Event Calendar
Prev MonthPrev Month Next MonthNext Month
2024 OCPA Convention
Chicago School of Professional Psychology
2400 East Katella Avenue, Suite #1200
Anaheim, California 92806
Sunday, April 28, 2024, 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM PDT
Category: Continuing Education

2024 OCPA Convention, Anaheim, California

Psychology, Technology, and Society

Sunday, April 28, 2024

Join psychologists who will gather together to learn the latest in research and practices, and explore the future of the profession in the beautiful and popular City of Anaheim.  The 2024 OCPA Convention is an ideal way to show your support of the profession and to share your projects and services with Orange County’s psychological community.

OCPA Convention Outline:

8:00 - 8:30 am - Registration and Breakfast

8:30 - 10:00 am - Ioana Pal, Psy.D.

Social Media Use in Youth and Mental Health

As social media continues to be a popular means of communication and fascination for all, clinicians must also become more savvy and more knowledgeable about the use of platforms, pitfalls and how the use of social media and other gaming platforms impact children, adolescents and families in general. With online learning and academic tasks being completed online or through the use of computers, it is harder to disconnect from the digital world. Psychologists must educate themselves, the parents they work with and the patient children/teens about the potential dangers of staying connected online for too long. Access to various accounts may be detrimental to overall healthy development and affects physical as well as mental health. No particular theory will be discussed, but the hope is that the workshop and ensuing conversation could assist psychologists in their practices to further understand and apply known therapeutic interventions to address the increasing numbers of children and teens who present with heightened stress and anxiety, depressive symptoms and behavioral difficulties as a result of over using social media and gaming platforms. 

Attendees will be able to:

  • Describe one example of the impact of social media overuse on academic and interpersonal functioning
  • Identify at least two academic and home strategies for increased parental awareness and supervision of children on line
  • Identify five ways social media affects teen mental health


8:30 – 8:45 am: Introduction

8:45 – 9:00 am: Social media and gaming platforms, ratings, examples

9:00 – 9:30 am: Development, executive function skills and impact of screen time on mental health (different age groups)

9:30 –10:00 am: Recommended strategies for improved overall function, at home and at school/Conclusion/Questions

Ioana Pal, Psy.D. is the clinical psychologist at Miller Children’s and Women’s Hospital Long Beach, working at Stramski Children’s Developmental Center and the Cherese Mari Laulhere Children’s Village where she conducts psychological assessments and consultations, provides appropriate referrals, treatment recommendations, school assistance and support for patients and their families. She is also a board member of the Fragile X Association of Southern California and Learning Disabilities of America, California Chapter. Dr. Pal works closely with parents, legal guardians and teachers for coordination of care that is in the best interest of the children and adolescents who are referred to the Stramski Center. Additionally, Dr. Pal provides support and education to MemorialCare employees and pediatric residents, and supervises doctoral level psychology interns. She received her bachelor in psychology with a minor in global peace and conflict studies from the University of California, Irvine. She received masters degrees in forensic sciences and mental health counseling. She completed her doctorate in clinical psychology at the American School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University in Orange, California with emphasis in forensic psychology. Her clinical experience includes working with children, adolescents and adults over the years. She has worked with children in foster care, youth on probation, children and teens with emotional, behavioral and developmental problems as well as medically fragile children. She has worked with individuals, couples and families dealing with substance abuse/dependence, marital conflict, adoption, physical and sexual abuse, and poverty. She has received training and certification in suicide prevention, trauma focused cognitive behavioral therapy, and mediation. She has conducted psychological assessments and provided individual, couples and group therapy to a diverse population of individuals in a variety of settings prior to joining MemorialCare.

10:00 - 10:30 am - Break - Networking + Exhibit Room

10:30 - 12:00 pm - Larry Hedges, Ph.D.

How Relational Sensibility Enhances Psychotherapeutic Experiencing

Technologically driven research during the last three decades in the fields of neuroscience, infant research, and relational psychotherapy has made clear the importance of the ongoing impact of experiencing and processing the relationship in psychotherapy. In this lecture Dr. Hedges will review the ways that psychotherapists of all persuasions are coming to recognize and work with relational variables in their practices. And how relational sensibility makes a significant difference to both clients and therapists not only in overall outcome but in the richness of everyday experience of both client and therapist.Topics to be covered: The history of relational approaches; how change occurs in the present relational moment; Freud’s essentially relational paradigm; infant researchers and the relational; contemporary neuroscience understandings of the importance of relationship in psychotherapy and everyday life; and how to identify four varieties of relational experience as they appear in transference and countertransference. This hour and a half course follows in the wake of the APA Division 29 (Psychotherapy) task force that located many variables related to therapy outcome but repeatedly cited the pivotal “relationship between therapist and client” as central to positive outcome. Thus, enhancing relational sensibility is crucial to the ongoing, post-doctoral development of psychotherapy skills. Successful therapy benefits not only individuals and families directly involved but spreads to the various communities they are involved in. A Clinical research project participated in by more than 400 licensed psychotherapists in the Southern California area over a 50 year period has yielded 21 peer reviewed books on many aspects of therapy that are dependent on relationship sensibility. The key features of this research to be presented are at an advanced level of post-doctoral training that will benefit therapists, clients, families and the communities they are involved in.

Attendees will be able to:  

  1. Describe one example of relational sensibility in psychotherapy
  2. Identify two relational listening perspectives
  3. Describe two reasons why dialogue contributes to relational sensitivity
  4. Identify one example of “the present moment”


10:30-10:45 am - Introduction: The Relational Human Mind

10:45-11:00 am - Historical Note: Sigmund Freud’s Stroke of Genius

11:00-11:15 am - Other Forerunners of the Relational Approach

11:15-11:30 am - Infant Research and the Process of Change

11:30-11:45  am - Relational Complexity Listening Perspectives

11:45-12:00 am - Transference Moments and Conclusions

Lawrence Hedges, Ph.D., Psy.D., ABPP, began seeing patients in 1966 and completed his training in child psychoanalysis in 1973. Since that time his primary occupation has been training and supervising psychotherapists, individually and in groups, on their most difficult cases at the Listening Perspectives Study Center in Orange, California. Dr. Hedges was the Founding Director of the Newport Psychoanalytic Institute in 1983 [Now a full member of the American Psychoanalytic Association], where he continues to serve as a supervising and training analyst. Throughout his career, Dr. Hedges has provided continuing education courses for psychotherapists throughout the United States and abroad. He has consulted or served as expert witness on more than 400 complaints against psychotherapists in 20 states and has published 23 books on various topics of interest to psychodynamic psychotherapists, three of which have received the Gradiva Award for the best psychoanalytic book of the year. During the 2009 centennial celebration of the International Psychoanalytic Association, his 1992 book, Interpreting the Countertransference, was named one of the key contributions in the relational track during the first century of psychoanalysis. In 2015 Dr. Hedges was distinguished by being awarded honorary membership in the American Psychoanalytic Association for his many contributions to psychoanalysis through the years.

12:00 - 12:30 pm - Lunch Break - Networking + Exhibit Room

12:30 - 2:00 pm - Stephen Schueller, Ph.D.

Understand Digital Mental Health Tools and Their Integration into Clinical Practice

 A multitude of digital mental health tools exist with various features and capabilities. However, despite their proliferation, few providers are using these digital mental health tools in their clinical practice. This presentation will provide an overview of digital mental health tools including identifying some common features and capabilities of such tools. We will also discuss various competencies related to the use of these in clinical practice. These include how to evaluate digital mental health tools and consider aspects such as credibility, user experience, and data security and privacy, and how to incorporate digital mental health tools into clinical workflows. This presentation will emphasize best practices in the use of these tools and highlight some of the challenges providers might face when incorporating these tools into their practice.

Attendees will be able to:

1. Identify five common features present in digital mental health tools

2. Describe three factors to assess when considering adoption of mental health apps

3. Describe one step of incorporating digital mental health tools into clinical practice workflows

4. Identify two common barriers and facilitators to the uptake of digital mental health tools


12:30-12:45 pm: Overview of Digital Mental Health Tools

12:45-12:55 pm: Differentiating Models for Use of Digital Mental Health Tools

12:55-1:10 pm: Do Digital Mental Health Tools Work?

1:10-1:20 pm: Overview of Core Competencies for Digital Mental Health

1:20-1:35 pm: Evaluating Digital Mental Health Tools

1:35-1:50 pm: Using Digital Mental Health Tools in Practice

1:50-2:00 pm: Questions/Conclusion

Stephen Schueller, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Psychological Science and Informatics at the University of California, Irvine. He received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of California, Riverside, his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and completed his clinical internship and postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco as a member of the Public Service and Minority Cluster at San Francisco General Hospital. As a clinical psychologist and mental health services researcher, Dr. Schueller’s work focuses on how technology can improve mental health services by expanding access and improving accessibility. This includes the development, evaluation, and implementation of digital mental health products in diverse settings and populations. His work has been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, the Jacobs Foundation, One Mind,Pivotal Ventures, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation among others. He is a founding board member of the Society for Digital Mental Health, a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote the advancement of digital mental health through disseminating knowledge and research, working collectively with stakeholders to promote the equitable implementation of digital mental health services, and supporting effective and sustainable policy.

2:00 - 2:30 pm - Break - Networking + Exhibit Room

2:30 - 4:00 pm - Lee Blackwell, Ph.D.

Mentalizing in Couples Therapy

Intimate couple relationships offer the opportunity to know and be known deeply. This leaves us vulnerable to attachment anxiety and our defenses against it. Unfortunately, our defenses can be toxic to the relationship, especially when they mutually stimulate more defenses. When emotions run high, our empathy and mentalization are drastically reduced, leading to words and actions that are painful and destructive of trust. Mentalization Based Treatment (MBT) offers a powerful approach to reducing couple conflict by increasing safety and security. This workshop will provide practical tools that can be used immediately in work with couples.

Attendees will be able to:

  1. Describe one important element of Mentalizing
  2. Identify two main goals of Mentalization Based Treatment (MBT)
  3. Describe three ways that MBT is useful in couples’ therapy
  4. Identify one example of an intervention used in MBT-CT


2:30 - 2:45 pm: What is Mentalizing?

2:45 - 3:00 pm: Why is mentalizing valuable in couple therapy?

3:00 - 3:15 pm: Assessment of mentalizing in relationships

3:15 - 3:30 pm: Mentalizing and Attachment Security

3:30 - 3:45 pm: Techniques to increase mentalizing in couples

3:45 - 4:00 pm: Summary/Questions

Lee Blackwell, Ph.D.,is a psychologist and sex therapist in private practice in Newport Beach and Huntington Beach, CA, specializing in couples therapy and sexual issues, including sexual trauma.  After receiving his Ph.D. from Florida State University in 1974, he worked in a university counseling center and directed two county mental health centers before entering private practice. After studying human sexuality at the Kinsey Institute, he was trained in sex therapy in the Human Sexuality Program at UCLA, staying on as a supervisor and then was Co-Director from 1983 to 1993. While at UCLA, Dr. Blackwell organized several conferences on treating the sexual problems of adults who were molested as children. After the clinic closed in1993, Dr. Blackwell continued at UCLA as an Assistant Clinical Professor in the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior until 2018.  He has written numerous articles and book reviews, and has presented nationally and internationally on sexuality, psychotherapy, neuroscience and mentalization.  Dr. Blackwell is a Past President and Fellow of the American Academy of Psychotherapists.

4:00 - 5:00 pm - Poster Session - Posters will be up all day in the exhibit room and attendees can see them during breaks.  During the poster session, the poster presenters need to be present.


Members: Early Bird Price (until March 31) $89.00

Full Member Price - $99.00

Non-Members: Early Bird Price (until March 31) $129.00

Full Non-Member Price $149.00

Students: $10.00 - Students need to present a student ID during check-in at the event.

Students who volunteer at the event or participate in the Poster Session - FREE admission.

“CPA is co-sponsoring with Orange County Psychological Association. The California Psychological Association is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. CPA maintains responsibility for this program and its contents.” 

Important Notice: Those who attend all workshops (4) and complete the CPA evaluation forms will receive 6 continuing education credits. No partial CE credits will be allowed. Please note that APA CE rules require that we give credit only to those who attend the entire workshop. Those arriving more than 15 minutes after the start time or leaving before the workshop is completed will not receive CE credits.

For additional information about the 2024 OCPA Convention or if you have additional questions, please contact:

Ralph G. Kuechle, Ph.D., OCPA Convention Committee Chair, 2024 President-Elect

Phone: (714) 345-3449

Email: [email protected]

Register Here