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Program News & Highlights

Student News

  • In May of 2012, MaryAnne Belton, a student in the Clinical Psychology PsyD program, facilitated a didactic training entitled Strategies for Increasing Retention Rates in Problem Solving Court Programs at the Arizona Problem Solving Courts Conference: Collaborating for Positive Change. Attendees had the opportunity to learn various strategies to engage, motivate, and retain problem solving court participants. Her presentation grew out of her clinical research project, A Motivational Enhancement Orientation Curriculum for a Family Drug Court, which involved a qualitative study of an evidence-based orientation curriculum.
  • Megan E Olson, a student in the Clinical Psychology PsyD program, presented at the American Psychological Association Convention in Orlando, Florida this August. Her submission: An interdisciplinary alternative for veterans with PTSD or TBI: Soldier’s Best Friend, was accepted for the Presidential Track Poster Session on Interprofessional Practice. Her poster included information on an innovative program developed by veterinarian, John Burnham, DVM to treat veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury. Soldier’s Best Friend addresses the psychological needs of veterans as well as the overpopulation of dogs abandoned in the Phoenix area animal shelters. Veterans are matched with a dog and the pair complete individual and group training sessions one to two times each week. During the training process the veterans work closely with animal trainers, learn how to care for their dog, and interact with other veterans in the program. The training is tailored to the veterans’ needs and at the end of the program the dog is certified as a service dog or classified as a therapeutic companion dog. Megan’s poster presented an overview of the Soldier’s Best Friend program, the benefits associated with therapeutic companion dogs and psychiatric service dogs, and the suitability and appeal of animal-assisted treatments with veterans.

Faculty News

  • Dr. Rene McGovern developed a symposium proposal which was accepted for the annual meeting of the Gerontological Society of America (GSA) titled: Interventions for older adults across settings: Translation of evidence-based practices for fall 2012 in San Diego. The panel will include two faculty, one clinical supervisor and one student participant.
  • Dr. Cabay was recognized as Faculty of the Quarter based on her collaboration with a research team at a state university, and her presentation and the presentations of her students at the 2011 American Psychological Association Convention.
  • Dr. Shrader was asked to join the American Psychological Association’s HIV Office for Psychology Education’s new ad-hoc Advisory Committee to assist the HOPE Office in creating national trainings on HIV intervention and prevention.
  • Dr. Larry Sideman was awarded Board certification in clinical psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) this past June (2012).

American Psychological Association (APA) Summer 2012 Conference

Dr. Benson- Flórez, presented at the August 2012 American Psychological Conference in Orlando, Florida. His presentation is entitled, “The Influence of Ethnic Identity and Acculturation with Latino College Students” and is part of Division 45 presentations.

News from NCSPP

Dr. Baca will be the Liaison to Student Delegates for the National Council of Schools and Programs in Professional Psychology in the coming year. She will also serve on the conference planning committee this coming year.

Workshop and Training

There was strong turnout by students and faculty this Spring (2012) for a workshop entitled, Core Competencies in Suicide Risk Assessment: A Workshop for Clinical Professionals, by Dr. Robert Cramer, an invited presenter. Drawing on current theory and research, the workshop addressed core competencies necessary for effective assessment and management of suicide risk. The workshop featured skill building in areas including, but not limited to, understanding contemporary research-supported theories of suicide, translating theory into a framework for suicide risk assessment, guiding clinical decision-making in accordance with suicide research, and learning documentation formats consistent with standards of clinical practice. Participants had the opportunity to review core competencies, apply them to a case example, and discuss suicide risk assessment and management with colleagues.