CASC/ACSS Conference April 25-28, 2018

Deerhurst, Ontario

Get ready…. Get set….GO!

Registration for the 2018 Conference is now open.  Click here to go to the registration page. 

We will also announce important conference deadlines and events on the Conference 2018 Facebook group – if you haven’t “liked” the conference page yet, now is the time.

Deerhurst Resort is already accepting room reservations at the discounted rate. Ours will not be the only group up there for the weekend so be sure to book early. The conference team has reserved a block of rooms, but once they are sold out, there are no guarantees that additional rooms and discount rates will be available.

Have a look at our amazing line-up of workshops.



(Choose two each day.   Each workshop will be done once in the morning and once in the afternoon).  

Thursday Workshops

T-1  Postcards from the Edge: Addressing Compassion Fatigue in Note Form.     A writing workshop with Ronna Bloom 


Ronna Bloom

“Perhaps you are too overwhelmed to read this. Let’s be brief: this workshop will address impacts –– physical or emotional, personal or professional –– of caring for human suffering. In notes. A creative writing workshop.  90 minutes. With other hesitant people. Using poems as guides. Have a rest; write something. No experience necessary!”

Ronna Bloom is a writer, psychotherapist, teacher, and author of five books of poetry. Her most recent book Cloudy With A Fire in the Basement (Pedlar Press, 2012) was shortlisted for Canada’s Relit Award. Ronna’s poems have been made into short films, recorded by the CNIB, are featured on the Toronto Public Library Interactive Poetry Map, and have been translated into Spanish and Bengali.

Ronna has hosted writing workshops across Canada and abroad, in health care settings, universities, schools, art galleries and community centres. She uses poetry as a tool for reflection, offering workshops and events where people can explore what matters to them, personally and the professionally. Ronna is Poet in Community at the University of Toronto, and Poet in Residence at Mount Sinai Health System helping to build a culture of poetry and reflection at the hospital.

                                        Sponsored by:    Knox-college



 T-2 Music Therapy & Spiritual Care: Collaborations, Intersections & Possibilities – SarahRose Black    

Sara Rose Black

This workshop will provide a brief overview of the intersectionality between music therapy and spiritual care practices in an urban cancer centre setting, and will offer clinical case examples of collaboration, as well as a music therapy demonstrations for both staff wellness and patient care.

SarahRose is a Toronto-based music therapist specializing in psychosocial oncology and palliative care. She holds Masters degrees in music education and in music therapy. She is the founder and coordinator of the first music therapy programs at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and Kensington Hospice, and her clinical work and research is focused mainly on quality of life for acute palliative care, hematology, and hospice populations.




Sponsored by        Emmanuel-College


T-3 Visual Narrative – Working with Images and Non-Verbal Cues –

Shelley Wall and Eva Marie Stern

Shelly WallEva-Marie Stern, MA, RP, Clinican Member:  Ontario Society of Psychotherapists, Adjunct Lecturer, Dept of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, is an Art Psychotherapist who graduated from Goldsmiths College, University of London.   She co-founded WRAP (Women Recovering from Abuse Program) in 1998.   She practices, teaches and supervises within Women’s College Hospital’s Trauma Therapy Program and in private practice.   She curates the Art not Violence gallery at, leads graduate seminars on the relationship between art-making, trauma and therapy, and is writing about the use of visual arts in postgraduate medical education. 





Eva Marie Stern

Shelley Wall teaches courses in pathological and bioscientific illustration, research methods in biomedical communication, and writing for healthcare. She is a faculty mentor with the Collaborative Graduate Program in Women’s Health at the University of Toronto, and a member of the Coalition for Research in Women’s Health at the Women’s College Research Institute. Shelley is co-editor, for the Association of Medical Illustrators, of the Journal of Biocommunication. In 2012, she co-organised the conference Comics & Medicine: Navigating the Margins, which was held July 22-24 at the University of Toronto.





Sponsored by: Isalmic Institute



T-4  “Why Dance Helps: A Talk and Demonstration” – Rachel Bar

Rachel Bar

Rachel Bar, MA. Rachel trained in Canada’s National Ballet School’s (NBS) Professional Ballet Program and went on to dance professionally with English National Ballet, and the Israel Ballet. After retiring from her performance career, Rachel turned to academia, where she has focused her research on dance and health. She completed her BA(Hons) and MA in clinical psychology and is currently completing her PhD in psychology at Ryerson University. Rachel’s research focuses on the physical and psycho-social benefits of dance for older adults and on the role of arts-based knowledge translation of health research. Rachel is also the Manager of Health and Research Initiatives at NBS, where she has been instrumental in the development of NBS’s older adult programs, including their programs for people with Parkinson’s disease, dementia, and for active seniors.



Pianist for Rachel Bar’s Workshop

Craig WingroveCraig Wingrove graduated from York University with an Honours BFA in music, and from the Royal Conservatory of Music, where he received his ARCT in piano performance. A full-time musician at NBS since 1991, he has also been a regular guest pianist at the National Ballet of Canada.

Over the course of his career, Craig has produced and recorded fourteen CDs of music for ballet classes, the “Musical Gems” series, and has written three books of piano scores for these. He teaches music in the Teacher Training Program, has written two books on music for dance and maintains a private teaching studio. His piece Improvisation #4 was featured in the 2005 Hollywood film “The Man’  in which he performed live. Craig has written music for nine children’s musicals and one pop/rock opera with The Really Little Theatre Company.

In addition to playing for ballet classes at NBS, Craig is an integral part of the School’s outreach initiatives and he has travelled with NBS ballet teachers throughout Canada, conducting movement and music workshops for elementary school children. 

Sponsored by: logo_camh trim

T-5  Honouring Story and Soul: Connecting Professional Practice and Personally Purposeful Research – Mary Beattie

Mary BeattieIn this interactive workshop, we will make use of some of the methods of narrative inquiry research to explore the connections between our inner purposes, professional practices, and research projects.

Come prepared to talk, write, and collaborate to develop ideas and plans for research that honours both story and soul.


Mary Beattie is Professor Emeritus in The Department of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning at The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at The University of Toronto.  She has conducted narrative inquiry research for over two decades, and is the author of four books, The Quest for Meaning: Narratives of Teaching, Learning and the Arts ( 2009) ; Narratives in the Making: Teaching and Learning at Corktown Community High School(2004) ; The Art of Learning to Teach: Creating Professional Narratives ( 2001/ 2007),  and Constructing Professional Knowledge in Teaching: A Narrative of Change and Development ( 1995). She has also written numerous journal articles, book chapters, reviews, essays, textbooks, and poetry.

Mary is a recipient of The John Smythe Memorial Medal for excellence in research from the Victorian Institute for Educational Research, University of Melbourne, Australia.  She is a former Chair of OISE Press, elected Faculty Governor of the University of Toronto, and member of the Assessment Committee 17 of The Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada. 

Mary currently teaches in the graduate programme at OISE, and began her career teaching in the public school systems in Canada, England, and Ireland. She is the recipient of teaching awards from The International Reading Association, and the Students’ Union at OISE. She lives in Toronto with her husband Jim and honours story and soul in her personal life through a range of practices that include music, literature and poetry, writing and teaching, walking in nature, yoga, and regular visits to family and friends on the west coast of Ireland.

Sponsored by:  Spiritual and Religious Volunteer Association

And: Waterloo Lutheran Seminary

Waterloo Lutheran Seminary logo






Friday Workshops 

F-1 Everything I Meant to Say: Creative Writing as Spiritual Practice – Karen Gold

Karen GoldWhat can writing teach us about the often elusive notions of grace, compassion, hope or humility? How can creative writing help us cope with the challenges of day-to-day practice? In this workshop we examine the role of narrative in personal and professional meaning-making by focusing on the neglected (and sometimes surprising) connections between creative writing and spirituality. Using the Amherst Writers and Artists (AWA) method, which aims to strengthen each writer’s unique voice, we will reflect on the connections between the act of writing and spiritual practice. This workshop is open to all participants who write or would like to write! (The title of this workshop was inspired by Khaled Hosseini’s insightful essay about how the most important things are often the hardest to say.)

Karen Gold, MSW, PhD, RSW is a certified AWA workshop leader. She has facilitated writing workshops for healthcare providers, artists, students, educators, trauma survivors and shelter residents. She works at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto and draws on 25 years as a social worker, educator, workshop leader and clinical supervisor. She has done advanced training in narrative therapy and narrative medicine, and has published and presented on narrative in professional practice. Her PhD research focused on clinician writing and relational practices in healthcare. She is an active member of the Danforth Jewish Circle and has an interest in the role of the arts in contemplative and spiritual practices.


F-2  Stories and Body – A Theatre Based Workshop on Physical Presence – LJ Nelles

Laura Jayne NellesLJ Nelles brings years of professional theatre experience as an actor, director and voice teacher to work with non-theatre professionals where she uses performance practice to foster self-awareness, embodied practice and effective communication. She is theatre educator in residence for the Humanities and Medicine program at the University of Toronto, a voice and speech teacher at the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts, and an educator at Mt. Sinai Hospital in the department of geriatric psychiatry and is an interning psychotherapist in private practice. Her doctoral work uses narrative inquiry to examine the phenomenology of performance, being with, and the embodied knowledge that is a result of practice.




F-3 Narrative and Ethics:  A Medium and a Message – Miriam Shuchman

Miriam ShuchmanIn December 2014, The Lancet ran Miriam’s article describing an unfolding tragedy in Sierra Leone: health care workers were dying of Ebola at a very high rate–it later emerged that the proportion of doctors, nurses and midwives killed by the virus was more than 100 times the proportion of the general public that was lost–yet a specialized unit designed specifically to save the lives of health care workers was inaccessible to them.

The article was a work of investigative journalism and a narrative about a question of justice in public health. Miriam will describe how she put this story together and more generally, how she writes on ethical dilemmas and conflicts by focusing on the humans at the center of the story.

The workshop should be of interest to those who want to write or communicate in other ways about the problems they confront in their day-to-day work. There will be time for Q&A about how to construct such narratives and pitch them to potential outlets for publication or broadcast.


Miriam is an award-winning physician-journalist covering medicine and bioethics. A former national correspondent for the New England Journal of Medicine and columnist for the Globe & Mail and CBC Radio’s Quirks & Quarks, she now writes as a freelancer for the news desk of the Canadian Medical Association Journal , the LancetMaisonneuve and other outlets.


Miriam is also a staff psychiatrist at the Health & Wellness Centre, University of Toronto Scarborough and associate professor of psychiatry in the Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto. She chaired a Research Ethics Board at a U of Toronto affiliate hospital from 2008 to 2013 and now advises a research project on equitable partnerships in international research, coordinated by the Centre for Professional Ethics at the University of Central Lancashire in the UK.


F-4  Using Film to Enhance the Client Experience – Elysse Leonard

Elysse LeonardAs a multi-sensory, embodied, temporal and narrative medium, film can be used to facilitate observations and discussions about complex human experiences. This session will provide a general overview of how film can be used across different client and educational settings, including tools for performing a “close reading” of a film text and facilitating film-based discussion groups.

 Elysse Leonard is a film educator and program coordinator who works at the intersectionsbetween film, mental health, and community engagement. She holds an MA in Cinema Studies from the University of Toronto, with a research focus on illness narratives in classical and

postwar international cinemas. Alongside a senior psychiatry resident, Leonard curates the Cinema Medica film series as part of the Health, Arts and Humanities program at the University of Toronto. She also oversees the Toronto International Film Festival’s Reel Comfort programme, which brings film screenings and film-craft workshops to mental health programs across Toronto. 

F-5 Narrative and Mindful Presence – Bill Gayner

Bill GaynerBill Gayner, BSW, MSW, RSW, has trained and mentored mental health professionals in mindfulness for over a decade. An Adjunct Lecturer at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto, and Mental Health Clinician at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, he teaches and researches mindfulness for hospital staff, people living with HIV and outpatients in general psychiatry, and integrates mindfulness into individual psychotherapy. He led a large randomized-controlled trial of mindfulness for gay men living with HIV. Bill is innovating and transposing an experientially open, emotionally friendly form of Buddhist meditation into a psychological modality, Emotion-Focused Meditation, using Emotion-Focused Therapy as an integrative frame.