26th year of ‘Critical Issues'

Embark on an adventure in this 26th year of ‘Critical Issues Facing Children & Adolescents’.  You will enjoy a deluge of critical topics which will challenge you, enhance your knowledge, and sharpen your skills to, ultimately, improve your own daily practice and patient outcomes.

Capture up to 100 hours of quality training for your professional climb / improvement.  You can seize more hours for the current and future license renewal period and for your personal enjoyment / development.  The hours offered to all registrants far exceeds other programs and the cost is far lower!

Today’s world has been like a tsunami at times and navigating it has been an ever-changing process.  From behavioral health issues of individuals and communities to workforce challenges and changes, staying up on the trends and tools is critical.  To guide you through and to give you a break from all this, every step has been taken to make your experience at this event easy, enjoyable, and valuable.

Nationally renowned leaders and regional experts who are available to you year-
round, will sail you through a vast option of timely topics facing youth and families
every day.

choice of registration options and formats

In addition to the sizeable variety of topics, you will be able to select from a diversity of formats in which they are offered.  Single or co-presenters will make up the bulk of presentations, however, panels, ‘lightening rounds’, snap-talks, ‘movies and raps’, other AV supported sessions, experiential decks, role plays, Q&A, and other formats will fill the agenda.  (Movie and experiential sessions will only be available to those attending in-person.)

With your choice of registration options and formats, you will be able to select a topic of interest during every time block when the program is released.  This will total 13 hours which are included with all registrations.  Then, whether you attend in-person or via the livestream with ability to chat, you will be able to watch additional presentations at your convenience (on-demand) through December 30th.  Options for seizing these extra credit hours are available when you register. This extended viewing time and additional credit hours is a benefit not possible during a live-only event. 

Salt Palace Convention Center

No more crowding on deck!  This year’s program is returning to the Salt Palace Convention Center where you will enjoy the comfort of extra cabin space.  Meeting rooms will be large.  Exhibit and food galleys will allot plenty of space for personal comfort and new networking connections.

Get down!  In-person attendees will enjoy the return of ‘movie and rap’ sessions as well as a new program feature of experiential areas with complimentary treatment options such as mindfulness, play therapy, sound healing, and acudetox.


This year’s keynote speakers are leaders in their fields and sought-after speakers.  You will be able to meet them and learn about diverse research and skills that you can incorporate into your own practice settings.  Whether you are a clinician, administrator, or support staff, you will benefit from these presentations.


Angela Breidenstine, PhD

Senior Clinical Psychologist, ADHD & Behavior Disorders Center

Child Mind Institute, San Francisco Bay Area

Prior to joining the Child Mind Institute, Dr. Angela Breidenstine worked for 16 years at Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans, Louisiana. She has special expertise in infant and early childhood mental health, having had a focus on working with children ages 0 to 7 and their families. Dr. Breidenstine has extensive experience providing therapy for children who have experienced trauma and supporting parents/caregivers in forming strong, positive relationships with their young children. She is trained in multiple therapeutic approaches, such as Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), Child Parent Psychotherapy (CPP), Preschool PTSD Treatment (PPT), Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up (ABC) and Circle of Security (COS). Dr. Breidenstine received training in a pediatric sleep clinic, pediatric feeding program, and neonatal follow-up clinic at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, worked in both hospital- and community-based mental health outpatient programs, and trained in an inpatient psychiatric hospital. She is also trained in mindfulness-based practices and is a trained teacher of the Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) group curriculum.


Dr. Breidenstine approaches her work with children and families with respect, compassion, flexibility and creativity. She believes that treating children includes valuing their unique personalities, strengths, and potential, and that therapists should support children and families in identifying their primary goals and engaging in healing and positive growth. Dr. Breidenstine values all aspects of diversity and strives to provide care that is culturally sensitive, holistic and inclusive. She believes that because parents and caregivers are the most important people in their children’s lives, they are a vital part of the therapy process.


During her 16 years in the Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at Tulane University, Dr. Breidenstine often provided care to children who had experienced adversity/stress, trauma, abuse, foster care, adoption, behavioral difficulties, anxiety, mood disturbances, and parent-child relationship challenges. Dr. Breidenstine trained psychology interns and fellows, as well as child psychiatry residents and fellows, in assessment and therapy approaches. In addition to her clinical practice, she was a member of the Zero to Six National Workgroup of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN). Dr. Breidenstine also provided training in infant/early childhood mental health approaches to agencies in several states in the U.S. as well as in Canada and Australia. She was asked to develop child development and stress management trainings for the state of Louisiana’s child welfare staff. Dr. Breidenstine continues as a part-time faculty member with Tulane University, through which she collaborates with the Louisiana Children’s Museum on creating programming for young children and parents and participates in the Early Trauma Treatment Network, a multi-site program funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).


Critical Issues 2022 is pleased to welcome Dr. Breidenstine to share her expertise in an area not often highlighted in programs focused on all ages of youth.  We thank her and are excited to benefit from her lead role.


Melissa Brymer, PhD, PsyD

Director of Terrorism & Disaster Programs

UCLA – Duke National Center for Child Traumatic Stress

As director of the Terrorism and Disaster Program (TDP), Dr. Melissa Brymer leads this program to work to promote the behavioral health of children and families by strengthening our nation’s response capacities before, during, and after terrorism, disaster, and mass violence. Program goals include raising awareness of the scope and serious impact of disasters on the behavioral health of children, families, and communities; shaping public policy to promote effective behavioral health policy before, during, and after mass casualty events; and—through collaborative efforts—developing effective evidence-based programs for use immediately after mass casualty events and during the long-term recovery or adjustment phase. In addition, the Program has established partnerships toward the adoption of best practices (e.g., Psychological First Aid, Skills for Psychological Recovery) and is improving access to care through real-time training and consultation (e.g., PFA Mobile, PFA Online, SPR Online). Finally, the Program develops products for all child-serving systems and for parents on assisting children and families after mass casualty events (e.g., Trinka and Sam children’s book series, Help Kids Cope app for parents). Resources are available for natural disasters, terrorism, and school crises.


In her capacity as director, Dr. Brymer has been involved with the development of acute interventions, assessment and educational materials in the area of terrorism, disasters, and school crises.  She is the lead author of NCTSN/NCPTSD Psychological First Aid for Schools and Skills for Psychological Recovery and has served as a consultant for many federal, state, and local agencies across the country and internationally after disasters, terrorism, school shootings, and other mass violence tragedies.  Dr. Brymer is the lead advisor to the Newtown Public Schools Recovery Program, and is the principal investigator for an NIJ research project examining the short and long-term impact of 12 different school shooting and mass violence incidence.  She is also key partner with the MUSC National Mass Violence Resource Center, consultant for the US Department of Education, and subject matter expert for the Disaster Mental Health Subcommittee of the National Bio-Defense Science Board, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (DHHS/ASPR), and for Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).


We are fortunate to have Dr. Brymer join us in Utah for the 26th annual conference on ‘Critical Issues Facing Children & Adolescents’ and look forward to all she has to offer attendees of the conference as well as the special post-conference workshop.

Don’t sacrifice the quality of your professional development and education

Tired of dealing with frustrations around technical issues often encountered in free webinars, mass conference calls, and other formats making failed promises?  Stop!  Since early 2020, this program has offered virtual platforms run by professional companies working behind-the-scenes to bring you the highest quality of AV, on-site comfort, production, web access, and more.  Feedback has been tops and the program continues to bring options that attendees have loved, appreciated, and requested.  This year will be no exception to the quality for which this program is known.  SIGN-UP TODAY!

Special Tracks

In addition to these highlighted leaders and experts connected to the Opioid Response Network and other nationally recognized organizations, you will enjoy crossing into other topics of interest or focusing in on special tracks such as

  • Brain Injury, hosted by the Brain Injury Alliance of Utah
  • Early Childhood Behavioral Health & Development, hosted by The Children’s Center
  • Integration / Psychiatry in Primary Care, hosted by the University of Utah Department of Psychiatry
  • Movies  & Raps – hosted by Summit Community Counseling
  • Neurodiversity – supported by a collaborative of associations and practices
  • School-Focused Issues – designed, by request, for school personnel

Optional Live Post-Conference Workshop


In addition to two-packed days, you can opt to capture additional training by registering for the specialized workshop to be conducted by Dr. Melissa Brymer on Wednesday, September 26th.  The details of this program are being fine-tuned by Dr. Brymer and she will tailor this interactive training to participants with the primary focus being interventions for disaster mental health.  Having an expert of Dr. Brymer’s stature is a very special opportunity and registrants are encouraged to take full advantage of this chance to further their knowledge and skills in this area.  Whether you are working in a clinical setting, schools, administrative offices, or other areas tied to behavioral health, you will gain a treasure chest of benefits from this program.

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