WFS Virtual Weekend Conference
June 12-14, 2020
You Are Invited to our Virtual Conference!
We cordially invite all sisters in recovery to join us for an inspiring weekend exploring the WFS New Life Program as we celebrate this year's theme: Envision it! You won't want to miss it as 4C women from around the globe participate in this unforgettable weekend of learning, bonding, and envisioning their amazing New Lives
In the interest of everyone’s health and safety, WFS has postponed our physical event to 2021. However, we know that many women need support, connection, and inspiration like never before. For that reason WFS is still having a conference 2020 but in a new way – virtually! We hope that a lower registration fee and lack of travel needed will allow many more women to participate.
New Life Knowledge
Deepen your understanding of the Women for Sobriety philosophy, New Life Program, and other related recovery topics through general sessions, breakout periods, and traditional WFS meetings throughout the event. This year's theme directly relates to the New Life Program sixth Level of Recovery.
Level 6: Recognizing life's priorities: emotional and spiritual growth, self-responsibility.
Statement 8: The fundamental object of life is emotional and spiritual growth. Daily I put my life into a proper order, knowing which are the priorities.
Statement 13: I am responsible for myself and for my actions. I am in charge of my mind, my thoughts, and my life.
Live and Recorded Workshops
Registration fees cover all activities from Friday evening to Sunday evening. Keynote addresses and workshops be held live via Zoom videoconferencing software and will incorporate plenty of opportunity to connect and interact with other women in recovery. Sessions will be recorded (presenters only - your privacy will be protected) and available online for viewing for one week after the event. This greatly multiplies the value to you, as you will be able to view every single breakout session -- even the ones you can't attend live!
Registrants will receive an email one week before the event with links and instructions. Read more about the software here.
Who Should Attend
All women taking responsibility for their recovery from a life-threatening problem with alcohol and/or other drugs are encouraged to attend. WFS is committed to honoring all expressions of female identity and we warmly welcome our sisters from the LGBTQ+ spectrum. While we understand that not all attendees will have yet accomplished stable sobriety, all WFS activities and events are sober spaces, so please make the commitment to yourself and your sisters to refrain from use immediately before and during the conference.
Schedule is subject to change without notice.
ALL TIMES ARE LISTED IN U.S. EASTERN TIME - Click here to convert to your time zone!
Friday, June 12th, 2020
|7:30 - 8:30 pm||Opening Ceremony|
|9:00 pm||WFS Meeting|
Saturday, June 13th, 2020
|8:30 am||WFS Meeting|
|10:00 – 11:30 am||
Workshops / Breakout Sessions
|12:00 – 12:45 pm||Keynote – Dawn Nickels, PhD|
|1:30 – 3:30 pm||
|3:30 - 4:30 pm||WFS Meeting|
|5:00 - 6:00 pm||WFS Meeting|
|6:00 – 7:30 pm||New Life Celebration - Fun, Fundraising, and Entertainment|
|10:00 pm||Pajama Party WFS Meeting|
Sunday, June 14th, 2020
|8:30 am||WFS Meeting|
|10:00 – 11:30 am||
Workshops / Breakout Sessions
|12:00 – 12:45 pm||Keynote – Lynn Matti, MA|
|1:30 – 3:30 pm||
|4:00 - 5:00 pm||Closing Ceremony|
|5:30 pm||WFS Meeting|
Monday, June 15th, 2020 through Sunday, June 21st, 2020
Recorded sessions available via online streaming.
Registration will remain open through the end of the live event, June 14th, 2020.
To make the conference accessible to as many women as possible during these challenging times, we have created a sliding scale of fees. We request your compassion for yourself and for WFS by self-selecting the rate that is best suited to your current economic situation, while also providing maximum support for our life-saving organization.
- $25 - Compassion Rate - Anticipated to be 50% of WFS's actual costs for technology and other fees for the event.
- $50 - Sustaining Rate - Anticipated to be 100% of WFS's actual costs for technology and other fees for the event.
- $75 - Benefactress Rate - Anticipated to be 150% of WFS's actual costs for technology and other fees for the event. Women selecting this rate will receive a tax receipt for $25 of the fee.*
There will also be an option to make an additional donation to conference scholarships and other program services at the time of registration. These donations are eligible for our double-match funds!*
Work scholarships are available for women who might not otherwise be able to attend the conference. Read more on the Scholarships tab.
You will be asked to agree to the following waivers when you register. WFS does not consider use of appropriately-prescribed medications to be a violation of abstinence, including medications prescribed as part of a comprehensive Opioid Treatment Program.
Personal Responsibility Statement
I understand that Women for Sobriety, Inc. is an abstinence-based, self-responsibility program and agree to abide by that philosophy throughout the conference event. As a conference requirement, I understand that I need to be sober for the entire conference event. If I attend under the influence or cause a disruption, I may be asked to stop attending conference events.
I agree to protect the privacy and confidentiality of all presenters and participants by not recording of any portion of any conference event, nor attempting to download and save recorded presentations, nor broadcasting sessions in the home where non-WFS household members may overhear women sharing personal information.
Please ensure that you will be able to attend for the days selected before submitting your registration and payment. Cancellations made by contacting the WFS office in writing up to 30 days in advance may be eligible for a refund. Cancellation requests received less than 30 days prior to the event are not eligible for a refund except in extraordinary circumstances such as documented emergency medical illness. All refunds are subject to a minimum 10% processing fee and must be approved by the WFS President. No refunds will be issued for women who are asked to leave due to violations of the Personal Responsibility Statement or unsafe behavior. WFS is not responsible for problems beyond our control such as weather conditions, campus conditions, cancelled flights, acts of God, etc. In such a circumstance, no refunds will be issued but WFS will attempt to identify a solution amicable to all affected parties. The final decision on refunds rests with the WFS Board of Directors.
*An angel donor has offered to double match donations made between now and June 14th, 2020, up to $20,000 of original donations (with $40,000 matching funds pledged).
Presentations & Workshops
Dawn Nickel, PhD, Founder, SHE RECOVERS
Dawn Nickel is a thought leader in the women’s recovery sphere and the creator of SHE RECOVERS, currently the largest online platform dedicated to supporting women in recovery from behavioral health issues and related life challenges. Dawn started her own journey of recovery from a substance use disorder and domestic violence in 1987, she is also in recovery from anxiety, grief, trauma and cancer. She is a strong advocate for the view that every woman in or seeking recovery must be supported to find the tools and pathways that will work best for her as an individual.
In the summer of 2011, while recovering from a serious case of workaholism, Dawn decided to apply what she knew about recovery to that area of her life. On an extended leave from work, Dawn began to blog and created the SHE RECOVERS FACEBOOK PAGE to share her journey and to reach out to other women looking to find healing and happiness in recovery.
Since 2012, Dawn and her daughter/co-founder Taryn Strong (also in recovery) have dedicated their lives to growing SHE RECOVERS and its offerings so that more women (and more women from diverse backgrounds) have the access, resources, support, and freedoms necessary to cultivate individualized and holistic pathways in order to find health, sustain long-term recovery, achieve their potential, and help other women to do the same.
SHE RECOVERS® creates welcoming spaces and transformative opportunities – online and in real life – to connect, support and empower recovering women. Current offerings include:
- Self-care retreats (Salt Spring Island, BC – Mexico – Bali – Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health)
- SHE RECOVERS Podcast & SHE RECOVERS Recovery Conferences (NYC 2017 – LA 2018 – Miami May 1 – 3, 2020).
- SHE RECOVERS Online Yoga Membership (trauma-informed) and SHE RECOVERS Yoga Teacher Designation Program
- SHE RECOVERS Coach Designation Training Program and Coaching Services
- Coach led SHE RECOVERS Sharing Circles (19 cities across Canada and the US as well as one in Sydney, Australia, others being planned, including for Paris and London)
- SHE RECOVERS FOUNDATION Volunteer-led Meetups (15 across Canada and US)
- SHE RECOVERS Creating Connections Tour 2019 (six one-day workshops being held across North America in 2019), sponsored by Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation
You can learn more about Dawn via the following recent interviews:
- The Unruffled Podcast (2019)
- The Unhooked Podcast (2019)
- Shamebooth (2018)
- The Bubble Hour (2018)
- The SHAIR Podcast (2018)
- This Naked Mind (2018)
- Rewired Radio (2017)
Lynn Matti, MA, LPCC-MN, LPC-GA
Lynn Matti is a Person-Centered and Cognitive Behavioral Licensed Mental Wellness Counselor, Coach, podcaster, author, and speaker. Lynn is a woman in sustained recovery since July 2010. She mentors, counsels, and coaches online and in-person at the intersection of resilience, courage, and hope. With her expertise, authenticity, and commitment to life-long learning, she helps others find and be their truest selves, learning and practicing the skills needed to build and sustain meaningful mental wellness. She brings tested, interesting, and fun practices and perspectives to her individual clients and group endeavors. Lynn tackles the many issues of life and recovery, trauma, grief, anxiety, depression, self-esteem, relocation, divorce, empty nest, loneliness, substance overuse and abuse, and much more. You can follow Lynn on Facebook, Instagram or her website.
In addition to a thriving Peachtree City, GA private counseling/coaching practice, Lynn is the creator and host of The SoberSoul Recovery Podcast, a top-rated mental health, addiction, recovery, and self-improvement podcast. Some recent offerings:
- Episode #88: What Is Emotional Resiliency and How To Measure Yours!
- Episode #87: When Boundaries Don’t Work: The Secret to Getting Your Needs Met
- Episode #86: Do You Think on Purpose? Learn Ways to Regain Control of Your Thoughts
- Episode #85: Why Do We Blame Ourselves for Not Being Able to Stop? Tackling Self Blame in Addiction Recovery
- Episode #84: Special Guests Tiffany Thoen and Olivia Pennelle: Three Women Talk About the Changing Landscape of Recovery
- Episode #83: My Top 10 Lifestyle Tips to Start or Reboot Your Recovery
- Episode #82: Coping with an Ocean of Resentments, Anxiety, and Stress? Come on In!
Lynn also offers SoberSoul Recovery, an online coaching practice and platform. Her IntuitiveSoul Self Coaching is grounded in the principles and techniques of counseling. It offers several options for group and individual coaching.
Lynn's first book "5 Weeks to Self-Confidence: A Guide For Confronting Your Inner Critic & Controlling Your Relationship With Your Thoughts" was released in November of 2019.
Lynn will be presenting a Keynote Address on Saturday, June 13, 2020, at 12:00 pm U.S. Eastern time.
.O was certified in 1979 as a massage therapist and has made health and well-being her personal commitment and life’s purpose. She is a group facilitator with many years of experience in body wisdom, stress modification, and the healing powers of love. Her new passion is participating in theater, promoting social change, and addressing issues involving domestic violence, alcohol and drug use disorders, economic justice, and environmental justice. .O has provided presentations and workshops for various organizations and has appeared on radio and TV talk shows.
WFS is proud to announce that .O's workshops are being offered free of charge this year!
All workshops/breakout sessions this year will be 90 minutes. You will not be asked to register for your preferred sessions at the time of registration. Presenters who have given permission will be recorded and sessions streamed online for review for one week after the conclusion of the live event.
Love Can Change the Course of my World. Caring is all-important.
We are all in need of healing! Television, Movies, News, Politics, Scandals in the Church, Climate Change, negative reinforcement abounds!!! Is healing even possible in a world that is so wounded? Because I choose to believe in miracles, I lean in the direction of “YES! Healing is possible!" The ability to receive and give love is an art form rooted in healing that is our birth-right. Together, we will practice sharing the vision of our hearts longing and uncover and discover the transformative power of self-love. As we learn to love ourselves, we heal from the inside out.
.O - Please see .O's bio above.
Exploring Different Types of Meditation to Enhance Sobriety
There is much more to meditation than sitting with a blank mind! In this workshop attendees will be presented with an overview of the concept of meditation as well as a variety of meditative techniques. With the use of video clips, pictures, lectures and discussion we will explore the rich world of meditation. Attendees will have an opportunity to briefly practice many of the types of mediation presented so that there will be comfort and ease when engaging in meditation at home. The presentation will be specifically geared to how mediation can enhance the sober journey, how to set an intention prior to meditation and how to dedicate a meditative sit . After experiencing each type of practice attendees will have the opportunity to share their experience through discussion. It is hoped that this presentation will lead each who attend to want to commit to a personal meditative practice. This workshop will focus on spiritual growth and daily priorities.
Ginger R (Ginger) - Ginger has been in recovery and a member of WFS for over 5 years. Professionally, she is now retired but had a successful private practice as a Marriage & Family Therapist and Licensed Professional Counselor where she helped hundreds with their problems including substance use issues. She has had advanced training in Hypnotherapy and used it in her practice. She recently completed a 2-year course under the tutelage of Fr. Richard Rhor called the Living School where she received advanced training in meditation and Centering Prayer. Ginger is a young 64 years of age, married, a mother and grandmother. She is a daily meditator.
All Love Given Returns. I am learning to know that I am loved.
Love is a Power that for many can often feel elusive. Feelings of isolation, despair, confusion, anxiety and mind boggling fear can distract us at times as we move through life. What are these blocks that distract and keep us from feeling our way to the interior pathways of a love that heals? We may have forgotten, all fear given returns. However the opposite can also be true, all love given returns. With our shared time we will explore the transformative healing pathways of love that was endowed to humanity long ago as a gift, to be given and given abundantly to self and others. Together we will practice the statement “I am learning to remember that i am love and loved”.
.O - Please see .O's bio above.
Yoga and the 13 Statements
Natalie will take participants through the 13 Statements as the framework for this gentle yoga class. Participants will be led in a slow and deliberate manner and activities will include some meditation and repetition of Statement #4.
Natalie B. (TSMom), Peer Presenter
Natalie B has participated in WFS through in-person meetings and the online forums for three years. She celebrates being continuously sober for over two years. Natalie has completed 200 hours of yoga teacher training and is a certified Recovery 2.0 Yoga-Inspired Coach. Natalie writes the Everyday Self-Care blog especially for parents experiencing a child's mental health or disability diagnosis. Natalie considers herself a Capable, Competent, Caring, and Compassionate woman!
Having goals in one’s sober life is a wonderful thing. Putting together a vision board can be a powerful tool in reaching those goals. Not only is it important to visualize the THINGS one wants to accomplish, but to really bring it to life - visualize how one wants to FEEL. Let's inspire and motivate ourselves by creating our own vision boards either on paper, in personal journals, or electronically. Supplies will be provided but participants should feel free to bring along anything from home that they would like to add.
There will be additional opportunities to make vision boards throughout the weekend, as well as contribute to a giant group vision board as we create a shared vision for the future of WFS!
Gayla D. (gaylagirl), Peer Presenter
Gayla has been sober for over two years and believes she owes her new life to the WFS program. She is expected to soon become a certified WFS group moderator. Gayla was always overwhelmed at the idea of creating a vision board until she participated in the activity at the 2018 Conference. This year she wants to help other 4C women visualize their new lives!
Wellness of Self
What is wellness? Is it nutrition? Exercise? Meditation? A hot bath? Maybe it's all of those things or none of them. Laura invites workshop participants to take a deep dive into one’s own potential by finding out how exercise, nutrition, and visualization all connect in making a better YOU! Participants will be in charge of their experiential process with Laura’s expert help.
Laura A. (LauraJustLaura), Peer Presenter
Laura is an exercise specialist and director of wellness for an independent and assisted senior living facility. She is a prescriber of wellness and exercise. Her one year soberversary is March 18. As a wellness instructor, she believes it is imperative that she practices what she preaches. Exercise is medicine. When one exercises for recommended amounts, one becomes well. Laura assesses many different angles of the human body and prescribes what she KNOWS will help individuals tap into their true potential.
Five Money Questions for Women
Women face unique financial circumstances, so a strong financial strategy is vital. In this workshop participants will have an opportunity to ensure their own financial strategy that fits one’s lifestyle and needs by exploring five money questions critical for women. It is an ever changing world; technology is finding new ways for us to connect, communicate, and live longer. These are exciting times, but it can be overwhelming too. There’s a wealth of financial information out there and quite a bit of “noise” as well. Maggie will share the five questions one should ask oneself to aid in achieving financial goals. She hopes that participants will end the workshop feeling positive and more confident about their financial direction.
Maggie S. (MagMay), Peer Presenter
As a Financial Advisor, Maggie believes it is important to invest time understanding one’s goals before working toward financial investment. It is important to answer “What is your WHY? Your hopes, dreams, vision, family and future?” When building a foundation for life, one must include financial stability. Trust is at the core of Maggie’s relationship with every client. She works to give women the knowledge to make powerful, strategic choices in their lives with their resources. Her career with Edward Jones began in 2014. Prior to this, she served as Development Director of Ronald McDonald House, Rochester for 13 years. Her family values guide her professional career. Maggie loves empowering women to take charge of their financial lives.
Practicing Peace: the Path to Joy and Prosperity
Neuroscience research had demonstrated that the brain has neuroplasticity, which means that we can build pathways to peace and away from depression, anxiety, anger, sadness, and fear. The more time we spend in meditation or other mindful practices and on the path to peace, the more support we give ourselves and our recovery. It is in this place of peace that we build a foundation for joy and prosperity.
This workshop will start by giving an overview of neuroplasticity and how it works. Examples of mindfulness practice that will help increase peace and improve brain functioning away from anxiety, anger, fear, and depression will be introduced, including guided meditation. Audience interaction will be encouraged. A 20-minute guided meditation will follow.
Participants will establish an inner sanctuary of peace which they will be able to revisit time and time again, helping to redirect their brain chemistry and to increase feelings of peace. This tool will improve not only feelings of peace, but will reinforce self-esteem, joy, good decision making, and overall recovery. The end of the session will include a Question and Answer period to process the meditation experience.
Leigh-Ann Larson, LMHC, Professional Presenter
Leigh-Ann Larson is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and owner of a four-location private group counseling practice in Southeastern Massachusetts. Her group currently has 25 staff members and continues to grow to meet the needs of the communities that are being served. Leigh-Ann has been able to build an amazing life, with 21 years of sobriety building on healing modalities that include prayer, meditation, mindfulness, Reiki, spiritual community, and more. Certified in Hypnosis since 2000, Leigh-Ann utilizes guided meditation and teaches self-hypnosis in her practice to help her clients in their healing journey.
The Healing Power of the 13 Statements: Bracelet Making
Come join Marianne in a serene environment to make a 13-Statement bracelet and to share how the Statements have a healing impact on New Life. Order your bracelet-making kit on ebay - 100% of the $15 purchase price is donated directly to WFS and is also eligible for our double-match donation campaign!
Marianne C. (MACC), Peer Presenter
Mac has been using the New Life Program since 2007. She created her first 13-Statement bracelet in 2009 and has been honored to share them with other women over the years. She says that making the bracelets helps her meditate upon the meaning of the Statements and stay sober. Mac is a WFS Certified Moderator in the Puget Sound area and is so grateful to be a part of the Women for Sobriety world!
Intuitive Eating in Recovery
Do you struggle with food? Tired of obsessing about food? Do you find yourself eating emotionally? Did your problems with food start or get worse in recovery? If so, then this workshop is just what is needed. Join Coach Tiffany, RN, to learn about Intuitive Eating in recovery. Through Intuitive Eating one can heal their relationship with food and find the freedom, balance, and satisfaction one craves. Participants will learn why diets don't work, how to get in tune with what the body needs, and how to honor emotions without using food. “Envision a life where food is simply food, and you can finally enjoy it! “
Tiffany Thoen, Professional Presenter
As an RN and Intuitive Eating Coach, Tiffany helps women with disordered eating finally heal their relationship with food so they find freedom, balance, and satisfaction. She helps clients to stop the binge/shame/restrict cycle. Her coaching is focused on body respect and is a Health At Every Size and anti-diet approach. Through Intuitive Eating, clients learn to fully honor and nourish themselves-mind, body and spirit. She has been sober for 21 years and feels that recovery has informed all areas of her life, especially her work as a nurse and a coach. When she isn’t coaching and speaking, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, being in nature and creating more fun, adventure, and play in life.
Gratitude is MORE Than an Attitude
We all know that gratitude plays an important role in recovery. Indeed, many of us have gratitude journals or participate in on-line gratitude groups. But are we using these strategies in the most effective manner?
In the first half of this workshop, we will review a wide range of interesting research findings, including the neuroscience of gratitude. Women will learn about the 28 benefits of gratitude including how these benefits have been applied to recovery.
There are infinite ways to practice gratitude, so the second half of the workshop will explore gratitude exercises and activities. These activities are designed to provide proven ways to practice and enhance gratitude. Learn how to take your gratitude journal to the next level and more!
Nancy M. (nanserz), Peer Presenter
Nancy celebrated five years sobriety this year and attributes the WFS Online community as the key factor to obtaining and maintaining her happy New Life. She has served as a volunteer for WFS as a Certified Chat Leader and as the Peer Coordinator of the Internet Services Management Team. She also posts daily in "The Hive," the online connections group for new members just starting out with the New Life Program.
An Organization of Women, for Women
WFS is not just a recovery program, it's also a federally-recognized charitable 501(c)(3) organization. Many women have questions about the business end of WFS: Who makes decisions? How is the money spent? Just what do they do in that office in Quakertown? Recent updates and changes to the management structure have brought even more curiosity. In this session, we will provide an overview of WFS's place in the addiction/recovery field, the organizational structure, and the finances of WFS. Then we'll open the floor for a Q&A with members of the Board of Directors. It's everything you ever wanted to know about WFS - and now you get to ask!
Adrienne Miller, WFS Board Members, Peer Presenters
Adrienne Miller has been serving as the President/CEO of Women for Sobriety, Inc., since the summer of 2018. She strongly believes that transparency and dissemination of authority are important keys to the longevity of WFS. Her hope is that through empowering as many 4C women as possible to take active roles in the management and administration of the organization, we can ensure that the WFS New Life Program will remain relevant and available to women worldwide for generations to come. She will be joined by other Officers and Directors in this enlightening and open discussion about the business of Women for Sobriety, Inc.
Taking Back Control: Telling the Right Story
Why bother to envision anything if you can't access the dream because your thinking is stuck in the wrong gear? This session is a work-out for Statement 13 muscles to get you into the right gear. More group conversation and personal reflection than presentation, by telling your story right you also get a work-out for Statement muscles 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9.......OK..... most of them actually....!
You're invited to re-write a challenging real life situation in a way that puts you firmly in the driving seat. Be the heroine, the wise owl, the winner, whatever role you choose. It's your story! Tell a version that you will rejoice in and that you'll be happy to wrap your head and heart around. Be ready to share!
Come as you are - leave as you want to be!
As Mahatma Gandhi put it -
“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”
Cathy F. (Newlovetofts), Peer Presenter
A WFS Online member since 2014, Cathy is one of the few Brits of the program and loves reaching out across the Atlantic to connect with smart, insightful, resourceful women who are striving to become their best selves. She is a charted psychologist and has run her own leadership and management development business since 1992. She works with global companies, small- or medium-sized enterprises, private sector, and charities helping leaders to step up and bring their best selves to their role. Cathy says she brings a lot of her professional learning to the WFS boards, and a lot of her WFS learning into the organizations she works with. A rising tide floats all boats! She has two beautiful daughters, Sasha and Zoe, now 18 and 21 who are studying Natural Sciences and Economics respectively at Uni.
The Sober Mindset: Change Your Beliefs, Change Your Life
The way we see ourselves colors the way we see the world around us. Our parents and caregivers modeled behaviors and used language that shaped us and our behaviors. We absorb messaging from our parents that becomes our inner voice. What we then hear from our critical inner voice becomes our limiting beliefs. Limiting beliefs range from: “I can’t do this” and “I will never be XYZ,” to “I’m not good enough” and “I don’t matter.”
Our limiting beliefs become the rules we live by, yet we’re rarely even aware of them. These unspoken beliefs can throw us off track despite our best intentions. This is why many people struggle in sobriety. Even after they’ve stopped drinking or using, they bump up against their limiting beliefs. It keeps them stuck.
With the right guidance, we can recognize how our limiting beliefs have held us back and learn how to transform them. In this workshop, women will learn how to break through the upper limits that are holding them back in sobriety, what the sober mindset is, and how it’s never too late to do this empowering work.
Veronica received rave reviews as one of last year's keynote speakers.
Veronica Valli, Professional Presenter
Veronica Valli has been joyously sober since May 2nd, 2000. Originally from the UK, she is a psychotherapist, Emotional Freedom Technique Practitioner, Recovery Coach, and Author of the books ‘Why You drink and How to Stop’ and ‘Get Sober Get Free.’ She is also co-host of the Soberful Podcast. Veronica passionately believes that anyone can recover from a substance use disorder if they are given the right tools and support. She has personally helped thousands of women transform their lives. Veronica believes that substances are only a symptom of the problem and that to recover, thrive, and become the women we are truly meant to be, we need to embrace a process of change. Now based in the USA, she works with women all over the world through her online programs and Facebook groups. She is married and lives on Long Island with her husband and two sons.
4C Facilitation: Bringing WFS to Your Community
This is an information workshop! Positive tips, solutions, and encouragement in facilitating or getting a WFS meeting started will be provided. This will be a sharing of experiences as well. Our goal is to keep the F2F meetings active and build confidence in creating new ones.
Some of the topics will include:
- Finding a free space
- How to promote the meeting
- What to do if no one shows up
- Helping challenging attendees
- Understanding readiness levels - and that it is not your responsibility!
- Supporting women who are struggling to maintain sobriety
- Components of successful groups
- Following guidelines for moderating a meeting
- What would be helpful in a training video
- Sharing one positive tip
Susie M (SueBee12), Peer Presenter
Susie has been a Certified Moderator for the WFS New Life Program for 20 years and currently serves as the organization’s Vice President. She found WFS on what she thought was her last chance to stop drinking. “If I didn’t find something along my line of philosophy then I’d just forget it. Not try anymore. Lucky for me, I found Dr. Jean Kirkpatrick’s book ‘Goodbye Hangovers, Hello Life’ in my local library.” Susie believes that she was lucky to have a meeting only 15 minutes from her home and credits the New Life Program with saving her life. She feels that her long-term success in the program (over 21 years of continuous sobriety!) has been supported by being a CM. “The two meetings I moderate are for me, too. I get back way more every week than I could have ever imagined.”
Dee W (GrandmomDee63), Peer Presenter
Dee has served as a Certified Moderator for WFS face-to-face meetings for over 26 years and was the President of WFS from 2006 to 2017. She helps with member responses to Monday Thoughts and continues to serve as an Honorary Board Member.
Expressive Writing: A Guide to Wonder and Well-being
Are you feeling stuck in sobriety? Feel a rut in your recovery? Something truly magical happens when we take pen to paper. This workshop can open a portal to possibility and unleash adventure in your New Life.
Beginning with the discovery of what feelings and emotions are, we will dive into expressive writing for well-being. We will learn about how writing is healing for the physical body as well as the mind, and about different methods of writing aimed for specific results.
Let the fun begin now! Go to your local store or bookstore and browse the aisles. Find a notebook or journal, one that catches your eye or maybe you just love the colors. Whether your journal is hand-made or store bought doesn’t matter, what matters is what you put into it.
Get ready for a discussion and bouncing ideas off each other for writing prompts. Together, we will begin your page one. Your writings will be as personal as you are, and there will not be any requirement to share any of your writing.
Karen Hamm (Coral63), Peer Presenter
Karen Hamm is a passionate volunteer for Women for Sobriety. After becoming familiar with the New Life Program, Karen started the WFS Tuscaloosa group in 2010. She later joined the WFS Board of Directors and now serves as Chairman of the Board. Karen has been instrumental in leading the organization towards growth and also serves on the Materials and Literature Management Team. Karen has continued the legacy established by "fourcwoman" in continuing the Monday Thoughts weekly message, and her previous email series was published by WFS in the A New Life Journey booklet collection. Today, Karen lives with her husband on the Alabama river and enjoys life on the water. She spends her spare time sketching, painting, and leading WFS into the future.
Riding the Waves of Grief in a Time of Uncertainty
Since the beginning of 2020 we have ALL experienced some type of loss. Some have experienced the loss of loved ones due to the Corvid 19 virus. Months of distancing has made us all face the loss of our personal freedom to go and come as we choose as well as the loss of our sense of security. Too many have experienced financial losses, perhaps the loss of jobs or businesses. This workshop is designed to help participants grow beyond their losses. We all need to grieve our losses, but we must not allow ourselves to become stuck in our grief. In this workshop three popular panelists; 2020 Keynote Speaker and author Lynn Matti, 2019 Keynote Speaker and author Veronica Valli, and WFS member and creator of the Transformed! guided meditation CD, Ginger R, will help you heal while helping you acknowledge your losses and the resulting grief. Help, hope and suggestions for how to experience grief in a healthy way that allows one to grow and move forward will be offered to participants.
Veronica Valli Please see Veronica's bio above
Lynn Matti Please see Lynn's bio above
Ginger R Please Ginger's bio above
Relapse: Common but Not Necessary
Addiction is a chronic disease that can be managed but like other chronic diseases relapse is common. Common triggers for relapse include anxiety, worry, stress, confusion, isolation, financial insecurity and fear. We have all experienced some degree of this over the past several months. WFS wants to support each of its participants in recognizing the risks and signs of relapse. Your recovery success is our primary concern.
This workshop will provide you with information about recovery and the common challenges to success. Tools will be offered to help you overcome these challenges. 5 simple Rules for Recovery will be shared. Each participant will begin a personal relapse plan. There will be time for questions and answers after the presentation.
Sherry W (bear3gents), Peer Presenter
Sherry has over 40 years of experience providing healing care to individuals in need of physical and emotional support and treatment. She utilizes tools for personal growth and change including cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, trauma focused and somatic care, solution focused treatment, breathwork, and integrative psychology. Sherry’s heart-centered focus is to assist individuals in finding their inner strength and wisdom promoting personal growth to their best life. Sherry holds a bachelor’s degree in Nursing and has been a practicing for over 40 years. As a nurse, she is currently working part-time in a geriatric setting. Sherry also owns and operates her own therapy practice, Integrations for Healing. Sherry holds a master’s degree in mental health counseling and is licensed as a professional counselor (LPC) and clinical substance abuse counselor (CSAC). Additionally, Sherry is a Level 3 Therapeutic Breathworker and holds a master’s certificate in Integrative Psychology.
Hosted by Adrienne Miller, President/CEO of Women for Sobriety, Inc., join us for a fun kick-off of the weekend's events on Friday evening and get to know fellow attendees with some online icebreakers.
There will be regular WFS Meetings led by Certified Moderators and Certified Chat Leaders offered throughout the conference weekend.
New Life Celebration
Join us for online socializing, fun, and fundraising during the unique (and experimental!) event on Saturday evening.
Join back together early Sunday evening to reflect on good times had and great friends made over the course of the weekend.
Videos of workshops and keynote addresses will be available for streaming for one week after the close of the event. Subject to presenter permission.
Live Events with Zoom
WFS will utilize Zoom video conferencing for all live conference events. Zoom has great audience interaction tools like polls, text chat, and breakout rooms so that we can continue to create connections and support even in an online format.
You do not have to have a Zoom account to participate. You will be prompted to download a very lightweight app once you have clicked on the link to a Zoom meeting that you will be provided.
Instructions on downloading the software, using Zoom meetings, and the links to specific conference events will be sent to registrants prior to the conference starting.
Review Missed Sessions Later
For presenters who have provided permission, events will also be recorded and available for later viewing via an online streaming service. You will be able to view playback of all recordings for one week after the conference concludes. To protect the privacy of our presenters, videos will not be available for download.
In order to make the New Life Program as accessible as possible to the largest number of women possible, we are offering sliding scale registration fees for this year's online event, and our usual work scholarships will be available as well. This year, scholarship recipients will be able to help with the following types of activities:
Prior to the event:
- Helping to test the software and/or attending practice sessions.
- Assisting with marketing and pre-conference communications.
During the event:
- Assisting presenters during workshops (training prior to the event required).
- Assisting with back-end tasks like processing and posting recordings of sessions.
- Facilitating video or chat WFS meetings (must be certified as a CM or CCL).
After the event:
- Personalized thank you notes and/or phone calls to donors.
- Helping with follow-up communications.
Considerations in awarding scholarships include:
- Reported financial need.
- Ability to be available during peak need times.
- Scholarship applications available online on April 3, 2020.
- Scholarship applications must be received by May 10, 2020.
- Scholarship offers will be made on or around May 15, 2020.
Some scholarships may be offered early, to allow time for training or participation in pre-conference activities.
- Applicants must accept/decline scholarships and agree to assigned work activities by May 25, 2020.
- Scholarship recipients must register no later than June 1, 2020.