MENOMONIE, Wisc. – University of Wisconsin-Stout will host its ninth annual Body, Mind and Spirit Conference October 28-30, focusing on the theme of healing the whole person. Highlighting the conference will be a keynote address by Marc Ian Barasch, an award-winning writer, television producer, editor of Psychology Today, Natural Health and New Age Journal, and co-founder of the Psychology Department at Naropa University.
Healing practitioners from around the nation will gather at the conference to offer participants opportunities for exploring alternative methods of healing, personal growth and spirituality.
On Friday, Oct. 28, a full-day workshop "Therapy by the Half-Ton: The Power of Horses in Experiential Therapy," will be presented by Diana Stafford (marriage and family therapist), Laurie Lessard (addictions therapist), Ron Lessard addictions therapist) and Kate Lessard (certified equine therapist). Equine Assisted Counseling is a field of science in which horses are used specifically as therapeutic partners for emotional growth and learning. A variety of horses will be used throughout the day at the Lessard Ranch and participants will be asked to volunteer in activities with the horses. Cost for the workshop is $75 through October 12 and $95 after that date.
The main conference begins Saturday, Oct. 29, with a keynote address by Marc Ian Barasch, titled "Field Notes on the Compassionate Life," based on his most recent book with that title. Drawing from science, spirituality, history and popular culture, Marc will make a provocative case for the eternal virtue of compassion.
On Saturday evening, Eric Sorensen will present a musical postlude in which participants will have the opportunity to enjoy a performance of classical, original, and worldbeat music on a variety of instruments, including guitar, mandolin, woodland flute, harp, Chinese zheng and didjeridu.
In addition to the keynote speakers, the conference offers experiential sessions with more than 20 presenters, including nurses, psychologists, clergy, body work practitioners, psychics, shamans and other alternative healers. Themes of the conference include: integrating alternative therapies into traditional medical and other therapeutic settings; applications of prayer, meditation and hypnosis; therapeutic touch and massage; uses of sound and movement for healing; herbal and nutritional alternative therapies; building positive relationships; grieving processes; spirituality and healing; and shamanic and psychic healing.
In addition to the conference presentations, there will be an open exhibit hall with books, alternative therapy options, jewelry and experiential work with massage therapists, psychics and others.
The intended audience for the conference includes traditional healers, alternative healers, people seeking alternative healing, professionals and students in medicine and psychology, clergy, and anyone with an interest in the topics of the conference.
The conference may be used for one or two undergraduate or graduate credits in association with a course taught by the conference co-founders Tom Franklin, Department of Psychology, and Bob Salt, Department of Human Development and Family Studies.
For both Saturday and Sunday, registration before October 12 is $135, and $165 after that date. For one day only, the cost is $95 prior to October 12, and $115 after that date. Those fees cover all workshops, lunches and materials.
To register for the conference or inquire about the conference, contact the UW-Stout Office of Continuing Education, 140 Vocational Rehabilitation Building, Menomonie, WI 54751. Call (715) 232-2793 or online registration and conference information are available at www.1ness.org/bms.