Lighting the Way: Attachment, Trauma, and Resilience

Wednesday, May 8, 2019 (All day) to Friday, May 10, 2019 (All day)
University of Northern British Columbia
Prince George

Northern Attachment Network Advisory Presents the 4th Northern Lighting the Way Conference

NANA logoThis conference explores the importance of infant, child and youth attachment, how trauma influences the parent-child attachment relationship, and the potential for growth through adversity.  The goal is to focus on fostering child, youth and family resilience in order to thrive and bounce back from trauma.

“Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress — such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems or workplace and financial stressors. It means "bouncing back" from difficult experiences.  Research has shown that resilience is ordinary, not extraordinary. People commonly demonstrate resilience.  Being resilient does not mean that a person doesn't experience difficulty or distress. Emotional pain and sadness are common in people who have suffered major adversity or trauma in their lives. In fact, the road to resilience is likely to involve considerable emotional distress. Resilience is not a trait that people either have or do not have. It involves behaviors, thoughts and actions that can be learned and developed in anyone.” (

Resilience may be the best overall prevention and one of  the best focuses for intervention. 

This event is for multidisciplinary practitioners working with infants, children, youth and families including:  early interventionists, mental health clinicians, family support workers, supported child development and infant development consultants, educators, public health nurses, social workers, and physicians.  Parents and caregivers welcomed.  There will be a free evening session open to everyone on May 8th (see further details below).

This conference is also supported by funding from Children First and Northern Aboriginal Early Childhood Education (NAECD) training funds through MCFD.


Early Bird Registration Deadline is April 1, 2019
Fee prior to April 1, 2019 is $300.00/delegate plus GST (total $315.00/delegate)

Final Registration Deadline is April 29, 2019
Fee after April 1 and before April 29 is $375.00/delegate plus GST (total $393.75/delegate)

Registration is now closed and we have reached registration capacity.

Confirmation of Registration

When registering online you will receive a confirmation and receipt by email.  If you do not receive confirmation contact Conference Services at or call 250-960-6760. Confirmation is contingent upon payment being processed and cleared.

Methods of Payment

  • MasterCard and VISA
  • UNBC internal transfer of funds - available to UNBC faculty and staff only.
  • Money order, personal or company cheques - made payable to UNBC Conference Services, issued from a Canadian financial institution and in Canadian dollars, mailed to:

Conference Services
University of Northern British Columbia
3333 University Way
Prince George, B.C. V2N 4Z9

Cancellation / Refund

90% refund – written notification of withdrawal received 14 or more full calendar days before first day of the conference.

50% refund – written notification of withdrawal received 7-13 full calendar days before first day of the conference.

No refund – Notification of withdrawal received less than 7 full calendar days before first day of the conference. Replacements may be permissible but must be checked in advance through Conference Services. No-shows will be billed.

Conference Schedule

Aerial of Campus Click here to download a detailed conference agenda. LTW Conference Agenda This agenda outlines keyonote and breakout session speakers and topics.

May 8th Free Evening Session - Public Welcome - Canfor Theatre, University of Northern BC

On May 8th 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM free evening sessions available for registered delegates and the public to attend.  Registration is not required however attendance will be limited by the number of seats available.  Arrive early to ensure a spot. 

Natasha Files - Circling Back to Get on Track
This evening event will offer support and Emotion Focused Family Therapy skills to caregivers who are interested in supporting the behavioral and emotional needs of a child. Participants will be taught practical techniques to improve their relationship with their child through day to day challenges, life transitions or mental health issues.

May 9th Evening Yoga Session - Registered Delegates Only at PGNFC - Sorry this session is now full.

On May 9th 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM free evening session available for registered delegates.  Session to take place at PGNFC located at 1600-3rd Avenue.

Trauma-Informed Yoga for Your Self-Care
Instructors Shelley Anderson and Emma Faulkner
Yoga class for registered delegates only.  Free or by donation of food or money to go to the PGNFC food bank and Healing Centre. 
No previous yoga experience needed.  Dress in comfortable clothing (no shoes needed).  Bring a yoga mat if you have one.  There will be a limited number available to borrow.

Speaker and Presenter Biographies

Dr. Martin Brokenleg
Dr. Brokenleg is co-author of the book Reclaiming Youth at Risk:  Our Hope for the Future and co-developer of the Circle of Courage model and provides training worldwide for individuals who work with youth at risk.  He holds a doctorate in psychology and is a graduate of the Anglican Divinity School.  He is a retired professor and was most recently Director of Native Ministries and Professor of First Nations Theology at the Vancouver School of Theology.  For thirty years, Dr. Brokenleg was Professor of Native American studies at Augustana University of Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  He has also been a director of The Neighborhood Youth Corps, chaplain in a correctional setting, and has extensive experience as an alcohol counselor.  Dr. Brokenleg has consulted and led training programs throughout North America, New Zealand, Europe, Australia, and South Africa.  He is the father of three children and an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe.

Dr. Jonathan Thursfield
I have been a clinical psychologist specialising in child and adolescent mental health for the past 14 and a half years. For 12 years I worked in inner city Salford in the UK covering all aspects of mental and physical health but with a focus on attachment and parenting. I delivered Triple P and The Incredible Years Parent Groups as well as intensive parenting interventions such as Video Interaction Guidance and The Parent Child Game. Attachment has always been a strong interest of mine and I particularly enjoy sharing my knowledge with others.  Since working in Canada for the past 3 ½ years I have continued to work with children and adolescents but have also expanded my practice to work with adults. Attachment forms a significant part of the that work as I help adults understand the development of mental health challenges and patterns of behaviour and interaction.

Dr. Linda O'Neill
Dr. O’Neill is a practicing counsellor, a certified trauma specialist and counsellor educator at UNBC who is the Clinical Coordinator at the Community Counselling Centre in Prince George, BC. From years of trauma practice with children, youth and adults in the Prince George community and the far North and through research on all aspects of trauma effects and interventions, Dr. O’Neill has compiled and designed trauma informed presentations and training with former research assistants and colleagues. Dr. O’Neill customizes the training for each professional group to ensure the greatest relevancy to practice. The training is constantly being refined to reflect the most recent research in the rapidly changing world of trauma support. This training has been customized and delivered to early childhood educators, teachers and support staff, graduate counselling students, BEd students, counsellors, drug and alcohol programs, Youth Justice, Corrections, Parole and Probation, Crown Council, John Howard Society volunteers, and practitioners in Mental Health and Addictions and Primary Health Care teams within the Northern Health Authority.

Nastasha Files
Natasha Files is a registered social worker in private practice. She trains and supervises clinicians working to support families with EFFT in the context of eating disorders, general mental health and alternate caregiving (group home setting, foster care, residential, in-patient etc). She is particularly interested in supporting the healing of estranged parent-child relationships. She also teaches sessionally in the Social Work Department at the University of the Fraser Valley and is involved in research.

Phyllis Webstad
Phyllis Webstad is Northern Secwpemc (Shuswap) from the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation (Canoe Creek Indian Band). She comes from mixed Secwepemc and Irish/French heritage, was born in Dog Creek, and lives in Williams Lake, BC. Today, Phyllis is married, has one son, a step-son and three grandsons.  She earned diplomas in Business Administration from the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology; and in Accounting from Thompson Rivers University. Phyllis received the 2017 TRU Distinguished Alumni Award for her unprecedented impact on local, provincial, national and international communities through the sharing of her orange shirt story.

Colleen Drobot
B.Ed., Dip. Of Special Education, M.A.
Registered Professional Counsellor (RPC)
Master Practitioner of Clinical Counselling (MPCC)
Adjunct Faculty, Neufeld Institute
Colleen Drobot is a registered professional counsellor and parent consultant with a private practice in West Vancouver. She is also an educator has 20 years experience working with children in the regular classroom or in special needs settings. She is an adjunct faculty member of the Neufeld Institute and has worked with Dr. Gordon Neufeld for many years. Colleen is a mother of two and draws from her personal as well as professional experience to support parents and professionals in gaining insight, opening their hearts and leading by their intuition.

Lori Gill
Lori is a Psychotherapist, Certified Trauma Specialist (CTS) and Trainer, and former Psychology Professor with 15 years of experience working with children, youth, and adults. Lori currently maintains membership with the Ontario Association of Consultants, Counsellors, Psychometrists and Psychotherapists (OACCPP). She has experience working within various professional organizations specializing in child, youth, and adult counselling.  Treatment focus areas include trauma, attachment, mental health, addictions, eating disorders, wellness, and education.  Lori has been providing trauma intervention for several years to children through to adults inclusive of individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with great success. Lori has provided trauma therapy within the following clinical settings: hospital out-patient eating disorders program, addictions counselling, foster care residential settings, in developmental services organizations, and in private practice.  Single and historical trauma experiences treated varied from military involvement, abandonment, attachment, physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, domestic violence, rape, women in the industry, addictions, and loss.  She has worked with children ages 2+ through to adults of all ages, many of which have a history of complex trauma (more than 4 significant trauma events).Lori is an engaging and sought after presenter and facilitates a variety of training workshops including Creating a Trauma-Informed Workplace; Trauma-Informed Child Welfare; Healing the Helper: Compassion Fatigue Prevention and Intervention; Suicide Prevention, Intervention, and Postvention; Stress; Attachment and Conscious Parenting; Eating Disorders; and Creative Counselling Approaches. Lori is a certified trainer and presenter for the National Institute for Trauma and Loss and provides the following training: Trauma and Addiction; Children of Trauma; Structured Sensory Interventions; Counselling at Risk Youth; and Compassion Fatigue and Vicarious Trauma.  Allow us to create a custom training to meet the needs of your workplace, community event, or parent group.

Dr. Sandra Allison
Dr. Allison joined Northern Health in June 2014 as Chief Medical Health Officer. Dr. Allison is a public health physician and is responsible for all public health programs in Northern Health. She advises the NH Executive Team and the Board on issues of importance to the health of Northerners.
Sandra and her family relocated to Prince George from Brandon, Manitoba, where she worked as Regional Medical Officer of Health for Manitoba Health. She is a Fellow of the Royal College in Public Health and Preventive Medicine, and a Certificant of the College of Family Physicians of Canada. Sandra completed a B.Sc. in biochemistry at the University of Calgary, and her medical degree and her master’s degree in public health at University of Manitoba.
Her interests include health promotion, community development and emergency preparedness. In her work as a public health physician, she has remained active in education of medical students and residents and is a Clinical Assistant Professor with UBC and an Adjunct Professor at UNBC.

Paula Jurczak
Paula Jurczak is a Registered Clinical Counsellor, Registered Social Worker and Certified DIR® Clinician and Training Leader in BC specializing in assessment and treatment of infants, children and adolescents with complex mental health issues, specialized medical conditions and special needs. Paula holds a Master of Arts degree in Counselling Psychology and a Bachelors Degree in Social Work. Paula Jurczak advocates in support of parent choice. She uses a strength based, family centred multidisciplinary approach and her work is informed by current research and evidence based intervention. Paula maintains a private practice using the DIR® model to support individuals experiencing attachment and regulatory challenges, behavioural and emotional difficulties, autism and neurodevelopmental disorders and mental health issues. She works collaboratively with The MEHRIT Centre, Ltd. to support self-regulation in schools and social service agencies across Canada.

Brenda Dragt
Brenda completed her undergraduate and graduate social work degrees at Dordt College and California State University, Fresno. Over the past 25 years, she has worked in various trauma related clinical roles within the B.C. government system, notably developing a suicide prevention program and providing sexual abuse therapy and community education.  She has been with Complex Trauma Resources since 2012 providing input on training development,  providing training, consulting and mentoring on the Complex Care and Intervention Program (CCI).


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A room block has been set up at the Ramada Plaza Prince George.  Please contact the hotel directly to book your room.

Ramada Plaza Prince George contact information:
Tel:  250-563-0055
Toll Free:  800-830-8833
Please reference the group name and group code Lighting the Way-UNBC CGPG_0982 when making the reservation.  Please contact the hotel directly to book.  Do not book on-line as the negotiated rate and room block will not apply to on-line reservations.  Deadline to book is April 29, 2019.

Speaker Presentations

Click on links below to download and view/print presentations and handouts.  Please note not all speakers have provided presentations or handouts to be loaded onto the website.

Colleen Drobot
Making Sense of Anxiety
Cultivating Resilience in Children and Youth

Paula Jurczak
Self-Regulation: Resilience Starts at the Door
Self-Regulation and a Culture of Safety

Natasha Files
Circle Back
Relationship Dimensions Scale
Tree Metaphor
Caregiver Traps Scale
Link to slides for Circling Bact to Get on Track (evening session):
Link to slides for How to Harness the Healing Power of Caregivers: Theory (morning session):
Link to slides for How to Harness the Healing Power of Caregivers: Clinical Application (afternoon session):

Brenda Dragt
Domains Worksheet
Peaceful Homes Intervention Ideas
Helping Children Heal From Complex Trauma
Sophie Sample Case Study

Lori Gill

Dr. Sandra Allison
Resilient Communities, Resilient Children

Contact Information

Conference Logistics & Registration
UNBC Conference & Events Services
Tel: 250-960-6760

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