Giving Voice to Experience

Eleventh Annual Giving Voice to Experience Conference

Saturday, March 3, 2018

8:30 AM - 5:30 PM

Casey Commons, Seattle University

Preregistration required: 6 CEU credits available

Click here to register:

(Fee includes coffee breaks, lunch, wine and cheese, and 6 CEUs): $25 for students and $60 for others.

For the last ten years this one day conference has focused on how qualitative research gives voice to experience and thereby informs the practice of psychotherapy as provides us with a deeper understanding of our shared human existence. Over the years we have had presentations on many different topics such as critical moments in psychotherapy, therapists’ experience of wonder, the experience of being an Afghan immigrant to the United States, and our relationship to money in everyday life. We have also featured presentations on how to carry out qualitative and phenomenological research. The conference title implicitly points to an overlap between qualitative research and the humanities, and accordingly we have invited musicians and artists to present their work and discuss their creative process. The relative small size of the conference—around 30 attendees--has been conducive to sustained and meaningful discussions. For the eleventh annual conference the theme will be “Giving Voice to Psychological Distress.” We invite submissions of abstracts by December 31, 2017. Details are given below.

For this forthcoming conference, we have invited musician and visual artist Andy Liotta to talk about and share some of his work depicting his experience of mania.

Musician and visual artist

Andy Liotta got his start in the late 80s performing with popular Bay Area power trios Smokin’ Rhythm Prawns and Walrus, moving to Seattle in 2000, he's made music on his own, releasing four albums since 2005, two as the Billie Burke Estate and two under his own name. In 2008 he launched the music blog, subtitled "the best songwriting you’ve never heard”; to date he's released over a hundred smart pop songs there. In 2016, he released the double-album "up, up, and away," which told the story of his hospitalization for a manic episode in 1999. He has since made a feature-length video to accompany the album, taking scenes from favorite movies to accompany the songs in an effort to capture the experience of bipolar disorder. He is also co-author of The Family Recovery Guide (2000) and co-writer of the black comedy Delivered (1998). He lives in Seattle with his two teenagers and his wife Kristin Beck, a graduate of the Seattle University Graduate Psychology program.

Abstract Submission Directions for 2018 Giving Voice to Experience Conference

Deadline for submissions, December 31, 2017

Abstracts will be reviewed by January 15, 2018

All submissions will be evaluated by the conference planning committee (Marie McNabb, Helena Soholm, and Steen Halling). The abstracts should be about 200 words in length and include a brief biographical sketch of the author(s).Criteria for selection:

  1. The presentation has to be based on qualitative data.
  2. The abstract will also be evaluated on the basis of its coherence and clarity.
  3. The presentation should be related to the conference emphasis on connecting the Practice of Psychotherapy with Qualitative Research, but it does not have to be on psychotherapy per se. For example, a presentation on understanding the struggles of recent immigrants could well be relevant for psychotherapists.
  4. Presentations that are primarily theoretical or based on clients’ cases will not be accepted.
  5. Presentations with multiple authors are welcome.
  6. The presentation should address both method and findings, but presenters are welcome to place the emphasis as they see fit.
  7. Briefly point to the therapeutic relevance of your research.
  8. Make sure you state your affiliation next to your name (e.g., graduate student in psychology at University of Connecticut).

For further information about the conference, please contact Professor Steen Halling:


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