Fwd: VFP War Trauma Symposium

Please pass along to others in your group or area. Thanks.

Larry Dansinger

Veterans for Peace

War Trauma Symposium:

Caring Communities Coming Together


Saturday, May 18

University of Southern Maine

Abromson Center Auditorium

9:00 am to 4:00 pm


War ravages all who fall victim to it, from those who serve in warring armies to those non-combatants caught in the crossfire. Over the past decade that number includes American soldiers fighting in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, who have been returning home to loved ones and back into their communities. Joining them are countless refugees fleeing their war-torn countries to seek a new life in Maine. All have in common the experience of war in its many manifestations. All must somehow work within their communities to piece together a life free from the immediate stresses of war. But how? And how can we who want them to succeed help? Those are the questions we’ll be addressing in our fifth annual symposium.


We will be listening to, and joining in conversation with our keynote speaker, Dr. Paula Caplan, who will be joined by panelists Ms. Catherine Ryder, Dr. John Baugher, and Mr. Danny Muller as they offer their experiences and expertise to help guide us on our path to healing the wounds of war.


Paula J. Caplan, Ph.D., is a clinical and research psychologist, author of twelve books and plays, currently serving as an Associate at Harvard University’s DuBois Institute, and working on the Voices of Diversity project. She is a former Full Professor of Applied Psychology and Head of the Centre for Women’s Studies in Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, and former Lecturer in Women’s Studies and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. Her twelfth and latest book is When Johnny and Jane Come Marching Home: How All of Us Can Help Veterans, which won the 2011 American Publishers Award for Professional and Scholarly Excellence. It was Dr. Caplan who suggested we feature the term “war trauma” in our symposium to emphasize the importance of community members, not just therapists trained in PTSD techniques, entering into the healing process.


The program will also feature:

               Dr John Baugher, Associate Professor of Sociology at USM, whose expertise is in the spiritual care at end-of-life, grief and post-traumatic growth, and transformational learning.


               Ms. Catherine Ryder, Executive Director of Tri-County Mental Health Services, a health agency committed to serving military men and women (and families) through professional supports designed to meet their unique needs.


               Mr. Danny Muller, coordinator of public health and humanitarian aid efforts for the Middle East Children’s Alliance and Konbit Sante. Since 2000, he has worked in a number of war zones, including Iraq and Palestine, and is currently involved in supporting a project, Let the Children Play & Heal, which provides psycho -social support for children and their families traumatized by war in Gaza. He is involved in providing support and increasing access to services within the Iraqi, Sudanese and Rwandan communities in Portland.


               Mr. Lenny Richards, Director of the Vets Center Mobile Unit. Mr. Richards will have the Maine mobile unit available at the symposium and will be there to speak to veterans and their families about how they can access the Vets Center for information and counseling services.

Registration fees will be $50 for health care professionals (certificates of attendance for Credit Equivalent Units will be provided) and $25 general attendance (scholarships available). The fees will cover lunch and parking. Doors will open at 8 and the program will begin at 9am.


Although same day registrations will be accepted, we ask that you pre-register if you can by going here. For full registration and to send check, download and print out registration form by accessing it at vfpmaine.org. For additional information about the symposium, please contact Doug Rawlings at rawlings@maine.edu. or by phone at 207-293-2580.


If you would like to sponsor our program, please contact Doug Rawlings at the address above. Thanks to all of you, symposium participants and sponsors, for your concerns about all who have been traumatized by war. It is you who make up the communities we have come to love and rely upon. 

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