Embracing Diversity – Part 2 White Allyship and Social Justice Panel Discussion

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Online Live CE (possibly on demand after)

9:00am – 12:00 noon

Embracing Diversity – Part 2: 

Embracing Diversity: White Ally-ship and its Psychological Implications


Wayne Kao, Psy.D., Amee Velasco, Psy.D., Suzanne Lake, Psy.D.,

Elisa Hernandez, Psy.D., Mathew Calkins, Psy.D.,

Silvina Irwin, Ph.D.


This panel presentation will seek to elucidate and describe the various barriers that prevent and discourage frank discussion of countertransference in regards to race, politics and culture among clients, trainees and colleagues in psychology. The impacts of inhibited discourse about racial and ethnic issues on clinical practice and psychology education will be explored as well. Furthermore, strategies for overcoming these barriers and facilitating therapeutic, honest, and fruitful discussion of race among clients, professionals and students alike will be examined. This program will identify and provide insight upon elements of professional, academic, and social culture that often interfere with or prevent addressing issues of countertransference towards clients, and how suppressing discussion can negatively impact the therapeutic alliance. These elements may include the fear of offending others, internalized guilt about personal beliefs, “political correctness,” fear of expressing a minority opinion, disempowerment and marginalization of certain groups, and so forth. Additional discussion will provide insight and psychoeducation regarding triggers for personal and professional conflicts, angry outbursts. These phenomena can lead to inadequate education in psychology graduate programs regarding issues of diversity, and they can impair therapeutic discourse with patients struggling with issues of acculturation and identity development. The panelists will discuss potential remedies to these problems and facilitate an audience discussion.

Learning Objectives:  After attending event, participants will be able to:

1) Demonstrate strategies for facilitating authentic discussion of race among patients, peers and students.

2) Assess the impacts of related biases and inhibitions on professional development, education, clinical work, clinical training and supervision, and the culture of the profession.

3) Describe sociocultural and intrapsychic barriers that inhibit honest dialogue about race among psychologists

Panelist Biographies
Dr. Wayne Kao
 earned his Clinical PsyD. in 2008 at CSPP-LA and has been a licensed clinical psychologist since 2011. He currently holds multiple positions in the field of psychology. He is co-creator and President of Healing Rhythms Psychological Services, a community practice providing mental health services, outreach and psychoeducation.  He created a treatment and training program working with geriatric and chronic/severely mentally ill patients, is an adjunct professor at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, maintains a private practice in Monrovia, and serves as Diversity Chair on the Board of SGVPA. He completed his Post Doctoral Training at Enki Health and Family Services, and earned his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at University of California at Santa Cruz.

Dr. Silvina Irwin is a licensed clinical psychologist in Los Angeles, and ICEEFT Certified Trainer and Supervisor in Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples. Silvina is bilingual and bicultural, and offers trainings in Spanish and in English in LA and other select US and International areas.  She is co-founder of the EFT Resource Center in Pasadena, CA, which provides EFT psychotherapy services to the community and offers training and supervision to therapists in Emotionally Focused Therapy. In her psychotherapy practice, Dr. Irwin specializes in working with survivors of trauma and relationship distress. In addition, Dr. Irwin has developed and facilitated workshops for couples that want to deepen and enrich their sexual connection.  Dr. Irwin also leads consultation groups with her close colleague Dr. Lisa Blum for mental health professionals all over the country who are refining their skills in integrating sexuality into their couples’ therapy work.  Dr. Irwin also offers master classes on working with trauma in couples therapy, and workshops on Vicarious Trauma of therapists, first responders, and the legal and medical community. 

Dr. Elisa Hernandez is a licensed counseling psychologist who specializes in college mental health. Dr. Hernandez received her doctorate from the combined Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology program at UC Santa Barbara. Her research focused on Latinx college student wellbeing and bicultural identity correlates and development. Dr. Hernandez has devoted her career to working with undergrad and graduate students at public and private universities. Clinically, Dr. Hernandez specializes in acculturation and identity issues, first generation college students, Latinx issues, and multicultural counseling. 

Dr. Amee Velasco completed her Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) with an emphasis in both Gender and Multicultural/Community studies from Alliant International University in San Francisco. Professionally, her interests also include multicultural psychology, mindfulness and meditation. She has served and moved the community by treating survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, as well as individuals with addiction and chronic mental illnesses including major depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Dr. Velasco is a licensed clinical psychologist and co-founded Healing Rhythms Mental Health, a community practice in Monrovia, CA. Through Healing Rhythms, Dr. Velasco and her partner are developing culturally appropriate in-house and outreach programs for clients and psychology students in their training program. 

Dr. Mathew Calkins is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Certified Group Psychotherapist. He received his B.A. in Literature from Occidental College in 1996 and taught English in a special education high school prior to receiving his Psy.D. from Alliant International University – Los Angeles. Dr. Calkins completed his clinical training at the Saturday Center for Psychotherapy, after which he maintained a small private practice while working in community mental health settings. From 2008-2019, Matt worked as Director of Counseling at Occidental College. Currently, he is in full time private practice in Pasadena where he provides individual and group psychotherapy to adults and teens. Additionally, Dr. Calkins serves as a Boardmember of and Outreach Chair for The Group Psychotherapy Association of Los Angeles (GPALA).

Dr. Suzanne Lake has been in private practice in Pasadena for 30 years, where she specializes in mood and anxiety disorders.  Together with her late husband, Dr. Kevin Lake, she founded Healing Hearts Across Borders, a recognized humanitarian service organization bringing medical, dental, and psychiatric treatment and supplies to undeserved areas in the greater Tijuana area.  She has served on the SGVPA Board since 1995, including 6 years as President.  She currently edits the SGVPA Newsletter, AnalyzeThis!

This is a live online CE Event.  The Embracing Diversity Series is 3 parts and a package deal is available in the 2nd link below:

Register at Eventbrite Here: 

This Event:


Presentations will be held virtually via Zoom

For a total of 3.0 LIVE CE Credits Each for Psychologists, LCSWs, and LMFTs.

[These programs will be recorded and available On Demand via our website.]

Licensed SGVPA members           $75     Licensed SGVPA non-members   $85

On Demand                                      $70      On Demand                                                 $80

Unlicensed Post-grad members   $20      Unlicensed Post-grad members              $30 

Student members                            $10      Student non-members                              $20

Affiliate members                            $15      Affiliate non-members                              $25

CPA is co-sponsoring with The San Gabriel Valley 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 content. CPA co-sponsored credit is also accepted by the the Board of Behavioral Sciences for their licenses. Important Notice: Those who attend the workshop and complete the CPA evaluation form will receive 3 continuing education credits. 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.

Have questions about Embracing Diversity: LGBTQ+- Trans and Non-binary Identities 

Presenter: Van Levy, LMFT and Moderator: Wayne Kao, Psy.D.

Visit the Continuing Education Tab at www.sgvpa.org

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