Through Her Eyes – Workshop Descriptions


During registration, you will be asked to pick a first choice and a second choice for both AM and PM time slots. 


A.M. Workshops

AM-1: Moving From Distraction and Overwhelm to Engagement and Resilience

Presenter: Linda Edgecombe, Learning Edge Resources (Keynote Speaker)

Linda will deliver a hands-on, highly humorous ride that will re-focus, re-energize and re-invent how you see your life and your work. Using the research and data collected for her latest book and Ted Talk “Breaking Busy – Finding Peace in the Chaos” Linda will weave her humorous stories and research into an interactive presentation with tons of aha moments and take-a-ways.

AM-2: Meditation, Breath Work, and Chair Yoga

Presenter: Deborah Merriman, Cambridge College

Self-care is essential to anyone and everyone in the helping professions.  This workshop is an introduction to several methods which are beneficial to clinicians, teachers, medical personnel as well as the general public.  A brief explanation of the benefits and techniques will be provided.  Each participant will see the specific technique demonstrated and then the group will have the opportunity to put it into practice without leaving the chair!  Please join me for this experiential workshop that could change your life!

AM-3: Trauma Informed Treatment: Its Applicability to Working with Young Women

Presenter: Nina Slovik, CHD

This workshop will focus on defining trauma informed treatment as a fundamental approach to working with young women. This approach has particular applicability for survivors of trauma, as well as those struggling with suicidal ideation, depression and other issues. We will define trauma informed treatment, discus the rationale for its use and focus on how best to apply it in our work.

AM-4: Sexual Harassment Prevention: Empowering Young Girls to Take Action

Presenter: Gemini Murray, GA Murray Consulting

This workshop will focus on Sexual Harassment Prevention and Intervention especially as it pertains to young girls. We will analyze and discuss the different forms of sexual harassment committed against young girls, the prevalence of the problem, where it happens, some contributing factors and the consequences for young female victims.

AM-5: Reading in Relationship: an Innovative Family Counseling Approach

Presenters: James Canning, Walter Mullin, and Tiffany Wright, Springfield College School of Social Work

This workshop will provide an innovative practice approach using parent-child reading as a way to promote children’s brain development, language and social skills, and positive family emotional interactions. Early reading and language skills are known to support later success in school and in the social world. The workshop will integrate language and reading into family counseling and every day family life as a way of supporting secure attachment, emotion regulation, reflective thinking, learning, and mutually joyful parent-child interactions.

AM-6: Using Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) Skills for Self-Care

Presenter: Lisa Atkin, Private Practice

This presentation will explore a variety of DBT Skills, and ways to adopt these skills in our own lives, to improve self-care, reduce burnout, and enhance our abilities to best serve our clients. We will discuss and practice Mindfulness, and we will cover multiple skills for Emotion Regulation and Distress Tolerance.

AM-7: Real As Me a Story-Based Approach to Girls Empowerment

Presenter: David Heller, Youth Communication

In this interactive session, participants will experience the award-winning curriculum Real As Me, which uses true stories written by real teens to foster the social and emotional development of teen girls as well as the educators and youth workers who serve them.

AM-8: Cultivating Wellness: Understanding and Combating the Impact of Vicarious Trauma

Presenter: Jessica Wozniak, Baystate Family Advocacy Center

Vicarious trauma occurs when our inner experience changes as a result of engagement with a traumatized client. Participants will learn the signs and symptoms of vicarious trauma/secondary traumatic stress and its potential impact on health, wellbeing and performance. Common situations that contribute to VT/STS will be explored along with preventative and protective actions that can be taken.

AM-9: Conversations with At Risk Individuals – a Motivational Interviewing Approach

Presenters: Jim Stokes-Buckles & Tom Stevens, CHD

We will review the basics of Motivational Interviewing and then explore application of MI to work with at-risk individuals, including addressing ambivalence toward change.

AM-10: #Cutting: Addressing the Problem of Self-Injury on Social Media

Presenters: Kelli Ruby DO, Martha Ignasweski MD, Stephanie Daly MD, Baystate Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry; Boston Children’s Hospital, Department of Psychiatry; Baystate Medical Center and Family Advocacy Center

With the advent of smart phones and increased accessibility to the internet, adolescents are increasingly exposed to potentially dangerous content on various social media platforms. This workshop will explore the typical content about non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) accessed on social media, and offer strategies for discussing self-harm with adolescent girls in a safe and effective way.

AM-11: Get Grounded and Connect: Yoga Skills for You and Your Client

Presenter: Karoun Charkoudian, Karoun Yoga

Through presentation, discussion, and exercise, we will learn techniques to connect with body/breath to feel safe. For many that have experienced trauma, getting in touch with the body can be terrifying. We will explore ways that stress and trauma gets stuck in the physical body, and how to safely ground and connect and how this can be an integral step on the journey of healing and recovery

AM-12: Spiritual Self Care

Presenter: Yohah Ralph, Cooley Dickinson Hospital & CHD

Through a combination of presentation, exercises, and discussion we will explore a variety of spiritual practices that can be helpful for self care in context to trauma, secondary trauma, grief, anxiety, stress, and self esteem. The learning will be transferable to girls and young women at risk. Topics will include guided relaxation and visualization techniques, prayer, ritual, and affirmations.

AM-13: Connecting Girls and Young Women with Sexual and Reproductive Health Care

Presenters: Brenda Reyes & Sophie Howard, Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts

Sexual and reproductive health care continues to be a stigmatized topic even within communities of health care professionals. This presentation reviews the sexual and reproductive health care services provided at Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts in Western MA, including ways to access services, support, and education.

AM-14: Practical Applications of the Expressive and Creative Arts: An Experiential Workshop for Providers

Presenters: Christine Southworth & Patricia Hayes, Southworth Wellness & ART from the Heart

Participants will learn how to incorporate expressive visual art as a modality to help clients express themselves and learn to use this as a relaxation tool. This is a hands-on workshop.

AM-15: Sensory Strategies with Small Budgets in Small Spaces

Presenters: Stephanie Colella & Hollie Marron, CHD

The information we take in through our senses plays an integral part in our overall state. Often we think of sensory-based approaches as requiring an extensive amount of space and expensive equipment. However, it is very possible to develop and implement effective and practical interventions with minimal resources. Participants will learn the basics of sensory modulation as well as tips and tricks to implement sensory-based approaches with clients in environments or situations where available space or money is at a minimum.

AM-16: It’s OK to “B” You

Presenters: India Anderson & Trevi Hall, CHD

This workshop will focus on abuse of substances, especially as it pertains to young women, the struggles with issues around identity,self-esteem and the importance of learning ways to re-gain (self) in sobriety.

AM-17: The Multidisciplinary Response to Abuse, Assault and Exploitation

Presenters: Jane Mulqueen, Hampden County Assistant District Attorney; Chief, Special Victims Unit & Jane Chevalier, Director, Victim Witness Hampden District Attorney’s Office

Due to the complex nature of abuse and exploitation offenses, multidisciplinary teams (MDTs) are necessary to enhance and improve investigations and responses to these critical issues.  This workshop will address and illustrate   why an MDT is necessary to ensure an effective response to reports of abuse and exploitation; what an MDT is comprised of; and how an MDT functions in relation to cases of abuse and exploitation.   Case studies and interactive team exercises are included in this workshop presentation.

AM-18: PaintCraze (workshop not eligible for CEU’s)

Presenters: Marybeth Reed, PaintCraze

Marybeth Reed will provide everything you need to complete a painting from start to finish… you’ll get step-by-step instructions and your own paint station with 16×20 canvas, easel, paints, paint brushes and apron to complete your Masterpiece in about 2-hours!

P.M. Workshops


PM-1: Self-Care and Stress Reduction: Putting Ourselves First

Presenter: Cheryl Ann Green, Southern Connecticut State University and Yale-New Haven Hospital

As young women experience the transitional developmental stage between late adolescence and adulthood (age 18 to 24 years), they will have increased responsibilities. Increases in responsibilities can include financial stressors, relationship problems, homelessness, distant or absence of support and love from families of origin, and academic stressors. Self-care is imperative.

PM-2: Live Joyfully

Presenter: Jeanine Fitzgerald, The Fitzgerald Institute of Lifelong Learning

Anyone who has ever watched the life cycle of a helium balloon has also seen the full range of the human heart. When lightened, the heart soars, flying above all constraints. When saddened and heavy, it deflates, sinks, bounces along the ground, shrinking to a fraction of its original size. All humans have a hunger for joy and living joyfully supports hope. It’s time to laugh more and we will!

PM-3: Survivors Speak, Both young and Adult

Presenters: Kathy Picard & Jordan Chmura, Sexual Abuse Prevention Advocate, Author, Speaker

This workshop will speak of sexual abuse through the voices of a teen and adult survivor. Jordan and Kathy’s lives through mentorship have been very rewarding and educational. We will briefly tell our story of our abuse, how and why we got together and the importance of mentorship, why it is important. What people should know about sexual abuse. Q & A, resource handouts will be provided.

PM-4: Creating Connection and Community for Young Women Aging Out of Foster Care

Presenters: Kristen Golden & Jane Lyons, Friends of Children

Young women who age out of foster care (18-22) alone experience homelessness (45-50%), pregnancy (71%), and are 10 times as likely as their peers to commit a crime. This workshop introduces FOCUS: Foster Futures, a new model of community connection, which surrounds youth exiting foster care with small teams of caring volunteers who sustain them in their transition to independence and adulthood.

PM-5: Supporting LGBTQIA+ Youth in Your Agency

Presenter: James Shultis, GLSEN

This interactive workshop will provide a foundation for you to explore topics including sexual orientation, gender identity/expression as they relate to the young people we work with. Become familiar with some of the challenges LGBTQIA+ youth may face including coming out, healthy development, accessing appropriate care, and navigating other systems that they have historically been excluded from.

PM-6: Maintaining a Positive Image by Embodying Dignity

Presenter: Andrea Bordenca, Lead Yourself Youth, Inc.

The majority of how we communicate is non-verbal. How we appear externally comes from how we feel internally. In order to be our best self and a role model for youth, we need to build a body of resilience so that we can choose whether to allow the negative states of others to influence us or to use our own positive states to influence our own narratives and others.

PM-7: Healing Abandonment and Overcoming Trauma, etc.

PANEL: Amy Woods-Sawyer, CHD, Sharry Woods-Chery, CT Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services, Heidi Walter, MA Department of Youth Services, Elizabeth D’Amico, Cambridge College, Moderated by: Janice Mitchell, CHD

Trauma related experiences (particularly in childhood) undermine attachments thereby creating a cycle of further trauma, intrapsychic distress and alienation. This panel workshop will focus on identifying methods to help girls understand and move past traumatic experiences to become healthy adults.

PM-8: Breaking Out of the Story: Mindfulness Tools for Professionals

Presenters: Lev Ben-Ezra & Jenniefer Murphy, Community Action of the Franklin, Hampshire, and North Quabbin Regions, Greenfield, MA

Ever experience frustration, anxiety, or a sense that it’s all on you? Ever feel over-involved/burnt-out? Using powerful visuals, discussion, and technique practice, front-line staff/supervisors learn concrete strategies to use mindfulness to overcome participant resistance, increase outcomes, and reduce staff stress and burnout. Suitable for total skeptics and experienced practitioners alike.

PM-9: Perinatal Mood Disorders: The Dark Side of the Full Moon

Presenters: Jenise Katalina, Square One & Lakisha Coppedge, Motherwoman

This workshop will offer an understanding of Perinatal Mood Disorders, including risk factors, signs and symptoms. With Maternal Mental Illness being one of the most common complications of childbirth, it is imperative to gain an understanding of how to prevent, treat and support women, children and families through these experiences.

PM-10: The Prison Birth Project: Reproductive Justice and Health at the Intersection of the Criminal Justice System and Parenthood

Presenters: Lauren Singer, Marisa Pizii, Lisa Andrews & Kenzie Johnson, CHD, The Prison Birth Project

This workshop will focus on the prison industrial complex as it relates to pregnant and parenting women and trans people in prison settings. We will offer perspectives from those who have either experienced childbirth while incarcerated or have been affected by the carceral system. Facilitators will provide trauma-informed approaches to those working with incarcerated women and affected families.

PM-11: Motherless Daughters

Presenters: Deb Jones & Dimitra Kenney, CHD

Experiences, of working with numerous motherless daughters in the programs. Needs that we as women in the community can assist fulfilling that void if only for a short period of time. Touch is extremely healing to that young lady who is hurting inside, needing their mother, no matter the reason for her absence in her life. Processing ways, to help them cope with being without their mom, while being careful with boundaries. Offering a listening ear to hear what they are saying, allowing them to cry out for their mom and be there to fully support them in their time of need. Actions to be taken to fill that void, work that needs to be put in, by family, friends, and us as professionals. Leading them in the right direction so that they can gain the skills and knowledge to break the cycle of possibly having a child one day and their child being in their position.

PM-12: The Power of Choice

Presenter: Gina Fernandez

Regardless of where you’ve come from, or where you are, you have the power to control your future and make it whatever you want.  This workshop will give you the tools, techniques and best demonstrated practices to propel your life in a new positive direction.  Prepare to leave feeling empowered and excited about your future.   Life is not effortless; we all share the same struggles and fears packaged differently.  This workshop will help you reclaim the confidence that your life is meant to be lived with hope and excitement. 

PM-13: All God’s People: Inclusion and Spiritual Services for Persons with Disabilities

PANEL: Sr. Joan Magnani, SSJ – RC Diocese of Springfield, Executive Director of Jericho: The Bureau for Exceptional Children and Adults, Deacon Susan Lindberg Haley –  New England Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), Bethany Young – Director of Special Needs at the Springfield Jewish Community Center (SJCC), David Drake: Headmaster and Founder of White Oak School, Westfield . MA, Dr. M. Saleem Bajwa: President of the Islamic Society of Western Mass, Panel Moderator,  Dr. Martin J. Pion, Elms College

A 21st century look at the spiritual needs of persons within a broad spectrum/range of disabilities, and the knowledge and skills required by their families and care providers in identifying and meeting those needs. Worship, prayer, search for meaning, dealing with spiritual distress and other topics will be considered.

PM-14: Self-Care for Caretakers

Presenter: Jessica Gifford, Thrive

Taking care of others can be emotionally demanding, and we often do not have the time and support necessary to fully recuperate from daily challenges. In this workshop, participants will discuss compassion fatigue, burnout, and the importance of engaging in self-care. Participants will learn and practice writing exercises shown to help build resiliency.

PM-15: Talking about Sex with Teens–Strategies for Providers

Presenter: Clementine S Lazar, Tapestry Health

This workshop will focus on building the skills needed to have successful conversations about sex with the teens we work with, particularly around issues of sexual health, virginity, consent, and gender and sexual orientation.

PM-16: PaintCraze Encore! (workshop not eligible for CEU’s)

Presenter: Marybeth Reed, PaintCraze

Marybeth Reed will provide everything you need to complete a painting from start to finish… you’ll get step-by-step instructions and your own paint station with 16×20 canvas, easel, paints, paint brushes and apron to complete your Masterpiece in about 2-hours!


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