Dedicated to "Women in pain who know they're not"
~ Cynthia Toussaint, Lead Vocalists on "Crazy"

11th Annual Women In Pain Conference
“The Trauma-Pain Connection: A Path to Recovery and Growth”
Friday, November 17th, 2023

Watch the archive broadcast reply of the 11th Annual Women In Pain Conference by linking HERE.

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Read our 2023 Women In Pain Conference Press Release HERE

Take the Positive and Adverse Childhood Experiences Survey (PACEs) HERE

See a photo recap of the conference at For Grace’s Flickr page by linking HERE


“The Pain-Trauma Connection: A Path to Recovery and Growth” – that’s the focus of this year’s gathering as we’ll explore trauma, in its myriad of expressions, as a driver for physical and mental challenges downstream, in particular chronic pain. We’ll examine how trauma can set off a cascade of biological and physiological changes in the body, resulting from chronic, toxic stress, which in turn leads to persistent inflammation. Also spotlighted will be the impact of generational trauma and how the past can be just as important as the present when it comes to understanding our mind/body adversities.

Besides the hardships of trauma, we will present trauma release techniques and methods that can mitigate much, if not all, of its adverse effects. Last, but certainly not least, our day will highlight the power of post-traumatic growth and how that process can revitalize and renew survivors by sparking personal growth and over-all well-being.

To bring awareness and education about the connection between trauma and chronic pain, and what steps can be taken to accelerate growth, recovery and wellness.

People with Chronic Pain
People who have experienced Trauma (Childhood, Adult-Onset, Generational, etc.)
People Impacted by Trauma-Induced Chronic Pain

Theme Session Overviews
Trauma: What is trauma and how does it impact physical and mental health, in particular chronic pain
Release: What strategies, techniques and methods can be used to move beyond trauma
Growth: What Post-Traumatic Growth is and how that process can be the catalyst for a fuller, richer life steeped in health and wellness


11th Annual Women in Pain Conference: “The Trauma-Pain Connection: A Path to Recovery and Growth”
Friday, November 17th, 2023
10am – 3:00pm PT

In Association With
Community Partners


“The Pain-Trauma Connection: A Path to Recovery and Growth”

9:45am – 10:00
Slide Countdown

10:00 – 10:05
Conference Introduction – John Garrett, Director, For Grace: Women In Pain

10:05 – 10:20
“A Life Molded by Trauma”Cynthia Toussaint, Founder & Spokesperson, For Grace: Women In Pain

10:20 – 10:25
Post-Traumatic Growth Video Vignette #1: Dana


10:25 – 10:55
“The Impact of Experiences on Well-Being: Letting the Science Guide Us Towards Healing and Recovery” – Audrey Stillerman, MD, Clinical Associate Professor of Family and Community Medicine, University of Illinois Chicago and Co-Founder, Center for Trauma, Health Equity and Neurobiology (THEN)
This presentation shares the science connecting experiences with lifelong health particularly as it relates to chronic pain; describes some of the elements of a trauma-informed approach, and offers suggestions for applying the science to our lives and our work.

10:55 – 11:20
“Trauma and Chronic Pain”Jennifer Pierce, PhD, Research Assistant Professor, University of Michigan Back and Pain Center
This presentation will explore the association between interpersonal trauma and chronic pain 

11:20 – 11:25
Post-Traumatic Growth Video Vignette #2: Tom

11:25 – 11:45
“Generational Trauma and Resilience”Noshene Ranjbar, MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Arizona School of Medicine – Tucson
Dr. Ranjbar will share her work with Native American communities, keying on trauma-informed mental health healing based in mind-body medicine.  Also, she will highlight how trauma and its adverse health effects have devastated these communities via multiple generations of social and cultural disenfranchisement.


11:45pm – 11:50
Post-Traumatic Growth Video Vignette #3: Lorena

11:50 – 12:20
“Finding Relief When Pain and Trauma Overlap” – Mary Driscoll, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine and Collaborator, Pain Research, Informatics, Multi-Morbities and Education (PRIME) at VA Connecticut
Dr. Driscoll will share the various methods one can utilize to recover from trauma, emphasizing emerging trends that aid women to overcome trauma-induced chronic pain.  Also Dr. Driscoll will discuss the importance of trauma-informed care in establishing wellness.

12:20 – 12:50
“Lived Stories of Trauma Release” – Moderator: Stephanie Weaver, MPH, Chronic Illness Advocate, Speaking Coach, and Author, The Migraine Relief Plan Cookbook ;  Panelists: Dana Gambill, Kay Lee and Diana Whitney, Author, Dark Beds
Join four trauma survivors as they share their tips, techniques, and experiences with releasing various types of trauma. They’ll include low-cost and free options.

12:50 – 12:55
Post-Traumatic Growth Video Vignette #4: Katie

12:55 – 1:00pm
“Neurographic Art: Drawing a New Path” Trauma Release Breakout #1 – Radene Marie Cook, Pain Advocate and Artist

1:00 – 1:05pm
“The Benefits of  Breath & Movement” Trauma Release Breakout #2Lori Monroe, Certified Personal Trainer, Lori Lucia Fitness

1:05 – 1:10
Post-Traumatic Growth Video Vignette #5: Rich

1:10 – 1:40
Q&A Session Followed by Mid-Day Break – Moderators: Cynthia Toussaint and John Garrett; Panelists: Dr. Audrey Stillerman, Dr. Jennifer Pierce and Dr. Mary Driscoll

1:40 – 1:50
Conference Break


1:50 – 1:55
Post-Traumatic Growth Video Vignette #6: Debbie

1:55 – 2:20pm
“Bouncing Forward  – Transforming Breakdowns Into Breakthroughs”Michaela Haas, PhD, Author, Bouncing Forward: The Art and Science of Cultivating Resilience
Michaela speaks about how the uplifting science of post-traumatic growth presents groundbreaking research and proven methods to heal from trauma and grow in the face of challenges.

2:20 – 3:05
“Lived Stories of Growth After Trauma” – Moderator: Dr. Ginevra Liptan, MD,  Fibromyalgia Advocate and Author, The Fibro Manual;
Panelists: Maria Socolof, Heather Grace and Kathleen Sutherland
Join four trauma survivors as they share their post-trauma experience along with tips and hard-won wisdom on how they found a way to better, fuller lives 

3:05 – 3:10
Post-Traumatic Growth Video Vignette #7:  Nicole

3:10 – 3:20
Last Thoughts, Thanks and a Reflection on the Day – Cynthia Toussaint & John Garrett


Deepest thanks to…

The Center for Collaborative Study of Trauma, Health Equity and Neurobiology (THEN)
University of Michigan Back & Pain Center
Pain Research, Informatics, Multi-morbities and Education (PRIME) Center of Innovation at VA Connecticut
The Frida Center for Fibromyalgia
The Samueli Integrative Health Programs
Threshold GlobalWorks

Recommended Reads on Trauma, Illness and Resilience…

“The Body Keeps the Score” by Dr. Bessel van der Kolk
“When the Body Says No” by Dr. Gabor Mate
“The Deepest Well” by Dr. Nadine Burke Harris
“The Myth of Normal” by Dr. Gabor Mate
“Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers” by Dr. Robert Sapolsky
“Chronic Pain Reset” by Dr. Afton Hassett

View a replay of For Grace’s 10th Annual Women In Pain Conference…