Speakers and Sessions


Child adversity, anxiety, and trauma are all on the rise. In a June 2018 study in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, researchers found a 20 percent increase in diagnoses of anxiety in children ages 6-17 between 2007 and 2012. A 2018 University of Connecticut’s School of Medicine study found that by the age of 4, one in four children in the United States have experienced a traumatic event and a 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) study found almost 45 percent of all children in the US have experienced at least one Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE), up from previous studies. New neuroscience research shows that witnessing traumatic events, like violence, abuse, and even fighting, can impact the physical development of a child’s brain, leading to learning problems, poor grades, and life-long health and social issues. This conference will explore the science of adversity and the effects of toxic stress, anxiety, community violence, mental illness, depression, and trauma on brain development, learning, and achievement. Discover ways to reduce anxiety and toxic stress in students and teachers, ways to make students and teachers more resilient, how to use strategies and mindfulness to reduce stress and the effects of trauma, and how to establish trauma-sensitive classrooms and interventions.

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Featured Speakers

Bruce D. Perry, MD, PhD

Senior Fellow, The ChildTrauma Academy; Adjunct Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University; Co-Author, The Boy Who Was Raised As a Dog (2017), A Child's Loss: Helping Children Exposed to Traumatic Death (2013) and Born for Love: Why Empathy Is Essential -- and Endangered (2011); Author of the multimedia book, BRIEF: Reflections on Childhood, Trauma, and Society (2013)

Christine L. Carter, PhD

Sociologist; Senior Fellow, Greater Good Science Center, University of California, Berkeley; Author, The New Adolescence: Raising Happy and Successful Teens in an Age of Anxiety and Distraction (Forthcoming, 2020), The Sweet Spot: How to Find Your Groove at Home and Work (2015) and Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents (2011)

Daniel J. Siegel, MD

Founding Co-Director, Mindful Awareness Research Center; Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles; Distinguished Fellow, American Psychiatric Association; Author, The Power of Showing Up: How Parental Presence Shapes Who Our Kids Become and How Their Brains Get Wired (Forthcoming, 2020), Aware: The Science and Practice of Presence-The Groundbreaking Meditation Practice (2018), Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain (2015) and The Mindful Brain (2007); Co-Author, The Yes Brain: How to Cultivate Courage, Curiosity, and Resilience in Your Child (2018); Co-Editor, Healing Trauma (2003)

Jessica Minahan, MEd, BCBA

Special Educator; Blogger, The Huffington Post; Author, The Behavior Code Companion: Strategies, Tools, and Interventions for Supporting Students With Anxiety-Related or Oppositional Behaviors (2014) and "Building Positive Relationships with Students Struggling with Mental Health" (2019, Phi Delta Kappan); Co-Author, The Behavior Code: A Practical Guide to Understanding and Teaching the Most Challenging Students (2012)

Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, EdD

Professor of Education, Psychology and Neuroscience, Brain and Creativity Institute and Rossier School of Education; Associate Professor of Psychology, Brain and Creativity Institute, University of Southern California; Co-Author, “Community Violence Exposure Correlates with Smaller Gray Matter Volume and Lower IQ in Urban Adolescents” (2018, Human Brain Mapping) and “Rest is not Idleness: Implications of the Brain’s Default Mode for Human Development and Education” (2012, Perspectives on Psychological Science)

Pamela Cantor, MD

Founder and Senior Science Advisor, Turnaround for Children; Co-Author, "Malleability, Plasticity, and Individuality: How Children Learn and Develop in Context" (2018, Applied Developmental Science) and "Building the Bridge Between Science and Practice: Essential Characteristics of a Translational Framework" (2017, Mind, Brain and Education)

Other Speakers

Sará King, PhD

Post-Doctoral Fellow, Neurology in Complimentary Alternative Medicine, Oregon Health Science University; Founder, MindHeart Consulting; Corporate Mindfulness Meditation Instructor, WITHIN

Catherine M. Pittman, PhD

Clinical Psychologist; Chair, Psychology Deparment, Saint Mary's College; Co-Author, Rewire Your Anxious Brain: How to Use the Neuroscience of Fear to End Anxiety, Panic, and Worry (2015)

Christopher Willard, PsyD

Psychotherapist and Educational Consultant; Lecturer in Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School; Board Member, The Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy; Author, Growing Up Mindful: Essential Practices to Help Children, Teens and Families Find Balance, Calm and Resilience (2016) and Mindfulness for Teen Anxiety (2014); Co-Author, Breathing Makes It Better: A Book for Sad Days, Mad Days, Glad Days, and All the Feelings In-Between (2019) and The Mindfulness Matters Program for Children and Adolescents: Strategies, Activities, and Techniques for Therapists and Teachers (2019)

Kylene Beers, EdD

Former Senior Reading Researcher, Comer School Development Program, Yale University; Co-Author, Notice & Note: Strategies for Close Reading (2012) and When Kids Can't Read: What Teachers Can Do (2002); Co-Editor, Adolescent Literacy: Turning Promise into Practice (2007)

Ian H. Gotlib, PhD

Professor and Director, Stanford Neurodevelopment, Affect, and Psychopathology (SNAP) Lab, Stanford University; Author, Stress and Adversity Over the Life Course: Trajectories and Turning Points (2017); Co-Editor, Handbook of Depression (2015, 3rd Edition)

Lori Desautels, PhD

Assistant Professor, Butler University; Co-Author, Eyes Are Never Quiet: Listening Beneath the Behaviors of Our Most Troubled Students (2019) and How May I Serve You? Revelations in Education (2012)

Denise Pope, PhD

Senior Lecturer, Graduate School of Education, Stanford University; Co-Founder, Challenge Success; Co-Author, Overloaded and Underprepared: Strategies for Stronger Schools and Healthy, Successful Kids (2015); Author, "Doing School": How We Are Creating a Generation of Stressed Out, Materialistic, and Miseducated Students (2001)

Laura S. Kastner, PhD

Clinical Professor, Department of Psychology and Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington; Author, Wise Minded Parenting: 7 Essentials for Raising Successful Tweens + Teens (2013) and The Seven-Year Stretch: How Families Work Together to Grow Through Adolescence (1997)

Katie A. McLaughlin, PhD

Clinical Psychologist; Assistant Professor of Psychology, Harvard University; Co-Author, "Altered Development of Hippocampus-Dependent Associative Learning Following Early-Life Adversity" (2019, Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience) and "Neurobiological Models of the Impact of Adversity on Education" (2016, Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences)