2022 Pre-Conference & Keynote Descriptions

Mark Nepo :: Pre-Conference
The Heart & Sustainability of Counseling Center Work Today
🔹Schedule for the day🔹

How do we sustain ourselves in this work, and make our work more nourishing? Working in a college counseling center has become much more complicated and- at times- difficult in recent years. Higher demand for services, higher expectations on us and our colleagues, and higher acuity in what we’re seeing all add to the pressure. Join us as Mark Nepo creates a heart space where we can connect to the deeper parts of the work, the reasons WHY we do this work and the HOW of sustaining ourselves through more challenging times. Mark is a nationally recognized poet, philosopher, and spiritual leader. One of Oprah’s SuperSoul 100 visionaries, Mark will create a space for us to explore how we relate to ourselves and our systems- and help us connect to the deeper reasons why we love this work. This is going to be a powerful and unique experience.

David Wilcox
The View from the Edge: Resilience and Heart in Counseling Center Work Today
How do we reach our clients where they are? What services can we provide to really meet people’s needs? How do we live out our jobs in ways that are fulfilling to us? As we navigate the tensions of providing mental health services in a higher education setting, these questions travel with us. When we get to the heart of the work, and when we connect the mind and the heart, we can make more deeply informed and grounded decisions and experience greater resilience. David Wilcox has spent a lifetime navigating clearer and clearer pathways to his heart and connecting his heart and mind. And he’s made some beautiful music in the process. Come join for an intimate discussion about how these dynamics apply to Counseling Center work, and for some songs that might carry us in a more centered space without even trying.

Jericho Brown
To Be Seen: How Expression & Narrative Can Help Make Us Whole
The work of Counseling Center clinicians is often quiet work, and done in the context of high expectations and high stakes. Making sense of pain, tragedy, and trauma involves joining opposites and making space for paradox. What is the role of narrative in healing? What is the relationship between truth and wholeness? What does poetry- and the poet- have to teach us about therapy and the therapist? This discussion will focus on sustainability in clinical work, the importance of narrative in healing around trauma, the role of subversion in self-expression and change-seeking, and how the most deeply personal is the most universal. Jericho Brown is doing sacred work in this area. His poems direct us into the mystery of what it means to be human, and what it means to heal in a culture rife with pain and struggle. Our conversation will explore these topics as well as poems that illuminate the human condition.