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Upcoming Talks:

Forest Grove United Church, March 22 2020, Toronto

I will be presenting a talk entitled "A Tough Pill to Swallow: Exploring Stories of Taking Medications for Our Mental Health" via Zoom (as church services are currently on hold due to Covid-19). I will post the link soon if you would like to attend the talk!

Institute on Theology and Disability 2020, May 18 - 21, Holland Michigan 

I will be presenting a workshop on disability alongside two of my fellow PhD students Emma Ceruti and Jordan Balint. Here is a summary of what we will be talking about:

"'Praxis is both the origin and the end of theological reflection and talk about God cannot take place independent of a struggle for human emancipation' (Graham, Walton and Ward, 2005). In practical theology primacy is often given to praxis and in systematic theology primacy is frequently given to theory. Without integration of both theory and theology-in-action, our commitment to the struggle for human emancipation is hindered leading to detrimental real life consequences for PWD. In this presentation, we will propose a. framework of dialectical interplay to encourage mutual collaboration between academic, faith community and activist circles."


IASYM European Biennial Conference 2020: “Cultivating Youth Spirituality: Faith, Nurturing and Youth Ministry” Helsinki, Finland, 15-18 April 2020. 


I am looking forward to presenting a paper entitled "Why Are You Doing That? I Just Don’t Understand:  Self-Injury in Youth and the Impact on the Family System". This paper will present an engagement with NSSI research and resources that are written with the family system in mind such as “The NSSI Family Distress Cascade Theory” (Waals et al, 2018), how “Healing Together” in family therapy is helpful for increasing attachment security in young people with lived NSSI experience (Teague-Palmieri and Gutierrez, 2016) and look at how to become a “Mindful Parent” of a child who self-injures (Whitlock et al, 2019), so that youth ministers, youth workers, psycho-spiritual therapists and those working in the area of practical theology will be made aware of such resources and will be able to reflect upon them for possible integration and implementation within their own contexts.

Check out the conference program here

Past Talks & Conferences:


October 27, 2019

On October 27th I shared a reflection on anti-depressants and spirituality at Forest Grove United Church. Thank you to the Forest Grove community for being so welcoming to me. The short talk has been posted on their Youtube page, which you can access here.

Sept 12, 2019 

On September 12 my colleague Beth Anne Fisher and I organized and facilitated an interfaith panel on forgiveness at Emmanuel College entitled "Stories of Forgiveness: Drawing on Our Faith Traditions to Move Towards Healing". It was an incredible and moving time of sharing together. Thank you to each of the students who shared so wholeheartedly.

May 4, 2019 

I presented some of my research on the relationship between self-injury and psychiatric medications at the disability symposium A Deeper Communion: Church With People With Disabilities, that was hosted at Emmanuel College in Toronto.

I presented in the morning, as a part of the "Conversations with Students and Scholars" panel. It was an excellent time of sharing some of my work regarding mental health as a part of the theological conversation. We had a lively discussion psychiatric medication use in Lauren Slater's memoir Prozac Diary, and David Finnegan-Hosey's  Christ on the Psych Ward. For more information on the event please click here

April 24-27, 2019 

My colleague Beth Anne Fisher and I co-presented a paper on teaching in the interfaith classroom entitled "Transformation and Resistance in the Interfaith Classroom: Reflections on Teaching in the Canadian Context" at the European Society for Intercultural Theology and Interreligious Studies conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina. Beth and I co-facilitate classes at Emmanuel and do practical theology together :-)  Update: The ESITIS conference was a wonderful experience! Sarajevo is a beautiful city with such kind people. We had a great group attend our presentation and we learned a lot from the participants. 

January 2019

I presented a paper entitled "Spiritual Care for Sexual and Gender Minority Youth Who Self-Injure" at the International Association for the Study of Youth Ministry's international conference, in Durham, England. Update: This was a great experience for me and I appreciated the conversation we had as a group afterwards. Lots of good questions were asked by attendees that have inspired me and made me think!

November 2018

I co-presented an interfaith paper on my lived experience of both mental health disabilities and physical disabilities at the Parliament of the World's Religions conference in Toronto alongside my friend Esther Reiser. It was a great time of sharing and discussion about how people with disabilities can be included in faith communities and what we can do better to ensure that everyone is welcome and taken care of. 

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