ICAP 2018 Poster Presentation: Fostering Resiliency-Based Competencies in At-Risk Youth

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We’re pleased to announce that Dr. Kateryna (Katia) Keefer ‘s proposal for a printed poster has been accepted for presentation at the 29th International Congress of Applied Psychology (ICAP 2018) conference in Montreal June 26 – 30th, 2018. The title of her printed poster is “Experiential Learning with Horses: An Innovative Approach to Fostering Resiliency-Based Competencies in At-Risk Youth”.

Dr. Keefer’s presentation will reflect results to date from Building Internal Resilience Through Horses, a partnership between the Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre, Trent University and The Mane Intent, funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada. The study examines the effectiveness of this community-based group program consisting of 8 weeks of equine-assisted learning sessions at The Mane Intent, counterbalanced with 4 weeks of supplemental expressive arts and psycho-educational workshops, for four groups of young women aged 13 – 18 who reported experiencing child maltreatment or exposure to intimate partner violence.

The research results examined changes in self-reported socioemotional competencies, sense of mastery, and sense of relatedness following the EAL programming, relative to changes following the supplemental programming, as well as longitudinally at 1-month and 6-month follow-ups. Qualitative results were also supplemented with participant’s qualitative feedback.

“The results support EAL as an innovative program that is effective in increasing a sense of mastery, sense of relatedness, and selected socioemotional competencies in young women,” states Dr. Keefer in her presentation proposal.

Her poster presentation will discuss results in terms of their implications for EAL as a promising-community based approach to fostering resiliency-based competencies in at-risk youth. Furthermore, the research is important in informing current and future prevention and intervention efforts and advancing innovative trauma-informed practice.

Dr. Keefer is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychology at Trent University and is the research lead for Building Internal Resilience Through Horses. Her program of research is focused on the developmental dynamics and applications of socioemotional competencies in the promotion of wellness and resilience across the lifespan. As an emerging scholar, Dr. Keefer has co-authored over 30 journal articles and book chapters on the topics of emotional intelligence, resilience, mental health, and psychological assessment; delivered numerous invited talks and conference presentations on these topics; and co-edited the Springer Handbook of Emotional Intelligence in Education.

The Congress of Applied Psychology (CPA) is Canada’s national professional association and learned society with 7,000 members and student affiliates. The theme of this year’s conference is “Psychology: Connecting Science to Solutions”. This annual conference unites almost 2,000 psychologists and psychology students in workshops, presentations and posters that span over 33 subject areas of psychology.

Jennifer Garland and Raven, a natural coach at The Mane Intent

About the Author: Jennifer Garland is the Owner/Program Director of The Mane Intent, offering Health and Wellness Workshops and Individual and Team Effectiveness Coaching. Jennifer’s intent is to bring horses and humans together to explore new possibilities, getting you out of your comfort zone and giving clarity of voice to your leader within. She has over 25 years of leadership experience in communications, cause-related marketing and change management. As a strategist, facilitator and effectiveness coach, Jennifer has provided counsel and support to senior leaders from all walks of life to build productive relationships, facilitate learning and to embrace change. She is a ‘socialpreneur’ who values the art of living life fully with intent.

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