“It was a vision of mine to host a conference that seeks to bring together pastors and other caregiving professionals for dialogue and education,” said event coordinator Dr. Bill Viser, professor of Christian ministry at Ouachita.
Highlighting the need for “a greater cooperative relationship between pastors and mental health professionals in helping the overwhelming number of people facing problems with alcohol and substance abuse,” this year’s event focuses on equipping professionals to deal with those issues. “We enable caregivers to have better training to help conceptualize and deal with the challenges that alcohol and substance abuse present,” Viser said.
Uniting mental health professionals, nurses, licensed therapists, social workers, pastors and students under one roof, “OBU co-sponsors this conference as a service to our constituency and to the state,” explained Dr. Danny Hays, dean of the Pruet School of Christian Studies.
Participants will have the opportunity to attend large group and breakout sessions throughout the day. Session topics include “Picking Up the Pieces: Helping Families Cope in the Aftermath of Substance Abuse,” “Ethics: Considerations for Counseling and Supervision,” “Darkness to Light,” “Answers to Adderall Addiction: What You Need to Know,” “Co-occurring Disorders: Identification & Treatment,” “Drug & Alcohol Abuse: Current Social Problems,” “Where to Turn for Help: Resources for Therapists,” “DSM-5 Changes to Diagnosis & Conceptualization of Addiction & Chemical Dependency,” “The Prisoner Goes Free: Using Faith-integrated Forms of Cognitive-behavioral Therapy for Promoting Recovery in Treatment of Teen Addicts,” “The Impact of Growing Up with Addicted Parents in the Adult Child’s Life: Identification & a Christian Treatment Process” and “Community-Based Alcohol & Drug Withdrawal & Detoxification.”
Viser said he hopes the conference also “demonstrates Ouachita’s heartfelt concern for healing in the lives of individuals and families impacted by alcohol and substance abuse issues.”
In addition to pastors and mental health professionals, the conference is open to students. Viser encourages students who are going into ministry or a related career to take “this opportunity to attend a first class professional conference without leaving campus.”
For pastors, the registration fee is $70 ($90 with spouse) and includes a catered lunch, snacks, written materials and a certificate of attendance. For mental health professionals, nurses and social workers, the registration fee is $100 and includes all of the above resources plus eight available CEUs. Students’ cost is $20 and includes snacks, lunch, written materials and certificate of attendance.
Register online at www.obu.edu/iccconf15. For more information, contact Bill Viser at (870) 245-5524 or email@example.com.