Clifford Beers Clinic and Faith Communities Unite to Heal Trauma and Violence

HAMDEN — The Clifford Beers  Clinic, a leader in the treatment of childhood trauma, is hosting “A Leap of Faith – A Multi-Faith Symposium on Trauma and Violence” on Feb. 29 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Mishkan Israel in Hamden.

The symposium will bring together people of diverse faith backgrounds to explore the challenges faith communities face while seeking to minister in the midst of violent and traumatic situations. Clifford Beers is partnering with faith communities in the development of a resource network that will better serve the needs of those affected by such traumas as child abuse, domestic violence, clergy sexual misconduct, community violence, racial violence, and bullying.

The Rev. Dr. Marie Fortune, founder and senior analyst of the Faith Trust Institute in Seattle, will lead a multi-faith workshop which will explore sacred stories, and teachings which have shaped people of faith’s understanding of traumatic experiences.  The workshop will review sacred writings which have been used to justify trauma inflicted on others as well as teachings which have acted as a lifeline to victims of trauma and have helped make meaning of these experiences.  Barbara Tinney, executive director of the New Haven Family Alliance;  Elena Giacci, domestic violence specialist and Native American spiritual healer; and Rabbi Mark Dratch, founder and director of JSafe: The Jewish Institute Supporting an Abuse Free Environment round out the morning plenary.

Afternoon workshops will offer an opportunity to learn and discuss practical hands-on solutions and tools from a faith perspective. Among the featured workshops is “Conversations With My Molester — Conversations With the Church,” a dramatic presentation and conversation about healing the trauma of clergy sexual abuse. Other featured workshops include “Healing Rituals in Individual and Community Trauma,”  “Healing the Trauma of Religion Based Homophobia,” and “Vicarious Trauma and How to Take Care of Yourself from a Faith Perspective.”

This is a pre-conference event to the Healing the Generations Trauma Conference that will be held at Foxwoods Resort Casino March 1-2. Registration for the Pre-Conference Multi-Faith Leap of Faith event on February 29 is $75 and includes the morning plenary, 2 afternoon workshops, continental breakfast, and Kosher lunch.  For more information, or to register, contact Nicole Glorioso at (203) 772-1270 x 226 or


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