Plenary Speakers

May 20, 2024 | 3:00pm

Chanequa Walker-Barnes, Ph.D., is a prominent scholar, theologian, and author, known for her thought-provoking work on racial justice and spirituality. With a deep commitment to social change, she combines her expertise in clinical psychology and theology to tackle issues of systemic oppression, cultural trauma, and their impact on individuals and society. Through her research, writing, and speaking, Dr. Chanequa strives to inspire others to transformative social action and wholistic self-care. A professor at Columbia Theological Seminary, she has authored three books – Sacred Self-Care, I Bring the Voices of My People, and Too Heavy a Yoke. Her faith has been shaped by Methodist, Baptist, and evangelical social justice communities as well as by Buddhism and Islam.

eric gentry (1)
May 21, 2024 | 8:45AM & 2:00PM

J. Eric Gentry, PhD, LMHC, FAAETS is an internationally recognized leader in the study and treatment of traumatic stress and compassion fatigue. His Ph.D. is from Florida State University where he studied with Professor Charles Figley—a pioneer of these two fields. In 1997, he co-developed the Accelerated Recovery Program (ARP) for Compassion Fatigue—the world’s only evidence-based treatment protocol for compassion fatigue.  He has been the director or co-director of five separate trauma institutes.  Dr. Gentry is the author or co-author of 16 books including the landmark Forward-Facing Freedom:  Healing the Past, Transforming the Present, A Future on Purpose and Forward-Facing Professional Resilience.  He has published scores of peer-reviewed studies on compassion fatigue and the treatment of PTSD.  His workshops and presentations have been attended by over 200,000 participants on four continents.  He is currently the President of The Forward-Facing Institute, Inc. and CEO of Compassion Unlimited, LLC. in Phoenix Arizona.


Eric will present the following sessions:


Session I

NBCC Eligible:  1.5 Credit Hours

From ACES to PTG:  A 21st Century Approach to Resolving of Past and Optimizing Our Present.

 Adverse experiences during our development can impact and impair our physiological, emotional, mental, relational, and spiritual health.  We have all known this since Anda & Felitti penned and published their first ground-shaking study in 1997.  So why has our field been so slow to develop effective means to resolve these effects?   ACES are NOT DESTINY.  However, these negative effects can endure and lead to lifelong suffering--unless something changes.  How can survivors of ACES begin to restore their health; enjoy safe and loving relationships; and restart their personal evolution towards optimal lives?  Discover how practicing simple skills that interrupt the physiological threat response and regulates nervous system functioning when paired with the magic of intentionality can quickly transform the lives of those who have suffered adversity and trauma in their pasts and turn Adverse Childhood Experiences into adult Post-Traumatic Growth and optimal lives.

 Learning Objectives

 At the completion of this session participants will possess the following knowledge and skills:

  1. Ability to articulate some of the ways ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) and ALEs (Adverse Life Experiences) can produce deleterious effects throughout the lifespan.
  2. Identify the simple skills necessary for resolution of these effects.
  3. Summarize the process for self-regulation of one’s own nervous system.
  4. Articulate why the skills of self-regulation are necessary for the resolution of these negative effects and how, with continued practice, these skills can lead to an optimized life.


Session II

NBCC Eligible:  1 Credit Hour

Forward-Facing® Freedom:  A Coaching Model for Healing the Effects of Our Painful Pasts

Forward-Facing® is a salutogenic method for the resolution of stress, including traumatic stress.  It is engaged here, in the present, without the need to access painful and sometimes debilitating trauma memories.  Grounded in in both recent and longstanding scientific principles, FF teaches survivors to master simple skills that interrupt the physiological threat response in their bodies.  When this is implemented, there is immediate relief from distress.  The more practice one puts into these skills going forward, the less distress they experience throughout the day.  Once these self-regulation skills are mastered, we then support our clients to first articulate and then execute intentional living so that they are forever moving away from instinctual patterns of self-defense—adapted to survive their painful developmental experiences—to a life of intentional behavior born of choice and principles.  This session will provide you with the rudimentary concepts and skills so that you may begin practicing Forward-Facing® skills immediately.

 Learning Objectives

At the completion of this session participants will possess the following knowledge and skills:

  1. Ability to articulate how the Forward-Facing process engages a set of simple science-based skills to lessen the negative effects of our painful pasts.
  2. Discover how Forward-Facing® utilizes salutogenic principles to structure a simple organized and systemic process for healing.
  3. Acquire and practice skills for the regulation of your own autonomic nervous system.
  4. Empowerment to begin using Forward-Facing® principles and skills with clients immediately.