2013 Conference - Speakers
Thomas Armstrong, PhD, is the Executive Director of the American Institute for Learning and Human Development, and an award-winning author and speaker who has been an educator for the past forty years. He authored fifteen books including: Neurodiversity in the Classroom: Strength-Based Strategies to Help Students with Special Needs Achieve Success in School and Life; Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom, 3rd Edition; Awakening Your Child’s Natural Genius; 7 Kinds of Smart; and The Power of Neurodiversity: Unleashing the Advantages of Your Differently Wired Brain. Armstrong contributed articles to Ladies Home Journal, Family Circle, Parenting, and over thirty other periodicals, journals, and edited books. He appeared on NBC’s The Today Show, CBS’ This Morning, CNN, the BBC and The Voice of America.
Celebrating Inattention: ADHD, Neurodiversity, and Multiple Intelligences
While much of the focus in the field of ADHD has been on deficits, dysfunction, and disorder, there has been insufficient coverage of the strengths of those who have difficulty with attention and organizational skills. This presentation will focus on strengths of people with ADHD and discuss how those assets connect with Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences and the emerging field of neurodiversity.
Attendees will learn to have a more positive appreciation for their clients’ unique ways of being in the world, and learn new strength-based strategies that they can share with their clients to help them become more successful in life.
In this session you will learn:
- How ADHD/ADD symptoms are actually positive evolutionary adaptations
- To identify several strengths associated with ADHD/ADD
- To connect their clients’ challenging disorganization to the theory of multiple intelligences and the concept of neurodiversity
- Practical strategies to help their clients function more effectively in the work place and at home in their daily lives.
Dr. Melinda Barlow is an Associate Professor of Film Studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where she received the Boulder Faculty Assembly Excellence in Teaching Award, the Gold Best Should Teach Award, and the Dean’s Senior Honors Teaching Fellowship. A film and art historian and curator who researches the work of contemporary women artists and filmmakers, Professor Barlow also writes about pedagogic practice, and has organized more than 60 local and national workshops on the art of mentoring women. She edited Mary Lucier: Art and Performance, and is writing My Museum: A Memoir in Art, a book on women, film, identity and art collecting. She received the Dorothy Martin Woman Faculty Member Award for her research on women artists, and the Women Who Make a Difference Award from her students at CU.
Female Treasures: What We Cherish, How We Relinquish, and Why
“It is invariably oneself that one collects.”—Jean Baudrillard
Barlow will explore the various ways North American women have collected, retained, displayed and relinquished art and other precious objects from the 19th century to the present day. Drawing upon examples from art history, and utilizing recent research from the interrelated fields of psychology, the social sciences, and women’s studies, she will share how women have invested their treasures with personal significance, using them as “transitional objects” which both sustain and challenge an evolving sense of self, and enable them to move fluidly between the private and public sphere.
Special attention will be given to examining how such treasures serve as mirrors, talismans, reminders, and warnings, helping women to wrestle with contradictory feelings about feminine identity, while at the same time allowing women to take pride in bequeathing a legacy to future generations. What do women keep? What do we let go? How do both cherishing and relinquishing precious things help us overcome internal obstacles? By turning to art and film history for clues, this presentation suggests that if what we collect is tinged with ambivalence, perhaps it is because when it comes to identity, every contradiction is illuminating, precious, and therefore to be treasured.
In this session you will learn:
- About the history of what women collect, treasure, and why
- About how both cherishing and relinquishing precious objects helps women (and potential clients) work through feelings of ambivalence and overcome internal obstacles
- To cultivate an increased sense of empathy and compassion for clients by seeing their behavior as part of a continuum of related activities
- How to use examples from art and film history to help clients understand more about their own urges to retain and relinquish certain objects
Laurie White, MSW, is President and Owner of Dementia Care Consulting based in Santa Rosa, CA. As a dementia specialist, Laurie offers family consulting services to families, training programs to professional and family caregivers, and assists residential care communities in developing dementia specific programs. She co-authored Moving a Relative with Memory Loss: A Family Caregiver’s Guide, Second edition.
Strategies for Working with Clients with Memory Impairment
As people age and experience physical, emotional and cognitive changes, an increasing number of health care and social service professionals are being frequently called upon to provide services to a very diverse aging population. In addition, the graying of America is attracting an array of service providers, including professional organizers. In order to work effectively and comfortably with older adults, it is essential to understand the complexities of aging, specifically cognitive health and impairment.
As a specialist in working with older adults and their families, White will answer these questions: How might we encourage older adults to maintain and participate in a quality of life that is satisfying, safe and rewarding? What are the signs of memory impairment that may indicate a disease rather than age related memory loss? How can we deliver the right level of service and support to memory impaired clients and their families? What strategies and actions should we consider when working with a challenging client with dementia?
In this session you will:
- Learn the differences between age-associated memory loss and the symptoms that are indicators of dementia
- Take an in-depth look at the different types of dementia and the impact for professional organizers
- Discuss how an environment – both cluttered and organized – can effect and support the comfort and functioning for a person with dementia
- Discover how best to approach and respond to a client with memory impairment
Suzanne Chabaud, PhD, merged her education in Clinical and Cognitive-Developmental Psychology from Vanderbilt University to treatment OCD and hoarding disorder. She opened the OCD Institute of Greater New Orleans two years ago to offer more intensive treatment for clients with OCD, a disorder she has treated almost exclusively for 17 of her many years in practice. Her interests in hoarding disorder expanded because of her role as an expert in many episodes of A&E’s reality TV series Hoarders. Inspired by this work, her focus expanded from hoarders to the effects of hoarding on their children, a topic she addresses in research and education, as she described in her guest appearance on 20/20 last year.
From Inside-Out: The Culture of Families Dominated by Hoarding Disorder
With increased awareness and destigmatization of Hoarding Disorder, once tightly closed doors to hoarded homes are beginning to open. Most often, it is adult-children of hoarders who initiate contact with a helping professional. They have witnessed the tragic exchange of life for objects and are desperate to release loved ones from this unrelenting disorder. Dr. Chabaud’s research with adult-children of hoarders opens our minds to the reality of life inside hoarded homes. A foundation of trust with these families is impossible without sensitivity to how hoarding defines the family culture. Armed with this, and knowledge of the disorder, organizers can chart a realistic and individualized plan for assistance.
In this session you will learn:
- Characteristics of people with hoarding disorder
- Ways in which hoarding affects families
- Methods for building trust and accomplishing realistic goals in your work with families affected by hoarding
- The value of collaborative relationships to increase your effectiveness and ease in assisting families affected by hoarding
- Creative ways to increase skills for a healthy lifestyles, and independence from hoarding
Don Joseph Goewey teaches a brain-based stress solution--not mere stress reduction --that has attained outstanding results at Cisco Systems, Stanford, and the L.A. Sheriff’s Department. He authored the Amazon bestseller Mystic Cool, A proven approach to transcend stress, achieve optimal brain function, and maximize your creative intelligence. Goewey has helped people shift some of the most difficult situations any of us will ever face: from people facing a life-threatening illness to grief groups with parents who’ve lost children, to refugees of the Bosnian War. He has appeared on the Today Show, NPR, and in the Huffington Post.
Research has established that stress has more to do with a person's genetic 'code' than with their circumstances. Thus, if you have a problem with stress, it has to do with the way genetics and a painful past has wired you for a hyperactive stress response system. In other words, stress is happening in you far more than to you. There is a solution to stress that goes far beyond anything stress management is able to achieve. The solution is neuroplasticity, which relates to your capacity to change this unfortunate gene expression and brain structure through a definable shift in mindset. This shift literally switches the brain’s auto-pilot from one that habituates stress and anxiety, to one that sustains a dynamic state of peace. Neurologically, 'peace’ represents neural networks wiring and firing together to sustain the proverbial calm under siege that enables you to see a problem fearlessly, analyze it intelligently, engage it creatively, and make the best decision. Neuroplasticity not only builds a brain that can extinguish stress reactions it also expands the brain structure that generates peak performance and creative insight. This presentation provides a starter kit of tools to train your mind to change your brain to generate more joy in your work, more order in your life, more love in your relationships and more spring in your step.
In this session you will learn:
- To redefine stress and peace in terms that science now defines them
- How to bring stress into greater awareness
- About the neuroplastic attitude that changes the brain to extinguish stress reactions and expand higher brain function
- To incorporate a simple practice that builds the brain structure to live life without stress and the dysfunction stress produces
Lee Shuer has been certified as a Peer Specialist in AZ and MA, and is a certified Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) facilitator. He is the Director of Mutual Support Services at ServiceNet in Northampton, MA. Lee is the author of The Mutual Support Workbook, a training guide for mental health workers. He partnered with Dr. Randy Frost to create The Facilitator’s Manual for the Buried in Treasures Workshop, which has been used to start self-help groups for clutterers from California to Australia. He wrote, WRAP® for Clutter, based on Mary Ellen Copeland’s, Wellness Recovery Action Plan® (WRAP®, Peach Press, 1997.) In 2010 he received citations from the Massachusetts State Senate and House of Representatives for his successful development of meaningful employment opportunities for people living with mental health challenges.
Since 2000, Lee, who has learned to live successfully with his own mental health challenges, has worked tirelessly to bridge the gap between clinical and peer supports, while harnessing the best practices of both. He has shared his vision with ABCNews.com, NBCNews.com, Canadian Public Radio, and several publications including The San Francisco Chronicle and Hampshire Gazette. He gave a keynote address at the 14th Annual Conference on Hoarding and Cluttering in San Francisco, CA, and is a nationally-recognized trainer and facilitator who has led dozens of workshops on mutual/peer support, self-help groups for clutterers, and mental health recovery.
The Power of Peer Support When You Have Too Much
In his presentation, Lee Shuer will speak from his own life experience of hoarding/collecting, and how he learned to manage and maintain control over his "stuff.” Lee offers a unique opportunity for organizing professionals to gain direct insights into the issues of clients who have a disruptive attachment to their possessions. As he says, “It’s not really about the clutter that you can see, it’s what lies beneath the surface.”
Lee will speak to the importance of peer support and self-help groups for people who have “too much stuff.” He will discuss why it’s both difficult to give and receive support. He will offer insights into what might aid success and how to provide emotional, psychological, and moral support to those impacted by clutter. He will describe how anyone, no matter what their personal experience with clutter, can help others work through their over-abundance and move forward to live a happier, more fulfilling, less stressful life. His message of anti-stigma, hope, empowerment, and the possibility of recovery is offered to the community as he describes tools that clutterers and their allies are using to overcome this difficulty.
In this session you will learn:
- The impact of media and stigma on those needing help for their clutter
- The latest developments in research and development of recovery tools for people who live with clutter
- The effectiveness of peer-to-peer support groups
- Interventions that work and those that don't
- An introduction to the basics of running a support group.
- Stories of success and hope.
Denslow Brown, CPO-CD, CPO, SCAC, MCC, has been a professional organizer since 1974, and a mentor coach and an ADD coach since 1997. She has earned the top certifications in the coaching (ICF Master Certified Coach), ADD coaching (Senior Certified ADHD Coach) and organizing (CPO, CPO-CD) fields. She is an ICD Master Trainer and a Level IV Mentor Coach and Lab Facilitator. Denslow has been honored with the President’s and Founders’ Awards from the National Association of Professional Organizers, and, in 2012, with ICD’s Judith Kolberg Award. She authored The Processing Modalities Guide: For Organizers, Coaches (and Those Who Want to Live with Ease and Effectiveness and Less Frustration) and Recognizing & Respecting the Line: Distinguishing Organizing, Coaching & Psychotherapy. Both are only available at www.OrganizerCoach.com. Through Denslow’s Coach Approach for Organizers™ telecourses, professional organizers are trained to use coaching skills in their work with clients. Through the Institute for Applied Coaching™, she credentials Certified Organizer Coaches®.
Case Studies: Theory into Practice
This interactive session with ICD Master Trainer Denslow Brown gives participants an opportunity to think and talk through client challenges through provided case studies. We will work in small groups, exploring each case study individually in collaborative discussions, sharing relevant observations and questions, and brainstorming strategies.
You will have the option of sitting at one of the small-group tables identified by a theoretical approach in which you have training and consider the client challenges first through that lens (before looking at the case study more openly). If you prefer, you can join others who want to assess the client scenario in a broad way with a range of observations and strategies.
Each group will share its most promising strategies with the larger group. Examples of the theoretical “specialty” groups include, for example, learning/processing modalities, motivational interviewing, coaching, clutter-hoarding scale assessment, mental health professionals, wholistic/spiritual approaches, or client support strategies (self-care, support systems, boundaries work).
In this session you will:
1. Problem-solve solutions for real-life organizing dilemmas
2. Collaborate and learn from each other
3. Evaluate a CD client scenario in several ways and consider practical applications for a range of theoretical approaches
4. Determine your own comfort-level and boundaries with different kinds of client challenges