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The Albert and Jessie Danielsen Institute


The 2014 Merle Jordan Conference

Terror, Trauma, and the Sacred:

Psychological, Clinical, and Religious Perspectives

June 20th 9am-5pm

Boston University

10 Buick Street, 18th Floor

Join us at this day-long conference that will assist clinicians in developing a more complex and integrative understanding of how these dimensions intersect and relate.

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Continuing Education Credits available– see below for details

Conference Description:

It is psychologically, and even existentially, challenging to live in a world marked by persistent pockets of fear and mistrust which can contribute to traumatic ruptures in the lives of individuals and communities. Terror and trauma often form a circular process in which traumatic experiences establish templates of terror and hostility. In the United States, contemporary media sources depict certain obvious public episodes of terrorism and other forms of violence, and yet non-dominant groups encounter both historical legacies and ongoing challenges with systemic trauma-inducing terrorism. Embedded in these systemic processes are implicit views of both otherness and the sacred. While trauma, diversity, and spirituality are all popular topics in the mental health field today, they are often approached as discrete areas. Responsible work in the helping professions and in spiritual and religious leadership increasingly requires a complex and integrative understanding of how these dimensions intersect and relate, which necessitates a robust understanding of psychology, diversity, spirituality, and clinical theology

Plenary Speakers:

Dr. Charles Strozier – John Jay College of Criminal Justice; Training and Research Institute in Self Psychology

Dr. Janet Helms – Institute for the Study and Promotion of Race and Culture at Boston College

Dr. Bessel Vander Kolk – Boston University Medical Center; Trauma Center at Justice Resource Institute


Panelists will each briefly describe professional or scholarly work they are doing related to the conference themes as a way of highlighting resources available for culturally-sensitive trauma prevention and recovery.  Audience members will then have the opportunity to dialogue with the panelists about their work and questions that have emerged through the previous presentations.

Dr. Kermit Crawford- The Center for Multicultural Mental Health at Boston Medical Center

Dr. Shamaila Khan –The Center for Multicultural Mental health at Boston Medical Center

Dr. Shelly Rambo – Boston University School of Theology

Dr. Steven Sandage —The Danielsen Institute Research Center at Boston University and Boston University School of Theology

Conference 2014 Schedule

9:00am – 9:15am – Introduction: Dr. Steve Sandage

9:15am – 10:30am – Session 1: Dr. Strozier

10:30am – 10:45am– Morning Break (snack provided)

10:45am – 12:00pm – Session 2:  Dr. Helms

12:00pm – 1:00pm – Lunch break (lunch provided)

1:00pm – 2:30pm – Session 3: Dr. van der Kolk

2:30pm – 2:45pm – Afternoon Break (snack provided)

2:45pm – 4:30pm – Panel Discussion: Drs. Crawford, Khan, Rambo, Sandage

4:30pm – 4:45pm – Closing Remarks: Dr. George Stavros

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Psychologists will be able to receive 6 continuing education credits for this conference. The Danielsen Institute is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education programs for psychologists. The Danielsen Institute maintains responsibility for this program and its contents.

The Danielsen Institute is approved by the Boston University School of Social Work to provide continuing education credits for social workers under program authorization number B-14-501.


A buffet lunch will be provided for all participants. While a vegetarian option will be available, we are unable to accommodate specific dietary restrictions.