• 519-954-6322
  • info@morethanbread.org

Category ArchiveBlog & News

Walking the Boundaries, Bridging the Gaps: International Community Music Conference

UK-based York St. John University International Centre for Community Music (ICCM) and the Laurier Centre for Music in the Community (LCMC) invite you for a weekend conference exploring perspectives on the impact of music in a variety of community sectors at the International Community Music Conference. May 11 to 13, 2017

Heidi Ahonen: Processing Refugee Journey and Promoting Self-Healing with Music and Art

Society for Pastoral Care and Counseling – Conference 2017

SPCR 2017 Conference Theme ‘Trauma: Body, Mind, and Spirit’

The Society for Pastoral Care and Counseling (SPCR) is an unaffiliated and a registered charitable organization devoted to advancing the practice of Pastoral Care and Counseling. The Society responds to the need for a forum wherein spiritual practitioners may share and exchange experiences and ideas emerging from their work. The goal of these exchanges is to support the development of theoretical models and treatment approaches specific to the pastoral counseling profession. SPCR is for professionals and advanced students who, in their practice, value and address all of a person’s experiences, including the biological, psychological, social, interpersonal, and spiritual. A major goal of SPCR is to provide a setting for dialogue and discussion among all conference members.

This year’s conference theme is Trauma: Body, Mind, and Spirit. The individual presentations are expected to present perspectives from theory, practice and research with reference to specific aspects of the body, mind, and spirit as related to trauma. The papers should be scholarly and written in a style that is accessible for researchers, clinicians, and professionals working in the field of psychotherapy, pastoral counseling, and spiritual care.

Friday May 12, 2017

Using music as a tool of trauma psychotherapy

Speaker: Heidi Ahonen PhD, RP, MTA, FAMI.

Abstract: Music existed before written language. There has always been music for different situations, and a favourite music for every person. Music has always been used to communicate, store history, instruct, comfort, hook people together, relax, and stimulate. Many ancient civilizations knew about the power of music and used it in their healing practices. Historical explorations of music therapy and music medicine describe how rhythms, melodies, and harmonies were used to harmonize the mind and body. Many ancient physicians and healers described music as a therapeutic tool. As music therapists, we know that music has the power to heal because I have personally experienced it so many times. I know that music can make me cry and laugh, weep or dance. Music can bring one peace, or stir one up for a conflict and irritation. I fully recognize there is something in music that indeed is transformative and powerful enough to make a difference in people’s lives. I know how to communicate my deepest emotions with music! But what is it really that makes music so powerful? Is it the collective unconscious that allows us to understand each other’s music at deep, intimate levels? Is it because as human beings we actually are musical beings? Oliver Sacks (2008) writes, “we have not even begun to understand the power of music….” This paper introduces the neurological rationale for using music as a therapeutic tool when working with trauma survivors.

 

Poster for 2017 Lunch-and-Learn Speaker Series featuring Music Therapy: Alternative Approaches to Psychotherapy

Music Therapy: Alternative Approaches to Psychotherapy

Join us for the fourth and final event in our 2017 Lunch-and-Learn Speaker Series!

Topic: Music Therapy
Speaker: Heidi Ahonen, PhD, RP, MTA, FAMI.

Psychotherapy: Alternative Approaches
A lunch-and-learn speaker series for those wishing to explore different approaches to therapy – for professionals and students of psychotherapy, social work, psychology, or related fields.

Music existed before written language. There has always been music for different situations, and favorite music for every person. Music has always been used to communicate, store history, instruct, comfort, hook people together, relax, and stimulate. Many ancient civilizations knew about the power of music and used it in their healing practices. The history of music therapy and music medicine describe how rhythms, melodies, and harmonies were used to harmonize the mind and body. Many ancient physicians and healers described music as a therapeutic tool.

As a music therapist I know that music has the power to heal because I have personally experienced it so many times. I know that music can make me cry and laugh, weep or dance. Music can bring me peace, or stir up for a conflict and irritation. I fully recognize there is something there in music that indeed is transformative and powerful enough to make a difference in people’s lives. I know how to communicate my deepest emotions with music! But what is it really that makes music so powerful? Is it the collective unconscious that allows us to understand each other’s music on a deep, intimate level? Is it so that certain melodies, harmonies, rhythms can have amazing effects on both our emotions and our perception? Or is it because as human beings we actually are musical beings? Or as, Oliver Sacks (2008) puts it, we have not even begun to understand the power of music…

This paper presentation introduces the psychological and neurological rationale for using music as a therapeutic tool.

First Responders Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Is Now Presumed Work Related

The Canadian province of Ontario has passed legislation that will create a presumption that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) diagnosed in first responders is work-related. Evidence has shown that first responders are at least twice as likely compared to the general population to suffer from PTSD, due to the risk of frequent exposure to traumatic stress.

Under the Supporting Ontario’s First Responders Act, the presumption allows for faster access to WSIB benefits, resources and timely treatment. Once a first responder is diagnosed with PTSD by either a psychiatrist or a psychologist, the claims process to be eligible for WSIB benefits will be expedited, without the need to prove a causal link between PTSD and a workplace event.

The presumption applies to police officers, firefighters, paramedics, certain workers in correctional institutions and secure youth justice facilities, dispatchers of police, firefighter and ambulance services, and emergency response teams.

The act also allows the Minister of Labour to request and publish PTSD prevention plans from employers of workers who are covered by the presumption.

This act is part of the province’s strategy to prevent or mitigate the risk of PTSD and provide Ontario’s 73,000 first responders with faster access to treatment and the information they need to stay healthy.

Laurier workshop to address refugee trauma experiences

Laurier inspiring lives logo

 

 

 

 

 

News Release

The Centre for Teaching Innovation and Excellence at Wilfrid Laurier University is offering a new continuing education workshop, Refugee Trauma 101, from April 8 – 10 at the Waterloo campus.

Refugee Trauma 101 is a two-day workshop designed for volunteers and mental health professionals working with refugees. Course content will introduce participants to trauma experienced by refugees and discuss strategies to enhance resilience and self-healing. The course also covers the self-care of helpers, and includes lectures, discussions and experiential learning.

“Many refugees experience both traumatization and uprooting, which can be extremely painful and stressful experiences that are difficult to cope with,” said Heidi Ahonen, a professor in Laurier’s Master of Music Therapy program and workshop facilitator. “Many suffer long-lasting psychological issues and can live in fear even when the immediate threat is no longer present.”

Ahonen is the director of The Manfred and Penny Conrad Centre Institute for Music Therapy Research and a graduate of the Harvard programme of Global Trauma Recovery: Refugee Trauma. She is also a psychotherapist with specialization in refugee trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Workshop co-facilitators include Brice Balmer, assistant professor in the Waterloo Lutheran Seminary’s Spiritual Care and Psychotherapy program, and Iman Arab, medical doctor and community mental health professional.

Additional topics include: intercultural communication skills, cultural meaning-making of trauma, introduction to the refugee trauma experience, understanding the neurology and implications of PTSD, trauma screening, spirituality and trauma, vicarious traumatization and compassion fatigue.

Registration is $150 for the two-day conference (includes lunches). To register, contact continuingstudies@wlu.ca by March 28. For more information, visit http://wlu.ca/continuingstudies/
professional-development/ctie/refugee-trauma-101.html.

Contact

Syrian refugees on their way to EU, Serbia-Croatia border

Syrian refugees on their way to EU, Serbia-Croatia border

Heidi Ahonen, Professor
Faculty of Music
519-884-0710 ext. 2431 or hahonen@wlu.ca

Kevin Crowley, Director
Communications & Public Affairs, Wilfrid Laurier University
519-884-0710 ext. 3070 or kcrowley@wlu.ca