Conference Speakers

Steve Arterburn – Editor of The Life Recovery Bible

Steve is the founder and chairman of New Life Ministries and the #1 nationally syndicated Christian counseling talk show New Life Live! heard and watched by over 2 million people each week on over 150 stations nationwide, on SiriusXM Satellite radio and on NRBTV.

Steve is a best-selling author of many books, including The Book of Life Recovery. With over 8 million books in print he has been writing about God’s transformational truth since 1984. He’s been nominated for numerous writing awards and has won three Gold Medallions for writing excellence. Along with Dr. Dave Stoop, he edited and produced the #1 selling Life Recovery Bible.


Alena Alsruhe – Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, Writer & Fitness Coach

Alena is a licensed professional clinical counselor and fitness coach. She joined New Life Ministries eight years ago after she and her husband attended a New Life marriage workshop and were forever changed! She is part of the counselor network, a facilitator at New Life workshops, and was a speaker at the 2023 Life Recovery Conference and the 2024 Lose it for Life Conference. Alena has the privilege of being the co-author to the New Life devotional, “100 Days to Freedom from Overeating,” and is a contributor to the Club New Life video library. 

She is dedicated to helping individuals discover hope and healing in all areas of health – mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Alena combines biblical truth, neuroscience, psychology, and trauma-informed care to guide individuals with compassion and care to encounter God’s healing power in their lives, helping them live life abundantly.

Daniel Grossman – Board Certified Master Coach and Pastoral Counselor

Daniel is a Board Certified Master Coach and Pastoral Counselor who is passionate about helping people move forward in life. With over 25 years of combined church ministry experience as well as working in the field of mental health counseling, he has had the honor of helping people from all walks of life. Daniel has overcome many of the same obstacles and has navigated through many of the similar valleys from which he now draws empathy and empowers others to move forward through victoriously as well. He holds a Masters of Theological Studies degree from Liberty University and received his Counseling and Coaching education through Liberty as well.

Originally from the Southwest, Daniel now calls the Sunshine State of Florida his home with his wife Kelly, and son Elijah. They enjoy fun nights at the musical theater and serene days of relaxation at the beach with friends. He is also active in marriage and men’s ministry in his church and community.


Danielle LewLicensed Clinical Social Worker, Certified Professional Coach, Speaker, Betrayal Trauma Specialist

“Dani” works as both a certified coach, serving women internationally and as a licensed clinical therapist serving Christian women and couples virtually in the state of PA. She joined New Life Ministries in 2016, just after working through betrayal and addictions in her own marriage. She has since served as a facilitator for numerous New Life Conferences.

As a highly-trained professional through APSATS (Association of Partners of Sex Addicts & Trauma Specialists) and in modalities such as EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, and, Brainspotting, Dani is also a person in long-term sobriety after finding help for addictions in 12-Step Recovery Programs.

Dani is passionate about spreading a message of hope of restoration from her own personal story and marriage. She lives with her husband of 21 years, 3 teens, and a growing number of animals on 15.5 acres in Pennsylvania.



Eric Thomas – LMFT, MTh, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist

Eric is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Born and raised in Los Angeles, he attended Fuller Seminary and received his Masters in Theology with an emphasis in Biblical Languages. Following Seminary, Eric continued his education and earned an additional Master’s in Counseling. For the past 20 years Eric has been working as a Therapist in Private Practice, where he specializes in trauma and addictions. He is trained in evidence-based practices for trauma and addictions including Eye Movement Desensitization Therapy (EMDR) and Seeking Safety. He also serves as Vice President of Mental Health for a Community Mental Health Center, where therapists and multidisciplinary staff provide treatment for children and youth who suffer from abuse, neglect, trauma, and addictions.


Dr. Heidi Summers – Board Certified Master Coach and Board Certified Professional Christian Counselor

Dr. Heidi Summers, a Los Angeles native, has devoted her career to spiritually and psychologically caring for others. An academic at heart, she has a deep understanding of the connection between the mind, brain, and relationships, has passionately studied the intersection of interpersonal neurobiology (IPNB) and transformation (Romans 12:1,2), and has been deeply invested in the field of traumatology.

Heidi has spent many years serving others across the Church, the Academy, and the field of writing. She is a Board Certified Professional Christian Counselor, a Board Certified Master Coach, and has a private practice as a relationship coach. Additionally she works in the Psychology and Counseling Department at Regent University.  She is a devoted wife, mother, and Oma to her granddaughters, and in her spare time is an avid athlete and musician.



JJ West – LMFT

JJ is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Originally from Central Florida, he received his Masters and Specialist degrees in Counselor Education from the University of Florida. Before becoming a therapist, he worked for several years with college students both with a Christian Organization and on church staffs. He is married and has two children. He enjoys outdoor adventures with his family, traveling to other cultures, good movies, and Florida State University sports.



Laura Mangin-McDonald – MA LPC, EMDR Trained

Laura is a Licensed Professional Counselor with over 35 years of experience. She is the author of the books “The Heart Handbook” and “How You Think Determines the Course of Your Life”. She is co-founder of Christian Insight For Life, a non-profit teaching and discipleship ministry dedicated to reaching Christians and non-Christians across the globe. Laura’s practice is specifically geared towards helping people heal from early childhood trauma, betrayal, and sexual integrity issues in marriage. She is professionally equipped to walk people through the recovery process based on her years of experience and training, but her personal experience of being betrayed in her marriage and successfully moving through the recovery process carries the most weight. Laura is passionately committed to helping women face the crushing reality of betrayal in their marriages and move them through the recovery process of healing and hope for the future!

Stacey Sadler Smith – EMDR Certified Therapist and a Certified Clinical Partner Specialist

Stacey is the Chief Clinical Officer at Daring Ventures.  She is an EMDR Certified Therapist and a Trainer for The Association of Partners of Sex Addicts Trauma Specialists (APSATS) Multi-Dimensional Partner Trauma Model (MPTM). In this 4-Day training she teaches coaches and clinicians how to ethically treat partners of sex addicts who are suffering from betrayal trauma. She is also a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT) Candidate as well as PACT level one trained.

Stacey also speaks to groups on topics like betrayal trauma, single womanhood, divorce and intimacy in marriage. Her first book, Understanding and Loving Your Child as a Single Parent, co-authored with Steve Arterburn, was published in 2022. She received her undergraduate degree from Texas State in 1988. Her graduate degree is from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. She became an LPC in late 2010. She is recently married and lives in Galveston, Texas and spends her spare time fishing & enjoying the beach.

More to come…

Conference Host

Terri Ward – Life Recovery Groups Coordinator for New Life Ministries

Terri came to New Life Ministries in 2020 after completing a degree in substance abuse counseling. She oversees the Life Recovery Groups Network, coaches new group leaders, and provides guidance and support to almost 500 existing groups. Terri has 16 years of personal recovery experience, which began in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous. Through the process of working the 12 Steps, she came to know Jesus as her “Higher Power”. Terri launched a Christ Centered Recovery group at City Church International in Dallas, TX in 2011. It is now her passion to equip group leaders to make Jesus known through Life Recovery, in every community across the US, the UK and beyond. Terri is a native Texan. However, she and her husband Michael now live in Stillwater, Oklahoma, where Michael is the senior pastor of Hilltop Country Church.