Chuck Stewart, Ph.D.
There is always so much going on with LAGPA. In the past few months we have had three wonderful educational forums. On May 12, Diana Mercer, Esq., gave a workshop on “LGBTIQ Mediation and Psychotherapy.” This 2-credit workshop explained mediation, specifically for the LGBT community, including a more in-depth how to for psychotherapists, psychologists, and other mental health clinicians on the advantages of utilizing mediators. It was held in the lovely setting of Liliane’s home in Beverly Hills. Thanks, Diana, for donating your time and thanks Liliane for the use of your home.
Later, on June 5, Meiram Bendat, JD, MFT, donated his time to conduct a workshop on the topic of “Therapist as Advocate in the Era of Mental Health Parity.” Bendat discussed how psychotherapists are vested with legal and ethical advocacy duties and could learn to promote patients’ treatment needs by turning to Wellstone and Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008. Three CE credits were earned, and the workshop was held at Twin Town Treatment Center in West Hollywood. Thanks, Meiram and Twin Town. Almost twenty people attended.
And just last week, on July 10, Mary Andres, Psy.D., gave a 2-credit workshop on “Contemporary Thoughts on Bisexuality.” This too was well attended at the home of Liliane. It was eye-opening to learn of research showing that bisexuality is much more than a stage in the coming-out process. Thanks, Mary. I heard so many good comments of your work.
Upcoming in August and October, Dr. Larry Hedges will be conducting two workshops for us. On August 28, Larry will be teaching the Ethics Workshop. This meets the mandated 6 hours of training on this topic. Larry has taught this for us before, and there has always been a big turn out of nearly 40 people. Later on October 2, Larry will conduct a 6-hour training on supervision. This workshop satisfies the BOP requirement in supervision for psychologists who supervise and train interns, students, or psychological assistants. Both workshops will be held at Antioch to better accommodate the larger crowd. Watch for announcements.
LAGPA strives to give our members thought-provoking professional workshops in a LGBT supportive environment. To that end we have obtained the right to host educational workshops and conferences and grant continuing education credits through APA. That is really a coup. The APA application process is over 800 pages long and costs LAGPA thousands of dollars to administer each year. But our members think this is important and one of the core functions of LAGPA. We dearly thank workshop presenters. They donate their time and skills so that we can keep our costs and your fee low.
Many of you have asked about the annual conference. Sorry to say, but there will not be one in 2011. We want to shift the conference back to its historic time slot of early spring or June. Also, we have hit a rough road in securing co-sponsorship. Five years ago, it was decided to no longer host the conference at hotels, but rather take it to the various schools of psychology in Southern California. As such, it has been hosted by PGI, Antioch Los Angeles, and USC. The idea was to give greater exposure of LAGPA’s existence to students and staffs at these schools. The hope was that this would lead to significant growth in membership and greater ties to the schools of psychology, a collaboration we hoped would see the expansion of LGBT psychology programs and the like. This year we approached PGI, UCLA, and CSU Northridge without success. We called the schools of psychology, schools of social work, schools of education, and any LGBT program they may have. None called us back. How frustrating. Which brings me to the point of this paragraph. Perhaps some LAGPA members come from these schools. Perhaps you still have strong ties with the departments and chairs. Would you be willing to act as a liaison to introduce us to the school? Perhaps strong personal ties are what are needed to make our conference happen at other schools.
We have always appreciated the overwhelming support Antioch LA and the LGBT Specialization in Clinical Psychology has provided LAGPA. Doug Sadownick has been a champion of LAGPA’s efforts, and their team of experts and volunteers has helped make the conference run smoothly. It has been suggested that LAGPA and Antioch work much closer on related projects. Some board members have thought that maybe we should always hold the conference at Antioch. Just like LACPA and other local organizations that put on educational events, they often return to the same venue year after year; this provides consistency for their members. Maybe we should do the same. Maybe we should be at Antioch two or three years in a row during which we are nurturing a relationship at another school of psychology, then hold at the other school of psychology, then return to Antioch for another two or three year run. As you can see, we are not certain how to proceed. What are your ideas? Please contact Chuck with your comments.
Finally, our board is stronger than ever. I am glad to say I see LAGPA stronger and financially robust than ever in the eleven years that I’ve worked for you. Thank you all.
Hope to see you all at the next two educational workshops and our Summer Social.
Chuck Stewart, Ph.D.
Executive Director •