Event Details

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Parent Stress Intervention Program (PSIP) Conference, July 14-17

Date: July 14, 2015 to July 17, 2015

Time: 8:00AM to 4:30PM

Location: Room 241, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, One Magnolia Circle, Nashville, TN 37203

Event Flyer: PSIP-conf-15.pdf

Parent Stress Intervention Project (PSIP) Conference
July 14-17, 2015
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Room 241, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center

PLEASE NOTE: Previous purchase of one or both of the PSIP manuals is required to register for and attend this conference. Please read the material below in its entirety.

About the Conference:

Join us for the opportunity to receive training as a peer mentor in one or both of the Parent Stress Intervention Project’s interventions that help parents of children with disabilities, of any age, manage their stress. You will also have a chance to talk with the Parent Stress Intervention Project principal investigator, Dr. Elisabeth Dykens, and the curriculum creators.

One intervention, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), is a way of relating directly to whatever is happening in your life, meeting your experiences skillfully and with an open heart, and to break the habitual responses that can lock us into routines that undermine emotional and physical health. The other intervention, Positive Adult Development (PAD), incorporates evidence-based interventions from positive psychology, emphasizing ways to temper such emotions as guilt, conflict, worry, and pessimism, and offering exercises involving gratitude, forgiveness, grace, and optimism.

Both interventions are designed to be facilitated by peer mentors who are also parents of individuals who have intellectual or developmental disabilities or mental health issues, and/or by other professionals in the field who have educational training in group facilitation.

The conference, broken into two two-day sessions, will be Tuesday through Friday, July 14-17, in Room 241 of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center in Nashville. Tuesday and Wednesday, July 14-15, will focus on PAD. Thursday and Friday, July 16-17, will focus on MBSR. Attendees can choose to attend either session or both. Cost is $200 for a two-day session; $400 for all four days. PAD trainers will be Carol Rabideau, LCSW, Lynnette Henderson, Ph.D., and Janet Shouse, parent. MBSR trainers will be Gordon Peerman, Ph.D., and Roxanne Carreon, parent.

Target Audience:

Individuals providing either PAD or MBSR intervention, including parent mentors, are expected to have received formal educational training in the facilitation of groups, and ongoing supervision on clinical issues such as confidentiality, group dynamics, and referral of individuals who may require additional intervention services. We would encourage professionals wishing to provide the interventions to include parents of children with disabilities on their intervention teams, as those parents bring a very valuable perspective.

Because the instructors will be referring to the materials repeatedly, PSIP Conference attendees are required to have purchased the PSIP manuals prior to registering and attending the conference. If you have not yet purchased one or both manuals, please visit psip.vueinnovations.com before proceeding with registration.

Attendees are asked to bring their manual(s) with them to the conference.

Participation Options and Fees:

There are three options for attending the PSIP Conference:

  • Two days attendance (July 14-15) in the Positive Adult Development (PAD) training: $200
  • Two days attendance (July 16-17) in the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) training: $200
  • Four days attendance (July 14-17), including PAD and MBSR training: $400

Cost includes instruction, beverages, morning and afternoon snacks, lunch, and related print materials. Attendees are asked to bring their own manuals to the training for conference. NOTE: The deadline to register has been extended to midnight on Monday, July 6.

Required Materials Before Conference Registration:

The curricula of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Parenting Stress Intervention Project (PSIP) is available for purchase, and prior purchase of the manual(s) is required in order to attend the PSIP Conference. To purchase the PSIP curricula, visit psip.vueinnovations.com. Cost of the manual(s) is NOT included in the registration fees.

Components of the manuals include strategies based in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Positive Adult Development (PAD). These curricula were developed as part of an intervention research study for stress reduction in parents of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center. Adapted by Elisabeth Dykens, Ph.D., and a group of dedicated parent mentors, the curricula is intended to provide tools for learning and practicing these techniques, and for teaching them to parent groups. The information is intended to be used in mental health or institutional settings by qualified personnel serving as group leaders/mentors in an effort to teach stress reduction to parent/caregiver groups. It is not intended to replace mental health services or consultation.

To better understand this novel approach and to learn about the experiences of parents who participated in the research project, read this July 2014 New York Times article: When the Caregivers Need Healing.

For a better understanding of the PSIP program's research methods and outcomes, read the article that appeared in the journal Pediatrics: Reducing Distress in Mothers of Children With Autism and Other Disabilities: A Randomized Trial.


For a list of hotels close to Vanderbilt University, click here.


Parking for PSIP Conference attendees will be available in Lot 77, off of 18th Avenue. Click here to view a parking map.

For more information:

For questions on registration or materials, contact Janet Shouse at janet.shouse@vanderbilt.edu or (615) 875-8833.

For accessibility information or to request an accommodation

Contact kc@vumc.org or 615-322-8240 for disability access information; 2 weeks advance notice is recommended for some accommodations (e.g., Braille, signing).