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CONFERENCE SPEAKERS

Duane Bowers, LPC, CCHt

Duane is a licensed Professional Counselor and Educator.  As a therapist, his specialty is working with survivors of traumatic death and suicide, which includes providing support to families of abducted, missing, exploited and murdered children through the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children [NCMEC].  In September 2001 Duane responded to the Pentagon immediately following the terrorist attack on September 11th, providing support to rescue and recovery workers.

Currently, Duane is responsible for the clinical supervision and training of staff and volunteers for a variety of organizations that deal with trauma and loss in the US and Canada. In Canada, Duane works through Caring Hearts providing education and assisting in creating programs focused on trauma informed care, and first responder trauma. He also serves as a consultant to the Canadian Centre for Child Protection in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada.

As an educator, Duane teaches seminars nationally, internationally and regionally on dying, death and grief, as well as trauma, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and traumatic loss.

Donna Schuurman, Ed.D.

Dr. Donna Schuurman is an internationally recognized authority on grief and bereaved children, teens, and families, and the author of Never the Same: Coming to Terms with the Death of a Parent (St. Martin's Press, 2003). She served as Executive Director of The Dougy Center for Grieving Children & Families in Portland, Oregon for 25 years, and is currently the Sr. Director of Advocacy & Training for the center. Founded in 1982, it is the first peer-support program in the United States for children, teens, and their parents or adult caregivers who have experienced the death of a family member. The Dougy Center's pioneering model, replicated in over 500 sites throughout the United States and into Australia, England, Jamaica, Japan, Germany, and Rwanda, has been the subject of numerous articles, including those in Newsweek, People, and U.S. News & World Report, and was featured on ABC's “20/20” and “Good Morning, America.”

Donna served for eight years on the Board of Directors of The Association for Death Education & Counseling (ADEC), including as President in 2001/2002. In 2003 she received ADEC’s Annual Service Award, and the Clinical Practice Award in 2013. Donna is a member of the invitation-only International Work Group on Death Dying and Bereavement (IWG), serving as Vice-Chair 2016-2020. She also served as Treasurer on the Board of Directors of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention-NW Chapter. A Founding Board Member of the National Alliance for Grieving Children (NAGC), she was honored with their first Annual Excellence in Service Award in 2017. Donna earned her master's degree in communications from Wheaton Graduate School, and her doctorate in counseling from Northern Illinois University's Department of Psychology, Counseling, and Special Education.

Stephen Fleming, PhD, C. Psych.

In addition to his private practice with FVB Psychologists, Dr. Fleming is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Health, at York University in Toronto, and a Consulting Psychologist with the Pilot Recruitment Programmes at Air Canada, Jazz, and Sky Regional airlines. The author of numerous books, book chapters, articles, and presentations on the grief experience of children, adolescence, and adults, he has lectured in Canada, the United States, South America, Asia, and Europe.

Dr. Fleming has qualified as an expert witness in litigation involving trauma, and he has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Palliative Care and Death Studies.  He has been the recipient of numerous awards and honours including the Noah Thorek Award for outstanding volunteer contribution to the Bereaved Families of Ontario; the Clinical Practice Award for outstanding contribution to clinical thanatology from the Association for Death Education and Counselling; the Dr. Beatrice Wickett Award for outstanding contribution to mental health education in Ontario; and the Citizen of Distinction Award from MADD Canada. Dr. Fleming served as Secretary-Treasurer of the International Work Group on Death, Dying, and Bereavement from 2005 - 2013. His co-authored book, “Parenting after the death of a child: A practitioner’s guide” was published by Routledge.

Mollie Marti, JD, PhD

Both a lawyer and Social Psychologist, Mollie Marti is a researcher, author, and educator in the areas of crisis prevention, trauma recovery, resilience building, and leadership. She serves as President and CEO of the National Resilience Institute, a nonprofit organization that equips helpers with evidence based tools to grow resilience in others.

Prior to her nonprofit executive work, Mollie garnered years of coaching experience with elite business and athletic performers, and her business leadership books have been translated into eight languages. With her unique ability to integrate the science of resilience with the art of mindful living, she hosts the Resiliency Matters TV show and regularly contributes as a media resource. Mollie and her husband raised their three children and zany family of pets on a working apple orchard in scenic northeast Iowa.

Maureen Trask

Maureen has been a long time resident of Waterloo Region, until May 2017 when she made Puslinch her home.  She has a BA in Psychology from Wilfrid Laurier University and is retired from a 40 year career in Information Technology.  Seven years ago, she was confronted with the most challenging event of her life when her youngest son, Daniel, went missing. This set her on a journey of searching, not only for Daniel, but also for information and resources.  

During the early years, Maureen was shocked to discover a lack of resources and support services for families like hers, and little community understanding of what families needed. She is now an advocate for families by raising awareness and providing training for those who can help support families. She is also actively engaged in collaborating with families, Police, Victim Services, and the media to introduce legislation and communication processes that will help families of missing loved ones on their journey of uncertainty.

Harry Francis, Elder

As an Elder, Harry’s role is defined not by his age.  It is defined by the devotion he shows to his community.  He is an educator, spiritual advisor, guidance counselor, therapist and traditional teacher.  It is a role he cherishes and takes on with great esteem, as he is very well aware of the responsibilities that go along with the title.

Harry has been a community leader for 30 years and his role is vital to the physical, mental, spiritual and emotional well-being of those seeking support in both the western and traditional ways. His prayers have guided countess individuals and families through difficult times. His advocacy has brought clarity, safety and assuredness to the same.

One of Harry’s areas of proficiency is with addiction recovery.  He is certified in Advanced Counselor Training and Community Addictions Training through the Nechi Training, Research and Health Promotions Institute. He specializes in crisis management, residential school trauma, suicide, grief, co-occurring disorders and is an authority in Western and Aboriginal therapeutic approaches.

Harry was born and raised on the Piapot First Nation.  He is recognized and supported by his home community.  Harry has dedicated his entire life to his community; teaching traditional ways, languages and ceremony in order to preserve a culture steeped in historical significance. 


RETREAT FACILITATORS

Duane Bowers, LPC, CCHt

Caring Hearts Retreat will be delivered under the practiced guidance of Duane Bowers. Duane brings more than a decade of experience facilitating numerous retreats such as a weekend retreat for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and a grief retreat for the Washington Regional Transplant Community. He has also delivered self-care retreats for staff of an HIV clinic and Northern Virginia Family Services, weekend retreats for families of missing persons and most recently, our Inaugural Caring Hearts Retreat in 2017. Duane offers his knowledge and expertise in order to deliver meaningful sessions that will help attendees develop resiliency and self-care skills, unburdening rituals and mindful exercises.

Kim Lawrence, Full Life Yoga

Kim Lawrence is one of Regina’s senior yoga & meditation instructors. She has been practicing for the past 22 years and teaching for 14. The practices Kim has been drawn to have helped her heal her own grief and trauma. It brings her great joy as she sees these teachings healing and nourishing her students. Supporting those suffering from trauma and grief has become her passion. During retreat, Kim will guide our attendees through yoga & meditation for grief as well as a movement therapy. Kim is a wonderful kind soul with a great ability to create a safe secure space for healing and transformation. You are in very good hands.

Yoga & Meditation for Grief:
During our time together we will be gently inviting the body, the heart and the mind to open where they have become closed. From a place of safe secure connection, together we will see what is ready to dissolve and what still needs to be nurtured. Our practice will include gentle yoga poses, breath practices, deep relaxation and self-inquiry.

Movement Therapy:
The body and mind become disconnected for good reason when we experience trauma but it leaves us out of balance, out of touch with the wisdom of the body. Movement therapy is designed to reunite the body-mind. Through intuitive delightful movement to great music we bring the two back together and return to balance. People can experience the release of pain and tension, deep relaxation and its fun!

Martha Ziffle

Martha Ziffle is a teacher and artist originally from Truro, Nova Scotia. After graduating with a B.A. in History from St Francis Xavier University she travelled to teach English in both Korea and Japan. In Japan, she had the opportunity to also teach baking, painting, and sewing to her students, and that’s where her passion for teaching the arts began. After returning to Canada, she moved to Edmonton, AB and taught cooking to children. She had 5 year olds making homemade pasta! After moving to Regina, she opened 4Cats Arts Studio in Albert Park where her enthusiasm and “no big deal” approach to creating art made her a beloved teacher to her students young and old. She lives in Regina, SK with her husband Vincent and two Boston Terriers, Christmas and Blue.

Mental Health Benefits of Art:
You don’t have to be creative or artistic to enjoy the many benefits that art has to offer, anyone can do it! We are all born with an innate desire to express ourselves. Art allows us this opportunity. During this art session you will have the chance to experience the mental health benefits such as:

        - Stress Relieving
        - Creative Thinking
        - Self-Esteem Boost
        - Sense of Accomplishment
        - Increase of Brain Connectivity & Plasticity

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