Month: December 2014

Encino Graduate Campus — M.A. Psychology Fall 2014 Recap

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Encino Graduate Campus had some great professional development events in the Fall semester, 2014.  First, students had a blast at the GSEP Open House, hosted by Vanessa Jahn and her wonderful GA’s.  There were various vendors and restaurants who brought samples and treats for students to try, and many of the GSEP departments had information tables, such as Career Services, Professional Development, Alumni Relations, and Psy Chi, to name a few.

In October we enjoyed a knowledgeable, experienced speaker, Helena Cerny, Ph.D. as she educated students about “Identifying and Treating Traumatized Children”  Dr. Cerny identified the different kinds of trauma, the symptoms of trauma, and some useful treatment strategies to help therapists work with traumatized children.  The students were engaged and curious about this topic, and Dr. Cerny was helpful in explaining concepts and answering questions, as well as using several case examples.

In November, Barbara Calvi, LMFT, spoke to students about “Mastering the Secrets to a More Successful Private Practice.”  Barbara has over 20 years of experience as a Marriage and Family Therapist, focusing on couples and relationships.  She spoke about how to create a marketing message to attract clients, ways for therapists to build their practice while keeping their authenticity and integrity. The students appreciated how Barbara taught them to identify self-defeating beliefs and gain awareness of their own limitations.

Alice Richardson met with students in October at the West LA Campus for a “Coffee Talk: Benefits of Pursuing the LPCC.”  Many students are not aware of the differences between the LMFT and the LPCC, and are confused about which direction to pursue licensure.  This presentation helped clear up some questions and confusion about the two licenses and the benefits of pursuing one or the other or both.  Alice also had two similar LPCC Coffee Talk Meetings in October at the Encino Graduate Campus.


Christmas Psychology Fun!

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Freud met Santa...


West LA Graduate Campus — M.A. Psychology Fall 2014 Recap

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The West LA Clinical Connections series this fall included three very passionate women who spoke on three varying and captivating topics. Lesli Johnson, MA, LMFT, started off the fall series in October with her presentation on “Making Sense of Adoption: New Directions for Understanding Adoption in the Clinical Setting.” Her workshop was interactive and included personal stories from Lesli herself, and many of the attendees. The informative workshop was also heartfelt and unique in that many shared of their adoption stories. The audience was very pleased with this format and the warmth and candidness of the presenter. Attendees walked away more confident in their approach with working with adopted clients, as well as families who have chosen to adopt.

Later in October, our wonderful Clinical Training Coordinator at Encino, Alice Richardson, MA, LMFT, LPCC, joined West LA students and alums for a casual, yet highly informative Coffee Talk, “Benefits of Pursuing the LPCC.” Alice put many myths of the LPCC to rest and informed attendees of the benefits of obtaining the license. Students were so grateful for Alice’s willingness to share her experience and knowledge about the LPCC.

In November, Diann Wingert, LCSW, BCD, presented on an “Introduction to Energy Psychology/Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT).” During this neat workshop, Diann taught a few practical and basic techniques that clinicians can use with their clients. She had a beautiful PowerPoint depicting the history and usefulness of Energy Psychology. Diann emphasized the importance of being open to incorporating different techniques alongside psychotherapy, as talk therapy may not always be enough for a client. Attendees had an educational and enjoyable time practicing the techniques on themselves and feeling the impact of EFT. People left excited to try their newly learned techniques on clients who would possibly benefit.

Also in November, students made a visit to alumna Jenny Bowen, MA, LMFT’s private practice in Los Angeles. Jenny’s warm personality and openness about private practice allowed students to ask many important questions involving getting started with private practice. Attendees left feeling motivated and considering the option of one day pursuing their own private practice.

Last, but certainly not least, Pepperdine alumna Bobbi Jankovich, MA, LMFT, gave a stellar presentation on the sometimes taboo topic of sex addiction. However, her presentation had a special twist; Bobbi focused on the treatment of partners of sex addicts in this highly informational Clinical Connections entitled, “Partners of Sex Addicts: Treating the Invisible Client.” Attendees raved about Bobbi’s ability to convey this pertinent information. Her highly organized and easy to follow PowerPoint had relevant and very interesting information. The presentation went over “relational trauma” and how sex addiction can be understood from that lens. Attendees walked away from the presentation wishing it was longer!

We continue to hold four clinical training information meetings per semester at each campus: the New MACLP Student Meeting, the Preparing for Practicum Meeting, the Practicum Site Information Meeting, and the Intern Registration Meeting. Through these meetings, our Clinical Training Coordinators guide students through every step of the practicum process.

Irvine Graduate Campus — M.A. Psychology Fall 2014 Recap

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We kicked off the semester at the Irvine Graduate Campus with the latest installment of Quick Meets, our series of one-on-one meetings with new students. Pioneered at the Irvine campus, Quick Meets now takes place at West LA and Encino in addition to Irvine. By providing personalized explanations of our departments’ events and services, as well as an overview of practicum basics for MFT students and other subjects of concern for individuals new to the program, we help new students to dive right into their program with information about many of the tools that will be important to their success.

At the Irvine Graduate Campus, we started off the Fall semester with New MACLP Student Meetings and Practicum meetings. In October, we also had Dennis Lowe, Ph.D. present to students, alumni, and the public about the new DSM-5. Attendees praised the event with positive reviews, saying the presentation was interesting and informative. Dr. Lowe helped make the DSM-5 and its changes easy to understand. Kathleen Wenger also held a Coffee Talk to discuss the LPCC license, which was a helpful event for students to learn the differences between LMFT and LPCC.

In November, we held a Clinical Connections event with Dr. Edward Shafranske where he spoke on Attending to Mentalization in Psychotherapy.  Originally developed for the treatment of Borderline Personality Disorder, Dr. Shafranske focused on the treatment’s expansion to any clients whose self-reflective capacity has been compromised and interventions to re-engage clients in mentalization. As usual, Dr. Shafranske was able to take complicated material and make it accessible to all attendees, whether new graduate students or seasoned therapists. Dr. Shafranske spoke at the very first Clinical Connections back in 2003 and we are grateful for all of his support over the years!

The spring session promises to be as lively as the fall! On February 5, 2014, IGC will host the annual GSEP Career and Practicum Fair: Career Connections. This annual event provides current students and alumni to meet with a number of potential practicum and internships site employers. IGC will have approximately 15 mental health agencies for students to meet with, including some represented by Pepperdine alumni!

In February, IGC will host a Clinical Connections event with Dr. George Nalbach and honored guests focusing on treatment for people who have just lost a loved one through a violent death. Dr. Nalbach and IGC will welcome past clients who have experienced the loss of their son to share their therapy and support group experience, including what was helpful and not helpful in throughout their journey. The program will include a panel discussion as well as a question and answer segment.

The MFT Consortium of Orange County continues to be held at IGC on the third Wednesday of every other month. For the Fall semester, IGC held these meetings in September and November. The next scheduled meetings are scheduled for January 21st and March 18th. For the past 20 years, Kathleen Wenger continues to host and co-chair the MFT consortium in a collaborative setting for mental health agencies and universities with MFT graduate programs, in an effort to foster community partnerships. The meetings serve as a networking opportunity for agencies to be connected with key personnel to discuss MFT employment and practicum training opportunities, programming and clinical training concerns. BBS rules and regulations are also covered.

IGC is also scheduling Coffee Talks, as well as two more Clinical Connections events to be announced at the beginning of the Spring Semester. We will continue to provide our regularly scheduled Clinical Training Meetings at all three campuses (New Student, Preparing for Practicum and Intern Registration Meetings). The department is looking forward to the spring upcoming events!

Irvine Graduate Campus Preliminary Spring 2015 Calendar

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More to be announced next month! Here’s what we have so far:

MFT Consortium of Orange County: Wednesday, January 21, 9:30 – 11:00 a.m.

New MACLP Student Meeting: Monday, January 26, 7:00 p.m.

Practicum Tips Meeting: Monday, February 2, 7:15 – 8:15 p.m.

Career and Practicum Fair: Thursday, February 5, 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Clinical Connections w/ George Nalbach, Ph.D. (and others TBA): Friday, February 27, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m., Rm. 324/326

MFT Consortium of Orange County: Wednesday, March 18, 9:30 – 11:00 a.m.

Practicum Mentor Fair: Wednesday, March 25, 5:30 p.m.

Intern Registration Meeting: Wednesday, April 8, 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.

Christmas Psychology Blogs and Articles

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The Spirit of the 1914 Christmas Truce – “A World War I interlude among British and German troops shows how even bitter foes can work out rituals of cooperation.” (The Wall Street Journal)

Bad Santa: The Psychology Behind Ghastly Gifts – “So what, indeed, is the thought process that goes into choosing a bad gift? What goes on in the psyches of the gifting-challenged? The answer, according to psychologists, may be less mystifying, and perhaps even more thoughtful, than you might think.” (The Globe and Mail)

Therapy and “The Gift of the Magi” – “The word “therapy” is derived from the Greek word for healing. And although therapy begins with a focus on our individual healing, the fruit and the proof of any good therapy is the ability to move beyond ourselves and love others more and better.” (Jay R. Feld, LMFT)

December 2014 Psychology Blog and Article Rundown

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Some interesting articles and blog posts from this month!

China: Inside an Internet Gaming Disorder Rehab Center – “At the center — which, as Moleres’ photos depict, some patients have attempted to escape — teens suffering from Internet gaming disorder are monitored for gaming’s effects on their neurological activity, and through labor and military drills are thought to improve brain activity and break the habit.” (Al Jazeera)

10 Ways That Brain Myths are Harming Us – “For every genuine break through, there is parallel excretion of hype or utter neurobunk.” (Wired)

Lost Memories Might be Able to be Restored – “The nervous system appears to be able to regenerate lost synaptic connections. If you can restore the synaptic connections, the memory will come back. It won’t be easy, but I believe it’s possible.” (UCLA)

Torture Victims will Bear Psychological Scars Long After CIA Report Scandal Fades – “Men and women who have experienced torture are most often irrevocably changed, say medical professionals who have treated survivors. Depression, anxiety, personality shifts, hallucinations and suicidal thoughts can manifest and persist years afterward.” (The Guardian)

The CIA Didn’t Just Torture, It Experimented on Human Beings – “Human experimentation was a core feature of the CIA’s torture program…At the helm of this human experimentation project were two psychologists hired by the CIA, James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen.” (The Nation)

America’s Torture Doctors – “The APA has in the past refused to censure a notorious Guantanamo U.S. Army psychologist John Leso, who led a Behavioral Science Consulting Team (sic) that drafted a policy memo incorporating “illegal” techniques once used by North Korean and Chinese interrogators to break American prisoners.” (The American Conservative)

Nathaniel Branden, R.I.P. (1930-2014) – “After the break with Rand in 1968, Branden had his own highly successful career as a hugely popular writer on psychology, and he is a pioneer of the vital importance of “self-esteem” in modern culture.” (Reason)