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Brian Van Brunt

As an internationally recognized expert in behavioral intervention, threat assessment and mental illness,  Dr. Brian Van Brunt is here to keep your school or organization safe and help at-risk individuals access the care they need.

The following is a sample of various keynote addresses Brian can give in person or over an online platform. Each keynote ideally runs for 90 minutes (although these can be shortened or extended based on the needs of the group). Question and answer sessions are offered in an hour long follow up that can take place either directly following the address or scheduled online later during the day or during the conference. Brian uses a visual slide design to keep participants interested in the topic and engaged in the material. Each session comes with a supplemental guide, handouts and discussion questions to keep the conversation going and ensure the material can be put into practice in the school, college, community or workplace.

When a Threat is More Than a Threat: Violence Risk Assessment

Violence risk assessments are conducted to determine the risk of an individual moving forward with an attack plan such as a school shooting, workplace violence, sexual assault or domestic violence. In this practical and engaging talk, Dr. Van Brunt shares the common escalating and mitigating factors that are used to identify, assess and mitigate mission-oriented violence.

Kids Who Kill: Assessing Risk in K-12 Schools

This address will focus on the assessment of risk for violence within the K-12 population. Dr. Van Brunt will discuss common escalating and mitigating factors to identify and address prior to an escalation of violence. He will review the differences between affective (emotionally driven) and predatory (tactical and mission-oriented) violence with a focus on practical take-a-ways. Using video clips and case studies, Dr. Van Brunt will provide an engaging and informative presentation.

Keeping the Peace: Crisis De-Escalation

Both the counseling and law enforcement fields have important insights in calming affective escalation, including verbal Judo and motivational interviewing techniques. Dr. Van Brunt will share from his experience as an educator, clinician and threat assessment expert in this interactive session that will provide participants with evidence-based techniques to address the early conflict, frustrations and differences that lead to an escalation in physical violence in the school and community.

Venting, Trolling or Violent?: Assessing Social Media, Email and Student Writing

Drawing from his book, An Educators Guide to Assessing Threats in Student Writing, Dr. Van Brunt will teach a research-based approach to assessing written and video content that may occur on social media, over email or in creative writing assignments. Schools often struggle with determining the level of threat risk in this content and there is too much at stake to be wrong. This presentation will provide a clear roadmap of the elements to look for in these materials in order to mitigate violence in K-12, college and workplace settings

Lost Boys: Addressing the Rise of the Incel

With the rise of social media and internet discussion groups such as reddit, there has been a sharp increase in violence perpetrated by those who affiliate with the involuntarily celibate movement/philosophy. Dr. Van Brunt draws from his book Understanding and Treating Incels to provide an understanding of this growing movement through case studies, interactive discussion and video examples.

Heal Thyself: Addressing Stress and Burnout

After reviewing some common stressors, Dr. Van Brunt will explain the difference between stress and burnout. He will then provide practical ways that the audience can learn to be more hopeful, productive, solution-focused and re-invigorated in their daily work. This will include discussions of positive psychology, flow theory, transpersonal change theory and optimism.

Impact vs Intent: Understanding Microaggressions and Bias

Dr. Van Brunt will define microaggressions, the unconscious manifestations of privilege that contain the potential to further negatively impact marginalized groups, using examples related to gender, culture, race/ethnicity, mental health, generational differences, physical disability, and sexual orientation. He will provide a process for addressing microaggressions, along with a discussion of good/bad apologies, how to avoid the perfection problem, intent vs. impact, bias and cultural humility.

Getting them Across the Stage: Building Resiliency and Improving Student Retention

When transitioning to college, many students struggle with dealing the new challenges without the appropriate coping skills and support. For some student groups, such as first-generation college students, students with disabilities, underrepresented student populations, and military veterans, this transition can be especially daunting. This presentation offers strategies for aiding students through this difficult time and suggests programming and services that promote student wellbeing and retention.

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