Phoenix Center addresses international confab

CONTRIBUTED
Phoenix Center staffers carry their experience in trauma counseling to an international symposium June 8-10 in Banff, Canada. Attending were, from left, Niamh Fahy, Chali Henderson, Lindsey Humphrey, Maggie Messina and Erin Givarz, with executive director Sarah Garrett, not pictured. See more photos on Facebook at The-Highlander page.

By Lew K. Cohn, Managing Editor

The Highlander

Four Phoenix Center staffers recently returned from Banff, Alberta, Canada, where they presented information about the center's model for assisting children with trauma at an international symposium.

Attending and participating in the International NMT Symposium were Executive Director Sarah Garrett as well as clinical staffers Lindsey Humphrey, Niamh Fahy, and Erin Givarz. The group, along with the center's certified therapy dog, Mabel, took part in the conference from June 8-10.

They took part in “three days of lectures and workshops presented by leading researchers, clinicians, and therapists on advances in research, clinical practice, and education in all areas related to child maltreatment and trauma,” Garrett said.

The trip would not have been possible without funding from the Episcopal Health Foundation, which paid for travel for all the Phoenix Center attendees, Garrett said.

The keynote speaker for the symposium was Dr. Bruce Perry, senior fellow at the ChildTrauma Academy in Houston and an internationally respected expert on childhood trauma who also spent time offering his insights into the Phoenix Center model and the center's plans to expand.

This training was exemplary,” Garrett said. “It was a very meaningful and informative trip for all of our staff as we were able to focus on some of the new information in the field of childhood trauma. All four of our staff who attended presented on the Phoenix Center model, what we do and how it helps children's brains heal and grow after suffering from trauma.

We shared with experts from around the world some of the aspects of what makes our center innovative and more intensive, especially how our patients have been able to receive support and care more than once a week due to the wraparounds we offer to our patients and their families. We were very grateful to be able to attend.”

Garrett said she was excited to be able to meet Perry and share with him the center's vision for the future.

We were looking to get his recommendations,” Garrett said. “We hope to become a flagship site for treatment that is recognized by the ChildTrauma Academy.”

Garrett said the trip was a great time for the staff to “recharge and reconnect” as a team as well.

Banff is stunning and the natural landscape is so incredibly beautiful,” she added.

She said Mabel handled the flight to Banff like a champion.

One of her commands is 'under,' and she puts herself under the seat,” Garrett said. “She tucked herself under the seat and did a great job, especially in the airports. Also, Mabel was raised in Colorado, so she was able to have a lot of fun in some of the snow patches we saw in our hikes.”

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