Effects of Trauma and Pathways to Healing

April 1, 2023

9 AM - 3 PM

$25 includes lunch

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A workshop for helpers.

First responders, teachers, counselors, and anyone who encounters others who have experienced trauma. Learn useful techniques to identify trauma and begin a journey of healing.

You will come away from this workshop with information and practical approaches you can use immediately in your daily life.  


8:30 – 9:00 AM Arrival and Registration
9:00 AM Welcome and Introductions 
9:15 – 10 AM  What is Trauma? 
10 – 10:15 AM Break
10:15 – 11 AM How the Body Stores Trauma 
11 – 11:45 AM Truth and Reconcilliation
11:45 – 12:30 PM LUNCH
12:30 – 1:00 PM Trauma and Expressive Writing 
1:00 – 1:30 PM Trauma and Art 
1:30 – 1:45 PM  Break 
1:45 – 2:15 PM Panel Discussion
2:15 – 2:45 PM Mindfulness Walk
2:45 – 3:00 PM Ritual 
3:00 PM   Departure



Divine Word College faculty members with experience and research in trauma and healing will lead participants through activities that can be incorporated into your work with people looking to you for support.


Dr. Sam Cunningham, SVD is a licensed clinical psychologist who came to the faculty of Divine Word College in 2017 with over twenty years of clinical practice as a psychologist who specialized in working with perpetrators and victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence. This clinical experience has led him to pursue further study on the effects of trauma on the brain and its influence on the psychological health of the people and their families that have come to Dr. Sam for treatment.  Before coming to Divine Word College, Dr./Fr. Sam worked as a supervising psychologist at Catholic Charities in Indianapolis, and in private practice after receiving his M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy and Doctor of Clinical Psychology from Adler University in Chicago.  He completed a Post-Doctorate in Forensics from Dreikurs Psychological Services Center at Adler University in Chicago.  This academic experience has blended well with over 40 years of missionary priesthood.   Presently Dr./Fr. Sam is an Assistant Professor of Psychology in the Inter-disciplinary Studies Department and does pastoral ministry in English and Spanish throughout the Dubuque area.


Br. Brian McLauchlin, SVD, has been teaching at Divine Word College since 2019.  He earned a Master’s degree in Anthropology from the Catholic University of America in 1992.  After several years of teaching in various capacities, Bro. Brian earned another Master’s degree in Conflict Transformation at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, VA.  The focus of this MA was on trauma and pathways toward healing.  He has a passion for teaching about trauma-informed practices and how such approaches can build a sense of empowerment within disenfranchised communities.



Sr. Aprilia Untarto, SSpS, is a Holy Spirit Missionary Sister.  She joined Divine Word College as a College Counselor in 2021. She started her teaching career in the College last year and has taught Psychology and Human Development Across Life Span. Sr. Aprilia holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from the University of Bina Nusantara of Indonesia and a Master of Art in Pastoral Counseling from Loyola University Chicago.  She is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor.  She has worked with children, adolescents, and adults in individual and group settings.  She recently finished her training in Eye Movement, Desensitization, and Reprocessing, a therapy method for treating clients with traumatic experiences.  As a mindfulness practitioner, she has used MBSR Therapy with her clients, especially clients with anxiety and depression. 



Fr. Akizou Kamina, SVD is a Divine Word Missionary from Togo. He has been teaching at Divine Word College since August 2021. Fr. Akizou earned a Master’s degree from Catholic Theological Union (CTU) in Inter-religious dialogue with a primary focus on Islam and a secondary focus on Judaism. His area of research is the role of religion in peacebuilding, reconciliation, and development. Prior to Divine Word College, Fr. Akizou worked with returning citizens (ex-convicts) in helping them reintegrate back into society after incarceration. One of the classes that Fr. Akizou teaches is the theology of reconciliation and forgiveness.  



Dr. Yasmin Rioux has been teaching Communication and Writing at Divine Word College since 2017, is the Chair of the Interdisciplinary Department, and Director for Institutional Effectiveness.

She received her Ph.D. in Composition and TESOL from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2017, and has been teaching English, Communication, and ESL at the college level since 2011. Dr. Rioux has published her work in various academic journals and presented her research at national and international conferences. Her primary research focuses on multilingual writers, ecocomposition, narrative writing, and multigenre writing. Dr. Rioux has been exploring trauma and the benefits writing can offer for those affected by traumatic events and plans to contribute to this area of research and practice.  



Jennifer Vess received her B.F.A. in Painting from the University of Georgia in 2017 and received her M.F.A. in Painting from the University of Iowa in 2020. Her work has been included in both regional and national juried exhibitions. She is passionate about the arts in education for all ages and abilities. Her experience includes teaching art at the collegiate level and at community arts centers. She was selected for the Chulitna Artist in Residence Program in Alaska for the summer of 2017. She has been invited as a guest juror for art fairs and has presented her work at universities and national conferences. In 2019, she was the recipient of the Mildred Pelzer Lynch Fellowship, and in 2020 she received the OVPR Research Grant. Much of Vess's research explores the complicated relationship between trauma, compassion, and healing. Her paintings and mixed-media sculptures navigate abstract textures and surfaces that reference the body and how we navigate traumatic experiences. Vess states, “While reflecting on how bodies undergo transition and how we process loss, I am fascinated with how wounds, both physical and emotional, become markers of injury and recovery, trauma and triumph.” 


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