Virtual Continuing Education Conference

  • Friday, May 19, 2023
  • 9:30 AM - 3:00 PM
  • Zoom
  • 68


  • [Non-member admission includes a complimentary introductory GAMHPA membership for 2023]


Glendale Area Mental Health Professionals Association (GAMHPA) Presents

Virtual Continuing Education Conference

Friday, May 19, 2023, 9:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

Conference Program 

EMDR: How it Works (1.0 BBS CEU)
David Ibrahim, LMFT, LAADC

Introduction to Somatic Therapy and the Community Resiliency Model® (CRM): Skills that Foster, Support, and Build Resilience (1.0 BBS CEU)
Kimberly Wong, L.C.S.W.

Chronic Pain: What It Is and How to Cope (1.0 BBS CEU)
Silva Depanian, L.M.F.T.

Lifespan Psychological & Neuropsychological Assessment From an Interpersonal Neurobiology (IPNB) Perspective (1.0 BBS CEU)
Deborah Buckwalter, Ph.D., Daniel Fenton, Ph.D., Cathy Schaefer, Ph.D.


9:30-10:00 a.m.    Check-In & Networking
10-11                    EMDR
11-12                    Somatic Therapy
12-12:30               Lunch Break & Networking
12:30-1:30            Chronic Pain
1:30-2:30              Lifespan Psychological Assessment
2:30-3 p.m.           Closing Thoughts & Networking


GAMHPA Member attendance is FREE. Non-member attendance is $30 (includes free introductory 2023 membership.) Registrants who do not attend or fail to request a refund one week prior to the event will forfeit fees paid.


Zoom video conferencing login will be provided upon registration and receipt of payment.


Pre-registration is required online at

Continuing Education Credit

In order to log attendance and receive BBS CEUs, attendees must download the free "Google Docs" app in advance of the event.  The app is available on Android, Apple/iPhone/MAC, or Windows PC.

This course is intended for beginning to advanced mental health professionals. You may attend any or all of the four presentations; CEUs will be credited based on attendance. Course meets the qualifications for 4.0 hours of continuing education credit for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. CE completion certificates will be awarded when participants complete the course evaluation after speaker presentation.

NOTE: Continuing education credit is not currently available for psychologists.

Thank you to Rachel Thomasian, L.M.F.T., and ShrinkSync, CAMFT-approved Continuing Education Provider #129308. CEs are being provided in partnership with ShrinkSync is approved by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists to sponsor continuing education for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs. ShrinkSync maintains responsibility for this program/course and its content. Please contact with any questions, grievances, or accommodation requests.

Further Program Information and Questions

GAMHPA Board Member Mary Ann Aronsohn, L.M.F.T., Continuing Education Chair
(626) 441-5131,

Our Presentations

EMDR: How it Works
David Ibrahim, LMFT, LAADC
10-11 a.m.


The presentation will cover the workings of EMDR therapy as a complete therapy modality in and of itself.

Learning Objectives

1. Describe briefly how EMDR works on the brain.
2. List 3 of the phases of EMDR Protocols.
3. Briefly explain the rapidity of effective EMDR treatment.

Introduction to Somatic Therapy and the Community Resiliency Model® (CRM): Skills that Foster, Support, and Build Resilience
Kimberly Wong, L.C.S.W.
11-12 noon


This workshop introduces the use of somatic, body-based therapy and how it differs from traditional talk therapy.  It will highlight wellness skills used in the Community Resiliency Model® (CRM) that stabilize the nervous system, expand resiliency, and support self-regulation.  In understanding how the brain and body connect, one can learn to use skills to help build resiliency with clients and oneself.  The skills covered in this presentation are a portion of the CRM and TRM (Trauma Resiliency Model® for practitioners) skills.

Learning Objectives

1. Define trauma, resiliency, and the “Resilient Zone.”
2. Learn about the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and how the body and brain respond to stress and trauma.
3. Learn the “Basic Three” CRM® skills of Tracking, Resourcing, and Grounding that are used to build resilience and self-regulation.
4. Explain when to use Help Now strategies. 

Chronic Pain: What It Is and How to Cope
Silva Depanian, L.M.F.T.
12:30-1:30 p.m.


Chronic pain can be overwhelming, but it does not need to take over a person’s life. This presentation will define chronic pain, discuss some effects of living with chronic pain, and review several strategies and coping skills to help support better quality of life and manage the chronic pain issue.

Learning Objectives

1. Describe the difference between chronic pain and acute pain.
2. Explain at least 2 effects of chronic pain.
3. List at least 3 coping strategies individuals with chronic pain can utilize.

Lifespan Psychological & Neuropsychological Assessment From an Interpersonal Neurobiology (IPNB) Perspective
Deborah Buckwalter, Ph.D., Daniel Fenton, Ph.D., Cathy Schaefer, Ph.D.
1:30-2:20 p.m.


This presentation will provide a brief overview of assessment as it pertains to clients from infancy to old age, including:

The purpose of assessment, presenting concerns, and when to refer clients,
Types of assessments available,
Assumptions and limits of standardized testing, particularly with neurodiverse, culturally diverse, and gender diverse individual, and
Theoretical influences in assessment; the Interpersonal Neurobiology perspective that informs all aspects of assessment at the Center for Connection. 

Learning Objectives

1. The clinician will be able to describe the purpose of assessment and when it may be useful for a client.
2. The clinician will be able to name some of the limits of standardized testing as well as additional means to gain valuable information about clients.
3. The clinician will be able to describe the IPNB perspective with respect to assessment.

Our Speakers

Deborah Buckwalter, Ph.D.

Dr. Deborah Buckwalter is an accomplished clinical psychologist with advanced training and nearly three decades of experience in psychotherapy and psychological & neuropsychological assessment. She brings her dedication to personal and professional growth, quality care, and respect for the uniqueness of each individual into her practice at the Center for Connection (CFC) in Pasadena, California. Her deep expertise as both a therapist and a neuropsychologist is highly influenced by Interpersonal Neurobiology (IPNB), the scientifically-informed proposal that a person’s brain, mind, and relationships interact to create who that person is, and that interpersonal relationships throughout the lifespan shape and reshape our brains. Deborah is currently “moving toward retirement”; she provides assessment on a limited basis.

Silva Depanian, L.M.F.T.

Silva Depanian is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFC#121864) and Certified Anger Management Counselor. She specializes in chronic pain management, social anxiety, and codependent relationships, working with individuals, couples, and groups who are seeking a more fulfilling quality of life. Silva’s mission is to help clients achieve their goals using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Mindfulness techniques, through encouraging change, boundary setting, and healthy communication. Whether in individual sessions or group settings, Silva is here to listen, and works in tandem with clients on their journey towards balance and happiness.

Daniel Fenton, Ph.D.

Dr. Daniel Fenton currently provides adult assessments and psychotherapy at the Center for Connection. He earned his doctoral degree in clinical psychology with a focus in neuropsychology from the California School of Professional Psychology in San Francisco (CSPP). Following his studies, Dr. Fenton completed a residency at the Iowa City V.A. Medical Center/University of Iowa and went on to complete a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in clinical neuropsychological and rehabilitation at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Dr. Fenton has practiced in various settings, including middle/high schools, community mental health centers, skilled nursing facilities, V.A medical centers, academic medical centers, and inpatient rehabilitation hospitals. He practices using an ecological systems framework and approaches each client 

David Ibrahim, LMFT, LAADC

David Ibrahim is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a Licensed Advanced Alcohol and Drug Counselor. David has dual Masters in Trauma and in Marriage and Family Therapy. He owns and operates Glendale Counseling Services, an EMDR clinic for Trauma and Addiction, and has worked successfully with over 1000 patients. He is a certified EMDR Therapist, Certified Specialist in Autism, and Certified ISTDP Therapist. David also trains EMDR therapists.

Cathy Schaefer, Ph.D.

Dr. Cathy Schaefer is the current Director of Assessment at the Center for Connection. Her experiences within assessment span across public school districts and private settings, in Florida, Texas, and California. She specializes in early childhood assessment, intervention, and consultation. Her experience includes interdisciplinary assessment with speech language pathologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and special education teachers, giving her a multi-faceted perspective on how she observes and treats concerns.

Kimberly Wong, L.C.S.W., D.C.S.W.

Kimberly C. Wong, LCSW, DCSW, has over 3 decades of experience both in community social work and in private practice.  She specializes in trauma, with extensive experience working with survivors of sexual and domestic violence. Her expertise also includes addiction, relationships, and LGBTQ affirmative psychotherapy. Ms. Wong uses a multicultural, feminist and empowerment approach that fosters independence and resilience and brings a deep understanding of how the layers of culture and society shape individuals. She is a Certified Trauma Resiliency Model® (TRM) Practitioner and a Certified Facilitator of TRM® professional trainings by the Trauma Resource Institute (TRI).  She is also a Certified Community Resiliency Model® (CRM) Teacher.  For several years, Ms. Wong has actively contributed to the TRI Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Committee where she highlights an intersectional approach of diversity related to LGBTQ, ethnicity, and gender.

Committed to community social work, Ms. Wong worked with the LA Commission on Assaults Against Women (now Peace Over Violence), as a volunteer, then as Director of Counseling. At AIDS Healthcare Foundation she worked with people living with HIV/AIDS as a Clinical Social Worker and Director of Social Services. She has served as a clinical supervisor for multiple community organizations including POV, the LA Gay & Lesbian Center (now LA LGBT Center), and the Asian American Drug Abuse Program.

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