learning

Year of Conversations is a free monthly forum held Friday afternoons, from 4-6 PM, emphasizing experiential, non-verbal ways of knowing and learning. We gather in a spirit of sanctuary, community, and renewal to explore pathways to helping others heal and thrive. Presentations focus on the work of helping professionals but all are welcome. CEUs are available free of charge for Austin IN Connection Members, and $20 for non-Members.

Please note that our 2017 Year of Conversations events will be held at Twin Oaks Library in South Austin.


Friday September 8, 2017

There Are No Rules Because You Make Them Up

Advancing the use of Imagination for Mental, Emotional and Spiritual Health with James Ochoa, LPC

Join us for an afternoon exploring the nature of imagination as we weave our way through the science of the mind. Through dynamic discussion and experiential exercises, you will begin to discover a new respect for what I call the “Raw Horsepower of the Mind” accessed through the point of imagination.

Learning to evolve your use of imagination by pushing the boundaries of its “there are no rules” perspective, you will begin to develop a fun, creative way to use this “tool of the mind.” Your mental energy will naturally lead to new insights into the most difficult issues in your life.

James Ochoa, LPC, author of Focused Forward: Navigating the Storms of Adult ADHD, is founder and director of The Life Empowerment Center in Austin, TX. James offers action-focused counseling and executive coaching to help his clients discover ways to empower themselves in all areas of their lives. His passion is treating the emotional distress of ADHD so clients can begin to build internal worlds in their imagination to manage their attention challenges. Visit www.jamesochoa.com to sign up for his monthly email newsletter and to learn more about The Life Empowerment Center.


Friday October 20, 2017

Using Dream Work and Ritual in Therapy

with Jennifer Knight, J.D., M.A., LPC-Intern

Join us for an experiential exploration of ways to work with dreams and ritual in clinical practice. Though dreams have many facets, dimensions and levels of meaning, the key to working with dreams is right brain to right brain attunement, as dreams are a direct communication from the client’s right brain. Sometimes, the dream speaks in images particularly resonant with the therapist—in fact, dreams may comment on and help guide therapy. Regardless of your familiarity with dream work, Jennifer will provide practical and accessible ways of entering this fascinating and meaningful portal to the client’s Deep Self and to the wisdom of the client’s psyche as a guide to growth and transformation in therapy. She will also introduce ways of enacting dream images through ritual, as a means of honoring and engaging the dreaming process.

As a lawyer-turned-therapist, Jennifer practices in Austin as an LPC Intern under the supervision of Candyce Ossefort-Russell. In her clinical work, Jennifer weaves together a strong foundation in the neuroscience of relationships and attachment theory, built on her DEEP training, a holistic understanding of healing, dream work, somatic awareness, family systems and eco-therapies/connection to nature. Jennifer has worked with her own dreams as a guide to her inner process work for about 25 years. She holds a Masters in Counseling Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute, where dream work was an integrated part of the curriculum.


Friday November 17, 2017

Somatic Experiencing (SE) and the Laying on of Hands

Stories of embodiment and transformation with Xiomara Isabell Correa, CNMT, SEP, Lay Chaplain, ObSB, CYI

How can we support the body’s inherent capacity for healing while also honoring the relational, cultural and spiritual aspects of the therapeutic journey? Join us for a lighthearted conversation and experiential presentation on how Trauma-informed somatic touch incorporates interpersonal neurobiology and facilitates the emergence of a sense of self.

Isabell is a Neuromuscular Therapist, Somatic Touch Therapist and Somatic Experiencing Practitioner in private practice in San Antonio and Austin, Texas. A longtime SE practitioner, Isabell has collaborated to launch SE trainings here in Austin as well as in Australia and Taiwan. Her therapeutic perspective has been shaped by patients, clients and teachers in Integrative, Psychiatric and Orthopedic Medicine, Somatic Touch Therapy, the healing traditions of her native land, the Dominican Republic, Benedictine spirituality and Buddhism, and other wisdom traditions.


Previous Year of Conversations Events

Friday June 9, 2017

What Horses Can Teach Us About Creating Secure Human Relationships

with Kate Naylor, LMFT, and Kathleen Choe, LPC-S

click to see details of this event
In trauma work we often hear that “the relationship is the vehicle for change.” But what kind of relationship creates the healing change we are seeking?  What does a good relationship really entail?  Kate and Kathleen will explore the neurobiological foundations of “good” relationship–and what practice with horses can teach us about not just the theory but the actual mechanics of good relationships as well.

Kate Naylor is an LMFT practicing in the Austin area.  Her work focuses on trauma healing for both individuals and families and takes place almost exclusively outdoors and with horses.  Kate is a certified Natural Lifemanship clinician, horse professional, and trainer; when she is not in session she is teaching and supporting other professionals across the country in learning Trauma-Focused Equine Assisted Psychotherapy.

Kathleen Choe is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Supervisor practicing in Austin, Texas.  She is a certified clinician and trainer in Natural Lifemanship’s Trauma-Focused Equine Assisted Psychotherapy.  Kathleen has been in practice for 20 years, specializing in trauma, eating disorders, and the treatment modality EMDR.


Friday May 5, 2017

Inanna – Queen of Heaven and Earth: An Ancient Story for Modern Times

with Lanell Coultas

click to see details of this event
Come immerse yourself in Inanna’s Descent, an epic poem about a Warrior Queen, Priestess of Seven Temples, and mother of two sons, who chooses to undertake a soulful, dangerous Journey so that she can gain the greatest power of all, to know her truest Self. Anyone experiencing great transitions or crossing thresholds of life, including becoming new parents, can relate to this powerful story!

Lanell Coultas is a childbirth and early parenting mentor, having worked with families for more than 20 years, guiding them over the threshold with great care and love. Also a mother of two sons, ages 9 and almost 2, Lanell gets daily mindfulness practice and the art of letting go.


Friday April 7, 2017

New Energy Medicine in Psychotherapy

with Steven Vazquez, PhD

click to see details of this event
Through combining non-touch energy healing with the best of psychological counseling, a new synergy for exceptional healing has been produced.  Instead of focusing on procedural formulas, the use of elevated states of consciousness can be used to maximize the healing impact. Please join us to explore the theory and research and participate in discussion and live demonstrations.

Steven Vazquez, Ph.D., LPC-S, LMFT has been in private practice for over 37 years, authored three books, published numerous peer-reviewed articles, spoken at over fifty conferences and has been a subject for scientific studies on healers.  www.ettcenter.com


Friday March 3, 2017

Bringing TED into Therapy: The Power of TED Talks to Heal Trauma

with Laura Baffard Leslie, LCSW

click to see details of this event
If Bessel van der Kolk is correct that trauma recovery is ultimately about imagining new possibilities, there may be no greater resource to help our clients envision a safe, validating, empowering, and meaningful reality than TED Talks.  For the first time, trauma-informed practitioners and related providers will learn how to bring these educational, insightful and inspiring presentations into therapy and other venues as tools for positive change.

Laura Bafford Leslie, LCSW, created a Trauma-Informed Group Therapy program at Austin Lakes Outpatient Services 3½ years ago and conducts similarly focused individual and group therapy in her South Austin private practice.  As a longstanding enthusiast of ted.com, she integrates TED Talks into her dual focus of treatment- a choreography that flows between meaning making about an unfair past and exploring a strengths-based present and future.


Friday February 3, 2017

Thriving Through Relationships

Lessons from the practical application of INPB

a live podcast with Patty Olwell, LCSW; Sue Marriott, LCSW, CGP; and Ann Kelley, PhD

click to see details of this event
Personally-driven, experiential exercises as well as discussion to review and deepen the most interesting, favorite and updated concepts of interpersonal neurobiology (IPNB)- this is a session for everyone.  As always, there will be a focus on real-life application for ourselves and our clients.

The development of the the new Austin-based podcast, Therapist Uncensored, uses the flat interweb to mindfully share information and resources to those who might otherwise not have access (the show is now heard across the US and in 76 countries), and is an extension of IPNB in play.

In this YofC session, during one portion we will turn the mics around for those of you who would like to speak so that we share the wide range of rich AINC experience in the room world-wide, another IPNB concept.

Please don’t be shy, you will not be recorded without your consent, and the topic itself will be fresh and interesting.

So let’s grow our community connections and spread the word about secure relating as far and wide as possible. We hope you join us, it’ll be fun!

Patty Olwell, LCSW, is a psychotherapist and former President of Austin IN Connection who in her spare time is trying to perfect her salsa and bachata.

Ann Kelley, PhD, co-creator of Therapist Uncensored, is a psychologist specializing in couples counseling and avid trail runner.

Sue Marriott LCSW, CGP, is a group psychotherapist, mother of 3 teens, co-founder and former President of Austin IN Connection.

Therapist Uncensored co-hosts Patty, Ann, and Sue, can be found on iTunes, Stitcher, Android or your favorite podcast platform and www.therapistuncensored.com