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School of Education’s Spring Symposium to Focus on Mental Health

Mar 21, 2022

Speakers and panelists will discuss mentoring, therapy, resilience

The IU South Bend School of Education’s Department of Counseling and Human Services’ 2022 Spring Symposium, titled Making Meaning in Mental Health: Working Relationally in Schools and Communities, will be held virtually via Zoom on Friday, March 25, from 9:15 AM to 2:00 PM EST.

The activities are split into two sessions. After an introductory greeting from South Bend Mayor James Mueller, the first session begins with a keynote welcoming address from Dr. Bernadette S?�nchez, professor of educational psychology at the University of Illinois, Chicago. Dr. S?�nchez is an expert on the topic of mentoring.

The first session’s panel discussion brings together the superintendents of school corporations from five regional cities: South Bend, Michigan City, LaPorte, Goshen, and Benton Harbor. Teshia Dula, an award-winning school counselor from Duluth, GA, will be saluted in an outstanding practitioner spotlight.

The theme throughout the day will be ways of working with people relationally, said organizer Kurt Hanus, a Chicago-based therapist currently serving as an assistant professor in IU South Bend’s program of Counseling and Human Services. Dr. S?�nchez will be talking about how mentoring relationships help students and adults thrive. Keshia Dula will talk about using data and relationships to help students thrive academically, socially, and personally.

Dr. Linda Michaels, a therapist and co-founder of the Psychotherapy Action Network, opens the second session with a keynote address, Going Beneath the Surface: What People Want from Therapy. Dr. Michaels is committed to the idea that complex psychological problems require in-depth, prolonged psychoanalysis, a method that has lost traction in the face of prevailing trends in the quick fixes of brief therapy and medication.

Linda Michaels has recently finished a study surveying what people really want from therapy, and the results found that people want to work more in depth and go into their histories, attachments, and relationships, Dr. Hanus said. They want to investigate how early relationships influence their current circumstances.

Vanessa Kelleybrew, a visiting lecturer at IU South Bend, moderates the second session’s panel discussion, which features representatives from the Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute, the Christian Theological Seminary, the C.G. Jung Institute of Chicago, and the Center for Psychoanalytic Studies in Houston, TX. The panel’s topic is Mental Health in the Community: Counseling Through Insight, Depth, and Relationship.

This is a highly collaborative and very accessible program, said Hope Smith Davis, Dean of IU South Bend’s School of Education. There are nationally recognized experts alongside the superintendents who have close relationships with our schools. Anyone who joins this event will probably know some of these people personally. They’ll also be introduced to someone they’ve read or read about, or maybe someone they’ve never heard of. There’s a real opportunity to get a lot of exposure to all these ideas that have a direct impact on the broader picture.

Although it’s sponsored by the Department of Counseling and Human Services, the appeal is interdisciplinary, said Dr. Hanus. Psychologists, social workers, counselors, therapists, psychiatrists, educators it’s for anybody who has an interest in working with people. It’s about much more than mental health counseling.

The symposium is a free event. For further information or to register for one or both sessions, visit:

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