The Healing the Generations conference was a great success by any measure. The two-day event was sponsored by the Mashantuckets and Clifford W. Beers Guidance Clinic of New Haven. There were 425 participants from all areas of Connecticut and beyond. Steve Brown and Pat Wilcox presented on Risking Connection (with Kay Saakvitne) and Trauma and the Brain. Both presentations were well attended and the presenters received much positive feed back. Dolores Subia BigFoot, project director of the Indian County Child Trauma Center at the University of Oklahoma, offered a moving keynote address on “reconciliation, recovery and forgiveness.” It was exciting to hear Vincent Felitti, M.D. report on “The ACE Study”, an ongoing collaborative research between Kaiser Permanente and the Centers for Disease Control. Their data on the correlation between Adverse Childhood Events (trauma) and subsequent social, health and psychological problems should be enough in itself to justify funding early intervention to prevent trauma. The CT Attorney General, Richard Blumenthal, received an award; and the Child Advocate Jeannie Millstein spoke about the urgent needs of the children of CT.
Another feature of the conference was networking with other thinkers in this field. At the reception Pat and Steve were able to connect with Glenn Saxe, the author of Collaborative Treatment of Children and Adolescents (highly recommended). A trip to Boston and further collaboration may be in the future. Roger Fallot and others were also present.
Altogether it was a great conference, and much credit goes to Alice Forrester from Clifford Beers for her work in envisioning and organizing it.