Fall 2003 Annual Conference


September 11-13, 2003, Green Lake Conference Center

A day-long workshop with Dr. James Pennebaker PhD

Conference proved to be successful (from Newsletter)

By: Jim Heider and Shelly Vanness

The BSW conference at the Green Lake Conference Center was well attended and popular this year. The weather was overcast and somewhat rainy, but it did not dampen our spirits or interest in our excellent speakers. The conference began on Thursday, September 11 with Jim Heider teaching an Introductory Biofeedback Skills Workshop as a pre-conference training opportunity for new members. Though numbers were down, he managed to provide an interactive and informal presentation of good quality. The interested participants heard about the workshop on the website. (So it is working!!) Dr. Daniel Muller and Dr. Nancy Selfridge, from Madison, lectured on patients with fibromyalgia. Dr. Muller sees patients one day per week and is a researcher the rest of the time. He currently is collaborating with two other physicians on neurophysiology and MRI imaging in patients with fibromyalgia. He discussed definitions, pathophysiology, clinical epidemiology, differential diagnosis, lab work-up, treatments, prognosis, and research going on at UW-Madison. Dr. Nancy Selfridge treats fibromyalgia full time as a family physician, and also had fibromyalgia herself. She works with Dr. Muller in the Integrative Medicine Program, and provided very helpful information about this population. She has also written a book, Freedom From Fibromyalgia, which we were able to purchase, if interested. BSW members who continue to support the organization, both as current or past board members and presenters, included:

 Gib Koula, MS-Benson’s Breakout Principle.

 Carol Brand-The Feldenkrais Movement: A True Mind/Body Intervention.

 Linda Nett-Duesterhoeft-Treating Myofascial Pain and Tension Headaches.

 Shelly Vanness-T’ai Chi Basic Introduction and application of kids.

During the business meeting portion of our noon luncheon, we learned that Mark Marnocha is stepping down after three very productive years. He has helped BSW move into the alternative medicine and complementary healthcare field ‘in a big way’. Our new president, Linda Nett-Duesterhoeft, was introduced. She is pleasantly obliged to take on the yoke of leadership with Mark’s assistance for the first year. On Friday evening, we enjoyed a delicious dinner and afterward a very healing imagery path directed by Dr. David Rakel. This was followed by Linda’s beautiful poetry readings that she had written herself. After she had us in tears, we were laughing out loud about her living in Wisconsin poem.

If this weren’t enough, Dr. Mark Marnocha and Dr. Deborah Schultz captivated us with a beautiful dialogue of their respective journaling pieces about some of their patients who touched their hearts never to leave them the same. This was a beautiful example of narrative medicine. On Saturday, we heard our keynote speaker, James Pennebaker, PhD, of University of Texas. He presented on Inhibition, Health, and Language: Expressive Writing as a Therapeutic Tool.  His talk outlined the history of expressive writing, gave specific instructions for writing, discussed the role of content in expressive writing, explained why writing works, experimented with expressive writing, presented the power of words, and discussed the use of expressive writing in therapy. He was very knowledgeable and entertaining in his lecture style.

NOTE: BSW does not endorse or make claims or assurances regarding the qualifications of any of its members,
nor the suitability of the services rendered by the practitioners for the needs of the inquiring individual.

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