Lethbridge - Spirituality and Wholeness Workshop 2017

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Country Kitchen Catering (lower level of the Keg)

1715 Mayor Magrath Drive South

Lethbridge, Alberta T1K 2R7


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Morning - Session One

Doll Therapy: More Than Just a Cuddle

Therapeutic dolls have been used in a variety of ways to assist persons living with dementia who suffer from increased levels of anxiety, tearfulness, and negative feelings. This workshop will provide a historical overview of the therapeutic use of dolls, ethical considerations, value of positive narrative, enduring sensory memories, and attachment as it plays out using a 1:1 visit model versus a more generalized cuddle approach. During the visit, the doll becomes a therapeutic vehicle through which the resident is able to reconnect with historical positive feelings and bring those feelings forward into the present, creating a bridge for a meaningful future. Skill sets and staff involvement/time constraints are also discussed as an interactive component of the workshop.

with Vikki Marrs, RPC, MPCC, CCPCPR

Chaplain Vikki Marrs is a Registered Counselor and Ordained Minister working at Good Samaritan Hillside Village Complex Care and Good Samaritan Pioneer Lodge Assisted Living care homes in Salmon Arm, BC.

Prior to entering the Ministry, she was in private practice in the Shuswap and on Vancouver Island where she provided both secular and faith- based counseling services to clients and seniors dealing with adjustment and aging issues. She has contributed to a national strategy paper for Pastoral Care for Seniors within her denomination and more recently received the 2016 award for Innovation from the BC Care Providers Association for her development of a family support booklet and unique approach to Doll Therapy with those that live with dementia.

Morning - Session Two

Spirit of Clay: Engaging the Memory

A Spirit of Clay workshop will provide an opportunity to explore our creative side and to experience the life giving and healing spirit of clay. The participants will explore, through the touching and feeling of clay, the spiritual shape of what it means to be human. For the deepest roots of creativity are spiritual.

The workshop will lead participants, through an experience of touching clay, touching its spirit as a way of engagement with oneself and others. Through this experience, we will engage in dialogue on the nature of psycho-social spiritual care focusing on care related to those living with dementia. This will be illustrated by a presentation on a variety of programs: Full Circle – a program which has a focus on song, stories, sound, touch, and memories that give life meaning; and other programs which explore a variety of venues of creative engagement as we age, even as we experience memory shifts.

with Ray Niebergall, BSc, MDiv

Ray Niebergall has had 35 years working in Ceramic Art. Along with his wife and son, he is an active potter on the Sunshine Coast, teaching and leading retreat weekends called, ‘Spirit of Clay’ and working out of their studio in Roberts Creek. Their work has appeared in Art Galleries and Exhibitions throughout British Columbia and Alberta. Ray has his Bachelor of Science and Master of Divinity and is presently working as Chaplain at Good Samaritan Christenson Village, in Gibsons, BC. Ray’s focus is psycho-social Spiritual Care.

Ray has been ordained for 40 years, served a variety of parishes, and did development work amongst the Mapuche people in the Patagonia region of Argentina for 8 years.

Afternoon - Session Three

Seeing Dementia from the Other Side

All persons are spiritual beings. Dementia doesn’t negate a person’s spirituality. It does, however, change the way in which we engage it. The best way to understand persons living with dementia is to learn to enter into their experience, to see dementia from the other side; not in terms of cumulative losses, but rather, preserved abilities as the disease progresses. The goal is to maintain the relationship with the person living with dementia right up until the end of life, if we believe, as in the letter to the Romans, that “Neither height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus, our Lord.” Romans 8:39

This workshop provides opportunities for experiential learning, as one might experience life when living with dementia. By understanding the nature of skill loss and preserved abilities, we will learn to communicate differently and more effectively with persons living with dementia. As people of faith, we can then cultivate and offer a presence that makes spiritual and religious care more possible and more meaningful.

with Angela King, Specialist (CASC), MTS, ARCT and PAC Trainer

Angela has been a chaplain with the Good Samaritan Society since 2013. Prior to becoming a chaplain, she was a professional musician and private music teacher for many years, skills that continue to serve her well when engaging non- verbal persons living with dementia. She is a certified Specialist with the Canadian Association for Spiritual Care. As a certified Positive Approach to CareTM Trainer in dementia care, Angela is as passionate about her work with people living with dementia as she is about reframing our understanding of dementia and the skills needed to connect with our loved ones living with dementia.


What is the refund policy?

Refund requests must be received 14 days prior to the workshop and will include a $25.00 processing fee.

Where can I contact the organizer with any questions?

For additional information you can contact us at (780) 989- 3220 or by e-mail at cstevenson@gss.org.

Is my registration/ticket transferrable?

Yes, someone may come in your place if you are unable to attend the event. We do ask that you get in touch with us so that we are aware of the change.

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Country Kitchen Catering (lower level of the Keg)

1715 Mayor Magrath Drive South

Lethbridge, Alberta T1K 2R7


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