2021 Conference Information


  • Full price for all 4 sessions $150 for CGAT members, $175 for non-members
  • Students $95 for GCAT Members, $125 for non-members
  • Any single session is $50 for GCAT members and $65 for non-members

Session 1: Saturday 9-11-21, 10:30 AM EST to 1:30 PM EST          

  • Kathy Figley GCAT During 9/11
  • Mary Schoenfeldt: Community Recovery From Traumatic Incidents

Session 2: Wednesday 9-15-21, 4:30 PM EST to 7:30 PM EST        

  • Peter Teahen: Fatalities Management Workers and COVID-19: Stress, Coping, and Wellbeing
  • Dan Casey: Psychological First Aid During the COVID Pandemic 1 hour
  • Anna Pecoraro: Sexual Abuse and Toxic Shame: Using Somatic Techniques from Reichian and Lowenian

Session 3: Saturday 9-18-21, 10:30 AM EST to 1:30 PM EST          

  • Nathan Ray Team Leader is not a table-top exercise
  • Benjamin B Keyes: Green Cross in Kenya Comparison of Intervention and Need Seven Years Apart
  • Alan O'Malley-Laursen: Be Aware…Be Prepared…Make A Difference: A Reflective Journey To Resilience and Effective Trauma Response

Session 4: Wednesday 9-22-21, 4:30 PM EST to 7:30 PM EST        

  • Rachel Drosdick-Sigafoos: Instilling Homeostasis to Defuse and Avoid Crises
  • Dr. Kathie Erwin: Creative Therapies for Trauma Counseling:  Trauma impacts neural pathways and disrupts emotional responses that can lead to behavioral and psychological disorders

Presentation Descriptions

Anna Pecoraro
Sexual Abuse and Toxic Shame Using Somatic Techniques from Reichian and Lowenian Therapies in the Context of Psychoanalytic Trauma Therapy to Promote Recovery

The presenter will give a case presentation, using a vignette that has been disguised to protect confidentiality. The client presented for outpatient psychotherapy with symptoms of PTSD, with prominent dissociation. He was molested as a young child and underwent the continual traumas of parental invalidation and the day-to-day dysfunction of his family. Two years of integrative psychotherapy and the specific somatic techniques used, as well as their purpose and impact, will be described. The presentation will have an experiential component, where attendees will have an opportunity to try some of the somatic techniques that were used.


Alan O'Malley-Laursen
Be Aware…Be Prepared…Make A Difference: A Reflective Journey To Resilience and Effective Trauma Response

Ongoing exposure to individuals experiencing trauma, pain, and suffering can adversely influence our personal and professional well-being, as well as negatively impact our effectiveness as helping professionals. After a brief examination of the emotional impact that this work has on us, this unique workshop integrates short presentation, topic-specific live music, and personal reflection to explore 5 specific skills that are necessary for effective and compassionate helping, even in the midst of these emotional challenges. These skills include self-awareness, self-regulation, emotional reflection, radical compassion, and compassion satisfaction. It is the intention of this workshop to provide affirmation, reflection, and inspiration.


Nathan Ray
Team Leader is not a Table-Top Exercise

If you were asked to lead a group of peers and professionals in disaster response, would you what to do? Join Nathan to learn practical techniques to successfully manage teams of traumatologists and mental health professionals in the field. This interactive workshop will combine instruction with opportunities to plan a community intervention while providing guidance to a Green Cross disaster response team. Explore real-world personnel management issues in team dynamics, conflicting personalities, and supervising volunteers, as well as practical issues such as transportation, lodging, time zone changes, and communication - all while using trauma-informed practices to support community members and non-traditional responders following a disaster.


Peter Teahen
Fatalities Management Workers and COVID-19 Stress, Coping, and Wellbeing

This presentation will share information collected in the first-ever national study of fatalities management workers or “Last Responders”.  Fatalities management workers include those who work in a funeral home, crematory, hospital decedent care unit, medical examiner office, etc.), and may have been exposed to stress related to their work during the COVID-19 Pandemic, which may have influenced their wellbeing.

Last Responders’ are the invisible faces of COVID-19.  Yet their work is essential. This study was conducted by the College of Public Health, University of Iowa, and funded by the US Department of Health & Human Services, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. The purpose of this study and presentation is to understand stress, coping strategies, and wellbeing of fatalities management workers across the US in relation to COVID-19; and to use that knowledge to guide the development of supportive interventions to promote wellbeing among these workers.


Dr. Kathie Erwin
Creative Therapies for Trauma Counseling

Trauma impacts neural pathways and disrupts emotional responses that can lead to behavioral and psychological disorders. Explore ways to bypass defenses and engage neuroplasticity with creative therapy techniques as an entry or adjunct option to talk therapy.  This experiential workshop demonstrates creative therapy techniques for trauma counseling including sand tray, therapy rocks, therapeutic journaling, and expressive arts. Attendees will participate in these techniques and receive basic handouts and ideas to incorporate creative therapies.


Mary Schoenfeldt
Community Recovery From Traumatic Incidents

We often talk about how to help individuals deal with trauma in their lives and move towards a path to recovery.  But what about communities?  Communities are living organisms and can be faced with the same issues:  significant loss of functioning, shock, inability to make decisions, setbacks, hypersensitive reactions.  And just like people, communities can grow and thrive and change through post-traumatic growth.  What does it take for a community to reduce the risk of prolonged trauma impacts and get back on the road to recovery and resiliency?

This workshop will look at community recovery from two different perspectives. mental health and emergency management.  The ACES field has expanded to include Childhood Adverse Events into 2 additional tiers beyond the individual.  Tier 2 is Community Events and Tier 3 is Climate Crisis Events.  Learn from an experienced Emergency Manager and Green Cross volunteers what can happen when we bring the fields of knowledge together.


Rachel Drosdick-Sigafoos
Instilling Homeostasis to Defuse and Avoid Crises

This presentation addresses how trauma and crises show up in school settings and advises how to respond to these events. Given the alarming rate of childhood trauma and the myriad manifestations of trauma that shape students' experiences as they learn, relate, and exist in school buildings, this session will consider how people impacted by trauma perceive and interact with their environments and each other. The session will also provide guidance on developing a trauma-sensitive environment that proactively considers potential triggers, reduces retraumatization, and alleviates crises.


Benjamin B. Keyes
Green Cross in Kenya Comparison of Intervention and Need Seven Years Apart

Green Cross Techniques are Trauma-Informed and supported by research. This workshop will examine many of the techniques as applied to a community in Kenya Africa on 2 visits 7 years apart.  This introspective workshop will examine cultural differences between the two time frames and how intervention can alter cultural norms. The effectiveness of the technique will be applied to populations and discussed in terms of expectations and effectiveness.


Dr. Dan Casey
Psychological First Aid During the COVID Pandemic

Identifying Psychological first aid issues when working with the COVID-19 population