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2017 LACPA's 29th Annual Convention
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2017 LACPA's 29th Annual Convention

2017 LACPA Convention

When: 10/21/2017
8:30 AM - 4:45 PM
Where: DoubleTree By Hilton Los Angeles - Westside
6161 W. Centinela Ave.
Culver City, California  90230
United States
Contact: LACPA Office

Online registration is closed.
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 Complete Convention schedule available below.

Pre-registration ended 10/11/17.  On-site registration will be available at an additional $35 fee.  



2017 LACPA Convention Sponsors


Platinum Plus Sponsor:

The Trust



Gold Sponsor:


Kiosk & California Lutheran University



Silver Sponsors:


Association for Advanced Training in the
Behavioral Sciences (AATBS)


Beth Leedham, Ph.D.


Karen Shore, Ph.D.



Emerald Sponsors:


Alliant International University


LACPA Foundation



Bronze Sponsors:


DBT Associates of Southern California


Karin Meiselman, Ph.D.


Evelyn Pechter, Psy.D.


Lynne Steinman, Ph.D.






 Convention Registration Rates
                                  Pre-registration ends Wednesday, October 11th.  

                                  Click here to register online.

                                  Click here to download form to mail in.
                        On-site registration will be available for an additional $35 fee

LACPA Member


LACPA Student Member

$ 89



Student Non-Member (Pre-Doctoral)must send proof of student status
Student Non-Members must click here to register for Convention



Complete Convention schedule will be available below.  





2017 LACPA Awardees


Join us at Convention to help recognize, acknowledge, and honor these individuals
who have made significant contributions to LACPA and to our
professional community at large.




Gitu Bhatia, Psy.D.

Distinguished Service to LACPA 













Allen Yasser, Ph.D.

Distinguished Service to the
Profession of Psychology














State Senator Ricardo Lara

Distinguished Legislator














Melissa Branchaud, M.A.

Distinguished Service to LACPA
by a Graduate Student












Patricia B. Fricker, M.A.

President's Award for Lifetime Achievement












Convention Schedule


Saturday, October 21, 2017


DoubleTree Los Angeles Westside

6161 West Centinela Avenue  •  Culver City, CA 90230  •  310-469-1776


Registration, Continental Breakfast, and Exhibits Open

7:45 a.m.


Session I

2.0 CE Credits all courses

8:30 a.m. -10:30 a.m.



Cultural Considerations When Working with Child Maltreatment

Course Level: Intermediate

As we become a more multicultural society psychotherapists face new challenges in assessing child maltreatment.  Professionals struggle to understand multicultural child rearing practices within a framework that must include poverty and immigration.  A culturally sensitive approach to assessment and intervention is emphasized including guidelines for working with families from diverse populations. 



Pamela Harmell, Ph.D., is a national lecturer specializing in legal and ethical issues in clinical practice.  She is a Professor at the Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology and has written extensively in professional publications on ethical practice. She is a Past President of the Board of Psychology, a former Chair of the State Ethics Committee, and is the current Chair of the LACPA Ethics Committee. She served on the Board of Directors of the CPA and is a Past President of LACPA.


 Handouts: Click Here






Ethics and Technology, Social Media
and Diversity                                                 

Course Level: Advanced

Technological advances and social media are transforming psychotherapy, sometimes with harmful consequences for psychotherapists.  Technology has a digital footprint that has enabled clients to research their therapists online, which can alter the therapeutic environment and present challenges related to diversity.  Ethical dilemmas will be presented through vignettes and interactive exercises.



Barbara Cadow, Ph.D., has been in private practice for over 35 years. She is on the clinical faculty in psychology at the University of Southern California. She served as Vice President of the California Board of Psychology and is a member of the LACPA Ethics Information and Education Committee. 










Marcos Briano, Ph.D., is the ECP postgraduate representative on the LACPA Ethics Information and Education Committee and Postdoctoral Intern at Pasadena City College. He is also Adjunct Faculty in the Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) program at USC Rossier School of Education.  His research/academic interests include application of professional ethics and advocacy of marginalized communities, specifically LGBT transitional adults.


 Handouts: Click Here




This workshop may be counted toward the ethics requirement mandated every two years for license renewal.






Helping Couples Change Using Powerful In-Session Moments

Course Level: Advanced

EFT couple therapy focuses on moment-to-moment process, privileging in-session emerging attachment-related emotions within each partner and between partners.   In-session corrective emotional experiences are considered change events for couples.  This workshop will utilize video-taped illustrations and role-play practice to help participants learn the skill of focusing on present process to facilitate change. 



Nancy Gardner, Ph.D., is a certified Trainer, Supervisor and Therapist in Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT).  She is a Co-founder and Executive Director of the Los Angeles Center for EFT (LACEFT).  She is a Past President of LACPA and Past Leader of the LACPA Couple Therapy Special Interest Group.  Her private practice is in Westlake Village where she sees individual adults and couples. 









Deconstructing the “Sacred Myths” of
Professional Psychology

Course Level: Advanced

Professional practice continues to be destructively transformed by medicalization, socioeconomic pressures, financing structures, and frightening warnings from risk managers and mentors.  We fear the bogeyman of the Board of Psychology.  Liberation from these repressive forces is essential for creating working alliances with clients critical for effective care. 



Arthur Kovacs, Ph.D., has been in independent practice for 59 years. Dr. Kovacs is Founding Campus Dean and Distinguished Professor Emeritus, CSPP Los Angeles. He has taught or supervised over 1500 members of the profession during the years of his career now scattered everywhere in this country and in many nations abroad. He has served APA in a variety of leadership positions.









Developing/Running Transdiagnostic
Social Skills Intervention Programs for Children & Adolescents

Course Level: Intermediate

Effective social skills are a vital component in treating many child and adolescent disorders, yet few practices incorporate this treatment. Attendees will learn potential transdiagnostic populations for group inclusion, development of treatment elements, ways to conduct efficient pre-group assessments, stepped-care methods, use of outcome measures, relevant technology, and ethical marketing strategies. 



Bruce Gale, Ph.D., received his undergraduate degree from UCLA, Masters/Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from FSU, and completed his internship/advanced training at Boston Children’s Hospital as a Fellow at Harvard Medical School.  Formerly Chief Psychologist of Inpatient Psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai, he has served as an Independent Educational Evaluator for the past 20 years. Dr. Gale created LUNCH Groups®, a social skills program that has treated over 1100 families.









Jewel Mazor, Psy.D., is a Registered Psychological Assistant. She previously worked in the program as a paraprofessional counselor from 2006-09, then headed off to graduate school. Having received her doctoral degree, Dr. Mazor returned to the practice at the end of 2012. Additionally, she sees clients, mostly students and young adults, for individual treatment through Dr. Gale’s private practice.










Anastasia Harrell, M.A., currently a doctoral candidate at Pepperdine University, serves as Clinical Coordinator in Dr. Gale’s private practice and has worked in the LUNCH Groups® program since 2009. In 2014, she developed and coordinated a validation study of our treatment methodologies for 38 families attending our summer program. The results were positive, supporting treatment effectiveness and validating our social-emotional assessment tool, Rapid Screener®.









Addiction and Suicide in Healthcare Providers: From Burnout to Burning Bright                                                   

Course Level: Intermediate  

Addiction impacts about 10 percent of the general population and has the same prevalence rate in healthcare providers. One of the most tragic outcomes of untreated addiction and mental health conditions is suicide, and it is on the rise among healthcare professionals. Whether you treat clinicians, care about your colleagues, or have suffered yourself, understanding how, where, and when to get help is critical.



Matthew Goldenberg, D.O., is an expert in the evaluation and treatment of mental health disorders and is an addiction specialist in Santa Monica. He is double Board Certified in Psychiatry and Addiction Psychiatry. Dr. Goldenberg founded Professionals Health Solutions, which provides individualized and evidence-based evaluations, treatment and education for motivated adults seeking to obtain and maintain long-term recovery. 


 Handouts:  Click Here







Session II

2.0 CE Credits all courses

11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.


Bringing Vitality to Your Group Work

Course Level: Advanced

The essence of group treatment involves its power to evoke the problematic and the joyful experience of life.  Participants in a self functioning group have the advantage of not only reposting on their lives with others but, over time, allowing many aspects of their functioning to come alive within the group.



Gil Spielberg, Ph.D.  ABPP, completed his analytic training at the Institute for the Study of Subjectivity in New York and his group training at the Center for Group Studies, also in New York.  He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Professional Psychology and a Fellow of the American Group Psychotherapy Association.  He currently practices in Los Angeles and La Jolla California.









Looking Ahead: Smartphones for Smarter Mental Health Care?

Course Level: Intermediate

Technology is radically changing the landscape of mental health. Mobile devices like smartphones and tablets are providing novel ways for patients, clinicians, and researchers to receive support, monitor progress, and collect data.  The promise of greater access and affordability of care must be weighed against ethical and legal implications.


Magen Todd, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist, Certified Sex Therapist, and Certified Sex Addiction Therapist. Founder and Director of Meridian Clinical Group where she leads a multidisciplinary team that specializes in sex, trauma and addiction therapy.  Dr. Todd is the Co-Founder of the Unison Project, an organization focused on leveraging innovations in digital health to advancing discovery in addiction treatment.








Exploring the Role of Forgiveness in

Course Level: Advanced

Forgiveness is a complex and multifaceted construct and process as demonstrated by review of broad empirical research in psychology. Definition of forgiveness will be discussed. Addition of evidence-based forgiveness intervention to augment therapeutic outcomes will be presented. Contraindications in forgiveness therapy will be discussed. Multicultural aspects of forgiveness are also discussed. 




Anindita Ganguly, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist, Assistant Professor of Psychology and Associate Director of Training at The American School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University/Southern California.  She teaches courses in psychopathology and multicultural psychology. In collaboration with Dr. Parekh and Dr. MacMillin, Dr. Ganguly is studying the quantitative relationship of spirituality and forgiveness. She is also staff psychologist at Inland Psychiatric Medical Group.








Pornography, the Brain, and Sexual
Function: A Review of the Evidence

Course Level: Advanced

What are the effects of pornography on human brain function and sexual response? Some sources associate pornography viewing with changes in neurobiological responses to sex, but others disagree. This presentation will review current research on associations of pornography viewing with changes in brain structure or function and sexual dysfunction. 



Erica Marchand, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist in Los Angeles specializing in sex therapy and relationship concerns. She works with individuals and couples in her private practice near The Grove, and most recently co-authored a chapter in The Handbook of Clinical Sexual Medicine called “Sex and Cancer.”









Size Diversity or Weight Stigma:
A Heavy Problem in Therapy

Course Level: Intermediate

Multiculturalism often fails to address size diversity. Weight stigma is pervasive, even among health professionals, and can harm patients. We help attendees to identify internal weight bias, define a weight neutral approach, explore how this approach can benefit patients of all sizes, and discover ways to incorporate neutrality in practice. 



Lauren Muhlheim, Psy.D., FAED, CEDS, is an eating disorder specialist and director of Eating Disorder Therapy LA. She is Director of Outreach of the Academy for Eating Disorders, Leader of the Eating Disorders SIG of LACPA, a member of the LACPA Ethic Committee, and a member of the editorial board ofThe Los Angeles Psychologist. Dr. Muhlheim presents to other professionals locally as well as nationally.








Alli Spotts-De Lazzer, LMFT, LPCC, CEDS, is an eating disorders specialist in Los Angeles. She has presented workshops locally, nationally, and internationally. Her articles have been published in The Therapist, Family Therapy Magazine, Psychotherapy Networker, and Practice Innovations. She is a committee co-chair for both the Academy for Eating Disorders and IAEDP. Alli is the creator of #ShakeIt for Self-Acceptance!®


 Handouts: Click Here






Transitioning Adolescents with
Neurodevelopmental Disorders to College

Course Level: Intermediate

“Emerging adulthood” is a difficult developmental period, especially if an individual has a neurodevelopmental disorder (e.g., Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder, Learning Disability). These individuals may have succeeded in high school but can struggle when they enter college. Learn strategies to help them make a successful transition to college. 




Crystal Lee, Psy.D., is a licensed psychologist with a passion for launching emerging adults (ages 18-29) into adulthood.  She has specialized experience treating emerging adults with neurodevelopmental disorders, particularly Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.  Dr. Lee has a private practice called LA Concierge Psychologist, where she provides "house calls" for her patients on the Westside.









Daniel Franklin, Ph.D., holds a Master’s degree from Harvard University in Reading, Language, and Learning Disabilities and a Ph.D. from UCLA in Education. He is also a Board Certified Educational Therapist and has over 30 years of experience in education. Currently, he is President of Franklin Educational Services, which provides a wide range of individualized school support programs for students of all ages.  










1:00 p.m.




Presentation of 2017

LACPA Awards


1:45 p.m.


Distinguished Service to LACPA by a Graduate Student

Melissa Branchaud, M.A.



Distinguished Service to LACPA 

Gitu Bhatia, Psy.D.



Distinguished Service to the Profession of Psychology

Allen Yasser, Ph.D.



Distinguished Legislator

Ricardo Lara

California State Senator



President's Award for Lifetime Achievement
Patricia B. Fricker, M.A.




Dessert and Networking


2:15 p.m.


Please visit the Poster Session presentations on the terrace and exhibitors in the foyer



2017 Poster Session


The Implications of Polyvagal Theory in Attachment Functioning

Presenter/First Author: Talia Benzaken, B.A.

California School of Professional Psychology (CSPP) – Los Angeles
at Alliant International University

Advisor: Randy Noblitt, Ph.D.



The Impact of First-Generation Status on School-Aged Achievement Testing:
A Literature Review

Presenter/First Author: Melony Cohen, B.A.

California School of Professional Psychology (CSPP) – Los Angeles
at Alliant International University

Advisor: Jessie Lowell, Psy.D.



The Unique Challenges Experienced by Women with Schizophrenia
Presenter/First Author: Christina Dominguez, M.A.

California School of Professional Psychology (CSPP) – Los Angeles
at Alliant International University

Advisor: Randy Noblitt, Ph.D.



The Rise, Fall, and Resurgence of “Self-Esteem”:
A Critique, Reconceptualization, and Recommendations

Presenter/First Author: Tamara Levy Eromo, Psy.D.

Early Career Psychologist – Pepperdine University

Graduated 2015



Perceived Therapists’ Cultural Competence and Clients’ Therapy Satisfaction:
The Discrepancy between Clients and Therapists’ Ratings

Presenter/First Author: George Gharibian, Ph.D.

Early Career Psychologist – The University of Memphis

Graduated 2014



The Mediating Effects of Structural Dissociation on Complex PTSD Symptoms
in Adult Victims of Childhood Trauma

Presenter/First Author: Supatra Hanna, M.S., RD

California School of Professional Psychology (CSPP) – Los Angeles
at Alliant International University

Advisor: John Park, Ph.D.



Psychologists’ Use of Humor to Establish the Therapeutic Alliance

Presenter/First Author: Peter Karinen, B.A.

California School of Professional Psychology (CSPP) – Los Angeles
at Alliant International University

Advisor: Erin O’Callaghan, Ph.D.



Optimal Sexuality and Differentiation: How Do They Relate?

Presenter/First Author: Caitlin La Brie, M.A.

California School of Professional Psychology (CSPP) – Los Angeles
at Alliant International University

Advisor: Joan Murray, Ph.D.



TGNC College Student Adjustment

Presenter/First Author: Krystal Lopez, M.A.

California School of Professional Psychology (CSPP) – Los Angeles
at Alliant International University

Advisors: Christina Magalhaes, Ph.D. & Ron Duran, Ph.D.



The Impact of Self-Compassion on Body Dissatisfaction and Disordered Eating
Among Athletes in Appearance-Based Sports

Presenter/First Author: Heather Mesa, M.S.W.

California School of Professional Psychology (CSPP) – Los Angeles
at Alliant International University

Advisor: Joan Murray, Ph.D.



Neurological Basis of Comorbidity of Anorexia Nervosa and Depression

Presenter/First Author: Bahar Moheban, B.S.

California School of Professional Psychology (CSPP) – Los Angeles
at Alliant International University

Advisor: John Park, Ph.D.



The Resilience & Reconnection (R&R) Group Intervention for Stress Management

Presenter/First Author: Jessica Styles, B.A.

Pepperdine University

Advisor: Shelly P. Harrell, Ph.D.



Session III

2.0 CE Credits

2:45 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.

The Transformative Use of Emotions in Practice

Course Level: Intermediate

The role of emotion in function and dysfunction will be discussed. Adaptive and maladaptive emotions and primary and secondary emotions and major principles of emotional change will be discussed. Videotaped examples of evidence-based methods for evoking and dealing with emotions in self-criticism will be presented and discussed.



Leslie Greenberg, Ph.D., is Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus of Psychology at York University in Toronto, Ontario. He has authored the major texts on Emotion-focused approaches to treatment of individuals and couples. These include Emotion in Psychotherapy (1986), Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples (1988) and more recently Therapeutic Presence: A Mindful Approach to Effective Therapy (2012) and Case Formulation in Emotion-Focused Therapy: Co-Creating Clinical Maps for Change (2015). Dr. Greenberg has received the Distinguished Research Career Award of the International Society for Psychotherapy Research as well as the Carl Rogers and the Distinguished Professional Contribution to Applied Research of the American Psychological Association. He has published extensive research on the process of change and is on the editorial board of many psychotherapy journals. Dr. Greenberg is a past President of the Society for Psychotherapy Research (SPR) and an originating member of the Society for the Exploration of Psychotherapy Integration (SEPI). He maintains a private practice for individuals and couples and trains therapists in emotion–focused approaches.  


 Handouts: Click Here





No-Host Happy Hour


4:45 p.m.  – 5:30 p.m.



more Calendar

Encino Networking Committee

Hiking Club

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Special Interest Group

Book Club- Santa Clarita

Book Club- West Los Angeles

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