Keynote Session


9am – 10:15am Opening Keynote – John and Jane Covey

(Grande Ballroom – Sorensen Student Center)

Much loved speakers on strengthening family relationships, John and Jane Covey will introduce the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families. John and Jane will discuss how implementing these habits can contribute to building a happy healthy family, nurture strong positive relationships, strengthen bonds between family members and allow the family to grow as a unit and as individuals.

Morning Concurrent Sessions

10:30 am Sessions (sessions end at 11:45am)


The Bridges We Call Relationships: 10 Activities to Improve Family Bonds and Social Interactions – Suzanne Grimshaw, LCSW; Ryan Hawks, TRS, CTRS; and Scott Wood, CMHC (SC 206ABC)

Why is it that as parents we sometimes feel as if we are standing on one side of a canyon and our child is standing on the other? We can see and feel the need to build some sort of bridge, but are not sure how to do or what the bridge should look like. This session will help identify tools you already possess, as well as additional skills necessary to build those bridges – and strengthen those already established. Presenters will focus on 10 hands-on activities you can use with your family to help strengthen family bonds, enhance your child’s ability to make friends and generally improve interpersonal relationships. [This session will be of particular interest to parents, and is appropriate for basic experience levels.]


How to Be a Grandparent When You’re Children Move Home With Their Family – Encarni Gallardo, CPM  (SC 213 AB)

More and more children are moving home to live with their parents, and bringing their children with them. Encarni will explore this phenomenon, and discuss the impact upon the family dynamics. How do you effectively grandparent when grandchildren live in your home? What if your parenting style conflicts with those desired by the parents? How can you bring the whole family together to strengthen one another, but still allow for individual family freedom? [This session is appropriate for all audiences, and of particular interest for those filling a grandparent role.]


Flexible, Feisty and Fearful: 3 Main Temperament Styles in Children – Julie Nelson, author (Centre Stage)

Join Julie as she outlines each of the 3 main temperament styles in children. She will explore the strengths – and weaknesses – of each, and highlight how parents can adjust their own style to create a ‘goodness of fit’ to meet the needs of the child. Join her as she illustrates how understanding these temperament styles can help parents build healthy self-esteem within their children, and nurture a positive parent-child relationship. [This session is appropriate for all audiences.]


Staying Connected In Marriage – Nathan Cottle, PhD (Ragan Theatre)

With children, work, stress, and other responsibilities - couples often drift closer and further apart throughout marriage.  To stay connected, couples need to learn each other’s love styles (or languages) and the importance of intimacy, sensuality, and sexuality in their relationships.  This presentation will focus on the things couples need to do to create that lasting bond and connection that will keep their relationships strong in the busy and turbulent times they face.  [This session will be of particular interest to individuals in an exclusive relationship, or anticipating marriage.]

LUNCH and EXHIBIT FAIR Grande Ballroom and Ballroom Commons Area (11:45 – 1:00 pm)

Afternoon Plenary Session

1:15pm – 2:30pm  Barbara Leavitt

(Grande Ballroom – Sorensen Student Center)

For the last eight years, Barbara Leavitt has worked with United Way of Utah County helping professionals and families in Utah to build regional and state systems that support parents and children. She trains nationally with the Strengthening Families Framework Training of Trainers team for the National Alliance of Children’s Trust and Prevention Funds.  Today she will discuss the 5 Protective Factors for nurturing strong, productive, healthy families.

Afternoon Concurrent Sessions

2:45 pm Sessions (sessions end at 4:00 pm)


Crucial Conversations – Grant Richards, PhD (SC  206ABC) We all know that communication is essential – particularly when family members are involved. Crucial Conversations research has revealed effective ways to handle difficult conversations with family and others regarding what you consider to be bad behavior on their part. This presentation will share four recommendations for talking with family members about their ‘bad behavior’ in a way that can resolve problems and actually strengthen relationships. This session is appropriate for everyone.


Marital Strength Training for Parents – Karen Fairchild, LCSW (Ragan Theatre) Join Karen as she explores the importance of maintaining a healthy couple relationship. She will present tools for sustaining a happy marriage while raising children - including methods for maintaining friendship and resolving conflict well, building and maintaining healthy intimacy, and maintaining your own sense of identity. This information will help to sustain a healthy marriage that lasts and nurtures the entire family unit. This basic information session will be of particular interest to those in a committed relationship who are raising children.


Controlling the Inner Mama Bear: Freeing Yourself to Let Your Children Grow – Kris Doty, PhD, LCSW and Jennifer Cornett, BCBA, LCSW (Centre Stage) All mothers have the instinct to protect their young and keep them from harm. But sometimes that desire is compounded by societal pressure and perfectionistic tendencies. This often results in pushing children to overachieve, comparing them to others, and not allowing them to learn from their mistakes. In this session, the mother-daughter therapist team of Kris Doty and Jennifer Doty-Cornett openly discuss parenting issues that impact the autonomy children need to enjoy healthy development and accountability. So, park the helicopter and enjoy frank discussion understanding and honoring parenting boo-boos and some healthy laughter. After all, we may be mama bears – but we are only HUMAN! This session will be of particular interest to Mama Bear moms, and PaPa Bear dads of all ages and experience levels.


Love, Limits and Latitude: Setting Limits While Building Self-Esteem – Bri Ewell  and Janelle Christensen (SC 213 AB) Discipline and setting limits is one of the more difficult parts of parenting. We want to give our children freedom and build their self-esteem through positive nurturing. But what happens when behavior warrants response? How can we put the responsibility for their behavior back on the child, teach them the connection between choices and consequences – and not shame or pile on guilt? Join Bri and Janelle as they outline ways parents can separate the child from negative behavior and allow the child to use their own capacity for positive change. This session will provide practical, immediate solutions for parents seeking to avoid shaming, guilt-tripping and negative programming. This foundational level session will be of particular interest to parents and those working closely with children.