Conference Program

The full conference program will be available here in the coming months. Check back regularly for updates on pre-conference workshops and plenary speakers.


Pre-Conference Workshops

Complex Trauma, Survivors and Intimate Partner Violence: Developmental Couple Therapy for Couples Trauma

Tuesday, March 3 & Wednesday, March 4, 2020 - 9:00am to 4:00PM

Facilitator: Dr. Heather B. MacINtosh

Developmental Couple Therapy for Complex Trauma (DCTCT) is a novel approach to couple therapy that was developed out of research examining the impacts of trauma on couple relationships and the challenges that trauma survivors experience within the therapy context. DCTCT considers emotion regulation and mentalizing challenges to be at the core of struggles facing trauma survivors in their relationships and in therapy and these issues are also pivotal in couples where conflict escalates and the risk of intimate partner violence becomes a concern. Traditional approaches to therapy in the context of intimate partner violence require that couples be divided and individually focused treatment such as anger management, be undertaken. DCTCT may offer options to assist couples where escalating conflict puts partners at risk of violence. This approach can also be used to help survivors in the process of building new relationships free of violence.

This two-day training will provide participants with comprehensive and practical guidance for integrating DCTCT into their work with traumatized individual survivors or couples. The approach includes an evidence-based framework which emphasizes the importance of containing conflict and helps clients to build emotional regulation and mentalizing skills. The framework is an invaluable asset to all those working with individual survivors or couples dealing with the ravaging impacts of complex trauma, who may not be able to benefit from traditional forms of therapy due to challenges in regulating emotions, mentalizing, and other aspects of the complex trauma response that limit capacity to engage in relationships.

The workshop will guide participants through the four key stages of DCTCT: Psychoeducation, Building Capacity, Dyadic Processing and Consolidation. Each stage has accompanying activities and narratives in which to engage traumatized individuals and couples. The workshop will be helpful for those who help individuals or couples dealing with complex trauma.

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Heather MacIntosh is Associate Professor and Director of the MScA Couple and Family Therapy Programme at McGill University where she is the recipient of the H. Noel Fieldhouse Award for Distinguished Teaching. Dr. MacIntosh is the author of the recently released book: Developmental Couple Therapy for Complex Trauma a Manual for Therapists by Routledge Press, a treatment manual outlining her evidence based treatment model for working with couples dealing with the impacts of complex trauma, as well as a number of peer reviewed articles and chapters in the area of trauma and couple therapy.



Strength at Home: A Trauma-Informed, Evidence Based IPV Offender Group Intervention

Tuesday, March 3 & Wednesday, March 4, 2020 - 9:00am to 4:00pM

Facilitator: Casey T. TAft, PH.D.

This workshop will provide training in Strength at Home, a trauma-informed, evidence-based IPV intervention. On the first day, Dr. Taft will discuss how trauma may influence the ways in which we process social information and other trauma-related risk factors. Strength at Home is then described, as is the scientific evidence for its use. Strategies for motivating clients to work on issues related to IPV, developing a positive therapeutic relationship, and building a cohesive group environment are then discussed. On the second day, the facilitator will cover the intervention sessions in detail, using videos and role plays to illustrate strategies.

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Casey T. Taft, Ph.D., is a staff psychologist at the National Center for PTSD in the VA Boston Healthcare System, and Professor of Psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine. He was the 2009 Linda Saltzman Memorial Intimate Partner Violence Researcher Award winner from the Institute on Violence, Abuse, and Trauma. He has been Principal Investigator on several funded grants focusing on understanding and preventing partner violence, is on the Editorial Boards of five journals, and has published over 100 peer-reviewed academic articles and an American Psychological Association book on trauma-informed partner violence intervention.




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Opening Plenary

Engaging Men & Boys in Stopping Violence Against Women

Thursday, March 5, 2020 - 8:30AM to 10:00AM

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Professor Lana Wells

University of Calgary

For decades, advocates have been urging governments and community leaders to engage men and boys in violence prevention and gender equality activities. This approach is fraught with complexities, can challenge our values and ideologies and calls on men to dismantle a system that privileges them over others. This keynote will summarize a decade of lessons learned along with examples of efforts that are engaging and mobilizing men and boys that do not reinforce or recreate gendered power inequities.

Lana Wells is the Brenda Strafford Chair in the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Associate Professor at the Faculty of Social Work, Fellow and Faculty Member of the School of Public Policy, University of Calgary. She is currently leading Shift: The Project to End Domestic Violence; a large scale primary prevention initiative (www.preventdomesticviolence.ca). Her key areas of expertise include: Prevention of family and sexual violence, scaling evidence-based programs and policies, engaging men and boys in violence prevention and gender equality, collaborative social change efforts as well as leadership and organizational change within the not for profit sector. She is the recipient of several awards including the Alberta College of Social Workers’ John Hutton Memorial Award for Social Action/Policy, Alberta Inspiration Award in Leadership in Family Violence and PEAK scholar award from the University of Calgary.


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Keynote Presentation

The Moose Hide Campaign

Thursday, March 5, 2020 - Evening (time TBD)

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Paul Lacerte & Raven Lacerte

Through their keynote address, Campaign Co-Founders, Paul and Raven Lacerte will share the story of the Moose Hide Campaign, a grassroots movement they started along the "Highway of Tears" in Northern British Columbia to engage men and boys to take a stand against violence towards woman and girls. Their family, having been impacted by the residential school system and by the tragedy of Canada's murdered and missing Indigenous woman, turn to their culture as a source of healing and strength. The inspiration for the Moose Hide Campaign came to Paul and Raven in 2011 during their seasonal cultural moose hunt on their traditional territory, along the Highway of Tears in B.C., where so many women have gone missing or have been murdered.

Drawn by a need to respond to the crisis of domestic violence, and understanding that to date is has been women and women's organizations that have borne burden of advocacy to respond to domestic violence, they wanted a way to inspire Indigenous and non-Indigenous men and boys to take a stand against violence against all women and children.

What started as simple idea to use the hide of the moose to create small moose hide pins as a symbol, has now become a national movement to engage all Canadians in the effort to end gender based and domestic violence.

Since the Campaign's inception in 2011, approximately 2 million squares of moose hide have been distributed across Canada and well over 1000 communities and organizations across the country are engaged in Moose Hide Campaign events. Embraced by all levels of government and sectors of society, the Moose Hide Campaign is seen as a concrete way to respond to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

Wearing this moose hide signifies your commitment to honour, respect, and protect the women and children in your life and to work together to end violence against women and children.

Paul Lacerte is a member of the Nadleh Whuten Band and belongs to the Carrier First Nation in northern BC. He served as the Provincial CEO for the BC Assn of Aboriginal Friendship Centres for 20 years. In 2011 Paul and his daughter Raven co-founded the Moosehide Campaign, a grass roots movement of Indigenous and non-Indigenous men working to end violence against women and children. He is a Managing Partner with Raven Capital Partners (the first Indigenous financial intermediary in Canada), the former Vice-Chair of the Vancouver Foundation Board of Directors, the former Board Chair for Reconciliation Canada, and a former representative to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. He was awarded the Order of British Columbia in 2014.

Raven Lacerte is a proud member of the Carrier First Nation and belongs to the Grizzly Bear Clan. She is the Co-Founder and Ambassador for the Moose Hide Campaign, a National grassroots effort to end violence towards Indigenous and non-Indigenous women and children. She is a hunter and a practitioner of traditional Indigenous cultural and ceremonial activities. Raven is a PROUD mother of daughter Cedar Sus! And a proud partner of Dominic Paul.


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Closing Plenary

Restorative Justice Responses to Domestic Violence

Friday, March 6, 2020 - 2:30 PM to 4:00 PM

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Professor Donna Coker

University of Miami

Professor Coker will discuss the growing US feminist disenchantment with the crime-centered response to domestic violence that has dominated US policy for 30 years. Prompted by movements for prison abolition and racial justice, anti-domestic violence organizations are rethinking their relationship to the criminal justice system and changing their public advocacy. An increased interest by survivor advocates in restorative justice is one hopeful sign of a shift away from a punitive crime model. The larger project political realignment centered on changing the social and economic inequalities that foster and maintain violence remains to be seen.

Donna Coker, Professor of Law at the University of Miami, is a prominent critic of the crime-centered focus of US domestic violence policy. Her research illustrates the negative impact of this focus on women marginalized as a function of poverty, race, and immigration status. She is a leading researcher of restorative approaches to gender violence and was the first to do an empirical study of domestic violence cases in Navajo Nation Peacemaking. She co-chaired the 2014 US conference, Converge! Reimagining the Movement to End Gender Violence, a significant milestone in reframing US activism and policy.