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MPA's 2017 Annual Conference (7CE)
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ON EDGE: Managing Stress in our Clients, Communities, and Ourselves (7CE) will be held on Saturday, November 4th at the Sheraton Four Points in Norwood, MA. Featuring a keynote address from Sonia Lupien, Ph.D. and a plenary session with C. Vaile Wright, Ph.D. $179 for Members, $120 for Life Members, $60 for Student Members, $239 for Non-Members and $75 for Non-Member Students. EARLY BIRD SPECIAL! Register by October 20th and receive $20 off your fee. Sustaining Members always receive 50% off!

When: Saturday, 11/4/17
8:00 AM
Where: Four Points Sheraton
1125 Boston-Providence Turnpike
Norwood, MA  02062
United States
Contact: Lynne Casey
781-263-0080 ext 13

Online registration is closed.
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Stress is everywhere. From the classroom to the conference room, in our neighborhoods, homes, and even on our televisions - we are constantly bombarded with sources of stress in our lives. As stress affects people from diverse backgrounds and throughout the lifespan, efforts to buffer against its adverse effects are critical to the promotion of well-being in our clients, our communities, and ourselves.


Please join your colleagues at the 2017 MPA Conference to explore:

How to define, identify, and conceptualize different types of stress

Interventions designed to alleviate stress in our clients and communities

Ways to support ourselves and our colleagues with managing stress




A Keynote Address with Sonia Lupien, Ph.D.

From Neurotoxicity to Vulnerability: A Developmental Perspective of the Effects of Stress on the Brain (1.5CE)

In this conference, Dr. Lupien will summarize the acute and chronic effects of stress hormones on the brain throughout the lifespan and will present new data from the laboratory measuring stress hormones in all members of a family in order to assess potential spillover effects of parental stress on children.  Her laboratory is now developing and/or studying the effects of various interventions aiming at decreasing stress hormones levels in children and teenagers in order to prevent the deleterious effects of chronic stress on brain development.  She will summarize these studies and programs in conclusion.

Sonia Lupien holds a doctorate in Neuroscience from University of Montreal and has a postdoctoral degree at the University of California at San Diego and Rockefeller University in New York. She is currently a full professor in the Department of Psychiatry in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Montreal. Dr. Lupien studies the effects of stress across the lifespan and has studied children, young adults and the elderly. She is also very involved in the transfer of scientific knowledge to the Québec public. Dr. Lupien has published a book entitled “For the Love of Stress,” which aims to help the public better understand stress as it has been studied for more than 50 years by researchers from around the world.


A Plenary Session presented by C. Vaile Wright, Ph.D.

APA Stress in America Survey - Coping with Change Before and After the 2016 Presidential Election (1.5CE)

This workshop will discuss the results from the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Stress in America™ surveys conducted both before and after the presidential election, including that more than half of Americans reported the 2016 U.S. presidential election was a very or somewhat significant source of stress and how social media conversations about politics and culture have had an impact on Americans’ stress.

Dr. Vaile Wright is Director of Research and Special Projects in the Practice Directorate at the American Psychological Association. As part of the Practice Research and Policy department, she focuses on the development and implementation of programs and policies related to expanding opportunities for professional psychology. This includes projects aimed at increasing access to psychological services for the public through the integration of psychology in the health care delivery system, helping psychologists respond to legislative changes related to health care, developing professional and clinical practice guidelines, and increasing outcomes measurement and quality improvement efforts, including the development of an Outcomes Data Registry. She has maintained an active line of research with peer-reviewed articles in multiple journals including Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, Law and Human Behavior and the Journal of Traumatic Stress. In addition, as a member of APA’s Stress in America team, Dr. Wright has been interviewed by television, radio, print and online media including NBC News, the Today Show, CSPAN, The Washington Post, Reuters, and NPR on a range of topics including stress, politics, discrimination, serious mental illness, telehealth, and access to mental health care. Prior to working at APA, Dr. Wright was the Director of Psychology Training at Saint Elizabeths Hospital, in Washington DC, a publicly funded inpatient psychiatric hospital serving individuals with serious mental illness. She received her PhD in counseling psychology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 2007, and is licensed in the District of Columbia.


A Group Mindfulness Exercise with Christopher Willard, Psy.D.

Making Mindfulness Stick: For Yourself, Your Workplace and Your Clients (1CE)

We have all heard the value of mindfulness for ourselves and our clients, but how can we really make it stick? In this engaging experiential presentation, we will explore the physiology of stress and burnout, offering a path out by examining the neuroscience of mindfulness, alongside a practical and pragmatic model for engaging clients and systems in practice.

Dr. Christopher Willard (PsyD) is a psychologist based in Cambridge.  He has been practicing meditation for 20 years, and leads workshops worldwide on mindfulness based interventions. He currently serves on the board of directors at the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy, and is the president of the Mindfulness in Education Network. He has presented at TEDx conferences and his thoughts have appeared in the New York Times, The Washington Post,, and elsewhere. He is the author of Child’s Mind (2010) Growing Up Mindful (2016) Raising Resilience (2017) and three other books. He teaches at Harvard Medical School.

 and an Awards Luncheon honoring:

Jessica Henderson Daniel, Ph.D., ABPP with a Presidential Citation

Robin Deutsch, Ph.D., ABPP with the Kenneth D. Herman, Ph.D., J.D. Career Contribution Award

Representative Ruth Balser, Ph.D. with the Legislator of the Year Award

Michael Goldberg, Ph.D. with the Ezra Saul Psychological Service Award



8:00AM                              Registration and Breakfast

8:30AM - 9:00AM             Annual Business Meeting

9:00AM - 10:15AM           Keynote Address (1.5CE)

10:15AM - 10:30AM         Morning Break - Networking, Exhibitors and Refreshments

10:30AM - 11:45AM         Morning Breakout Sessions (1.5CE) 

11:45AM - 12:15PM         Student Poster Session

12:15PM - 1:00PM           Lunch & Awards

1:00PM - 2:00PM             Mindfulness Training (1CE)

2:00PM - 3:15PM             Afternoon Breakout Sessions (1.5CE) 

3:15PM - 3:30PM             Afternoon Break - Networking, Exhibitors and Refreshments

3:30PM - 4:45PM             Plenary Session (1.5CE)

4:45PM                             Closing Remarks

Breakout Sessions
(Choose one morning and one afternoon session upon registration)


Morning Sessions
(all 1.5CE)

Treatment and Prevention of Work Related Stress
Presented by Brian Stevenson, Ph.D.

This workshop will examine how privileged messages about work and career contribute to symptoms of stress and other mental health concerns among vast majorities of people. Workshop participants will learn assessment and interventions strategies for (a) identifying and challenging oppressive beliefs our clients have internalized about the world of work and their place within it and (b) promoting positive career development.

Brian Stevenson, Ph.D. is a psychologist for the Domiciliary (a Mental Health Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Program serving veterans who are homeless) and the Vocational Evaluation Center at the Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital. He also serves as an adjunct faculty member for the Regis College Counseling Psychology graduate program. His research focuses on the psychosocial factors that impact one’s vocational development as well as the development of career-related interventions. He has published in Journal of Social Action in Counseling and Psychology, Journal of Employment Counseling, and Career Convergence and has presented at the American Psychological Association Convention, the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association Recovery Workforce Summit, and the Mountain Pacific Association of Colleges and Employers Conference.


Red Monster: The Impact Sexual Abuse on the Lives of African American Males
Presented by Martin Pierre, Ph.D.; Ulric Johnson, Ph.D.; Roxanne Mascoll, M.S., MSW, LCSW; Walter R Higgs III, MSW;
Andrew Craig, B.A. and Keith Mascoll, B.A.

One of the goals of this film “Red Monster” is to raise awareness of the impact of sexual abuse on African American males.  “Red Monster,” depicts the racial and psychological dimensions of sexual trauma and trauma related stress in the life of Malik, an African-American male.  Malik shares his story by wading through the emotional currents of his personal experience as a victim of chronic childhood sexual abuse.

Dr. Pierre is a staff psychologist at Brandeis University Counseling Center.  He served as the Co-Director of Behavioral Health at the Steward Carney Hospital Family Medicine Residency Program.  He is the co-founder of Ashmont Counseling Associates, a group practice that provides psychological services to children, families and adult populations. Dr. Pierre provided mental services to “at risk” and “high risk” children and adolescents.  He has provided mental health services to the Boston Public Schools, the Roxbury District Court and the Community Re-Entry Centers. He has also served as a clinician on the Metro Assessment Unit for the Department of Youth Services. He serves as a Board Member for both the Massachusetts Psychological Association (MPA) and the Boston Ten Point Coalition. In addition, he is the former co-chair of the MPA’s Committee on Ethnic Minorities Affairs. Dr. Pierre co-authored the script for the film “Red Monster” that focuses on the traumatic experiences of African American men.

Dr. Ulric Johnson is a community organizer focusing on the impact of “isms” and violence on youth, families, and communities. He specializes in the impact of color, culture, class, character and context on individual and group behaviors, especially as it relates to the prevention, progression and treatment of addictive behaviors.

Roxann Mascoll is a Black Nuyrorican mujerista.  She is a licensed clinical social worker with a MSW from Simmons College and Masters’ degree from the University of Massachusetts in Non-profit management. 

Andrew Craig is a multidisciplinary artist from Denver, Colorado. His work aims to illuminate tensions between cultural politics and individual identity. In 2011 he collaborated with Dr. Martin Pierre to write Red Monster. The piece served as source material for beyond MEASURE productions’ short film Red Monster, which screened at the 2017 Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival. Some of Andrew’s media productions include Reel Lessons, an educational podcast developed through KUVO 89.3 FM in Denver, and The Student, a promotional short film for Yale University Office of Public Affairs. In 2015 he partnered with independent Norwegian record label Audio Records to release and promote his EP Rubble, culminating in his Mission to Pluto performance at the Norwegian Centre for Design and Architecture. Andrew has a background in oratory, and performed in the Young People’s Address at the United Methodist Church’s 2008 General Conference. His current projects include his third EP release and a short film about suicide bombing. A 2014 college graduate of Yale University, he is presently pursuing a master’s degree in radio-television-film at The University of Texas at Austin. 

Keith Mascoll is a Founding Member and a part of the artistic team for The Front Porch Arts Collective. Keith has a New York Critics Choice Award for his performance as Bradley in Paula Caplin's play, The Test. Keith received the Best Actor Award in John Adekoje's one man play Love Jones. Keith's favorite credits include The Whipping Man, Intimate Apparel, The Colored Museum, Six Rounds Six Lessons, The Dutchman, and Hamlet.  Keith has been seen in numerous commercial and film projects. Look for Keith in the lead role in 2017  in the movie Confused by Love, and in the Polka King directed by Maya Forbes.  Keith is producing and staring in a one-man show in 2017, and a short film called Argyles.  Keith earned his B.A. in Theatre at The University of Massachusetts.  Keith's love of his craft, and  experience as a Founding Staff Member of the Citizen Schools Program has lead him to be a Teaching Artist with the Huntington Theatre Company.  Keith is also helping students develop historically focused theatrical scripts with the Moffitt-Ladd House and Garden in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.


Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for School and Academic Stress
Presented by Jesse M. Crosby, Ph.D.

This workshop will present an intervention for school and academic stress using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy adapted for older adolescents and young adults.  Several factors contribute to school and academic stress including intense academic demands, the pressure to achieve, a competitive environment, high or unrealistic expectations, fear of failure, medical or mental health challenges, and other life stressors having a negative impact on the school experience.  Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) can provide a clinician with a flexible repertoire of insights, exercises, metaphors, and skills to help clients or patients 1) better manage the academic stress, and 2) build increased resiliency to stress.  This workshop will provide an overview of ACT and the discuss possible conceptualizations of school or academic stress using and ACT framework.  The workshop will be presented in didactic and experiential format with demonstration and opportunities for participants to experience the intervention related to their personal experience with stress.

Jesse M. Crosby, Ph.D., is a Senior Research Consultant in the Office of Clinical Assessment and Research at the OCD Institute, an Assistant Psychologist at McLean Hospital, and an Instructor in Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.  He works in private practice in clinical and consulting psychology in Arlington, MA.  He has specialized clinical and research experience with perfectionism, OCD and related disorders, anxiety, and behavioral addictions.  His program of research is focused on identifying important processes and techniques for effective treatment with a focus on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Cognitive and Behavioral Therapy.

Afternoon Sessions
(all 1.5CE)


Stress Management in Medical Settings:
Effective Marketing and Provision of Preventative Behavioral Health Strategies

Presented by Tanya Vishnevsky, Ph.D. and Emily Mohr, Ph.D.

The object of this workshop is to give participants a toolkit comprised of knowledge, skills, and materials that will allow them to successfully approach, market, and provide stress management services within the context of a medical setting.

Tanya Vishnevsky, Ph.D., received her doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and then completed post-doctoral training in Boston at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School. She has worked in both hospital and primary care medical settings and has specialized in treating the psychological effects of medical conditions such as chronic pain, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and organ transplantation. Dr. Vishnevsky currently serves as the director of Kerzner Integrated Care, a program that provides on-site psychological services to multiple primary care clinics in the Metrowest area.

Emily Mohr, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist and health service provider.  She earned her doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Utah.  Dr. Mohr’s first postdoctoral fellowship was at the River Centre Clinic, an eating disorder treatment facility.  After 6 years of postgraduate independent practice, she elected to pursue a second postdoctoral fellowship at the Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital in order to re-specialize in Integrated Primary Care Health Psychology. Dr. Mohr has extensive experience providing psychotherapy to adolescents and adults.  Her primary specialty areas focus on optimizing wellness and functioning related to eating and weight, stress/anxiety management, and coping with chronic conditions such as diabetes and chronic pain.  Dr. Mohr utilizes cognitive behavioral and mindfulness-based therapies (CBT and ACT), as well as biofeedback techniques to improve clients’ ability to regulate their mood, behavior, and physiological reactions.  She is also interested in the connection between close relationships and neurological development and how these factors contribute to psychological well-being.


Channeling Anxiety into Action: Psychologist Engagement in Advocacy and Social Justice
Presented by Luana Bessa, Ph.D., Jennifer Warkentin, Ph.D., & Valene Whittaker, Ph.D.

Many psychologists have expressed anxiety and concern about some of the recent changes in policy, healthcare, and discourse, both for themselves and for their clients.  This presentation will address that anxiety and provide an introduction to engaging in advocacy and social justice work as a means of coping and increasing one’s internal locus of control.  Participants will first learn about the legislative process, both at the state and the federal level, with a focus on the various points at which psychologists can engage in the process and express their support and/or concerns about specific issues.  Tips and concrete suggestions on how psychologists can, as constituents, initiate a conversation with their legislator will also be included in this discussion.  Finally, there will be a brief review of the Massachusetts bills currently being supported by MPA and ways that participants can help to advance them in the legislative process.

Dr. Bessa provides psychotherapy services at Commonwealth Psychology Associates in the Financial District. She also serves as the organization’s Coordinator for Diversity and Inclusion; in this role she spearheads and coordinates initiatives that help promote a practice-wide culture of inclusivity among staff, culturally competent care with clients, and an ongoing discourse around issues related to social identity. Dr. Bessa is engaged in the Massachusetts Psychological Association in several roles and serves as the co-chair for the Early Career Psychologist Committee. In addition, she is a member of several other committees in the organization and has served as a Diversity Delegate from Massachusetts in the 2017 Practice Leadership Conference. She is passionate about issues related to social justice generally as well as issues related to culturally informed care in the field of psychology.

Dr. Warkentin serves as the Director of Professional Affairs for the Massachusetts Psychological Association and, as part of that work, she is very active in legislative advocacy.  She drafted a Legislative Advocacy Agenda for the current legislative session, has prepared written testimony for almost a dozen bills at the state level, and has provided oral testimony at a number of those hearings.  Other aspects of advocacy work that she is actively engaged include meetings with legislators and/or their staff to advocate for bills, strategizing with MPA Executive Director and our lobbyists on advocacy issues, and both training and experience in advocacy at the federal level through the annual APA Practice Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C.

Valene A. Whittaker, Ph.D. is a Licensed Psychologist and Health Service Provider in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and a Psychologist at the Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial (ENRM) VA Medical Center, in Bedford, MA. She earned her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and completed predoctoral internship and postdoctoral fellowships at the University of California, Berkeley and the ENRM VAMC, respectively. Dr. Whittaker is engaged in social-justice focused professional service at the local and national levels. Within the Massachusetts Psychological Association, she is the Boston Metro Regional Representative to the Board of Directors, Co-chair for the 2017 Conference Planning Committee, and Co-chair for the MPA Committee on Ethnic Minority Affairs. Dr. Whittaker  has also served as a Diversity Delegate from Massachusetts to the 2017 Practice Leadership Conference, and is Chair for the Society of Counseling Psychology Section for Professional Practice. She is passionate about social justice engagement, particularly within the contexts of direct service with diverse communities and psychology training and education.


Introducing Yoga-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (Y-CBT) for adults, teens and seniors: An Anxiety Management Program
Presented by Manjit Khalsa Ed.D., Jackie Vorpahl Ph.D.,  & Julie Greiner-Ferris LICSW

Yoga Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (Y-CBT) is a new research-based psychological paradigm that treats anxiety by integrating the scientifically documented effects of yoga and meditation, with traditional cognitive behavioral therapeutic techniques. The Y-CBT group treatment model teaches skills that help clients change the way they respond to stressful events, by targeting both the cognitive and physical symptoms of anxiety simultaneously. Y-CBT helps clients to develop a greater sense of well-being and boosts their ability to handle stress with more resilience. As a result, when using this methodology, clients feel more able to face life’s challenges with a new attitude—one marked by hope and an expectation of victory. In this workshop therapists will hear a brief review of theory and research, understand the structure of this group treatment model, and learn Y-CBT techniques to reduce stress and anxiety for use in their clinical practice with clients across the age spectrum: teens, adults and seniors.

Dr. Manjit Kaur Khalsa Ed.D. is a co-creator of Yoga- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (Y-CBT) and co-author of the book The Yoga-CBT Workbook for Anxiety published with New Harbinger Publications. An experienced Psychologist, and long time yoga teacher, she also serves as the President of Sikh Dharma, the corporation that oversees Guru Ram Das Ashram and Yoga at the Ashram in Millis, MA. She practices at Riverside Community Care in Upton, MA, and in private practice in Millis, MA. Khalsa resides in Millis, MA

Has over 20 years experience as a licensed clinical psychologist with a specialization in Child, Adolescent & Family work.  She is the founder, owner and lead psychologist of Vorpahl Psychology Associates, LLC., established in Medfield, MA in 2004. She is co-founder of Mind-Out, LLC where she has developed an app, ChillOutz, to help young children learn to self-regulate. She is also currently working on adapting a group treatment modality using Yoga-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (Y-CBT) for adolescents.

Julie Greiner-Ferris, LICSW is a co-creator of Yoga- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (Y-CBT) and co-author of the book The Yoga-CBT Workbook for Anxiety published with New Harbinger Publications. She has over twenty-five years of experience in the treatment of mental health issues and is currently program director of Outpatient Services at Riverside Community Care in Upton, MA.



This program is sponsored by the Massachusetts Psychological Association.  MPA is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists.  MPA maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Please note that you attend a session in its entirety in order to receive credit.  Partial credit will not be granted, no exceptions.

Cancellation and Refund Policy: Fee minus $30 administrative charge if cancelled 5 or more business days prior to event.  No refund if cancelled less than 5 business days before event. 

This continuing education event is appropriate for psychologists, psychiatrists, licensed social workers and other licensed mental health professionals, though credit is only available to psychologists.  Please contact MPA if you have any questions.


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