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Karra Barber is the author of Living Your Best Life with Asperger’s Syndrome and The Social and Life Skills MeNu. The founder of an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Northern California parent support group at, she has a degree in Health & Community Services and serves as an advocate for her teenage son with Asperger’s Syndrome.

Connie Batten, MFT, is an author and an adjunct faculty member at JFK University. She is the former clinical supervisor and executive director of WomenCARE, an organization that helps women whose lives are affected by cancer, and maintains a private practice in Santa Cruz. Connie draws from her many years of Zen sitting practice, along with somatic and mindfulness based theories in her therapeutic work.

Charles Bauman, MFT, is a therapist in the South Bay, working with adult men, adolescents, couples, and families from diverse backgrounds. A former high school teacher and teacher education instructor, he earned his MA in Counseling Psychology from Santa Clara University and has presented on clinical strategies with male clients at San Jose State University, Almaden Valley Counseling Service Orientation, and the Coalition of Essential Schools.

Shoshana Bennett, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and past president of Postpartum Support International. Author of Pregnant on Prozac, Postpartum Depression For Dummies, and co-author of Beyond the Blues: Understanding and Treating Prenatal and Postpartum Depression & Anxiety, she has been featured on national TV shows including 20/20 and The Doctors, and quoted in dozens of newspapers and magazines including The Wall Street Journal, WebMD, Boston Globe, Fit Pregnancy, Parenting, Psychology Today, and the Chicago Tribune. Shoshana founded Postpartum Assistance for Mothers in 1987 after her second experience with undiagnosed postpartum depression. She travels throughout the US and abroad training medical and mental health professionals to assess and treat postpartum depression and related mood and anxiety disorders.

Bonnie Bernstein, M.Ed., MFT, BC-DMT, Mentored by Blanche Evan 1970-1982; private practice for 35 years, currently in Palo Alto, CA; dance/movement therapy faculty member at JFK and ITP graduate programs in the Bay Area; author on dance therapy for sexual trauma survivors; researcher of indigenous dance; workshop facilitator and supervisor throughout the US and in Kolkata, India.

Elaine Brady, PhD, MFT, CAS, CSAT-S, is the founder and Director of Net Worth Recovery - a Treatment and Training Center for Internet and Other Addictions, located in San Jose. She is a Certified Addiction Specialist as well as a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist and Supervisor. Elaine has published a number of articles on addiction and Internet related issues, served as an expert on television and court cases, teaches at several local colleges, and is a frequent presenter at professional conferences.

Adele Brainard, LCSW, is currently a Senior Social Worker at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System, where she treats veterans in the Family Therapy Program. She was trained in Integrative Behavioral Couple Therapy by the National VA. Before coming to the VA, Ms Brainard served as a school social worker K-12 for 20 years, where she gained extensive experience working with children, couples, and families. She received her MSW from UC Berkeley and her BA in Anthropology from George Washington University in DC. She is a long standing member of the National Association of Social Workers.

Gail Danchig, MFT, REAT, is a licensed psychotherapist, registered expressive arts therapist and life coach, who has been in private practice in Marin County for 20 years. The founder of Courageous Happiness®, a process that integrates mindfulness, creativity and positive psychology, Gail teaches and advises in the Core Strengths Coaching Certificate Program at San Francisco State University, College of Extended Learning.

Leslie Davenport, MFT, is a pioneer in the field of guided imagery, applying it to the areas of psychotherapy and integrative medicine. Founder of the humanities program at Marin General Hospital, which is now the Institute for Health and Healing, she is clinical faculty at the California Pacific Medical Center and is the author of Healing and Transformation through Self-Guided Imagery.

Terri Davis, PhD, is a licensed psychologist and Associate Professor at JFK University. She served on the American Psychological Association Advisory Committee on Colleague Assistance, dedicated to investigating the occupational vulnerabilities of psychologists and promoting state-level colleague assistance programs.

Sandy Dibbell-Hope, PhD, R-DMT, is a licensed clinical psychologist and registered dance therapist who has been in practice in the East Bay since 1986. In both her clinical work with individuals and couples and in her consultation with licensed psychotherapists she uses a mind/body/spirit approach which integrates verbal and expressive arts therapy. Over the past twenty years she has studied Authentic Movement with Janet Adler and Joan Chodorow, taught at California Institute of Integral Studies, Alliant University, and John F. Kennedy University, and has been a senior member of Hameed Ali’s Ridhwan School of Spiritual Unfoldment, also known as the Diamond Approach.

Caryn DiLandro, PhD, is a clinical psychologist within the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) clinical team at the Livermore Division of the VA Palo Alto Health Care System. She specializes in providing Prolonged Exposure and Cognitive Processing Therapy, both evidence based treatments for PTSD, to veterans.

Laura Dimond, MA, is principal of Inner Resource Consulting with extensive experience developing and presenting customized career development programs as well as counseling a diverse spectrum of clients. She completed her MA in Career Development from JFK University, is certified in MBTI in Organizations and has taught the Theories of Career Development to JFK University graduate students from 1999 - to present time.

Brenda Frechette, PhD, began her career as a crisis counselor with runaway youth and later supervised a Bay Area psychiatric emergency service unit for 10 years, also serving as that county’s disaster response mental health coordinator. Dr Frechette currently works as a clinical psychologist for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation at a 50 bed crisis unit designed to aid inmates that are suicidal or acutely psychotic. She is adjunct faculty for three graduate programs in the Bay Area and also maintains a health psychology practice at The Mindful Center.

Lori Goldrich, PhD, is a Jungian analyst, clinical psychologist, and registered expressive arts therapist in private practice in San Francisco. She helped form the International Expressive Arts Therapy Association and has over 25 years of clinical experience working with individuals, couples and groups. She brings a contemporary analytic approach to her work, integrating the expressive arts, sandplay and body-oriented methods into her teaching, consultation and clinical practice.

Barbara Griswold, MFT, is the author of Navigating the Insurance Maze: The Therapist's Complete Guide to Working with Insurance – And Whether You Should ( In addition to her private practice in San Jose, Barbara provides insurance consultations to therapists and has served on the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists' (CAMFT) Ethics Committee.

John Hamel, LCSW, has a Masters in Social Welfare from U.C.L.A., and has conducted batterer intervention and parent programs in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1992. He is the author of Gender-Inclusive Treatment of Intimate Partner Abuse: Evidence-Based Approaches (Springer, 2014), and editor of Intimate Partner and Family Abuse: A Casebook of Gender Inclusive Therapy, published by Springer in Spring, 2008. He is also co-editor with Tonia Nicholls, PhD, of Family Interventions in Domestic Violence: A Handbook of Gender-Inclusive Theory and Treatment (Springer, 2007). Mr. Hamel is Editor-in-Chief of the peer-reviewed professional journal, Partner Abuse, published quarterly by Springer Publishing. He regularly speaks at conferences on domestic violence, and has provided consultation and training to mental health professionals, victim advocates and shelter workers, social service organizations, teachers, attorneys, judges and law enforcement officers. He also provides case consultation and expert witness testimony.

Sara Harris, MFT, has been in private practice since 1984, where she integrates principles and practices of ecopsychology, depth psychology, cardiac psychology and HeartMath. Co-founder of EarthWays, a rites of passage nature-based program, Sara also serves on the board of The School of Lost Borders.

Richard Heckler, PhD, has served as department chair and a faculty member at JFK University for 22 years in somatic psychology and Buddhist psychology. He is founder of the Hakomi Institute of San Francisco and regularly offers supervision and consultation regarding psychotherapeutic technique. He authored Waking Up Alive and Crossing.

Jackie Holmes, MEd; MFT, is the founder and director of Casa Serena, an intensive outpatient eating disorders program in Concord. A respected speaker on issues related to eating disorders, Jackie has developed a practical hands-on approach to working with the clients of eating disorders and their families.

Bret Johnson, PhD, has been a licensed psychologist since 1988, where he works with a diverse population of individuals, couples, youth and families as a therapist, evaluator and mediator in private practice in Santa Cruz and Santa Clara. Dr Johnson currently serves as a contracted evaluator and mediator for the Santa Cruz County Superior Court with high conflict custody families. An adjunct faculty member at JFK University since 1991, he has worked extensively with HIV and AIDS clients in the public and private sector and is the author of Coming Out Every Day: A Gay, Bisexual and Questioning Man’s Guide (New Harbinger, 1997).

David Joseph, PhD, currently treats veterans with combat trauma and military sexual trauma at the Oakland Vet Center. As a psychologist at the National Center for PTSD, Dr. Joseph served as the primary clinician on a multi-year study of Seeking Safety in veterans with co-occurring PTSD and substance use disorders. Dr. Joseph has developed trainings for police officers, first responders and providers on effective interventions for veterans with PTSD. In association with the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office, he recently developed a pilot training for community college faculty and staff on student veterans and PTSD. He received his PhD in Clinical Psychology from Alliant University in San Francisco.

Suraya Susana KeatinggrMFT, RDT, RYT, is a Marriage and Family Therapist, Registered Drama Therapist, Registered Yoga Teacher and adjunct professor at Santa Rosa Junior College who works with children, adults, youth with special needs and prison inmates. With a background in the performing arts, yoga, teaching, and therapy, Suraya trains educators and therapists on ways to interweave the arts into their work. Suraya also teaches workshops on Yoga and Creativity, and often integrates wisdom from yoga philosophy in her private practice work with clients. 

Robin Kirk, MFT, currently serves as Executive and Clinical Director of Sage Psychotherapy Associates, where she specializes in Anxiety Disorders, Depression and Eating Disorders. A graduate of the IOCDF Behavioral Training Institute, Robin developed Sage's Intensive Treatment Program which combines Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) with Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT) core processes. She has presented at conferences both nationally and internationally.

Laura Kleinman, LCSW, earned her MSW from Simmons College School of Social Work. Currently a therapist and group facilitator at Metro Behavioral intensive-outpatient clinic and in private practice in New York City and through Allied Professionals Treating Eating Disorders in San Francisco, she integrates interpersonal, creative, narrative, cognitive-behavioral, and dialectical behavior therapy techniques in her work with eating disorders and provides both individual and group therapy for families struggling with Body Dysmorgraphia and other eating disorder issues.

Stephanie LaCount, MFT, has worked in mental health field for over 25 years as a psychotherapist, a clinical trainer and patient educator. Since 2000, Stephanie has served as a cross-cultural trainer with Shepell-FGI, an international EAP organization, where she counsels and trains expatriates in cultural adjustment around the world, including foreign nationals adjusting to life in the United States. For the past 10 years, she has worked as a consultant to psychotherapists, helping them improve their clinical documentation and create more focused assessments and treatment plans for OptumHealth Behavioral Solutions.

Jennifer Lombardi, MFT, is both co-owner and Director of Admissions and Outreach for the Summit Eating Disorders and Outreach Program in Sacramento, which provides school prevention services, professional development training for clinicians, and partial and outpatient treatment services for individuals struggling with eating disorders. A graduate of the Master’s program in Marriage, Family and Child Counseling at California State University and recovered from anorexia herself for nearly 18 years, Jennifer lectures extensively on the topics of eating disorders and body image issues to adolescents, parents and professionals. She also has extensive experience in crisis communications and media relations, and has served on numerous boards and committees for both private and public agencies.

Joanna Macy, PhD, is an eco-philosopher, scholar of Buddhism, general systems theory, and deep ecology. A respected voice in the movements for peace, justice, and ecology, she interweaves her scholarship with five decades of activism. Her wide-ranging work addresses psychological and spiritual issues of the nuclear age, the cultivation of ecological awareness, and the fruitful resonance between Buddhist thought and contemporary science.

Philip Manfield, PhD, has been a psychotherapist in private practice in the Bay Area for over 30 years and has taught EMDR in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. He was featured in the book, 3 Minute Consultations with America’s Greatest Psychotherapists published in 2001. The author of Split Self/Split Object and editor of EMDR Casebook and Extending EMDR: A Casebook of Innovative Applications, he is currently Northern California Regional Coordinator of the EMDR International Association.

Rachel Michaelsen, LCSW, Diplomate – Comprehensive Energy Psychology, has been studying and utilizing Energy Psychology (EP) Techniques since 1999. She has taught clinicians and lay people how to utilize these techniques at agencies and conferences including the Association of Comprehensive Energy Psychology and the Canadian Association for Integrative and Energy Therapies. She is also a CAMFT -certified supervisor with a certificate in Advanced Clinical Supervision from Smith College School for Social Work. She has supervised paraprofessionals, graduate students, MFTs, ASWs and supervisors since 1996 and has taught courses in supervision at JFK, NASW, CAMFT, Smith College and many agencies since 2000. Ms. Michaelsen maintains a private practice in Oakland where she uses EP techniques to address a variety of issues including PTSD, stress, anxiety and depression.

Manuela Mischke Reeds, MFT, is an international Hakomi trainer and licensed somatic psychotherapist who specializes in the integration of mindfulness-based somatic psychotherapy with trauma and attachment therapy, infant mental health and movement therapy. A faculty member at JFK University in Campbell & the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto, she also teaches in Australia, Israel and Germany. Manuela has been a Buddhist meditation practitioner for 25 years. She maintains a private practice in Menlo Park working with individuals, couples and children.

Giovanna Morelli, LCSW , has worked with high risk children and families as a clinical social worker for the past 20 years, and has developed prevention and early intervention programs for children and adolescents in schools, hospitals, county agencies and non-profit organizations. Giovanna currently teaches psychopharmacology at JFK University, UC Santa Cruz and CSU Hayward.

Cazeaux Nordstrum, MFT, is a licensed psychotherapist in private practice in Walnut Creek and San Rafael, with 25 years as a specialist in the area of aging as well as acute, chronic and life-threatening illnesses. For the last 10 years, she has designed and taught cross-cultural educational programs on the topics of aging, dementia, care-giving, depression, anxiety and mental health issues.

Carol Odsess, PhD, is a licensed psychologist with a private practice in Albany, emphasizing EMDR and the energy psychology method, Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT). Carol is both an EMDRIA approved consultant and certified clinician. She is also an advanced practitioner and trainer of EFT.

Rhoda Olkin, PhD, is a Distinguished Professor at the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University and the Executive Director of the Institute on Disability and Health Psychology. She is the author of the book “What psychotherapists should know about disability” as well as over 40 professional articles. A CBT therapist and expert in case formulation, Rhoda has been teaching and training clinicians for over 20 years. She maintains a private practice in Walnut Creek.

Rena Palloff, PhD, has been a consultant to Trinity Treatment Group, developing and managing inpatient and outpatient chemical dependency treatment programs. Currently a managing partner of Crossroads Consulting Group, Rena has consulted extensively in healthcare, academic settings, and addiction treatment for over 20 years. She co-authored the 1999 Frandson Award-winning book Building Learning Communities in Cyberspace: Effective Strategies for the Online Classroom; Lessons from the Cyberspace Classroom; The Virtual Student; and Collaborating Online: Learning Together in Community.

Meg Patterson, MFT, is a psychodynamic psychotherapist in private practice since 1987. In addition to her depth-oriented work with adults and couples, Meg is the Director of Clinical Programs for a Placer County nonprofit agency providing treatment for survivors of trauma. Meg’s website is

Tony Paulson, PhD, as is the Executive Director of Summit Eating Disorders and Outreach Program in Sacramento and has been treating people with eating disorders for nearly 17 years. During his doctoral training at Saybrook Institute, he received the Charles Thuss Award for exceptional writing and research based on his work in eating disorders. Dr. Paulson has given professional presentations on state and national levels, and frequently lectures to community groups in California.

Pamela Planthara, PsyD, is a former military psychologist and Captain with the United States Air Force. During active duty, she served as Team Chief to the Pentagon Family Assistance Center, providing bereavement counseling for families impacted by 9-11. Afterward, she served as a Disaster Team Chief at the Pentagon providing critical incident stress management to Pentagon personnel. Dr. Planthara also served as chief of outpatient mental health, chairperson for a community task force committee, and a behavioral health consultant in primary care. For the past 7 years she has worked with veterans who suffer from PTSD at the Oakland Vet center and currently with the Oakland VA behavioral Health Clinic.

Nina Poletika, MFT, maintains a private practice in Palo Alto, where she works with people who have a loved one living with dementia and specializes in issues of bereavement, death and dying. She currently leads a Support Group at the Palo Alto Commons Assisted Living Facility for family members who have a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease and has facilitated Bereavement Support Group for Parent Loss at Pathways Home Health & Hospice in Sunnyvale for the past two years. Ms. Poletika holds Certification in Loss and Bereavement from the UC Berkeley Extension Program and is currently completing Certification in Thanatology (Death Education) from the Association of Death Education Council. She also has a mother who is living with dementia.

Sara Rice Powers, PhD, is a clinical neuropsychologist specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders since 2004. Dr Powers completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the UC Davis MIND Institute and has published several articles on autism. She maintains a private practice in Walnut Creek providing psychotherapy, assessment, and social skills training for adults and children with autism spectrum disorders and their families.

Kate Rome, MFT, PPS is experienced in a wide variety of school and agency settings. She is currently Adjunct Faculty at John F. Kennedy University and a Faculty Candidate at University of Phoenix, Bay Area Campus. She has been active in play therapy education and has served on the chapter and Executive Boards of the California Association for Play Therapy.

Mark Rosenthal, LCSW, began integrating DBT skills into his clinical work with the homeless population after he was introduced to it 15 years ago. From 2000 to 2006, he worked at the Partial Hospitalization Program at University of California, San Francisco's Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute (LPPI), providing individual DBT skills therapy with patients and DBT training to staff. Mark resigned from LPPI in June of 2006 to co-found the San Francisco DBT Center, where individual DBT therapy and DBT skills groups are offered. He teaches DBT skills around the Greater Bay area.

Linda Satchell, MFT, specializes in expressive arts therapy and facilitates art therapy groups for specialized children’s groups and at drug and alcohol treatment centers and residential mental health facilities. An adjunct faculty member at JFK University, Linda also serves as clinical supervisor at Kinship Center in Salinas and has a private practice in Pacific Grove.

Michael Stephens, MFT, CMT, has been extensively involved in healthcare services since 2002, working with individuals struggling with life threatening and chronic illness in the areas of cancer, palliative and hospice care. He has contracted with several major hospital centers including Kaiser Permanente, Alta Bates, and San Ramon Regional Medical Center, and developed a holistically-based Grief Support Center during his tenure as the Director of Grief Support for Hope Hospice, Inc. Michael maintains a private practice in Walnut Creek.

Kathryn Stewart, PhD, is a clinical psychologist working primarily with children with Nonverbal Learning Disability (NLD) and Asperger’s Syndrome, as well as children who struggle with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Tourette’s and Attention Deficit Disorders. In 2000, she opened Orion Academy, a private high school in Moraga, CA, dedicated to education and self-development for NLD and AS teens. She is the author of Helping Children with NLD or Asperger’s Syndrome: A Parents Guide.

Daniel Taube, JD, PhD, has been providing continuing education to licensed mental health professionals for almost 10 years. He received his JD from Villanova University and his PhD in clinical psychology from Hahnemann University.

Kristen Valus, PsyD, is a licensed clinical psychologist with a private practice in Cary, North Carolina. Dr. Valus specializes in cognitive behavioral treatment of mood and anxiety disorders in adults, and provides training and supervision in cognitive behavior therapy to professionals. She is also a Founding Fellow of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy.

Peter Van Oot, PhD, has an MA in physiological psychology, his doctorate in clinical psychology, and pre- and postdoctoral training in rehabilitation neuropsychology. Peter maintains a consultation- and assessment-based neuropsychology private practice in Oakland and consults on pharmacology. He is a member of APA’s Division 40 and 38, the National Academy of Neuropsychology (NAN), and the Northern California Neuropsychology Forum (NCNF).

Darlene Viggiano, PhD, MFT, is a licensed therapist in Kaiser Permanente’s Adult Psychiatry Department, Intensive Outpatient Program. She earned her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Saybrook University in San Francisco. Dr. Viggiano earned Certification in Clinical Hypnosis from the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis, the largest organization in the United States for hypnosis professionals.

Armand Volkas, MFT, RDT/BCT, is a psychotherapist and Registered Drama Therapist in private practice. Clinical Director of the Living Arts Counseling Center in Oakland and Associate Professor at California Institute of Integral Studies, he has developed innovative programs using drama therapy for social change, intercultural conflict resolution and collective trauma.

Heather Wassarman, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in San Francisco. She has over ten years of experience providing cognitive-behavioral therapy to adults and has served as Adjunct Faculty at both JFKU and UCSF. She specializes in CBT, mindfulness-based approaches, and health psychology.

Nancy Wesson, PhD, CGP, is a licensed psychologist and certified group psychotherapist. Trained by Irvin Yalom, Dr Wesson has led psychotherapy groups for 23 years, and has taught several courses and authored several articles on group psychotherapy. She maintains a private practice in Mountain View.

Dan Wile, PhD, is a clinical psychologist with 30 years experience as a couples therapist. Dr, Wile has published on psychotherapeutic theory as well as couples therapy, teaches in several graduate programs in the San Francisco Bay Area, and gives professional workshops on couples therapy throughout the United States. He is the author of Couples Therapy: A Nontraditional Approach; After the Honeymoon, How Conflict Can Improve Your Relationship; and After the Fight: Using Your Disagreements to Build a Stronger Relationship.

Lee Ann Williams, OTR/L, has been working in the field of Occupational Therapy for the past 30 years. She has taught classes on self regulation to high school students along the spectrum at Orion Academy in Moraga, and has also presented workshops on Understanding and Teaching Children with Learning Differences and Special Needs for the Pleasanton Unified School District and in the former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia. Lee Ann maintains a private practice, Max-Ability, in Orinda, where she works with children and adolescents.

April Winslow, MS, RD, has worked exclusively with Eating Disorder patients in the Bay Area for the past seven years. She received her BS in Dietetics from Virginia Tech, a master’s degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York University and completed a Dietetic Internship at the John J. Peters Veterans Affairs Medical Center in the Bronx. April developed the nutrition protocol for the Adolescent Eating Disorder program at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center – Herrick Campus in Berkeley, and has worked clinically at UCSF (Department of Adolescent Medicine), UC Berkeley (Tang Center) and La Ventana Eating Disorder Program in San Jose. April is the Public Policy Liaison for the International Federation of Eating Disorder Dietitians and guest lectures at San Jose State University and the Academy of Art – San Francisco. She maintains a private practice in Santa Cruz.

Herbert Wong, PhD, is currently Professor of Psychology for the College of Graduate and Professional Studies at JFK University. As the founding Executive Director of the Richmond Area Multi-Services, Inc. (RAMS) Community Mental Health Center, Dr. Wong developed the first multicultural, multilingual, comprehensive mental health center capable of providing services in 17 languages in San Francisco which was later used as a model for other multi-ethnic communities throughout the United States. Dr. Wong also served as Research Coordinator for one of the first group therapy outcome studies at the Department of Psychiatry, Stanford University Medical Center, providing evidence-based comparisons for more than a dozen group theories and practices. He specializes in the use of group techniques with multicultural and diverse populations.

John F. Kennedy University is an affiliate of the National University System.