Home > Invited Speakers

Invited Speakers


Navigating the Intersection of PTSD and Clinically Significant Pain:  Reflections on the Past, Present, and Future 


Gordon J. G. Asmundson, PhD
University of Regina, Canada

Saturday, November 16
Gordon J. G. Asmundson, PhD, is a registered doctoral psychologist and full professor of psychology at the University of Regina. He received his doctorate in psychology from the University of Manitoba in 1991, completed postdoctoral training from 1991 to 1993 and in 2005 and 2006 trained as a Beck Scholar at the Beck Institute for Cognitive Therapy and Research. He is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Anxiety Disorders, development editor of Clinical Psychology Review and serves on the editorial boards for nine other journals. His research and clinical interests are in assessment and basic mechanisms of fear; anxiety and related disorders, chronic pain and the association of these with each other; maladaptive coping; and disability. His pioneering work on fear and avoidance in chronic pain and his shared vulnerability model of co-occurring PTSD and chronic pain have led to significant advances in understanding and treating these prevalent, disabling and costly conditions. Dr. Asmundson has published 325 peer-reviewed journal articles, 70 book chapters and eight books. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (2009) and has received the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) Donald O. Hebb Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Science of Psychology (2014), the CPA Traumatic Stress Section Award for Excellence in Psychology of Traumatic Stress (2018) and the Canadian Pain Society Distinguished Career Award (2018) as well as a number of early career awards.

Is Childhood Trauma Decreasing, and If So, Can We Take any Credit? 


David Finkelhor, PhD
Crimes against Children Research Center
University of New Hampshire, USA

Thursday, November 14
David Finkelhor is director of the Crimes against Children Research Center, professor of sociology and university professor at the University of New Hampshire. His core areas of interest, dating back to 1977, have been in child maltreatment and family violence. He is perhaps best-known for his conceptual and empirical work on the problem of child sexual abuse including prevalence surveys, his Four Pre-conditions Model of Sexual Abuse and his Four Traumagenic Dynamics Model of sexual abuse trauma. He also helped develop the concept of “poly-victimization.” In addition, he has done extensive research about child homicide, missing and abducted children, bullying and internet victimization. In his recent work, for example his book Child Victimization (Oxford University Press, 2008), he has tried to unify and integrate knowledge about all the diverse forms of child victimization in a field he has termed Developmental Victimology. This book received the Daniel Schneider Child Welfare Book of the Year award in 2009. He has also written extensively about trends in child maltreatment. Altogether he is editor and author of 12 books and more than 200 journal articles and book chapters. He has received grants from the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect, the U.S. Department of Justice and a variety of other sources. In 1994, he was given the Distinguished Child Abuse Professional Award by the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children. In 2004 he was given the Significant Achievement Award from the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers, in 2005 he and his colleagues received the Child Maltreatment Article of the Year award, in 2007 he was elected as a Fellow of the American Society of Criminology and in 2014 he was awarded the National Scientific Impact Award from the Kempe Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect.

The Neglected Belligerent Sibling in the Affect Family: Advances in the Understanding, Assessment and Treatment of Trauma-Related Anger


Professor David Forbes, BA(Hons) MA (Clin Psych) PhD
Director Phoenix Australia – Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health
University of Melbourne, Australia

Friday, November 15
David Forbes is the director of Phoenix Australia – Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health and professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Melbourne. He has more than 25 of  experience in the assessment and treatment of mental health problems in trauma survivors, with a speciality in anger and military and veteran mental health. He led the development of the inaugural 2007 Australian Guidelines for the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and the revision published in 2013.  David was also vice chair of International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies Committee for the development of the new PTSD Guidelines. He has a strong track record in the conduct of research in the assessment and treatment of trauma related mental health, with a particular focus on the measurement of anger, its treatment and its role in moderating the effects of PTSD treatment. He provides policy and service development advice to government and agencies responsible for the care of veteran and military personnel and trauma survivors across Australia. He has published more than 150 scientific papers in the international literature in the area of anger and traumatic stress and sits on many Australian government policy and scientific advisory panels and academic journal editorial boards.

How Traumatic Stress and Addiction Have Been Together Understood:  Charting a Course Forward in Unifying their Research and Treatment 


Denise Hien, PhD, ABPP
Rutgers University USA

Thursday, November 14
Denise Hien, PhD, ABPP, is the director of the Center of Alcohol and Substance Use Studies and professor in the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology (GSAPP) at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. She also maintains longstanding adjunct appointments as senior research scientist at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons Division on Substance Use Disorders and adjunct professor at the Graduate Center at the City University of New York. She and her group have conducted programmatic research on women’s mental health and addictions, with continuous funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse (20 grants total: 7 R01, 1R25, 1 multi-site) for more than 20 years. Considered a leader in the field, her body of work has contributed to the evidence base on the treatment of individuals with trauma-related psychiatric disorders and their comorbidity with addictions through single- and multi-site clinical trials across the United States in community-based substance abuse treatment settings. She also currently leads a NIDA R25 training grant for translational addiction research for racial/ethnic minority BS/MD, MA and PhD candidates in the biomedical and social sciences. She is board-certified in clinical psychology and has served as a standing member on NIDA’s NIH Institutional Review Groups and a health disparities advisory group to the director on Asian/Pacific Islander issues.

Resilience in Perilous Times: Pathways to the Future


Ann S. Masten, PhD, LP
University of Minnesota, USA

Thursday, November 14
Ann S. Masten, PhD, LP, is a Regents Professor and the Irving B. Harris Professor of Child Development in the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota. She completed her doctoral training at the University of Minnesota in clinical psychology with an internship at UCLA. In 1986, she joined the faculty in the Institute of Child Development at the University of Minnesota, serving as chair of this department from 1999 to 2005. Professor Masten’s research focuses on understanding processes that promote competence and prevent problems in human development, with a focus on resilience in the context of high cumulative risk, adversity and trauma. She directs the Project Competence Research on Risk and Resilience including studies of normative populations and high-risk young people exposed to war, natural disasters, poverty, homelessness, migration and related adversities. This work includes assessments of risk, stress, adversity, competence, life success, well-being and potential promotive/protective influences involved in resilience. Dr. Masten has authored more than 200 publications, including the 2014 book, Ordinary Magic: Resilience in Children, published by Guilford Press. She recently co-chaired the Forum on Investing in Young Children Globally for the U.S. National Academies, while also serving on their Board on Children, Youth, and Families. She has served as president of the Society for Research in Child Development and President of Division 7 (Developmental) of the American Psychological Association (APA). In 2014, she received the Bronfenbrenner Award for Lifetime Contributions to Developmental Psychology in the Service of Science and Society from APA.  Dr. Masten regularly teaches a MOOC through Coursera on “Resilience in Children Exposed to Trauma, Disaster and War: Global Perspectives.”