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World renowned trauma expert to speak in Springfield

January 25, 2006

SPRINGFIELD – Dr. Charles R. Figley, known around the world as an expert on stress and its treatment, will conduct “Trauma and Its Wake: A Systems Approach,” a day-long workshop to be held Friday, February 3, in the Wedeberg Conference Center, Memorial Medical Center, in Springfield.

Co-sponsors of the event are the Human Development Counseling program and the Office of Student Life at the University of Illinois at Springfield, Memorial Counseling Associates, and the Human Services Education Council. The program is presented in cooperation with the National Association of Social Workers-IL, Springfield District.

Related sites

Human Development Counseling at UIS
Publications by Dr. Figley
Collegiate Veterans Association

The workshop will focus on trauma assessment and treatment interventions, providing experienced clinicians with the tools to prevent, manage, and/or treat trauma.  It is designed for professionals in many disciplines, including counseling, mental health, addiction, domestic violence, child abuse, nursing, education, the clergy, and other helping professions.

A psychologist and family therapist who has been studying human reactions to trauma for 30 years, Dr. Figley is among the founders of the field of traumatology, the study and treatment of human reactions to highly stressful situations.  He has written nearly 200 scholarly works on the subject, including 17 books, and has won dozens of prestigious awards. In 2004 he was awarded a senior Fulbright Research Fellowship to conduct research in Kuwait and follow up on his work on stress injury management in combat operations.

Bill Abler, UIS associate professor and chair of Human Development Counseling, will introduce Dr. Figley at the workshop. “I consider him to be an extraordinarily productive researcher and scholar, an exceptionally gifted presenter, and a man of uncommon passion and commitment to humanitarian causes around the world,” said Abler. “It will once again be my honor to introduce him to students, colleagues, and practitioners within the helping professions.” Figley was previously the featured presenter at a workshop at UIS in November 2004.

Dr. Figley is a professor in the School of Social Work at Florida State University. He founded and directs the FSU Traumatology Institute, which initiated the Green Cross Projects following the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 and played an important role in humanitarian efforts in New York City following the terrorist attacks in 2001. Most recently, Green Cross has been involved in relief efforts in Sri Lanka following the 2004 tsunami and in the gulf coast states in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In addition to aiding human survivors, in the latter instance, Green Cross provided support for those involved with animal rescue. Figley’s current efforts also include work to help the latest group of military veterans.

The American Psychological Association named Figley “Family Psychologist of the Year” in 1997, and the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies honored him with its coveted Pioneer Award recognizing traumatologists whose lifetime achievements greatly advance the field. His latest book (with co-author Bob Roop), is Compassion Fatigue in the Animal Care Community, to be published in March by Human Society Press.

Cost of the workshop is $85 for those who register on or before January 27 and $95 after that date.  Full-time students, retirees, and Memorial Health System employees may receive a discount. Continuing education credit is available for certain licensed professionals.

For registration information, call Memorial Medical Center’s Healthline at 217/788-3333; toll-free at 1-877-217-7883. For information about the workshop itself, contact Abler at 206-7567 or go to www.HSEConline.org or www.mhcci.org.


    The University of Illinois at Springfield, one of three U of I campuses, is a small, public liberal arts university that offers 42 degree programs – 21 bachelor’s, 20 master’s, and the Doctorate of Public Administration. UIS has a special mission in public affairs and service and is known for extraordinary internships, a wireless campus, extensive online offerings, and a commitment to teaching.