2015 TLC Conference: Open Mic Closing Session
This year, the annual Trichotillomania Learning Centre (TLC) Body-Focussed Repetitive Behavior (BFRB) conference was held 10-12 April in Arlington, Virginia. The conference aims to highlight new research, challenges and advancements in the field of BFRBs such as trichotillomania. The conference entails a jam packed program of inspirational speakers, lectures and an opportunity to meet others with the same condition. The conference is aimed at all ages and even younger children and teenagers are welcome, with special programs specifically for this group. One of the highlights of the conference is the closing session open mic. This is when these young attendees are welcomed up on the stage to share spontaneously any message they would like to convey to the audience.
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Brave young people take the stage
These brave young children and teenagers offer spontaneous, inspirational and heartfelt words of to the conference attendees and organizers, showing their amazing spirit and courage. Some of the kids who spoke had been to conferences every year, while there were also many who were attending for the very first time. The first young lady had been to 9 previous conferences and thanked her parents and all other parents who supported their kids to manage this disorder. BFRB advocate and representative of the Canadian BFRB Support Network (CBSN), Angela Hartlin also spoke at the open mic session. She spoke about her admiration for the young people who were bravely opening themselves to so many people. She talks about her latest therapy to overcome her life long struggle with skin picking disorder, and even shows off her legs which she proudly displays as pick free. There were many speakers, but the common message that seemed to filter throughout was one of gratitude for the people attending and for the opportunity to have been able to meet so many others who understand these conditions. They also communicated feeling loved and accepted, and feeling like they belong. These closing remarks are really touching and heartfelt, but also inspiring and hopeful.
Save the Date
If you missed the conference this year, save the date for next year, because next year’s conference has already been set for 15-17 April, in Dallas Texas, with registration for the conference opening in December 2015.