Association (APNA). He is a steering committee member of the US Psychiatric and Mental Health Congress and on the board of trustees of the Institute for Nursing of the New Jersey State Nurses Association. He was the co-creator and Vice Chairman of the Opiate Task Force for the NJ Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse and served as a state officer appointed by Governor Christie. Eric has done all this while being diagnosed with developmental trauma from near fatal child abuse that included an attempted murder by his biological father when Eric was 12 and posttraumatic stress disorder due to being held in restraints for over 24 hours in 1996 while inpatient in a maximum security Veterans Administration Psychiatric Hospital. Eric has also been diagnosed with Bipolar 1 Disorder that has included 3 maximum-security psychiatric hospitalizations from 1995-2000 and addiction. He is continuously sober since 1996 and symptom free of his Bipolar disorder since 2000. He is free of all medication since 2007.
Eric holds a professional Masters Degree from the Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations concentrating on Industrial Relations and Systems Integration. Eric is a disabled veteran of the United States Navy that served in Operation Desert Storm deployed to the Red Sea as part of an international maritime interdiction force.
For more information about our Closing Keynote Speaker, visit: http://ericarauz.com

Break Out Sessions

Trauma-Informed Storytelling – Eric Arauz, MLER, President of the Trauma Institute of New Jersey.
How to use reading, writing and speaking of the personal narrative to integrate a lived traumatic subjective experience (cognitive and somatic) and heal trauma and emotional distress. For more information go to: www.ericarauz.com

“Don’t Worry, be Happy” isn’t Enough: How to Help Anxious People – Leslie Fadem, MA, Licensed Marriage, Family & Child Counselor.
Over 200,000 people in San Diego suffer from various forms of anxiety and the often accompanying depression. Understanding how common anxiety is and the different kinds of anxiety can be the first steps in helping individuals overcome the often crippling symptoms. Tips for friends and family members will be presented along with specific coping skills that can reduce the symptoms and help people have a normal life. For more information go to: www.lesliefadem.com

Reducing Anxiety: How Support Groups Can Give Hope & Relief – Lo Mehnert, LMFT, Michelle Goodrie Evans, MFTI, The San Diego Phobia Foundation
A meaningful, understanding support system is helpful for the recovery of people struggling with symptoms of both anxiety and depression. This session will be a participatory experience of a mock support group in which individuals will practice cognitive/behavioral skills to address symptoms of generalized anxiety, phobias, panic attacks, obsessions and compulsions, social anxiety, all types of depression and post -traumatic stress.

Helping Your Loved One Overcome Addiction – Tom Horvath, Ph.D., ABPP and Julia Rosengren, Psy.D, Practical Recovery
Although no one is responsible for another’s addictive behavior, there are many actions you can take to increase non-using behavior and decrease using in the person you care about. These actions can also occur while increasing your own self-care. Learn a new perspective on helping loved ones, based on the evidence-based approach, Community Reinforcement and Family Training. For more information go to: www.practicalrecovery.com

Recovery Coaching – Ray DiCiccio, MSW, CHWC, Program Director, The Fellowship Center Alcohol & Drug Services, Nancy Anderson, & Amy Colliton, Compassionate Intervention & Recovery Coaching.
Have you ever wanted to help someone struggling with addiction but didn’t know how? Helping people change unhealthy behaviors is difficult, especially when the behaviors are related to mind altering substances like alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. A growing body of evidence indicates that using science based approaches like the Trans Theoretical Model (TTM) of change, Motivational Interviewing (MI) and Positive Psychology in a coaching framework improves success rates dramatically. Many of these powerful techniques are easy to learn and produce amazing results. This workshop provides an overview of these new technologies and explains how to use them in a coaching context. Participants will experience firsthand how to use these techniques and how they are affected by them. For more information go to: www.thefellowshipcenter.org and compassionateintervention.net

Panel Discussion: Helping Families Understand Medication Management – Panel: Dan Ainsworth, Group Facilitator, Depression Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA), Speaker, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) San Diego Ending the Silence Program, & Student, Mesa College Acquired Brain Injury Program; Julie Benn, Communications Specialist, NAMI San Diego; Kathy Lutes, Director of Counseling, The Church at Rancho Bernardo; Sue Moore, Family Member, NAMI San Diego Friends in the Lobby Volunteer, Sharp Mesa Vista Patient & Family Advisory Council Member; Katie Wood, Consumer. Moderator: Jim Fix, Psy.D., District Director Palomar Center for Behavioral Health, Palomar Hospital
Though the use of psychotropic medication in the treatment of many psychiatric conditions is common, the experience of taking those medications is uniquely individual. The members of this panel will share their personal stories of how psychotropic medications have impacted their lives and the lives of their families so that attendees may better understand the realities of “medication management”.

Recent Advances in Recognition and Treatment of Eating Disorders: Focus on Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa and Binge Eating Disorder – Terry Schwartz, MD, Clinical Director UCSD Eating Disorder Adult and Adolescent Programs, Assistant Clinical Professor UCSD School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry
In recent years, we have seen many advances in the understanding and treatment for eating disorders. With the recent addition of Binge Eating Disorder and ARFID (Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder) to the psychiatric diagnostic manual, (DSM V), there have been significant advances in recognition and treatment of all major eating disorders. This section will cover the spectrum of eating disorder subtypes: Anorexia nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder and ARFID, with special focus on causes, early recognition, and best practices for treatment. One of the major advances has been through specialized brain imaging that shows individuals with eating disorders have brain function abnormalities that have helped guide more effective treatments for these conditions, and reduce stigma often associated with eating disorders. There will be a brief review of the neurobiology of eating disorders and discussion of state of the art evidenced based treatments. For more information go to: www.eatingdisorders.ucsd.edu

Co-Occurring Illness: When Substance Use & Mental Illness Collide – Susan D. Writer, Ph.D., Aurora Behavioral Health Care
When individuals have both mental health and substance abuse issues, it is called ‘Co-Occurring Illness’. This workshop will illuminate the challenges faced by individuals with Co-occurring illness, the families who love them, and the clinicians who work with them as a first step in developing empathy and compassion. The presentation will also introduce specific, effective techniques to help individuals decrease conflict and improve outcomes. For more information go to: www.aurorasandiego.com

Recognizing & Recovering from Stress & Emotional Trauma – Edward J. Thompson, M.A., LMFT, Inner Peace Counseling Services & Coherence Associates
This workshop will compare the signs and symptoms of stress versus those experienced as a result of traumatic experiences and how each can contribute to substance abuse and mental illness. A proven method of recovery will also be highlighted. For more information go to: www.innerpeacecs.com

The Role of Play in Emotional Wellness – Why it’s Not Just for Kids – Ellen Frudakis, M.A., Executive Director, Impact Young Adults
Impact Young Adults, a nonprofit run by and for young adults with mental health diagnoses, has known for years that fun is an important part of emotional wellness. Join us as we discuss how play, and all forms of fun, can make you happier, more emotionally balanced, and feel more connected to those around you. And there’s even research to back it up! For more information go to: impactyoungadults.org

When Faith & Behavioral Health Meet
Morning Session: Life Interrupted: When Faith and Mental Health Difficulties Meet – Joyce Bruggeman, Certified Mental Health Coach, QPR Trainer, Director of Life Groups, The Church at Rancho Bernardo; Kathy Lutes, Director of Counseling, The Church at Rancho Bernardo.
Have you ever wondered where God is in the midst of unrelenting mental health difficulties? Learn how God’s grace breaks through the judgment and shame to relieve suffering, produce hope, and transform lives. Materials in this workshop will provide practical tools and resources that are beneficial to both people living with a mental health difficulty and those who love them.
Afternoon Session: Navigating College with a Mental Health Difficulty – Casey Hogue, Director of Administration & Natalie Pierson, M.A. / OTR/L, Director of Program Development, Mental Health Grace Alliance (West Coast).
As Natalie shares her experience of living with a mental health difficulty in college, Casey adds in the valued perspective of what it looks like to support a loved one through this stage of life. What are the barriers? What are the resources? And where is the hope? For more information go to: www.mentalhealthgracealliance.org
The Benefits of Meditation & Mindfulness for Brain Health -Divya Kakaiya, Ph.D., CEDS, Healthy Within
Typically, when we are stressed, it is because there are some areas of our lives that feel off balance and our normal coping skills aren’t working. We may feel overwhelmed by unwanted negative thoughts or emotions, or out of control with regard to our use of drugs or alcohol. When we feel powerless, our bodies respond to deal with the perceived threat. At the center of our physiological responses is the brain. Often we talk about the brain and the mind simultaneously. This workshop will discuss the substrate and intersection of the mind and the brain; and with this refined understanding, attendees will leave with the awareness of the exciting potential of how powerful our minds can be in healing our brains. Research on the benefits of mindfulness will enhance our understanding of the benefits of meditation for the prevention of brain conditions such as depression, anxiety, OCD, substance abuse, Alzheimer’s, and other dementias. And since scientific evidence suggests that stress is one of the factors that kills the most neurons in the brain, we will be exploring the applications of mindfulness and meditation to tap into the mind-body connection to heal ourselves once the damage has already occurred. For more information go to: www.healthywithin.com
Grief & Loss Support Coming Soon!
Morning Session: The Power & Healing of Talking Among Those Left Behind After a Suicide – Cheryl Williams & Kathy Gates, Facilitators for Survivors of Suicide Loss (SOSL)
This support group session is peer led and is for persons who have lost a loved one to suicide. The supportive environment of this session creates a safe and confidential space for friends and families to share their personal struggles and various paths toward healing. This is an opportunity to experience the power of talking with fellow survivors thru sharing diverse stories of grief and loss, and ultimately, navigating the road to hope and healing. For more information go to: www.soslsd.org
Afternoon Session: Life After Loss – Chip Whitman, M.A., Pastor of Care and Counseling, Emmanuel Faith Community Church
Since loss is part of everyone’s life, we must learn not only to cope with it, but how to grow through it. This takes courage, strength and grace, and it is often difficult to find a safe place to find support. This multi-media session will help the attendees with practical guidelines for growth through any type of loss. This is an interactive session, in a support group format, with questions and discussion encouraged. For more information go to: www.efcc.org
Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR): Gatekeeper Training for Suicide Prevention – Morning Presenter: Stan Collins, Consultant; Afternoon Presenter: Bonnie Bear, Executive Director, Survivors of Suicide Loss (SOSL)
QPR is designed to give members of the general public the basic skills necessary to recognize a crisis and the warning signs that someone may be contemplating suicide. QPR is like CPR – an emergency mental health intervention for suicidal persons. For more information go to: www.qprinstitute.com