In-Person Workshops

Join us at Palo Alto University for In-Person Professional Training. These professional training opportunities are perfect for mental health and allied professionals, including psychologists, social workers, counselors, marriage & family therapists, law enforcement, correctional professionals, and those wishing to further develop their clinical practice.

  • Professional training by internationally recognized experts
  • Evidence-based best practices, relevant research outcomes, clinical applications
  • Build the knowledge, skill set, & expertise to take your practice to the next level

If you would like to ‘attend’ these workshops but cannot travel to Palo Alto – consider virtual attendance. We are pleased to offer virtual attendance for all our workshops via ZOOM. Virtual attendees will be emailed all the details to connect via ZOOM and will be sent electronic copies of all materials. Attend from anywhere!

Essential Knowledge and Skills for Effective Supervision

Dr. Donna Sheperis

October 4, 2019

8:30am – 4:30pm

Palo Alto University, Los Altos Campus

Clinical supervision of counselors, psychologists, marriage and family therapists, and social workers requires more than experience in the field. Approved supervisors in the state of California need to have training in supervision theory, modalities, laws, ethics, and standards of practice. This training provides attendees with the essential tools necessary to provide quality, ethical supervision to trainees in their agencies. Through the use of didactic and experiential practice, this workshop will help participants expand their knowledge of basic supervision practice and develop their own supervisory style to best protect clients while developing clinicians under their supervision.

Psychological Evaluations in Immigration Court: Considerations for Mental Health Professionals

Dr. Virginia Barber-Rioja

October 5, 2019

8:30am – 4:30pm

Palo Alto University, Los Altos Campus

About 11 million immigrants in the U.S. are undocumented and it is estimated that about 15% of those in immigration detention suffer from a psychiatric disorder (Human Rights Watch, 2010). Political instability around the globe and increased violence in Central America, paired with tougher immigration policies like family separation, are all expected to increase the rates of mental health symptoms in immigrants and refugees. This highlights the important role that mental health professionals can play in the immigration court system. Mental health experts can aid immigration judges in making deportation decisions in a number of ways based on the type of relief from removal that immigrants are applying for. Persecution-based applications are based on fear of persecution and torture (i.e., asylum), and often involve the assessment of trauma related symptoms or Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Discretion-based applications can involve the evaluation of the hardship that will be suffered by the immigrant or their family if deported. Evaluations for immigration court are considered a type of forensic mental health assessment, and require expertise in both forensic and cross-cultural psychology. In addition, these evaluations present with particular challenges as immigration law is rapidly changing, the referral questions are not always clear, and appropriate testing instruments are limited. The goal of this workshop is to provide students and mental health professionals with knowledge about the legal context of immigration court and the different types of relief available to undocumented immigrants, and to review general considerations in the process of conducting evaluations in immigration proceedings.

The Role of Consultants and Expert Witness in Cases of Alleged False Confession

Dr. Brian Cutler

November 2, 2019

8:30am – 4:30pm

Palo Alto University, Los Altos Campus

This workshop will introduce participants to the phenomenon of false confessions and the role that consultants and expert witnesses play in false confession cases. Topics covered in this workshop include the role of false confessions in miscarriages of justice, the science underlying false confessions, personal and situational risk factors for false confessions, the content of false confessions, outcomes resulting from false confessions, and policies and procedures aimed at reducing the risk of false confessions. Particular attention will be paid to interrogation techniques and assessment of their coerciveness and potential for bringing about false confessions. Particular attention will be given to the roles of the consultant and expert witness from case intake through resolution.

The first part of this workshop focuses on the fundamental issues described above. The second part of the workshop involves applying the principles learned in the first part to case studies of interrogation. Participants will have the opportunity to view recorded interrogations, note the various risk factors for false confession within the interrogations, and engage in discussion of the cases with the workshop presenter.

The Behavioral Science of Firearms: A Mental Health Perspective on Guns, Suicide, and Violence

Dr. Gianni Pirelli

December 7, 2019

8:30am – 4:30pm

Palo Alto University, Los Altos Campus

In this workshop, Dr. Pirelli addresses the present and emerging issues related to the intersection of guns and mental health within the context of his Know (K), Ask (A), Do (D) framework. Namely, he will provide a comprehensive overview of firearms, including their history, relevant statistics, gun basics, gun-related subgroups, and firearm policies and laws. In addition, Dr. Pirelli addresses issues associated with guns and mental health, violence and domestic violence, and suicide. In addition, Dr. Pirelli will outline the emerging roles of mental health professionals in firearm-related matters, including those associated with evaluation, treatment, teaching, and research. Applied clinical concepts and case examples will be presented.