Note from Kathleen

Recap of This Year So Far — See You At Our Fall Events!

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by Kathleen Wenger, M.A., LMFT, LPCC, Manager M.A. Psychology Professional Development and Clinical Training

Summer is relatively slow in the M.A. Psychology Department of Professional Development and Clinical Training as we plan for an exciting series of fall events. So I wanted to take this opportunity to fill you in about some of the enriching events for students in the MAP and MACLP tracks that we’ve had so far this year and encourage you to attend the events that we host this fall! In addition to these events, there are several resources that help guide you through the practicum experience. You can make an appointment for a Quick Meet to receive a personalized explanation of the events and services offered by the department and to have any questions about practicum answered. If you want more information about an agency, you can stop by the GA’s office to read through students’ practicum site reviews (strengths and challenges). We also encourage you to use the Mentor Program, which puts you in contact with a student who has experience at a site you are interested in.

Irvine Graduate Campus

As we do each semester, we welcomed new students to the Irvine Graduate Campus with Quick Meets, our series of one-on-one meetings with new students. These 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 help our new students to dive right into their program prepared for success.

In February we hosted a Clinical Connections event with George Nalbach, Ph.D. and Connie Saindon, author of The Murder Survivor’s Handbook. Dr. Nalbach introduced a couple whose son was tragically murdered several years ago to share their experience with the grief and loss process. Connie provided clinical strategies for working with clients who have experienced similar tragedies. Attendees felt honored to hear the couple’s story and to receive valuable tips for working with clients who have experienced the violent loss of loved ones. One individual summed up the evening’s event by stating that “While the content and discussion was heavy, saddening, and emotional, I felt most impacted and moved by the display of human resiliency and growth. It was inspiring to hear this couple’s journey through their grief and loss, what they have learned about the process, and what they have learned about themselves.”

In February we also hosted the annual GSEP Career and Practicum Fair: Career Connections. This event gave our current students and alumni an opportunity to meet with potential practicum and internship employers. We had an outstanding turnout in terms of attendees as well as agencies – approximately 50-60 students and alums met with fifteen of the top mental health agencies in Orange County! We followed this event with the annual Practicum Mentor Fair in March. At the Mentor Fair, students ready to begin practicum had an opportunity to hear about the experiences current practicum students have had at their agencies.

Our popular Private Practice and Agency Visit series continued with two events in Orange County in March. I hosted a visit at my practice in Laguna Beach and Chris Hoff, LMFT, hosted one at his agency in Costa Mesa, the California Family Institute. One attendee at my event commented that he felt “put right at ease to ask many questions about the nuts and bolts of starting, managing, and maintaining a private practice such as this. We were also able to discuss other business aspects such as marketing tools, networking, and even google analytics to ensure that we will have enough clients to keep our businesses afloat, yet not so many that we ourselves start to drown and lose our effectiveness.”

As we do every semester, we held a New Student Meeting, the Practicum Tips Meeting, and the Intern Registration Meeting to help MACLP students along their practicum journey. Students have responded to this semester’s series of meetings by telling us things like “it is so great that the program goes the extra mile for us like this” compared to other similar programs! It’s a great vote of confidence to know the impact that we’re having on our current students.

The MFT Consortium of Orange County continues to be held at the Irvine Graduate Campus on the third Wednesday of every other month. The next scheduled meetings are scheduled for September 16 and November 18. For the past 20 years, I have been the host and co-chair of the MFT Consortium. This is a collaborative setting that brings together 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.

West Los Angeles Graduate Campus

West LA started its spring semester with a Clinical Connections topic that we all need to visit often. Alumna Juanita Frassini Goode, MA, presented, “Self-Love Your Way through Life: The Clinical Value of Practicing Self-Love for Yourself and Clients.” Juanita’s workshop was very fun and interactive. Attendees engaged in a variety of self-love activities with the multitude of art supplies that Juanita provided. Juanita shared her unique approach to practicing with clients, which included her approach from her license in spiritual psychology.  Participants left feeling excited to try out some of these new ideas and approaches with clients.

Following Juanita’s workshop on self-love, premarital counseling guru, Debbi Molnar, MA, LMFT, LPCC, spoke about, “Premarital Counseling versus Couples Therapy: Understanding the Difference and Making it Work in Your Practice.” With a beautiful manual that Debbi put together, she very clearly explained the differences between the two. Debbi shared with the audience how her sessions with couples therapy look, versus how her sessions with premarital counseling look.  She also spoke about the programs for couples that she has put together, which she often holds as weekend workshops. Debbi’s impressive experience and background was very apparent and attendees walked away with an organized and clear-cut way to practice premarital counseling versus couples therapy.

Jody Echegaray, Psy.D, presented the last of the Clinical Connections workshops. Jody’s workshop, entitled “Mass Media—Its Effects, Motivations for Use, and Media-based Clinical Interventions” proved to be a very important topic amongst clinicians. Jody gave a quick historical timeline on the development of media and how it has come to play a part in the practice of psychotherapy. Jody also provided great examples of interventions he has used with his own clients. The workshop addressed some very poignant issues that media can both harm and help in the practice of psychotherapy. Participants were very impressed by the amount of information and were very intrigued by the topic.

West LA’s other professional development events included a Coffee Talk by Alice Richardson, MA, LMFT, LPCC and a Private Practice Visit to alum Curt Widhalm’s practice. For the Coffee Talk, Alice answered questions about pursuing the LPCC. While the development of the license in California is still new, many students and alums struggle with knowing much about it. Alice, who has pursued the license, shared her impressive knowledge about the license and its benefits. Students who attended felt grateful for the clarifications.  Later in March, students and alums visited Curt’s practice to learn about the development and running of a private practice. The room was full as Curt spoke about his process to private practice and laying it out straight for how it goes. Attendees felt very informed and lucky to have attended this private practice field trip.

Encino Graduate Campus

This spring, the Encino Graduate Campus was pleased to have Kent Toussaint, LMFT, LPCC, speak at a Clinical Connections about “The 1-2-3’s for Treating Resistant Teens.” Kent gave attendees a better understanding of how to build rapport, earn trust, and create alliances with teens.  He also spoke about the developmental needs of teens, and how unconditional positive regard helps with this age group.  At the end of Kent’s presentation, the attendees had a hands-on demonstration of the games and toys Kent uses for ice-breakers and rapport building.

In March, Dr. Dennis Lowe graciously gave a 3-hour presentation about “What’s New in the DSM-5” for Pepperdine Alumni who are studying for the licensing exam.  This presentation was held on a Saturday afternoon, and was well received by all attendees.  Many alumni attended and seemed engaged and interested in this presentation, and some alumni even sent emails and notes of appreciation.

March is National Gambling Awareness Month, and the Encino Graduate Campus was fortunate to have an Alumna who specializes in Gambling Addiction. Audrey Johnson, PsyD, LMFT, spoke about the differences between recreational gambling and gambling addictions.  Between 3% and 6% of the general population is impacted by some degree of problem gambling.  Audrey spoke about helpful tools, assessment inventories and treatment plans she uses with her problem gambling clients.

Also in March, Sheila Sayani and Alice Richardson organized a Practicum Mentor Fair “Mixer” where seasoned students who are near graduating spoke with students taking the Pre-Practicum class.  The students enjoyed this event immensely and we plan to continue doing these mixers in future semesters.

Alice Richardson, Clinical Training & Professional Development Coordinator, spoke about the LPCC License at “Coffee Talks” at both Encino and WLA Campuses.  Encino also presented New Student Meetings, Tips for Practicum Meetings and an Intern Registration Meeting, which all three campuses present every semester to keep students as informed as we can.

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Fall Update from Kathleen Wenger, LMFT — Manager, M.A. Psychology Professional Development and Clinical Training

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Kays Professional Photo

It’s hard to believe that fall is in full swing already! We’ve been hard at work in the MA Psychology Department of Professional Development and Clinical Training to create a great lineup of events for our students this fall and I’m writing to tell you about a few of them. For our faculty members: if you have any guest speakers planned for your classes and would be willing to open them up to students who are not in the specific class, please let me know! Also, if this is your first or second semester teaching at Pepperdine, I’d like to meet you and share with you what our department does in more detail.

We were honored to welcome Dennis Lowe, Ph.D., to the Irvine campus on October 17th for the fall semester’s first special event, an introduction to and discussion of the changes with the DSM 5.

As it has for the past six years, our monthly Clinical Connections speaker series will bring a fascinating and inspiring lineup of speakers and topics to our students this fall. In November, Dr. Edward Shafranske, Psy.D. Program Director, will host at the Irvine campus and explore mentalization. Diann Wingert, LCSW, BCD will talk at the West LA campus about emotional freedom technique. Irvine’s December event, presented by Dr. Bob Weathers, will cover up-to-date, evidence-based concepts in neuroscience for addiction and recovery treatments. West LA will host alumna Bobbi Jankovich, MA, LMFT, to speak about treating the “invisible client” with sex addicts: their partners. Encino will host Dr. Helena Cerny in October to discuss treating traumautized children, and in November will have Barbara Calvi, LMFT, offer advice for building a successful private practice and Kent Touissant, LMFT, LPCC, present the 1-2-3s of working with resistant teens.

Our Private Practice Visits continue this semester, allowing students to gain a glimpse of their potential future by touring the private practice of a Pepperdine alum or faculty member with a small group of their classmates. On November 14, I will open up my practice for our students and we are planning another Private Practice Visit during the semester. Jenny Bowen has invited West LA students to tour her practice. Many students have come back to us after graduating to tell us that these visits are among the most rewarding experiences of their Pepperdine careers and we are pleased to be able to continue to offer them several times each semester!

I will be hosting an informal Coffee Talk this semester on October 6 to discuss the LPCC licensure in California, and Alice Richardson will do the same at the West LA campus on October 16 and the Encino campus October 7th. Additionally, students will have the opportunity to attend Preparing for Practicum Meetings, Practicum Site Presentations, Intern Registration Meetings, and Mentor Fair, all designed to guide our MFT students through the practicum process and prepare them for their intern experience after graduation.

Sudents that are interested in attending a Doctoral Roundtable with two of our PSY.D. students, should attend the ones scheduled in Irvine October 2nd and October 13th. Also, Dr. Shafranske will meet with interested students for a PSY.D info session on Oct. 23 at IGC.

 

M.A. PSYCHOLOGY PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOPS –Learn more what we offer our students

Advance Your Professional Opportunities

Enrich your knowledge of psychology while you advance your professional opportunities through the Department of Professional Development in the Master of Arts in Psychology program.

The following free programs are available to students and alumni at all three evening format graduate campuses:

  • Clinical Connections
    There are many clinical issues trainees and interns become aware of only after entering the field and interacting with clients. Clinical Connections gives you the opportunity to network with licensed and pre-licensed MFTs and Psy.D.s from other universities in order to discuss clinical issues, learn from other’s experiences, and gain support and insight for your career in psychology. For more information on past and upcoming events, click on the campuses to the left.
  • Private Practice and Agency Visits
    Visit the successful practices of Pepperdine faculty and alumni to learn about the business aspect of running a private practice in the therapy profession and for a sneak preview of your possible future. In addition to practice visits, we also feature visits to mental health agencies that employ MAP and MACLP track students.
  • Coffee Talk
    Discuss MFT issues and professional opportunities with Kathleen Wenger (IGC), Rebecca Reed (WLA) and Alice Richardson (EGC) of the M.A. in Psychology Professional Development and Clinical Training Departments. Coffee Talk also features occasional guest speakers.

  • MFT Consortium of Orange County
    The Consortium represents mental health clinical training agencies throughout Orange County. The Consortium meets on the third Wednesday of every other month to discuss programming and training issues.
  • Focus on Psychology Blog
    Our new department blog features information on psychology associations, chapter and campus meetings, events, workshops, opportunities for licensure hours, and professional opportunities in your area. It also includes feature articles such as faculty profiles, information on locating a practicum site and licensing requirements as well as student success stories. You can sign up for a monthly email summarizing the month’s new posts.
  • Annual Career and Practicum Fairs
    Get a jump start on your search for a practicum site or job at the annual Career and Practicum Fairs. Here’s a list of attendees confirmed for the upcoming Irvine fair on March 26.
  • Practicum Mentor Program
    Connect with “seasoned” practicum students to answer your questions and increase your confidence concerning the practicum experience. Our mentors are students who have a semester or two of practicum already under their belt and who would be happy to offer some friendly advice as you get started at your site!
  • Clinical Training Meetings
    For more information on the MACLP New Student Meeting, Preparing for Practicum Meeting and Intern Registration Meeting, visit Pepperdine’s Practicum website.

As always, on behalf of Rebecca Reed, Alice Richardson and Sheila Sayani, and our wonderful graduate assistants, we thank you for your support of everything we do for our students in the M.A. Psychology Department of Professional Development and Clinical Training!

Summer Update from Kathleen Wenger, LMFT — Manager, M.A. Psychology Professional Development and Clinical Training

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Kays Professional Photo

 

Greetings to the Pepperdine Psychology Community!

We are embarking upon the mid-point of the summer session and we all know how this feels.  We’re dragging a bit more these days, but none-the-less there is good hallway chatter and a desire to have that great summer break in August!   I have included a recap below of some of our popular events and workshops over the past few months, and hope to see you at the ones we are preparing for the Fall semester.

The 2014 Annual Conference, celebrating the 50th year anniversary for CAMFT in Indian Wells May 1-4 “The Gold Standard-Integrating Mental Health and Community”  was a great event! It was wonderful seeing so many Pepperdine students and alumni.  The Keynote speakers; Claudia Black, Joan Borysenko, Robert Weisse and more, were all excellent as were the many other workshops throughout the conference.  I have included some great photos taken during the conference of our Pepperdine Family.  Students really enjoyed volunteering at the conference, as they get to attend for free AND get to know the presenters that they are assigned to assist!

 

I hope you have a great summer!

IGC

We had two fantastic Clinical Connections events at the Irvine campus last semester. On March 7th, IGC Professor Steve Sultanoff, PhD presented “Deliberate Practice Training: Transforming Theory into Practice.” Attendees were able to work directly with Steve as he demonstrated an actual training session.

There was a packed house on March 28th for Linda Buck’s, presentation on “Spirituality, Religion and Psychotherapy.”  Her presentation was literally earth shaking as we experienced an earthquake at the end of her talk

Dr. Edward Shafranske met with our new MAP club located at IGC (but its open to all MAP students!)  and spoke about issues regarding to entrance into a PhD or Psy.D program. Psy.D candidates Andrew Walker and Al Ibarra followed up with a roundtable discussion of the nuts and bolts of applying to doctoral programs.

Kathleen Wenger, Alice Richardson and Sheila Sayani met with IGC students in May, to discuss the exciting opportunities as an LMFT or “Life After Pepperdine” (a funny title, as all three of us continue to work here!)  We told of our involvements professionally and of wonderful examples of our alumni and what they are doing.  Students LOVED this new panel discussion.

Our popular Private Practice Visit was a success at our alumna Erin Pollards practice in Irvine, CA in May.  Students get a first-hand opportunity to see how one sets up a private practice with all of the important business considerations.

The 22nd Year of the MFT Consortium of Orange County continues to be a GREAT opportunity for agencies and MFT programs to meet and discuss important clinical training issues, BBS updates, and more.  We meet at IGC in Jan, March, May, July and September on the third Wed from 9:30-11:00am.  I am the co-chair for this consortium. Please attend our next meeting! July 16th!

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West LA

Three stellar Clinical Connections workshops during the spring 2014 semester. Pepperdine alumna Ilona Strasser, LMFT started us off with her even entitled, “Working with Teens: Techniques and Strategies for Individuals, Dyads and Groups.” Ilona presented a fun and interesting workshop that captured her passion for working with kids and teens. She shared about her path into this specialization and provided a variety of useful interventions for attendees to use with their own clients.

In March, Lara Garibian, LMFT, talked about “Navigating the World of Community Mental Health: Developing Clinical Skills, Practicing Self-Care and Getting Appropriate Training.” Lara presented a realistic view of working in community mental health, and gave a variety of extremely useful tips and suggestions to thrive in the setting. Lara’s approach was welcoming and attendees reported feeling like she gave them a positive and uplifting way to view the challenges in community mental health settings.

Following Lara in April, Peter Sardelich, an LMFT practicing in Pasadena, presented a unique workshop entitled, “Therapists and Clients: Why and how you should Care About Legitimate Suffering.” Petar put together a riveting workshop that elicited deep discussion and thought-provoking ideas. Attendees left rejuvenated and with new ideas to consider.

Aside from the Clinical Connections series, West LA’s other professional development event included a Private Practice visit at Pepperdine alumna Cindy Shadel, LMFT’s practice in El Segundo. A group of eight joined to hear about Cindy’s path to private practice, as well as her challenges. Attendees left feeling excited about private practice and hopeful that one day that will be their path.

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EGC

The Encino Graduate Campus started their spring Clinical Connections workshops by having Dr. Carla Elia present “Psychosocial Implications of Living with HIV/AIDS.”  The students who attended this event spoke highly of Dr. Elia’s knowledge and they loved how she shared her own experiences working with this population.   Dr. Elia briefly explained the medical aspects of HIV/Aids, as well as the history and statistics of this syndrome. Patients experience a multitude of emotional changes and it was helpful for our future therapists to become aware of treatment considerations and possible countertransference.  Our next Clinical Connections, “The Magic of Metaphor” was presented by Patrick Madden, MA, LEP.  There were 24 students and alumni attending this workshop.  Mr. Madden showed us that metaphors and story-telling are well accepted as excellent tools for “reframing” how clients view themselves and the challenging situations with which they are striving to cope. The “magic” of these tools lies in the fact that they are indirect approaches which means they have the power to: reduce resistance, circumvent ego defenses and, enable the client to save face while remaining open to new insights and more adaptive options. The students in attendance raved about this presentation and shared a lot of very positive comments on the evaluations.

Alice Richardson presented a May Coffee Talk PowerPoint presentation on the LPCC License, along with our three regular student information meetings.

___________________________________________________________

This summer, I am continuing our casual Coffee Talk series this semester in May and July giving students an opportunity to learn from each other’s questions and lessen their anxiety as they interview for practicum positions.

I met up with students and alumni that attended the annual CAMFT Conference in Indian Wells, CA May 1-4.  It was CAMFTS 50th year celebration…and we really had a wonderful time meeting up with

As usual, on the Clinical Training side, we are providing four information meetings at each of the three campuses, each term, for our MACLP track students: the New MACLP Student Meeting, Practicum Information Meeting, Agency Information Meeting and the Intern Registration Meeting.

Here are two links to our department activities/schedule/events

http://gsep.pepperdine.edu/masters-clinical-psychology-mft-day/practicum/

http://gsep.pepperdine.edu/psychology/professional-development-workshops/

 

M.A. PSYCHOLOGY PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOPS –Learn more what we offer our students

Advance Your Professional Opportunities

Enrich your knowledge of psychology while you advance your professional opportunities through the Department of Professional Development in the Master of Arts in Psychology program.

The following free programs are available to students and alumni at all three evening format graduate campuses:

  • Clinical Connections
    There are many clinical issues trainees and interns become aware of only after entering the field and interacting with clients. Clinical Connections gives you the opportunity to network with licensed and pre-licensed MFTs and Psy.D.s from other universities in order to discuss clinical issues, learn from other’s experiences, and gain support and insight for your career in psychology. For more information on past and upcoming events, click on the campuses to the left.
  • Private Practice and Agency Visits
    Visit the successful practices of Pepperdine faculty and alumni to learn about the business aspect of running a private practice in the therapy profession and for a sneak preview of your possible future. In addition to practice visits, we also feature visits to mental health agencies that employ MAP and MACLP track students.
  • Coffee Talk
    Discuss MFT issues and professional opportunities with Kathleen Wenger (IGC), Rebecca Reed (WLA) and Alice Richardson (EGC) of the M.A. in Psychology Professional Development and Clinical Training Departments. Coffee Talk also features occasional guest speakers.

  • MFT Consortium of Orange County
    The Consortium represents mental health clinical training agencies throughout Orange County. The Consortium meets on the third Wednesday of every other month to discuss programming and training issues.
  • Focus on Psychology Blog
    Our new department blog features information on psychology associations, chapter and campus meetings, events, workshops, opportunities for licensure hours, and professional opportunities in your area. It also includes feature articles such as faculty profiles, information on locating a practicum site and licensing requirements as well as student success stories. You can sign up for a monthly email summarizing the month’s new posts.
  • Annual Career and Practicum Fairs
    Get a jump start on your search for a practicum site or job at the annual Career and Practicum Fairs. Here’s a list of attendees confirmed for the upcoming Irvine fair on March 26.
  • Practicum Mentor Program
    Connect with “seasoned” practicum students to answer your questions and increase your confidence concerning the practicum experience. Our mentors are students who have a semester or two of practicum already under their belt and who would be happy to offer some friendly advice as you get started at your site!
  • Clinical Training Meetings
    For more information on the MACLP New Student Meeting, Preparing for Practicum Meeting and Intern Registration Meeting, visit Pepperdine’s Practicum website.

As always, on behalf of Rebecca Reed, Alice Richardson and Sheila Sayani, and our wonderful graduate assistants, we thank you for your support of everything we do for our students in the M.A. Psychology Department of Professional Development and Clinical Training!

Welcome from Kathleen Wenger, LMFT — Manager, M.A. Psychology Professional Development and Clinical Training

Posted on Updated on

Kays Professional Photo

Greetings MAP and MACLP Students!

I hope that you are enjoying your graduate education at Pepperdine University GSEP.  As a ‘92’ alumna of our program I often think that next to meeting my husband Rob, attending Pepperdine and becoming a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist was one of the best decisions in my life.  The psychology field is truly one of the most rewarding professions you can choose.

I’d like to welcome you to our new blog. For those of you who have been coming to our department’s events for a while, this is basically a combination of two prior publications: the biweekly e-newsletter and the once a semester Focus on Clinical Training hard copy newsletter. Like the e-newsletter, we will keep you updated on psychology events at the Pepperdine graduate campuses and elsewhere in southern California. Additionally, the features you used to love in Focus on Clinical Training — Faculty Spotlight, Trainee Talk, and all the rest — are making their return on this blog.

We work very hard in the MA Clinical Training and Professional Development Department to help you have a positive practicum experience, and provide workshops that will help inspire you to learn more about the opportunities in the profession. Be sure to also check out our websites   http://gsep.pepperdine.edu/psychology/professional-development-workshops/ and MFT Clinical Training: http://community.pepperdine.edu/gsep/student-services/mft-practicum/ .  We have a wonderful staff in the MA Clinical Training and Professional Development department, consisting of alumnae Rebecca Reed “92” and Alice Richardson, LMFT ‘2005’ who assist students at our West LA and Encino campuses.

To be updated weekly on new posts, please email psyprofdev@pepperdine.edu. We hope you enjoy this new site, and look forward to hearing your comments, suggestions, and letting us know if you come across an important event that our students might like to attend!

Warm regards,

Kathleen Wenger, MA, LMFT
Manager, M.A. Psychology Professional Development and Clinical Training
Pepperdine University
Graduate School of Education and Psychology