On May 16th and 17th, mental health professionals from throughout the province gathered at the Queensbury Convention Centre for two days of learning, listening, and talking – all in the hopes of going back to work a little better prepared than they were before they came.

The conference was hosted by Ehrlo Counselling and the Psychology Association of Saskatchewan.

Conference presenter Martha Straus, PhD., shared her extensive knowledge on treating adolescent attachment trauma. But more than that, Martha explained, she hoped that each participant would go home with the awareness that the knowledge, skillset, and passion they have as therapists, counsellors, and psychologists, was enough.

“The therapy relationship is an attachment relationship. So it’s specific to who they are, and how they work in the room with families and clients,” she explained. “They can’t end up working just like I do. They have to learn to work the way they do, and embrace it,” she said.

“I want them to be more self-aware and self-reflective, and to understand what they’re bringing to the therapy.”

For Ehrlo Counselling staff, the message was received loud and clear.

“We have many talented psychologists, counsellors, and caseworkers at the Ranch. But more than that, each one of our staff is passionate about helping and we pour ourselves into our clients,” Ehrlo Counselling’s Natashia Schroenroth said. “Having Martha, who’s done countless hours of research into the attachment lens of therapy, validate that the selfless nature of our work is in fact healing, is a huge boost.”

Martha does about 10 conferences yearly, between a busy schedule as a professor at Atioch University New England Graduate School and running her own private practice in Brattleboro, Vermont.

“We were honoured that Martha took the time to present at our conference,” Natashia added. “She is very highly respected in her field and for many of the mental health professionals in the area, this is the first opportunity they’ve had to learn from her in a hands-on manner.”