Michigan Psychological Association
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MPA Spring Annual Conference
Friday, April 16, 2021, 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM EST
Category: Events

MPA Spring Annual Conference April 16th - REGISTER TODAY!

Morning Keynote: Foundations of Cultural Competence, Cultural Humility, and Culturally-Informed Practice: An Introduction by Ben C. H. Kuo, PhD
Description of the Workshop:
This mini-workshop will introduce participants to the foundational knowledge and concepts related to culture, diversity, and clinical practice. This workshop approaches cultural training from a personal growth and professional growth perspective and a social justice framework. Using mental health counselling and therapy intervention as an example, this workshop will guide participants to reflect and think through critical cultural diversity issues of themselves as well as others. Practical examples will be used to illustrate the content and to help link participants’ learning to their experiences.
Learning Objectives:

  • Intersection of culture and diversity issues and health care
  • Definition and delineation of multicultural competence and cultural humility
  • Issues of clinicians’ implicit biases and intersectionality of identities
  • Strategies to enhance individual-level and institutional/organizational-level changes to promote racial equity
  • Paths forward for clinicians’ continuous cultural learning and development

Brief Biography of Dr./Prof. Ben C. H. Kuo:
Dr. Ben C. H. Kuo is a Full Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Windsor and a licensed, practicing psychologist in Ontario. He received his bachelor and masters degrees from the University of Toronto, and his PhD from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Dr. Kuo’s research focuses on the critical interface between culture and mental health, specifically on how culturally-diverse groups and individuals cope with stress, and respond to psychological and mental health concerns. As a clinician, Dr. Kuo has worked and treated international students, immigrants, refugees, racial/ethnic minorities and non-minority individuals in U.S., Canada, and Asia. Dr. Kuo is an experienced and active clinical supervisor who teaches and supervises clinical psychology Ph.D. students in providing mental health interventions to refugee and other culturally-diverse populations. Dr. Kuo also works very closely with various community and health agencies/networks and involves in policy initiatives, provincially and nationally in Canada. Dr. Kuo has lectured and taught internationally in Taiwan, China, Thailand, New Zealand, Russia, Brazil, Poland, U.K., and Canada, as a distinguished visiting professor and/or invited teaching faculty. Dr. Kuo has received multiple honours, including the University of Windsor Outstand Research Award: Established Researcher/Scholar Category in 2017, the Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences’ Dr. Kathleen E. McCrone Teaching Award in 2017, and most recently the Mary Lou Dietz Equity Leadership Award in 2019. Dr. Kuo is also currently serving as an executive member of the Education and Training Committee of the Canadian Psychological Association.

Afternoon COVID-19 Panel: Effects of COVID-19 Across Different Groups

Older Adults' Experience of COVID-19: Stress, Coping, and Resilience
Description of the Workshop:
In this talk, Dr. Whitehead will discuss older adults' experience with the COVID-19 pandemic through the lens of stress and coping. She will present findings from her own mixed-methods study, conducted during the first months of the pandemic, regarding factors contributing to older adults' stress experience as well as effective approaches to coping. The talk will conclude with present considerations and future implications, given the evolving nature of the pandemic.
Learning Objectives:

  • After viewing this talk, participants will be able to discuss factors contributing to older adults' stress experience during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • After viewing this talk, participants will be able to discuss effective coping approaches older adults have engaged during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brief Biography of Dr. Brenda Whitehead:
Dr. Brenda Whitehead is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, and earned her M.A. and PhD in Lifespan Developmental Psychology from the University of Notre Dame. Dr. Whitehead's research specialty is in gerontology, with investigations focusing on stress and coping, the intersection of mental and physical health, and--most recently--older adults' experiences with the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Whitehead's work has been published in top peer-reviewed journals of the field, including The Gerontologist, The Journals of Gerontology, Aging & Mental Health, Journal of Health Psychology, and Psychology & Aging. Dr. Whitehead's recent nationwide study exploring older adults' experiences with the pandemic has received substantial media attention both locally and on the national level, as it highlights both the diversity in the stress experience as well as the resourceful resilience demonstrated by many older adults during this time.




Cognition and COVID-19: Lessons Learned from Cases
Description of the Workshop:
During this seminar participants will learn about the current trends in COVID-19 cognitive impairment through the literature and actual cases. Also examined are the current cognitive batteries utilized for assessment, current models for neuro-Covid assessments and issues on health equity. Participants will also receive information on current research and future research recommendations will be shared. 
Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will learn to identify, analyze and evaluate cognitive function in patients with COVID-19
  • Participants will be able to integrate current COVID-19 research into a clinical setting
  • Participants will be able to identify environmental and institution structural challenges and use problem-solving strategies to develop science-based recommendations with consideration for the patient's context

Brief Biography of Dr. Valencia Montgomery:
A Chicago native, Valencia earned her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, with an emphasis in Neuropsychology, from Roosevelt University and completed a competitive internship at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System. She completed her 2-year postdoctoral fellowship in neuropsychology at UCLA Geffen School of Medicine in Los Angeles and the Easton Center for Alzheimer's Disease Research in July 2019.  Currently, Valencia provides neuropsychological services on the inpatient rehabilitation unit at St. Joseph Mercy Health System Ann Arbor and has treated several patients hospitalized with COVID-19. She is also Treasurer of the Michigan Psychological Association. Valencia is passionate about helping others understand the course, diagnosis, and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. She believes that community engagement is a critical component of wellness and was a sought after speaker in the Los Angeles area on the subject of dementia. Additionally, she has excellent clinical and research training, having first-authored peer-reviewed articles, served as PI on several projects, and presented at numerous conferences domestically and abroad. She strives to provide culturally sensitive treatment to individuals impacted by poor access to services. 


The Path Forward: Understanding & Addressing the Mental Health Impacts of COVID-19 on Kids and Adolescents
Description of the Workshop:
The COVID-19 pandemic has made an indelible impact on children’s and adolescents’ lives. In early March 2020, as the pandemic surged and children across the nation discovered they would no longer attend school, we began to understand that our lives would be altered. Now, roughly a year later, we have come to understand that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected all domains of mental health functioning and will have far reaching effects into the future. By utilizing current snap shots of data from around the world, combined with historical context, we will bring into focus a picture of these effects and what is to come. By discussing psychological assessment and treatment within a developmentally-informed, trauma-focused lens we will carve a path forward in addressing the psychological impact of these events. By discussing those at most risk for adverse outcomes, we will strive for equity in service provision and recovery. We will work to equip ourselves with the necessary clinical tools and insights to support youth and families as we move forward out of this pandemic and into the recovery phase.
Learning Objectives:

  • Draw from current data as well as historical context to understand the impact of COVID-19 on children’s and adolescents’ development and well-being.
  • Increase awareness of populations most at risk for negative psychological impact of COVID-19 so that we may strive for equity in recovery and service provision.
  • Consider how to assess domains of functioning which may be impacted by COVID-19.
  • Learn implications for assessment and clinical intervention as a function of COVID-19 impact.

Brief Biography of Dr. Julie Braciszewski, PhD:
Julie Braciszewski, PhD, is a practicing clinical psychologist as well as owner and Clinical Director of Monarch Behavioral Health in Bloomfield Hills, MI.  In addition to providing direct care to children, adolescents, and families, Dr. Braciszewski provides professional development for community agencies, schools, and businesses. She is often a contributing guest on media outlets such as National Public Radio and Metro Detroit news programs. Dr. Braciszewski is passionate about translating psychological and neuropsychological research into direct care, providing research-based assessment and therapy, while addressing important cultural and contextual factors.  After earning her bachelor’s degree at the University of Michigan, Dr. Braciszewski completed her Master’s and Doctoral education at Wayne State University. She went on to complete a pre-doctoral internship at Hawthorn Center in Northville, MI and post-doctoral studies at Brown University, Warren Alpert School of Medicine. After completing post-doc, Dr. Braciszewski was the Director of Pediatric Clinical Care for a large mental health provider on the East Coast and subsequently went on to open her own private practice.  The desire to be close to family as well as contribute and serve in Metro Detroit brought Dr. Braciszewski back to Michigan, where she founded Monarch Behavioral Health. When not providing clinical care or consultation, Dr. Julie is enjoying time with her partner, two daughters, and two feisty cats.



Zoom Open

8:30 (slide deck with ads, MPA related information, etc.)

Greetings/Welcome/Introduce morning speaker

8:50 - Dr. Antu Segal

Morning Presentation - Dr. Ben Kuo presenter; Dr. Antu Segal moderator


Segment #1

9:00-10:30 (90 minutes)


10:30-10:40 (10 minutes)

Segment #2

10:40-11:50 (70 minutes)


11:50-12:30 (40 minutes; 10 mins break, 30 minutes for MPA Annual Meeting; MPAF Awards)

Segment #3 plus Q&A

12:30-1:50 (80 minutes)


1:50-2:00 (10 minutes)

Afternoon Panel Introduction

2:00 - Dr. Michelle Leonard (5 minutes)

Older Adults - Dr. Brenda Whitehead presenter; Dr. Jo Johnson moderator

2:05-2:40 (35 minutes; 30 mins presentation, five minutes questions)

Child/Adolescents - Dr. Julie Braciszewski presenter; Dr. Jo Johnson moderator

2:40-3:15 (35 minutes; 30 mins presentation, 5 minutes questions)

Neuropsych - Dr. Valencia Montgomery presenter; Dr. Jo Johnson moderator

3:15-3:50 (35 minutes; 30 mins presentation, 5 minutes questions)

Closing Remarks

3:50-3:55 (5 minutes) Dr. Antu Segal 


3:55-4:00 (5 minutes)

MPA Happy Hour (Break out rooms for attendees to mingle [geographical area, patient population, etc.])

4:00-5:00 (60 minutes)