2024 Advancing Post-Traumatic Growth Event


Wendy Lund

MSc in Mindfullness Studies
Expert in building proactive resiliency

Coming Soon



Thomas Walker

Tom has a Master’s in Social Work and is a trained Clinical Traumatologist & Certified Compassion Fatigue Specialist, associate trainer, board member and consultant through the Traumatology Institute. Tom is also a lead trainer and consultant for the Crisis Trauma Resource Institute (CTRI).

Take the Help: Everyone Wins

Chaos, divorce, rage, depression, mistakes, fear, loss and shame +++ is what occurs when we don’t take the help offered. Yet many still believe or hope that “time will heal” or see going for help as a weakness. Tom Walker will share what post-traumatic growth (resilience) is and how it can manifest when people receive help on time!

During this process, you will gain the:
1. Understanding and differentiating between Complex Grief (CG), Acute Stress Disorder (ASD) and Post-Traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and how to prevent ASD from becoming PTSD.
2. Understanding how to self-regulate when triggered (hypervigilance, intrusion (flashbacks, visual, auditory, and olfactory) – whether it be grief or trauma.
3. Understanding the symptoms of CG, ASD, and PTSD and some of the behaviors that can come with the attempts to cope with the pain.
4. Understanding that getting “proper” help will be one of your best choices. It makes living in your body more manageable and life better.

Everybody that encounters you wins when you are healthy – your family, friends, colleagues, and the people you serve.


Carmen Theobald

Carmen is the Founder and Director of Horse Sense North, where they offer personal growth, leadership & team development, and trauma recovery with some “Horse Sense”. Adding some Horse Sense allows people to develop more clarity, connection and courage in every aspect of life, and finally feel more alive and whole. All programs are offered with a trauma informed lens, and they have a particular focus on serving those who serve others.

Healing with Horse Power and Grace

Carmen’s coaching, facilitation and speaking combine her experience working with thousands of horses, her own Post Traumatic Growth, and a determination to make a difference in this fractured world. She has worked with hundreds of individuals, teams and organizations, helping them get unstuck, embodied, and intuitively empowered.

Just like we can fracture a bone in our body, trauma can fracture the essence of who we are. In both cases, healing is possible.

In this talk, Carmen shares her personal journey of post traumatic growth, and how this led to her work supporting first responders with horses. Learning to have a horse powered approach to healing, even if we’re not directly with horses, can help us become more embodied, empowered and whole.


• How horses help us learn to be human
• 3 simple steps to shift how we show up for ourselves and the world
• How to build trust with ourselves so that wellness becomes possible
• How to embrace life with courage and heart, and step more fully into who we are

Scott Hewlett

Scott is a 26th-year, 2nd-generation Firefighter. He spent the first half of his career at a Technical Rescue station, six years working as a primary-care medic, 3 years as a Fire Training Officer, took part in a one-year Firefighter Exchange Program in Wellington, New Zealand, and had the honour and pleasure of co-leading a Peer Support Team for over a decade. He has been producing and hosting the Multiple Calls Podcast since February 2018 and continues to instruct at Southwest Fire Academy since January 2022. He recently stepped back into a Training Officer role with Central York Fire Services.

A Return to Thriving

“A Return to Thriving” explores a profound understanding of human resilience and recovery, positing that at any point, individuals navigate through one of three distinct states: surviving, living, or thriving. This conceptual framework not only acknowledges the spectrum of human emotional and psychological states but also emphasizes the dynamic nature of our well-being.

In the state of surviving, individuals often find themselves merely getting through the day. This state is characterized by coping with immediate challenges and traumas, where the primary focus is on overcoming adversity and ensuring basic needs are met. Survival mode is often marked by heightened stress, anxiety, and a sense of being overwhelmed by life’s demands.

Transitioning from surviving to living represents a significant shift. In the living state, individuals have managed to stabilize their circumstances and can engage with daily activities without the pervasive sense of struggle that defines survival. Here, life begins to offer a sense of normalcy and routine, but there may still be an underlying feeling that something is missing—a deeper fulfillment or purpose.

Thriving, the most sought-after state, goes beyond mere survival or the day-to-day functioning of living. It is characterized by a profound sense of well-being, purpose, and fulfillment. Thriving individuals experience life with joy, resilience, and a deep engagement with their activities and relationships. They have not only overcome challenges but have grown stronger and more fulfilled as a result.

The journey from surviving through living to thriving is not linear nor is it a one-time transition. “A Return to Thriving” suggests that in the face of new traumas or challenges, individuals may find themselves moving back and forth between these states. The key, however, lies in developing the resilience and tools necessary to navigate these transitions effectively.

“A Return to Thriving” emphasizes that while trauma and adversity are inevitable aspects of the human experience, our response to these challenges defines our path forward. By recognizing where we are on the spectrum of surviving, living, and thriving, and by employing strategies to move towards thriving, we can continuously seek and return to a state of fulfillment and joy, regardless of the obstacles we face.”


Michelle Zare

Michelle Zare

Ontario WSIB Disability Claims and Appeals

Zare Paralegal Services offers WSIB legal services, in Ontario, as licensed paralegals and is proudly located in Hamilton, Ontario. Their team effectively advocates for injured workers who need help with WSIB and other disability claims and appeals.


Dr. Katie Stewart

PTSD and Trauma-Related Disorders

Dr. Katie Stewart is a clinical psychologist. She is currently working at Ontario Shores as a clinical consultant, providing consultation and training to allied health professionals. She also provides assessment and treatment at Nellie Health. She has expertise in the treatment of anxiety, post-traumatic stress, obsessive-compulsive, and mood disorders. She also works with clients who have experienced workplace injury, including first responders and Public Safety Personnel. She is also currently involved in a clinical trial examining the effect of psilocybin integrated massed cognitive processing therapy for chronic PTSD. She has 10 peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Stewart is also a board member of the Ontario Psychological Association.


Dr. Candice Monson

PTSD and Trauma-Related Disorders

Candice M. Monson, PhD, is Professor of Psychology at the Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University). Dr. Monson is one of the foremost experts on traumatic stress and the use of individual and conjoint psychotherapies to treat PTSD. She has been funded by the US Department of Veterans’ Affairs, National Institute of Mental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Defense, and Canadian Institute of Health Research for her research on interpersonal factors in traumatization and individual- and conjoint-based interventions for PTSD. She is a Fellow of both the American and Canadian Psychological Associations, received the Canadian Psychological Association Trauma Psychologist of the Year Award in 2013, and was inducted into the Royal Society of Canada in 2016. Dr. Monson has co-authored 7 books, including the treatment manuals Cognitive Processing Therapy: A Comprehensive Manual, Cognitive-Behavioral Conjoint Therapy for PTSD, and Treating PTSD with Cognitive-Behavioral Therapies: Interventions That Work. She has published over 100 peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Monson is well-known for her efforts in training clinicians in evidence-based assessments and interventions for PTSD.


Samantha Zahra

PTSD and Trauma-Related Disorders

Samantha’s experience is not just rooted in her professional qualifications but also in a deep understanding of the challenges faced by those in the front lines of healthcare and emergency services.
“As a first responder who has experienced post-traumatic stress injury, I understand the daily struggles that front-line personnel and healthcare professionals face. I also appreciate the difficulty that can arise when trying to connect with a qualified mental health professional who is versed in the specific needs of first responders. As a result, I offer treatments that have been proven effective in treating their presenting concerns, with an attention to their unique experiences.” – Samantha Zahra
Samantha is passionate about supporting those who dedicate their lives to helping others. She is committed to providing evidence-based treatments tailored to the unique experiences and needs of first responders and healthcare professionals. Her approach is one of understanding, empathy, and dedicated care


Colin Chan

PTSD and Trauma-Related Disorders

Colin Chan is an Occupational Therapist with CBI Health. He graduated from the University of Toronto in 2004 and from Queen’s University with a Master’s in Occupational Therapy in 2006. As an Occupational Therapist (OT) he works with clients experiencing physical, cognitive, and/or emotional difficulties, and regardless of the diagnosis, his focus is on restoring function and helping clients return to activities and lives that are meaningful. His work has been in clinic, working within multi-disciplinary teams, but in more recent years, in community, working closely with clients in their homes, their communities, and their workplaces. Colin currently acts as the Director of Clinical Services in the Psychological Trauma Community Rehabilitation Program at CBI Health, where he leads a team of 100+ OTs across the province in delivering the highest quality care to individuals who have experienced trauma, helping them to build resilience, to achieve post traumatic growth, and to ultimately continue to live life following trauma. Colin believes that there is hope for all individuals, and that with the right care and treatment, from the right clinician, people can do better than just cope with their symptoms. Rather, individuals can actually be better, and move forward from their trauma once and for all. Specifically, Colin and his team work with First Responders to navigate the complexities of recovering from operational stress injuries in the context of WSIB and their workplace.


A short description of the various therapist certifications in Ontario.

Clinical Psychologists

Clinical Psychologists are required to complete a related Masters and Ph.D. program to practice in the province of Ontario that must be research-based and subsequently have a thesis component. They are governed by the College of Psychologists of Ontario (CPO).

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Registered Psychotherapists

Registered Psychotherapists (RPs) are registered by the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO) and, like Registered Social Workers and Clinical Psychologists, are permitted to perform the controlled act of psychotherapy.

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Registered Social Workers

Registered Social Workers (RSW) are helping individuals to enhance their well-being. They are governed by the Ontario College of Social Workers.