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2020 Fall Chaplains’ Conference

October 1, 2020 @ 9:30 am - October 2, 2020 @ 2:45 pm

The Impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs):
Understanding and Healing the Patterns of Disconnection from Self, Others, and God

October 1-2, 2020

The conference will be hosted online using Zoom, given the uncertainties of how the COVID-19 pandemic will evolve later in the year.

Speaker Information
Dr. Phyllis C. Solon has taught doctoral students for over 20 years, most recently as a founding member of the Doctoral program in counseling psychology at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. She has worked in clinical settings with clients of all ages who have experienced profound trauma and dissociation, with families who have adopted trans-racially and/or trans-nationally, and with people living with autism spectrum disorders. Dr. Solon is the co-developer of the AIR Network Model for understanding Complex PTSD and dissociation and helping people to heal from a competency based, multicultural framework that puts the person rather than the problem at center stage. She sees teaching and learning as taking place within the context of relationships and believes that the highest good is to love, honor and protect others, particularly children and those who cannot protect themselves.

Summary of Sessions
The brain develops in a consistent pattern throughout childhood and into early adulthood. When childhood events chronically occur or fail to occur, as in the case of emotional neglect, patterns of connecting and disconnecting with self, others and God can become rigid and interfere with sincere desires for life-giving work and relationships.

The multidimensional, long term impacts of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) have been studied in medical and psychological fields for over 25 years. In the last 5 years there has been increasing interest in various healing and helping professions to understand these outcomes and how to work with affected individuals across the lifespan. A clearer understanding of neurodevelopment and the impact of trauma can significantly shift the ways in which we care for and help heal those effected as well as ease the relentless struggles that many have endured.

Over the two-day conference, there will be time for large group questions and conversation and small group interaction around the topics presented. The information presented is meant to be applied both personally and professionally, and participants will have an opportunity to practice mindful self-compassion and other brief grounding and clearing exercises.

Objectives of Sessions
Session One: Describe typical neurodevelopment and the impact of childhood trauma, including how this informs the ways people relate to themselves and others across the life span.
Session Two: Introduce the long-term impact of ACEs and discuss how an understanding of childhood trauma can inform the ways we accompany and care for those effected.
Session Three: Define relational resonance and how the flow in any interaction can significantly increase compassionate presence and non-judgmentalness of self and other.
Session Four: Explain the mechanisms underlying empathic distress and explore practices that bolster resilience and compassion satisfaction, which can greatly reduce the risk of suffering secondary traumatic stress.
Session Five: Describe how neuro-imaging technology has given us a window into the workings of the brain and a deeper insight into the benefits of ancient practices such as ritual, prayer and meditation.

Conference Schedule

Thursday, October 1
9:30 am Welcome, Prayer, and Introduction of guest speaker
10:00 am Session One
11:30 am Break for lunch
1:30 pm Session Two
3:00 pm Break
3:30 pm Session Three
5:00 pm Break for dinner

Friday, October 2
9:00 am Morning Prayer and Announcements (optional)
9:30 am Session Four
11:00 am Break
11:15 am Education Committee Discussion (optional)
11:45 am Break for lunch
1:00 pm Session Five
2:30—2:45 pm Closing Prayer and Farewells (optional)

8.00 Continuing Education Hours have been granted by the National Association of Catholic Chaplains.

For more program information, please contact:
Brent Derowitsch 952-892-2725 (work) or [email protected]

In-Person Small Group: The conference committee is encouraging people to join an in-person small group in their area to participate in the online sessions together and to connect and eat together during the breaks. Safe social distancing is recommended. If you are interested in organizing a small group in your area please contact Brent Derowitsch. For registrants — Please indicate on your registration whether or not you are interested in joining a small group. There may be an additional cost to joining a small group depending on any costs associated with the gathering space in your area.

PLEASE NOTE: A few days before the conference registrants will receive information on how to log onto the Zoom conference meeting and a copy of the guest speaker’s PowerPoint slides.


October 1, 2020 @ 9:30 am
October 2, 2020 @ 2:45 pm