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2017 Annual Convention
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2017 Annual Convention

11/16/2017 to 11/18/2017
When: 11/16/2017
Where: The Westin Galleria
5060 W Alabama St
Houston, Texas  77076
United States
Contact: Sherry Reisman

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Click image to download printable program in .pdf.

2017 Annual Convention

Growing Psychology

November 16-18, 2017

Westin Houston at the Galleria


Full printable program here (updated 10/27)

Exhibit and Sponsorship Opportunities here



Melanie Greenberg, PhD is a practicing psychologist, author, speaker, and life/business coach, with more than 20 years of experience working in academic, research, and clinical settings. A recognized expert on stress management and trauma, she draws on neuroscience, mindfulness, behavioral health, and positive psychology in her work, blending science with mindful wisdom and heart-based compassion. Melanie is the author of The Stress-Proof Brain (New Harbinger) – an Amazon bestseller in Neuropsychology and Stress-Management. She also writes The Mindful Self-Express blog, which has over 9 million page-views, for Psychology Today. She has published articles in top-tier, peer-reviewed journals, including The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and Health Psychology. Melanie has delivered talks and workshops to national and international audiences, businesses, non-profits, and professional organizations such as the American Psychological Association. A popular media expert, she has been featured on CNN, Forbes, BBC radio, ABC News, Yahoo, Lifehacker, and the Huffington Post, as well as in Business Insider, Self, Redbook, Women’s Health, Men’s Health, Fitness Magazine, Women’s Day, and Marie Claire. She has also been interviewed on numerous radio shows and podcasts. With over 50,000 followers, Melanie was named one of the 30 Most Prominent Psychologists to follow on Twitter by the British Psychological Association.

Keynote: The New Frontier of Brain Science in the Treatment of Stress and Trauma
Friday, November 17, 9:00am-10:00am

Workshop: Neuroplasticity and Positive Brain Change: Its Role in Treating Stress, Anxiety, and Trauma
Friday, November 17, 2:15pm-4:15pm

Invited Speakers

Julie Kaplow, PhD, ABPP, is a licensed clinical psychologist and board certified in Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology. She holds a primary appointment as Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine/Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston and an adjunct appointment in the Department of Palliative Care at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Kaplow also serves as Director of the Trauma and Grief Center for Youth, a designated Treatment and Service Adaptation Center of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network specializing in child and adolescent bereavement. In this role, she oversees evidence-based assessment, treatment, and research with bereaved youth and families, and develops and disseminates bereavement-informed “best practices” to community providers nationwide. Prior to coming to Houston, Dr. Kaplow served for seven years on the faculty at the University of Michigan, Department of Psychiatry, where she directed an APA-accredited Clinical Child Psychology Postdoctoral Training Program and established and directed the University of Michigan Trauma and Grief Center for Youth. A strong proponent of a scientist-practitioner approach, Dr. Kaplow has dedicated her career to conducting studies of traumatized and bereaved children and families, providing therapeutic services to this population, and training new clinicians in trauma- and bereavement-informed best practices. Her primary research interests focus on the biological, behavioral, and psychological consequences of childhood trauma and bereavement, with an emphasis on therapeutically modifiable factors that can be used to inform psychosocial interventions. Dr. Kaplow has published widely on the topic of childhood bereavement including invited articles and editorials focusing on age-specific manifestations of grief (Kaplow, Layne, Pynoos et al., 2012), grief-related methodological issues (Kaplow, Layne, & Pynoos, 2014), and developmental models of bereavement-related risk and resilience (Kaplow & Layne, 2014). Dr. Kaplow is lead author of the award-winning children’s book, Samantha Jane’s Missing Smile: A Story About Coping with the Loss of a Parent (Kaplow & Pincus, 2007), co-author of Collaborative Treatment of Traumatized Children and Teens: The Trauma Systems Therapy Approach (Saxe, Ellis, & Kaplow, 2007), and co-author of Trauma and Grief Component Therapy for Adolescents (Saltzman, Layne, Pynoos, Olafson, Kaplow, & Boat, in press).

Christopher M. Layne, Ph.D., is currently Program Director of Education in Evidence-Based Practice at the UCLA/Duke National Center for Child Traumatic Stress, which is the administrative hub that oversees the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTNS). With Dr. Robert Pynoos, he developed a pioneering group treatment protocol in 1993 for high school students exposed to community violence-related trauma and traumatic bereavement. Dr. Layne then served as Field Director of the UNICEF School-Based Program for War-Exposed Adolescents in post-war Bosnia between 1997-2001. Trained as a clinical psychologist, Dr. Layne has taught research methods and psychometrics at the university level for over 10 years and has consulted with schools in the aftermath of school shootings. Following the September 11th 2001 terrorist attacks, Dr. Layne provided extensive methodological support, training, and consultation to clinicians in adopting Trauma and Grief Component Therapy for Adolescents (TGCTA) a trauma and grief-focused intervention he co-authored to treat adolescents exposed to trauma and traumatic bereavement. TGCTA is now in press with Cambridge University Press and is being broadly disseminated across the US. Dr. Layne is one of the lead developers of the Core Curriculum on Childhood Trauma, a problem-based learning curriculum designed to teach trauma-related clinical knowledge and clinical reasoning skills. The Curriculum is being broadly disseminated across the National Child Traumatic Stress Network and in many graduate training programs across the US. Dr. Layne also co-chairs the NCTSN Core Curriculum on Childhood Trauma Task Force. His research and clinical interests include evidence-based practice; evidence-based assessment; wellness-oriented public health approaches to intervention in high-risk settings; research methods and psychometrics; problem-based learning; and applying a developmental psychopathology framework to understanding resilience and vulnerability in high-risk settings, including war, terrorism, community violence, and natural disasters.

Workshop: Using Theory and Research to Promote Bereavement-Informed Assessment among Grieving Youth
Saturday, November 18, 9:15am-4:15pm

American Psychological Association Legal and Regulatory Staff

Workshop: Innovative Practice Models: Full Spectrum of Opportunity
Thursday, November 16, 1:30pm-3:30pm 

Town Hall: Ask the Attorneys Town Hall
Thursday, November 16, 3:45pm-5:15pm 

Workshop: Working with Payors to Foster Better Care
Friday, November 17, 10:15am-12:15pm 

Workshop: Risk Management and Legal Considerations in Innovative Practice Models
Saturday, November 18, 8:00am-10:00am


Shirley Ann Higuchi, Esq., is the Associate Executive Director of Legal and Regulatory Affairs (LRA) for APA and the APAPO.  In this role, Ms. Higuchi manages a team of lawyers focused on legal and regulatory strategies to achieve optimal psychologist participation in a changing health care field.  Topics include alternative practice models/integration and related antitrust issues, health insurance exchanges and network adequacy, Medicaid expansion, parity advocacy, telehealth and EHRs.

In addition to these new issues, Ms. Higuchi’s team guides states and members on long-standing legal issues for psychology such as HIPAA and patient privacy, subpoenas, licensure & scope of practice, and managed care.  In her 20 years of directing LRA, she has overseen all of the lawsuits against managed care on which LRA has collaborated with state associations, and LRA’s major projects such as the original HIPAA product and the 2013 HIPAA update.

Through her work at APA, Ms. Higuchi has contributed to various publications on various issues ranging from managed care and confidentiality to parenting coordination.   She has created opportunities to advocate for psychology through her elected term as President and other appointments with the District of Columbia Bar, and as Chair of the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation, which provides education, policy and research on the experiences of the Japanese Americans wrongly incarcerated during WWII. She completed a six-year appointment to the Judicial Tenure and Disabilities Commission for the DC Courts and upon completion of her term, she was appointed by Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D–D.C.) to the Federal Law Enforcement Nominating Commission which screens and recommends candidates for federal district court judicial positions.  Ms. Higuchi has received several prestigious awards, including the Lever Award, the Honorable Annice M. Wagner Pioneer Award, and the United Planning Organization Community Service Award.   Prior to joining APA, Ms. Higuchi practiced with the health care law firm of Epstein Becker & Green, PC.  She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and her law degree from Georgetown University. 

Connie Galietti, J.D., is Director, Legal & Professional Affairs in the Office of Legal & Regulatory affairs for the APA Practice Organization and the APA Practice Directorate, a position she has held since 2014.  Prior to joining APA, she served for 10 years as executive director for the Florida Psychological Association.  She cut her litigation teeth as a deputy prosecuting attorney in the sex crimes unit of the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office in Indianapolis.
She currently works on insurance and mental health parity advocacy, scope of practice issues and the legal and business issues related to innovative practice models and integrated care.  She provides member consultation and content for Practice Organization publications on a myriad of topics, including recordkeeping, insurance audits, and subpoenas.

Ms. Galietti is a graduate of Ball State University in Muncie, IN with a bachelor’s degree in business management, and earned her JD from Indiana University in Indianapolis.  

Alan C. Nessman, J.D., is the Senior Special Counsel in Legal & Regulatory Affairs for the APA Practice Organization and the Practice Directorate.  He is the lead attorney on parity enforcement & implementation, insurance, antitrust, and HIPAA & patient privacy.  His other areas of specialty include alternative practice models, Medicaid, subpoenas and other psychologist interactions with court systems, duty to warn/protect, and recordkeeping.

He joined APA in 2000 after 15 years as a law firm litigator.  He earned his BA from the University of Chicago in 1980 and his JD from George Washington University in 1984.

Elena J. Eisman, EdD, ABPP, is the Director of the American Psychological Association’s Center for Psychology and Health.  The Center for Psychology and Health, an APA center of excellence, has as its mission to integrate and disseminate APA’s work in the broadly defined area of psychology’s contribution to health.  In 2016, the Center was awarded a CMMI Cooperative Agreement to train and move 6000 psychologists toward integrated care and alternative payment models.  She is also the Associate Executive Director for Governance Operations at APA, overseeing the staffing of governance groups including the Board of Professional Affairs, The Committee on Professional Practice and Standards and the Committee for the Advancement of Professional Practice for the Practice Organization.

Formerly, Dr. Eisman was the Executive Director for the Massachusetts Psychological Association for over 20 years. In that capacity, she worked extensively on psychology’s role in state healthcare reform and served on state-wide commissions, committees and task forces.   She chaired the Massachusetts Mental Health Coalition for 15 years.  She held a faculty position at the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology, worked as a private practitioner, as well as Chief Psychologist in a Community Mental Health Clinic.  She has written and presented in the areas of healthcare, professional policy, advocacy, credentialing, and psychology education. 

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