Trevecca counseling program to host conference, benefits students and practitioners

Dr. David Grand, the developer of Brainspotting, will headline Trevecca Nazarene University’s annual Issues in Therapy conference, set for Oct. 4. Early bird pricing ends today.

Dr. Susan Lahey, director of graduate counseling and doctoral programs at Trevecca, says the conference is a way for Trevecca’s counseling program, now more than three decades old, to invest in current students as well as the wider counseling community.

“Nashville is a very robust training center for counseling,” she said. “This conference is partly for our students, making sure we’re providing the most current, relevant training, but it’s also for the benefit of alumni and practitioners.”

The conference will give students and counseling practitioners a chance to learn more about Brainspotting and how it works. A relatively new therapy, Brainspotting is designed to help people access, process and overcome trauma, negative emotions and pain.

Dr. Sara Hopkins, a graduate of Trevecca’s counseling program and the director of Trevecca’s Counseling Center, is excited to welcome Grand to campus.

“Having Dr. Grand on our campus is an honor. Our students will have an opportunity to learn from one of the forerunners in our field,” Hopkins said. “Brain-based treatments are an important next step in the world of therapy, and Dr. Grand’s visit allows our students to be exposed to a new and effective treatment for working with trauma, PTSD, and other issues.”

The all-day conference will include live therapy demonstrations. Participants will learn how relevant eye positions, called Brainspots, can be used to locate and access unprocessed trauma in the subcortical brain. Six continuing education units are available.

Hopkins says that Trevecca has become a training hub for the Brainspotting model.

“The Trevecca Counseling Center has worked to bring Brainspotting trainers to Nashville for the past five years, and we have made this a hub for folks interested in learning this model,” she said. “In a training I recently attended, we have participants from as far as Germany coming to Trevecca to learn about this model. Trevecca has become associated as one of the main southern training sites for this model, and it makes sense we would host the creator.”

Lahey agreed, stressing that the conference creates space for community and connection among practitioners and counseling students.

“We’ve been in the field for close to 30 years now, so we know the importance of having colleagues in the community connect and have a day where they can learn and support each other,” she said. “For us, the heart of Issues in Therapy is providing quality training with live therapy demonstrations while focusing on community and colleague-based relationships.”

The conference is open to counseling professionals for a registration fee. The early bird registration fee of $125 for professionals and $55 for students (with valid student ID) ends today. After Sept. 10, participants can register for $155 (professionals) and $65 (students).

All proceeds from the event will support scholarships for doctoral students in Trevecca’s counseling program.

Learn more about the event or register.

Media contact: Mandy Crow,, 615-248-1695