27-30/2022: 80th Friends Conference on Religion and Psychology 2022: Neurobiology of the Spirit: Compassionate Witness and the Chemistry of Healing

80th Friends Conference on Religion and Psychology 2022: Neurobiology of the Spirit: Compassionate Witness and the Chemistry of Healing

We have all been traumatized by the pandemic in some way.  Our dependable daily rhythms and patterns have been disrupted.  We have been isolated from the company of loved ones, and often from our in-person work community.  We may have had to care for someone who was ill or even suffered the loss of someone dear in this time of upended traditions.

Our last several conferences looked at trauma and its recovery from different perspectives. Neuroscientist and psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk taught us how the nervous system registers trauma in the body and the brain, and how trauma embedded in our nervous system resists recovery when the body itself is not engaged in therapy.  Jungian analyst and author Donald Kalsched used metaphors and fairy tales to illuminate the multi-dimensions of trauma’s defensive mechanisms which block recovery.  Early trauma, he said, is often imaged in our dreams as an innocent child, imprisoned by demonic angels who, in trying to keep our inner child safe from fresh injury, cut if off from growing into the fullness of life.  Last year, in our virtual format, Jungian analysts and authors Monika Wikman and Marian Dunlea put the work of our earlier speakers into practice—by taking us into processes which center the body and open doors in the psyche where healing imagery and energy can be released.

Each of these extraordinary speakers mentioned the importance of polyvagal theory.  This is the work of Stephen W. Porges, Ph.D., who with his wife and colleague,  C. Sue Carter, Ph.D., have intermingled their lives’ research to understand the complexities of the body’s chemistry in healing and health.  Their willingness to cross into many disciplines to get to the facts—has resulted in visionary answers not only about what it means physiologically when a person is emotionally damaged and the defenses are activated.  But they also can help us understand why it is possible to recover from early trauma and not only heal but thrive.

The Friends Conference on Religion and Psychology feels extraordinarily blessed that this exceptional couple—who are invited  both individually and together to present to experts in wide-ranging fields internationally—have agreed to be our Plenary Speakers for our 80th anniversary conference.

Presented by: Dr. Stephen W. Porges, PhD. and Dr. Sue Carter, PhD., through the Religious Society of Friends

Contact: Karen Zipser 717.203.5340

Email address: karenhz0210@gmail.com

Event web site: https://www.fcrp-quaker.org/fcrp-registration-2022

Location: Pendle Hill Conference Center, Wallingford, PA, and online via Zoom

Session dates: Friday 27-Monday 30 May 2022

Session times: Friday: 3:00 pm-9:00 pm; Saturday and Sunday: 7:30 am-11:00 pm; Monday: 7:30 am-1:30 pm

Time zone: EDT

Price: virtual conference $75.00; single occupancy $545.00; double occupancy $495.00; commuter: $345.00

Scholarship help is available.  If you are in a unique situation and do not have the financial resources to afford our fee, please e-mail our registrar at  karenhz0210@gmail.com.

Course description: Drs. Porges and Carter will share with us the science behind why fear shuts our bodies down—and how the body’s chemistry then limits our ability to think creatively, live vitally, and grow spiritually.  Our speakers will help us understand why the residue of trauma or early emotional damage is not “just in our heads.” And perhaps most significantly, our speakers will help us comprehend why the atmosphere in a room changes whenever we feel safe and nurtured.  They have the science that shows what happens in the body in the presence of compassion—and its transforming effect on body, mind, and soul.

Conference schedule: 


3:00 – 6:00  Registration—The Barn
6:00 – 7:00  Dinner—Main House
7:30    Conference Welcome—The Barn: Silent worship followed by introduction to the Conference
7:45-9:00  First Plenary Talk—Plenary Speakers Sue Carter and Steve Porges—”Living Biography” Sue and Steve share how they were led to do the work that they do.

9:00  Introduction to Interest Group Leaders with interest group coordinator, Ramona Ndlovu. Brief meeting with your Interest Group at the Barn

SATURDAY, MAY 28, 2022
7:30 – 8:30  Breakfast—Main House Dining Room (Table for Newcomers)
8:30 – 9:15  Meeting for Worship—The Barn
9:45 – 12:15  First Interest Group Meeting—Interest Group’s assigned room
12:30 – 1:30  Lunch—Main House

12:30 – 1:30  FCRP Annual Business Meeting—Tree Room in Main House dining room.   All are welcome to bring your lunch and join this open meeting to learn about FCRP’s finances, organization, and plans for next year’s conference—and to consider serving on our Planning Committee

2:00 – 4:00  Second Plenary Talk with Stephen Porges—The Barn.  “The Polyvagal Theory:  How Understanding Our Body’s Wiring Can Lead Us on a Practical Path to Healing”

4:00 – 6:00  Free time (!)

6:00 – 7:00  Dinner—Main House
7:30 – 9:00  Second Interest Group Meeting
9:15 – 11:00  Ice Cream Social: dancing, singing, indulging—The Barn

SUNDAY, MAY 29, 2022
7:30 – 8:30  Breakfast—Main House
8:30 – 9:15  Meeting for Worship—The Barn
10:00 – 12:00  Third Plenary Session with C. Sue Carter—The Barn. “The Chemistry of Compassion as a Healing Force”  An explanation of oxytocin and vasopressin and their role in allowing systems imbalanced from emotional trauma to “right” themselves

12:30 – 1:30  Lunch—Main House
2:00 – 4:00  Fourth Plenary Session with C. Sue Carter and Stephen Porges—The Barn  “The Neurobiology of the Spirit”  In an interview format, we delve into the chemistry of Spirit, followed by discussion with audience.

4:00 – 6:00   Free Time
6:00 – 7:00   Dinner—Main House
7:30 – 9:00  Final Interest Group Meeting
9:00 – 11:00  Evening Diversion—The Barn

MONDAY, MAY 30, 2022
7:30 – 8:30  Breakfast—Main House
8:30 – 9:15  Pendle Hill Meeting for Worship—The Barn

8:30 – 9:30  Time to pack up and clear out rooms

9:30 – 10:45   Final Plenary Talk:  “Pathways to Peace through the Body” with Stephen Porges and Sue Carter—The Barn
11:00 – 12:15   Meeting for Worship and Sharing—The Barn followed by Conference Closing Ritual

12:30 to 1:30  Lunch—Main House


May 27 - 30 2022


3:00 pm - 1:30 pm

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