Past Conferences

Mental Health Symposium 2017

Opening Keynote – Inside and Outside the Bedroom: The Role of Emotion, Attachment, and Sexual Intimacy, Jeremy Boden, Ph.D

Scholars and mental health professionals agree that humans are hard-wired to emotionally bond and their very survival depends on social connections. There is an internal and instinctual drive to pair with and remain securely attached to a romantic other. Over the last 15 to 20 years, new research has emerged that sheds new light into the power of emotional connection, emotional safety, and sex. Scholars and professionals are rethinking the role of emotional intimacy and its influence in sexual intimacy in committed romantic relationships. This opening presentation will explore attachment, emotional connection and sexual intimacy their interplay inside and outside the bedroom.

Sexuality and Sexual Identity,David Matheson, MS, CMHC; Jerry Buie, MSW, LCSW; Candice Metzler, MSW, CSW; Marybeth Raynes, LCSW, LMFT; and David Pruden

Sexuality and sexual identity can be personally sensitive and politically divisive. Events locally and nationally have heightened the pain and conflict for individuals and families with faith-based foundational beliefs regarding same-sex attractions and/or non-traditional gender, as well as all sexual and gender minorities. Presenters will identify common ground and identify “do no harm” approaches for working with clients who hold faith-based beliefs and who experience emotional distress related to same-sex attractions. The group will provide a brief history of their research work, and share what they believe are ethical ways of thinking about and working with clients who experience conflict and distress between sexual attraction/identity and faith identity.

Pre-Lunch Keynote Presentation - Fuel for Female Desire and Arousal: Clinical Applications for Addressing Female Desire and Arousal Difficulties, Laura Brotherson, LMFT, CST, CFLE

Given the complex nature of female sexuality, sexual desire and associated arousal difficulties have been found to be the leading sexual complaint among women. Easy-to-apply therapeutic approaches will be discussed to assist women /couples with both desire issues and common arousal-inhibiting challenges. Helping couples pay greater attention to the contextual factors of sexual desire and arousal will help them identify and address the specific areas needing attention to achieve greater emotional connection and sexual satisfaction. During this presentation, Laura will identify different models of the female sexual response and explain five specific steps to help women more easily reach a state of sexual desire and connection. Participants will receive practical tools to help women/couples assess the specific areas needing improvement in the sexual relationship and learn how to apply those tools to reduce mental and emotional distraction, which inhibit arousal, while increasing emotional and physical engagement.

Luncheon and Book-signing with Laura Brotherson

Being Clinically Informed of the Influence of Pornography for Today’s Youth, Bonnie Young Petersen

Recently, therapists have reported an increase of clients presenting in therapy with sexual issues. As pornography has become more widespread, and as access to pornography is more ubiquitous than ever before, young people are being exposed to a pornography at earlier ages. This presentation focuses on research examining the relationship between timing of exposure to pornography and outcomes in adulthood including sexual satisfaction, behaviors, and attitudes. This presentation will help participants to be more informed when working with clients presenting with sexual issues surrounding pornography – and more empowered to inform children and teens who have been exposed to pornography about healthy sexuality.

Love, Sex and Marriage – Looking to Science for Answers, Brett R. Williams, LMFT

Good sex and good relationships go together, but how do you facilitate a strong bond once the connection has been lost due to conflict, time, or infidelity? This presentation applies these most current evidence-based approaches to relationships into a simple approach. Brett will take the science and move it into practical applications. This presentation will be interactive and provide participants an opportunity to learn new skills and explore the science behind them.

Mental Health Symposium 2016

OPENING KEYNOTE - Attorney General Sean Reyes and Timothy Ballard, Human Trafficking – The Human Cost

Attorney General Sean Reyes joins Timothy Ballard (Founder and CEO of Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.), who also serves as O.U.R.’s Jump Team Commander for rescue operations) to relate their rescue experience. They will discuss the rescues themselves, and how the trauma of captivity impacts the victims.

Crisis Intervention 101 – Kristine J. Doty, Ph.D., LCSW, Sara Doty, Ph.D., NCSP and Susan Miller

Most therapists occasionally find themselves working with clients in crisis situations. Whether rooted in a natural disaster or in challenging life events, therapists need a unique set of skills to help clients manage crises. In this session, Doty, an experienced crisis interventionist, will review the fundamentals of effective crisis intervention — including suicide assessment. Through practical examples, she will share a model of crisis management that can apply to most situations. Come and sharpen the crisis tools in your therapeutic toolbox so you will be ready to assist your clients when the need arises. *This session will be of most interest to educators, professionals and parents with a moderate understanding of ADHD.

Becoming Trauma-Informed Parents: Building Improved Understanding and Responsiveness to Our Children’s Most Challenging Behaviors,Martin Roundy

This session is intended for parents and others who want to better understand how childhood traumas can significantly impact later childhood, adolescent and adult behaviors and health. Martin will define trauma and what it means to be trauma-informed. He will introduce participants to the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study and examine the implications of the study in order to improve understanding of later behavior and health issues. Using trauma-informed perspectives, he will help participants better understand and assist their children to overcome their most challenging behaviors

The Traumatic Effects of Racism, Brett Breton, Ph.D., Madison Hanks and Matthew Draper, Ph.D.

Racism is a traumatic event. Whether expressed overtly — as in bigotry and violence, or covertly — as in microaggressions and privilege, it can have both immediate and long-lasting effects. This presentation will discuss the effects of racism on minority populations, devoting particular interest on the Black community. It will include illustrations on how racism is experienced in everyday life, and how this changes an individual’s being. Finally, we will propose strategies that will help ameliorate the issue.

Student Presentation A, What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About Sex

Research has shown that college campuses have high instances of sexual assault. Campus-provided consent training is typically implemented to prevent these assaults. This training is useful in examining the importance of awareness on the needs of the other person, but it’s only a starting point. The step-by-step method currently used by many consent training programs leaves out essential components such as sexual relation and emotional desire. By incorporating these components into consent training, we believe we can help prevent traumatic sexual experiences. Furthermore, we can teach people to have positive and fulfilling sexual experiences. – Brooke Bradford, Zak Estrada, Alexa Melena, and Danni Petersen

Student Presentation B, Early Childhood Pornography Exposure

This project focuses on early childhood pornography exposure in females. Study participants are adults who self-identify with survey parameters. The project also seeks to compare male early childhood exposure. The new data set results will be presented, along with the literature review on women and erotic media/ pornography.– Lacey Bentley

PLENARY SESSION, Kristine J. Doty, Ph.D., LCSW

On May 20, 2013, an F-5 tornado devastated the small suburban city of Moore, Oklahoma. Kris Doty was sent by the American Red Cross to assist in the relief effort by providing disaster mental health services to many of those affected by the storm. Just days after her arrival, a second F-5 tornado came through and caused even more damage and trauma to those who survived the first storm. In this session, Doty shares her experiences of working with the people of Moore. How did the citizens deal with the storm and its aftermath? Which coping strategies were effective and which were not? What personal characteristics make the difference in the way some people respond to traumatic experiences? How do clinicians effectively work with victims of natural disasters? Come and hear the amazing stories of hope and courage that made many citizens “Moore strong.”

Treatment of Religious Trauma in Psychotherapy, Brett Breton, Ph.D., James McGraw, Elizabeth Snyder, Matthew Draper, Ph.D.

Religious trauma is a phenomenon garnering increasing amounts of research. This trauma occurs when a person’s sense of being is overwhelmed or upended by either intentional inflicted harm, or when their understanding of themselves, their lives and their world is radically changed through exposure to new ideas or philosophies. For example, religious trauma can occur when abusers inflict emotional, sexual, psychological and/or physical harm in conjunction with religious practices and or religious ideals. Furthermore, this can also occur when a person finds controversies within their faith. In this presentation, we’ll share two case studies of clients who experienced different degrees of religious trauma. We will then share how principles more authentic to the client’s religions of origin facilitated their healing by prompting experiences of wholeness and compassion quite contrary to the messages of their abusers.

Posttraumatic Growth (PTG), Lars Eggertsen, Ph.D., MSW

Posttraumatic growth (PTG) is a relatively new area of study and practice, but is rapidly gaining momentum. This presentation will define PTG, discuss the nuances and considerations crucial for implementation within specific types of trauma (e.g. cancer survivors, victims of violence, TBI, etc.) and identify different areas of practice where PTG can be applied. Current research in the aforementioned types of trauma as it relates to PTG will also be discussed. *This will be directed toward practitioners, but will also be helpful for lay people of the community as well.

Shaping a Two-Generational Approach for Reducing Poverty: Identifying and Addressing the Missing Pieces, Jenny Cheng, MSW

Rallying support for reducing childhood poverty is relatively easy. However, when it comes to programs for poor parents, especially those receiving public benefits, the support evaporates quickly. Few recognize that a portion of these parents were once children living in poverty themselves, experiencing the co-occurring realities of limited development of human and social capital, asset development and exposure to various forms of personal and community trauma. In 2011, the State of Utah’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) agency funded a longitudinal study to better understand client characteristics, employment barriers and experiences with new programs. Preliminary analysis clearly identifies differences in welfare use, physical health, mental health, education and interpersonal relationships all related to childhood trauma. Symposium attendees will learn about specific findings from the study as well as have the opportunity to glean broader themes and implications that can be applied to any setting regardless of current standing.

Mental Health Symposium 2015

Embracing Imperfection: Creativity as an Antidote to Perfectionism – Julie de Azevedo Hanks

Perfectionism is associated with many mental health disorders, including depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. But what drives us to work exceptionally hard to achieve flawless appearance and performance? How can we free ourselves of destructive and rigid patterns, individually and as a society, and more fully embrace our humanity? By weaving together current research with personal and clinical examples, suggestions for cultivating creativity as an approach to life will be offered as an antidote to rigid perfectionistic tendencies.

12 tools for Maintaining a More Healthy Perspective – Elona Shelley

Join well-known speaker and author, Elona Shelley as she explores some of the negative effects of perfectionism. She will share twelve tools for maintaining a more healthy perspective which is applicable both to perfectionists and to their family members and others supporting perfectionists in their recovery.

Perfectionism: A Double Edged Sword – John Robbins, LMFT, PhD

In this session, Dr. Robbins will suggest that perfectionism is driven by fear. It is proposed that addressing multiple levels of fear is critical in the process of understanding a person’s or family’s desire for perfection. Avoidance of vulnerability, being truly seen, or losing something the person or family has are all fears that drive them into seeking perfection. The presenter will demonstrate how to address fears involved with perfectionism, as well as the process of framing a person’s mindset away from perfection to one of progress.

How the Commandment to ‘Be Ye Therefore Perfect’ Impacts Women – Kris Doty, PhD, LCSW Moderator

This panel will include a frank discussion of the cultural impact of perfectionism on women’s mental health and lifestyle choices. The four panelists, all of whom are experienced clinicians who provide therapy in the area of perfectionism, will share their thoughts and insights surrounding this issue. There will be ample time for questions and lively discussion with the audience.

Overcoming Atelophobia: Becoming Good Enough in a Never Good Enough World – Martin Roundy, BS, ME.d

Martin Roundy will explore the definition of atelophobia – the fear of not being good enough or fear of imperfection. This session will discuss measures we use to assess how good enough we are, how Christians/Mormons view atelophobia, and how society teaches us to become atelophobic. We will also explore perfectionism’s promise, the difference between healthy striving and perfectionism and visions of ‘good enough’.

Clinical and Spiritual Implications of Perfectionism and Depression in LDS Men and Women – Kris Doty, PhD, LCSW and Fred S. Ward, BSW, SSW

Join Dr. Doty and Fred Ward as they discuss their recent quantitative studies which discovered a strong correlation between religiosity, perfectionism and depression in LDS men and women. This presentation will include examples of what the men and women who participated in the study have experienced, and how it has affected their struggles with depression. Implications for clinical practice, including therapeutic and spiritual interventions will also be included.

A Reframing of ‘Be Ye Therefore Perfect’ for Counselors Helping Mormon Clients Struggling with Perfectionism – Matthew R. Draper, PhD, James McGraw and Daniel Sturtevant

Counselors working with LDS clients find that (at times) the same perfectionism perpetuating suffering in their clients also ties deeply into the client’s understanding of their faith. When the therapist confronts this perfectionism, they may encounter resistance because the client experiences this as a confrontation of their faith as well. Unbeknownst to many clients, the form of perfectionism that contributes to depression and anxiety is contrary to the theology of perfection espoused by LDS clergy and theologians. In this session, the presenters will suggest interventions for counselors ranging from experiential exercises to dialogues in-session - as well as homework assignments to clarify the difference between perfection and perfectionism

Mental Health Symposium 2014

Opening Keynote: The Neurobiology of Stress Dr. David Yells

The neurobiology of stress is the focus of on-going research. Such research has identified short-term and long-term damage in response to a variety of stressors. It also highlights the interaction between the nervous system and other systems (e.g. cardiovascular system, endocrine system). This increased understanding of how stress affects the body can point the way to new interventions to reduce the toxic effects of stress.

Answering Anxiety Paul Jenkins, PhD

The biggest barrier to success is fear. Anxiety, fear and worry get in our way more than anything else and keep us from achieving what we want. In this presentation, participants get an overview of the two primary components of anxiety along with several practical tools to address each of these components. Personal application of these principles is the focus, as well as discussion of how to assist or coach others through anxiety. Participants leave with immediately applicable strategies that can be implemented along with resources for further action.

Chocolate Therapy William A. Erb, MS, LPC, NCC

Relaxation is a science, involving complex mental systems that control both stress production and stress reduction. Relaxation is also an art, where creativity is used to create a sense of peace. In chocolate therapy we will take a look at both the art and science of relaxation. The presentation features information on some of the complex systems involved in stress, tension, fight or flight response and memory. We then use the very mental systems reviewed in a live relaxation session. Participants will leave more informed on how the mind works and how to use its systems to achieve relaxation.

Anxiety and Perfectionism Laura Heaphy, PsyD and Marci Young, MA

During this informative session, participants will discuss: What is perfectionism? What is the impact of perfectionism and its relationship to anxiety? How can one assess perfectionism? And, what can be done to address/change problematic patterns of perfectionism?

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Veterans and University Life Kent D. Hinkson, Jr.

PTSD has been in the news everywhere in the last few years as the media discusses veterans returning from war. Yet, our veterans are not the only place where this ugly disease rears its head. Traumatic accidents, sexual abuse, and other destructive events can also leave people stricken with this debilitating disease. This presentation will discuss PTSD in the context of how it might be affecting students and staff here at UVU, and what can be done to help at the individual, family, community, and university level. Information will be presented based on two current research projects, as well as the experiences of a combat veteran/student.

Fear and Avoidance Jack Jensen, EdD

It is a common, and natural, reaction to avoid our fears. However, avoidance in many instances just intensifies our fear toward the object, person, activity or event that inspires the response in us. Exposure therapy, or the act of running toward our fears instead of away from them, has the paradoxical effect of reducing fear. In this presentation, participants will be challenged to face their greatest fears. They will be educated on the steps of exposure therapy, and have an in-class experience employing those steps to reduce unwanted and unnecessary anxiety and stress.

The Effect of Stress on Early-Returning Missionaries Kris Doty, PhD

Join Dr. Doty as she discusses the stress faced by early-returning LDS missionaries..

Harmony, Burnout and Compassion Fatigue Elizabeth B. Fawcett, PhD

With any profession, self-care is important for reducing stress as well as creating space for the individual to be productive when working with others. This is a particularly relevant topic for those working in the mental health field, due to issues of burnout and compassion fatigue. The presenters suggest that mental health workers change the metaphor of self-care from that of balance to one of harmony. Presenters offer a personal example of harmony through the T.E.A.M. (Teaching Excellence through Active Means) program; a program organized to increase harmony found within work and self.

5 Areas of Life Balance Russell C. Gaede, PsyD

Are you finding it more challenging than ever to juggle the demands of your life? You’re not alone. During this session, participants will learn strategies for meeting the unique challenges associated with mental health, anxiety, and stress. Dr. Gaede will introduce educational and behavioral practices for achieving life balance and discuss how to share this knowledge with families, educators and individuals. The session will also help identify and meet the challenges faced by families touched by anxiety and stress.

The Ethics of Self Care (This presentation qualifies for 3 NASW Ethics CEUs.) Kris Doty, PhD and Cameron John, PhD

Attention to self-care and self-awareness is as important as the client care each therapist offers. Many social workers and psychologists dedicate so much time to their professions that they often do not take steps to engage in self-care strategies that will help them serve clients more effectively. In this interactive ethics workshop, Dr. Kris Doty, LCSW and Dr. Cameron John, LP, address issues involved in taking care of one’s personal and professional self. Using multiple sources, including the NASW Code of Ethics, They will review the ways social work and psychology ethics apply to self-care and share some of the latest research in this area. They will also consider a risk management model for use in the counseling professions. Attendees will share their successful strategies and develop an individual plan to use in their daily lives with the goal of avoiding burnout which has the potential to derail promising careers.

DSM-5’s New Landscape for Anxiety & Stressor-Related Disorders Jason H. King, PhD; Matt R. Buckley, EdD & Anna Bangerter

DSM-5 presents a fundamental shift in how anxiety and stressor-related disorders are assessed and diagnosed. This intensive skill-building workshop will train you on the cutting-edge research and ethical procedures for using the new DSM-5 Level 1 and Level 2 Cross-Cutting Symptom Measures and its associated Disorder-Specific Symptom Measures to achieve dimensional assessment in contrast to DSM-IV-TR’s multiaxial assessment. This dynamic workshop will discuss the new DSM-5 conceptualization of the following anxiety and stressor-related disorders as manifest in children, adolescents, and adults: separation anxiety disorder, selective mutism, specific phobia, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder and panic attack specifier, agoraphobia, generalized anxiety disorder, substance/medication-induced anxiety disorder, illness anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, acute stress disorder, adjustment disorders, and anxious-distress specifier. Culture-bound syndromes specific to anxiety and stressor-related disorders and applied clinical case examples will further prepare participants to use the DSM-5 outside of the symposium.