The Center for Child and Family Traumatic Stress at Kennedy Krieger Institute’s 9th Biennial Trauma Conference, Addressing Trauma Across the Lifespan: Recovery, Resilience and Resistance on October 20, 2023, was a rousing success.

The focus, “Recovery, Resilience and Resistance,” was emphasized throughout the conference highlighting that families, communities and mental health providers must work collaboratively for successful healing and wellness.  With recognition that most have recently experienced Collective trauma, attendees participated in experiential, thought provoking, culturally relevant trauma-informed intervention and prevention approaches designed to expand their knowledge base and to provide techniques to assist in recognizing and managing vicarious trauma, secondary traumatic stress and burn-out.

The conference opened with Keynote Speaker, Dr. Wendy Ellis, who delivered an innovative presentation, Community Resilience: A Framework to Foster Supportive Environments for Children and Families. From a public health perspective, Dr. Ellis explained the concept of applying community resilience by means of a collaborative effort between multiple sectors, along with strategies to assist in identifying key assets and resources that contribute to promoting efforts to address social determinants and build community.

Following lunch, one of the highlights of the conference was an inspiring featured presentation by New Developed Nations, Rickey “Deekon” Jones, Founder & CEO and Amber Lynn Eberhardt, Director of Clinical Services. Through a new Evidence-Based Practice developed by Jones, the presentation, “Healing Through Hip-Hop: Empowering Minds and Transforming Lives,” vividly expressed the ways in which Hip Hop can be used to provide a path to personal growth, empowerment and healing.

A total of 13 fascinating and informative workshops were offered as part of three breakout sessions across the day.  These breakout sessions gave participants an opportunity to learn more about proactive techniques and tools aimed at increasing the use of effective trauma-informed prevention and intervention approaches for families, communities and providers impacted by trauma.

We wish to thank everyone who attended, including our speakers, exhibitors and sponsors, who helped make this conference such a success.  Our next conference will be held October 2025.  Information will be available on our website the Fall of 2024. SAVE THE DATE!

2023 Biennial Trauma Conference Workshops

Participant Comments About Conference and sessions

One of the most organized conferences I have ever attended.”

I really enjoyed this keynote presentation! Learning about the pair of ACEs and Resilience Tree framework was very helpful and I will try to incorporate this lens into my supervision meetings with students/trainees and within my clinical practice. I also appreciated the public health perspective, as well as the integration of information focused on racial/historical/intergenerational trauma.”

Very interesting and relevant topics for the last few years. It was interesting to hear about the challenges that social workers in the Ukraine were facing and how they were adapting and finding ways to support peers and clients with limited to no resources.”

I really liked how this training went in line with my current training of trauma systems therapy. I learned some new strategies to use with my clients and parents.”

This presentation was one of my favorites from the conference! The presenters were engaging and provided refreshing perspectives about connecting the healing qualities of music with clinical treatment goals and interventions. It was nice to hear about a new EBP that values and highlights both culturally responsive and trauma informed approaches. I wish we had more time to talk with the presenters!”

I really liked the small groups and sharing my encounters with bias and it really felt like a safe space. I wish we had more time to go deep.”

I loved this presentation so much, especially the speaker's honest and engaging delivery of information. We need more peer-to-peer interventions in our field!”

Information-rich and very useful session! I learned a lot that I can apply to work with my own clients, regarding sensitive ways to approach families who have undergone forced separation and general understanding of Latinx culture and how it applies to therapeutic settings.”

I really enjoyed this presentation and appreciated the engaging, interactive, and self-reflection components as well. Additionally, I liked the emphasis on Relational-Cultural Theory and thought the presenters did well with providing specific recommendations and examples of trauma-informed relationship building practices within their presentation.”