APA Division 56 2016 Convention Programming

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By Amy E. Ellis, PhD

AEllisThe Programming Committee is excited to announce our full lineup of convention and suite programming for this year’s conference in Denver, CO. As a reminder, the conference is taking place from Thursday, August 4 to Sunday, August 7. Below is a brief summary of our programming, but please check out our convention webpage for more detailed information.


Conference Theme. This year our theme was “Trauma Psychology: Getting the Word Out.” As the field of trauma studies grows within psychology, we must also recognize how we can extend these milestones to other domains such as primary care, clinical training, and general lay audiences. As such, our programming has reflected this need for continued advocacy, research, and practice so that our bourgeoning field can continue to flourish.

Invited Address. Our invited speaker, Mr. Shaka Senghor, is no stranger to trauma. A trauma survivor himself, he faced a childhood of violence, poverty, and addiction, which ultimately contributed to his 19 years in prison for second-degree murder. He dared to dream beyond those prison walls and, since his release, has written numerous books including his memoir, Writing My Wrongs: Life, Death, and Redemption in an American Prison. He is a leading voice for criminal justice reform and is an exemplar in getting the word out on the nature of trauma. Mr. Senghor will be presenting on Friday, August 5, from 4:00 p.m. to 4:50 p.m. in the Denver Sheraton Hotel. The first 50 people in attendance will receive a free copy of his book.

Past Presidential Panel. We are excited to celebrate our 10-year anniversary this year! What better way to celebrate than with all of our past presidents who have paved the way for our Division? They helped us gain solid ground within the APA, as well as within Division 56 as an organization in its own right. Past presidents Drs. Judie Alpert, Robert Geffner, Laura Brown, Christine Courtois, Steven Gold, Terrence Keane, Constance Dalenberg, Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, and Beth Rom-Rymer, along with our current president Dr. Joan Cook, will share their collective wisdom on our Division’s greatest accomplishments, ideas for future directions in practice and research, and the lessons learned to strengthen the field. The Presidential Panel will follow Mr. Senghor’s presentation from 5:00 p.m. to 5:50 p.m., on Friday, August 5, in the Denver Sheraton Hotel.

Social Hour & Awards Ceremony. Join us as we continue to celebrate our 10-year anniversary with hors d’oeuvres, socializing and networking, and the presentation of our various Division awards. Our invited guest, Mr. Shaka Senghor, will also be joining us and will be available to sign books. This fun event will take place on Friday, August 5, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:50 p.m. in the Denver Sheraton Hotel.

Symposia. We are thrilled to announce our listing of hot topics in the field of trauma psychology, with sessions including: “Addressing Trauma Related Issues and Problems in Healthcare Settings,” “Trauma and Caregiving: Complicated Situations and Solutions,” “Assessment and Treatment of Torture Survivors,” “Education and Training in Trauma Psychology: From Undergraduate Through Post-Licensure,” “Helping Veterans with Reintegration and Recovery in Community Settings,” “World Refugee Trauma: Women, Children, Families, and Social Justice,” and “Forensic Practice with Vulnerable Populations: The Victim-Victimizer-Victim Cycle.”

Posters. We were astounded to receive not only a high volume of poster submissions this year, but also those of high quality and rigorous standing. We have two poster sessions to showcase some of the latest groundbreaking research in our field. Although there are far too many to name, a few posters center on particularly timely topics related to interventions for trauma-related disorders, understanding trauma-related symptomotology in various cultural and ethnic groups, human trafficking, and positive psychotherapy constructs (e.g., spirituality, hope, and posttraumatic growth).

Suite Programming. We have reserved the Blue Spruce Suite in the Hyatt Regency for division-specific programming. Renowned speakers will deliver informal conversation hours on trauma research publishing tips, working with male sexual assault survivors, trauma-related forensic practice, and Internet interventions. Don’t forget to stop by our suite Social & Mixer on Saturday, August 6, from 5 p.m. to 7p.m.!

Amy Ellis, Ph.D. is the 2016 Convention Programming Chair for Division 56. She is also a clinical supervisor and research/statistical consultant in the Trauma Resolution and Integration Program at Nova Southeastern University. She is a licensed psychologist with areas of expertise in attachment theory, complex PTSD, and serious and persistent mental illness.