Welcome Home of Chattanooga will be having their third annual conference, "Demystifying Death and Dying," on Friday, April 5 from 8:30 a.m-4:15 p.m. at First Baptist Church, 401 Gateway Ave. in Chattanooga.
Deborah Grassman, N.P. of Opus Peace will be the keynote speaker. Ms. Grassman is a mental health nurse practitioner whose 30-year career at the Department of Veterans Affairs included being the director of the Hospice program, as well as personally taking care of more than 10,000 dying veterans. "She is recognized as one of the nation’s leading experts in caring for veterans nearing the end of life. Deborah is most well-known for identifying the unique needs of veterans as they near the end of life, which has become the basis for NHPCO’s We Honor Veterans program," officials said. She is the author of two books: Peace at Last and the Hero Within.
Hospice Foundation of America will offer CEUs for many disciplines who finish her sessions. She will be presenting throughout the day. There will also be a secondary tract of topics for those who are interested.
Soul Injury: Liberating Unmourned Loss and Unforgiven Guilt
The mental and emotional injuries that accompany trauma are readily identified. Less recognized are the insidious wounds that occur when we deny the truth of our own experience, becoming separated from our “real” self.
Whether traumatic or insidious, these “soul injuries” cause an emotional pain that cuts us off from the essence of our being. Connecting with the part of self generating the pain, paradoxically, restores wholeness. Thus, soul restoration includes learning how to re-own, re-home, and revitalize scattered pieces of self by cultivating personal intimacy with the part of self carrying our emotional pain. The basis for addressing “soul injury” originated with a group of VA hospice nurses who cared for 10,000 dying Veterans. The nurses witnessed “soul injuries” firsthand as they surfaced unbidden on combat Veterans’ deathbeds. Let “warrior wisdom” show you how the heart can be disarmed through love, forgiveness, and self-compassion, starting a process that “restores the soul.”
PTSD and Trauma Integration
Research now shows that PTSD is in the head – the traumatized brain is remarkably different than it was prior to the trauma.
Attention, perception, and memory are radically altered in the fear-based brain. Recovery measures that focus on re-setting the emotional brain to respond appropriately to danger and to recover its capacity to experience safety and relaxation have been found to be the most effective. Resetting the brain includes developing self-compassion, awakening parts of the body where memories are stored, transforming the brain by installing new “software,” and cultivating honesty, courage, and humility to do the work of recovery. Well-designed ceremonies that acknowledge the losses and allows people to re-visit the distress without re-living it helps integrate acute and chronic stress and trauma.
There will also be a full day for the general public.
8-10 a.m. Beginning
8:15-8:30 a.m. A light breakfast, registration and networking
8:30-8:45 a.m. Welcome! Sherry Campbell and Terry Melvin, M.D. of Welcome Home
8:45-9:45 a.m. Deborah Grassman, N.P., Keynote Address
”Soul Injury: Liberating Unmourned Loss & Unforgiven Guilt”
10-11 a.m. Morning Session I - Deborah Grassman- “PTSD & Trauma Integration (Part 1 Principles); Bob Zylstra, Ed.D., LCSW- “Ethical Dilemmas Around Decisions in End of Life Health Care”; Rev. Betsy Kammerdiener, M. Div., BCC “The Journey of a Hospital Chaplain”
11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Morning Session II - Deborah Grassman- “PTSD & Trauma Integration (Part 2 Principles)”; Amy Boulware, LAP, MSW- “Real World Problems, You Can’t Make This Stuff Up”; G. David Keller- “A Day in the Life of a Funeral Home Director”
12:15-1:15 p.m. Lunch provided by Chef Jeff Cunningham will be served; Robin Burk, therapeutic musician and sound practitioner of Purple Sky Healing Arts, will provide music during lunch
1:15-2:15 p.m. Afternoon Session I - Deborah Grassman- “PTSD and Trauma Integration (Veteran Application)”; Judith Pedersen-Benn, M.S., HT, CMBM Faculty - “Mindfully Mapping Your Death”; Susan Latta, LMFT, FT- “Stories of Grief and Healing”
2:30-3:30 p.m. Afternoon Session II - Deborah Grassman- “PTSD and Trauma Integration (Vietnam Veteran Application)”; Pam Dent, LMT- “Heart to Heart Touch”; Rodney Parham, Kindred Hospice- “Demystifying Hospice and Palliative Care”
3:30-4:15 p.m. Saying Farewell, to include discussion, evaluations and door prizes.