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Formerly the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology (MSPP)

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Exploring Ways to Integrate Culture in the Psychological Treatment of Latinos

Mar 28, 2014 9:00 am -
Mar 28, 2014 4:30 pm

Event Description

Conference Coordinator: Mari Carmen Bennasar, PsyD

Keynote Speakers: Margarita Alegria, PhD, Director, Center for Multicultural Mental Health Research, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School; Martin La Roche, PhD, Director, Mental Health Training, Martha Eliot Health Center, Harvard Medical School

Workshop Presenters: Carlos F. Cappas, PsyD, Esteban Cardemil, PhD & Nilda Clark, PsyD

In the spirit of addressing and actively reducing health/mental health disparities, this conference will describe some ways in which providers can work with Latinos/Hispanics in the community who are often underserved and marginalized. The keynote presentations in the morning will address mental health strategies and cultural psychotherapy using case illustrations, proposed models and existing evidence. In the afternoon, participants will have the opportunity to attend two of three workshops focused on considerations in forensic settings; culture and context in clinical work with Latinos; and/or integration of primary care and behavioral health.

Program Code: LMH14
6 CE Credits
Location: at MSPP, Newton

Margarita Alegría, Ph.D., is the Director, Center for Multicultural Mental Health Research (CMMHR), Cambridge Health Alliance and Harvard Medical School, and a professor of psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Alegría is currently the Principal (PI) or co-Principal Investigator of two National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded research studies: International Latino Research Partnership; and Effects of Social Context, Culture and Minority Status on Depression and Anxiety. She is a PI of a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) project, Effectiveness of DECIDE in Patient-Provider Communication, Therapeutic Alliance & Care Continuation. Dr. Alegría has published extensively in the behavioral science field with over 200 papers, editorials, intervention training manuals, and several book chapters, on topics such as improvement of health care services delivery for diverse racial and ethnic populations, conceptual and methodological issues with multicultural populations, and ways to bring the community’s perspective into the design and implementation of health services. As an acknowledgement of her contributions and dedication to her field, Dr. Alegría has been widely recognized and cited. In 2003, she was awarded the Mental Health Section Award of American Public Health Association; the Health Disparities Innovation Award from the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities, 2008; the Carl Taube Award from APHA, 2008; the Simon Bolivar Award from the American Psychiatric Association, 2009; Harold Amos Award from the Harvard Medical School, 2011, and the Award of Excellence from the National Hispanic Science Network on Drug Abuse, 2011. In October 2011, she was elected as a member of the Institute of Medicine, and in 2013, she was selected as El Planeta’s (Massachusetts’s largest circulating Spanish-language newspaper) Powemeter 100 most influential people for the Hispanic community in Massachusetts. 

Mari Carmen Bennasar, Psy.D., is a clinical psychologist with psychodynamic background and specialty training and experience in Behavioral Medicine. Born and raised in the Dominican Republic to Spaniard immigrants, she moved to the United States in 1986. Dr. Bennasar has an equivalent to a MA degree (Licenciatura) from D.R. and was granted a PsyD degree by Nova Southeastern University in 1993. Dr. Bennasar completed her pre-doctoral internship at Boston University Medical School with a focus on multicultural issues and her post-doctoral training at Harvard University Medical School with a focus on Behavioral Medicine. Dr. Bennasar interests include a variety of populations and settings such as working with children and adults with issues of complex trauma, anxiety disorders, and substance abuse; psychological testing; disaster mental health; and student training, supervision and mentoring. Dr. Bennasar is actively involved with the American Psychological Association (member of Division 45/ diversity issues and Division 35/ women's issues), the National Latino Psychological Association and is a working member of CRSPPP (Committee for the Review of Specialties and Proficiencies in Professional psychology). Dr. Bennasar was the Associate Director of the Center for Multicultural Training in Psychology at Boston University Medical School for 14 years, and has been in private practice in Southborough, MA for 20 years. Dr. Bennasar is the MSPP Associate Director of Field of Education for the Psy.D. program and is the Director of the Lucero Latino Mental Health Program.

Carlos F. Cappas, Psy.D., has worked in Lawrence with a desire to foster change, primarily in the attitude of Latinos regarding mental healthcare, as well as initiating the integration of behavioral health and primary care. Both his clinical and scholarly work have been centered in the care of underserved communities through helping primary care providers identify and address the psychosocial factors impacting health. As core faculty for the Lawrence Family Medicine residency program, Carlos has been able to implement curricular activities that promote knowledge about culture, race and ethnicity in medical education; as well as to provide physicians in training the skills required to assess for the behavioral health needs of their patients. As a clinician, he has developed the first integrated behavioral health service at the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center. Alongside community partners, Carlos continues efforts to increase awareness and improve access to behavioral health services through community-based participatory research and active participation in a locally supported behavioral health working group. A native of Puerto Rico, Dr. Cappas earned his Clinical Psychology degree with honors at Ponce School of Medicine and Health Sciences.  In 2010, he completed a two-year Fellowship in Clinical Health Psychology in Primary Care with the department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. There, he trained under the Primary Care Behavioral Health model, while serving an immigrant and underserved population. 

Esteban Cardemil, Ph.D., is associate professor of psychology and Director of Clinical Training at Clark University. He received his B.A. from Swarthmore College in 1993 and his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 2000. He was subsequently at Brown University, where he completed his pre-doctoral internship in 2000, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship. He has been at Clark since 2002. Dr. Cardemil's research, which has been funded by a variety of federal and non-federal organizations, focuses on understanding and ameliorating the mental healthcare disparities that continue to disproportionately affect individuals from low-income and racial/ethnic minority backgrounds. Using a cultural and contextual lens, his research investigates relevant socio-cultural issues in three interrelated areas: (a) psychopathology and experiences of distress, (b) subsequent help-seeking processes, and (c) intervention development and evaluation. This work explores these three interrelated foci with different populations (i.e., children, adults, and families), across different settings (e.g., schools, primary care, psychiatric), and with different methodologies (i.e., qualitative and quantitative).

Nilda M. Clark, Psy.D., is the Head of the Counseling Psychology Department at MSPP. Dr. Clark earned her M.S. and Psy.D. in clinical psychology at the Carlos Albizu University (San Juan, PR). She completed advanced training in forensic psychology at the University of Virginia Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy. She is licensed as a psychologist in MA, and as a clinical psychologist in Virginia; certified as a health services provider in MA and in the National Register, and certified as a sex offender treatment provider in Virginia. In addition, she is a trained mediator. Her professional experiences include service as a clinical and forensic psychologist in Puerto Rico, Virginia, the District of Columbia and Massachusetts. In addition, she has consulted on the development of counseling and forensic psychology courses and taught courses in clinical, counseling, and forensic psychology for Argosy University from 1998 to 2009. During the period of 1998-2001, Dr. Clark served as an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University’s Center for Advanced Legal Studies. Dr. Clark has maintained a private practice since 1997 (full time between 1998 and 2006), and has consulted with local, state and federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She has been admitted as an expert witness in clinical and forensic psychology in courts in Virginia and Massachusetts and in Federal Court and the Immigration and Naturalization Court in Arlington, Virginia. Dr. Clark's volunteer work has included being an evaluator for Physicians for Human Rights. She has been actively involved with the Massachusetts Psychological Association, currently serving as Secretary of the Board of Directors, and with previous service in the Steering Committee of the Disaster Response Network; member and chair of the Education Committee; chair of the LGBT Interest Group; Member-at-Large, Board of Directors from 2002-2005. Dr. Clark is also an intermittent federal employee with the National Disaster Medical Services, Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT) MA-1 from Boston, where she is one of a handful of mental health professionals on the team.

Martin J. La Roche, Ph.D., is the author of a new book entitled Cultural Psychotherapy: Theory, Methods and Practice and has been Director of Training at the Martha Eliot Health Center (which is one of the oldest community health centers in the country) for the last seventeen years. He is an Assistant Professor in Psychology at the Harvard Medical School/Boston Children’s Hospital and specializes in the development of culturally competent psychotherapeutic services. Dr. La Roche has over 50 peer reviewed publications/presentations on the area and has been Principal or Co-Principal Investigator on several research projects in which he is refining these intervention strategies. In addition, he has received several research/academic awards such as the Harvard Bridge Award, The Milton Award and was Selected Outstanding Committee Chairperson of the Year by the Massachusetts Psychological Association for co-chairing the Committee of Ethnic Minority Affairs. Dr. La Roche also has a private practice in Cambridge, MA.

Event Type:Continuing Education Program
Category:Special Events
Early registration ends on Dec 31, 2013.
Regular registration starts on Jan 01, 2014 and ends on Mar 17, 2014.
Late registration starts on Mar 18, 2014.


Registration Fees
Fee TypeEarlyRegularLate
 Ways to Integrate Culture in the Psychological Treatment of Latinos
Member Fee: $135.00$135.00$135.00
Non-Member Fee: $135.00$135.00$135.00

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