Keynote Speakers:

  • Jason Platt, Ph.D. - Opening Keynote: "Therapeutic Spaces in Public Spaces: Alternative Ideas for Community Work following a Natural Disaster"

Jason Platt, Ph.D., has a vitae that abounds with international teaching, research, and presentations. He is the director of the International Center for Therapy and Dialogue in Mexico City, Mexico and has facilitated programs in India, Cambodia, Mexico, Cuba, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Vietnam. The Journal of Marital and Family Therapy named his article on Critical Patriotism the JMFT Best Article of the Year.

  • Manijeh Daneshpour, Ph.D. - Closing Keynote: "Battle of Trauma Queens: Man versus Nature"

Manijeh Daneshpour, Ph.D., is a professor and systemwide director of marriage and family therapy at Alliant International University and a licensed marriage and family therapist with more than 20 years of academic, research, and clinical experience. Dr. Daneshpour’s main areas of research, publications, and presentations have been centered on issues of immigration and the impact of trauma on refugees, multiculturalism, social justice, third wave feminism, and premarital and marital relationships.


Presenters (listed alphabetically)​:

  • Rebecca Bokoch, Psy.D. and Brittany Aliado, M.A.: "Mindfulness: A Gateway to Compassion, Acceptance, and Peace in the Face of Suffering"

Rebecca Bokoch, Psy.D., is an adjunct faculty at Alliant International University. She has presented both regionally and internationally on topics such as the use of integrated expressive arts therapies, mindfulness, sibling therapy, and working with diverse clinical populations. Rebecca is a marriage and family therapist, who specializes in working with children and families both in private practice and school-based settings. Rebecca is also trained in Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, Mindful Self Compassion, and trauma informed care.

Brittany Aliado, M.A., is a Psy.D. student at Alliant International University. She has experience working with children, adolescents, and families in a school-based setting. Brittany is trained in Mindful Self Compassion, which she integrates into her therapeutic work. Brittany’s research interests include gender differences related to self-compassion and the use of self-compassion as a protective factor in late adolescence.

  • Branson Boykins, Ph.D: "Understanding Implicit Racial Biases and Subsequent Trauma"

Branson Boykins, Ph.D., is an assistant professor at Alliant International University’s Couple & Family Therapy Program at the Irvine campus. Dr. Boykins teaches several courses at the masters and doctoral level such as diversity in the family, research methods, MFT assessment, and counseling theories. Dr. Boykins’ research interest includes multicultural counseling/competency, racial identity, implicit bias, working with diverse clients, and working with college-aged populations. Branson Boykins also serves on the I-Merit committee on the Irvine campus, and strives to create more discussions regarding social justice, diversity, and inclusion. 

  • Emily Duval, M.A.: "Suicide Post-vention: Coping in the Aftermath of Death by Suicide and Working with Survivor Grief"

Emily Duval, M.A., is a licensed clinician in California with 20 years of experience as a counselor, an accredited psychotherapist in the United Kingdom, and a dedicated suicide post-vention expert, specializing in the subject of complex grief after suicide. Working in international environments since 1998 developed Emily in her roles as a practitioner, critical incident responder, keynote speaker, group facilitator, workshop trainer, and published co-author. Currently, Emily is working on her PsyD in ORG Development and works full-time as a clinician in San Diego.

  • Sharon Ellerman, M.A. candidate: "The Double Impact of Disasters on Disadvantaged Communities"

Sharon Ellermann, is a Master’s candidate in the CFT class of 2018 at Alliant International University in San Diego, CA.  Last year, she presented a poster at the 2017 AAMFT-CA Conference on attachment strategy modification in intercultural marital therapy. She published an article for the Summer issue of Perspectives of the APA Division-35 on same sex marriage in the 21st century.  Currently, Sharon works with community college students and volunteers in youth empowerment camps.

  • Tami Gavron, Ph.D.: "The Healing Power of Art: An Art-Based Psychosocial Intervention with Tsunami Survivors in Japan" (Pre-recorded video presentation with live facilitator)

Tami Gavron, Ph.D., is faculty member at the Tel Hai College and Haifa University. She has visited Japan 4 times as part of IsraAID, which is a non-governmental organization committed to providing life-saving disaster relief and long term support.  Tami is a clinician and researcher; her specialties include: Art-bases psychosocial interventions, art-based clinical supervision, and parent-child art psychotherapy. She is a frequent international and national presenter. Tami is also in private practice where she supervises art psychotherapists and practices with various populations, including dyadic family therapy. She lives with her family in the galilee, at the northern part of Israel.

  • Kelsey Harrold, M.A. and Laura Gutierrez Duarte, M.A.: "Conducting Single Sessions"

Kelsey Harrold, M.S., is currently enrolled as a Psy.D. student in the Couples and Family Therapy program at Alliant International University. She has experience working with couples, children, families and individuals in either a clinical or medical setting. Her experience has helped her learn the value of working with clients in different settings and the importance of knowing how to to conduct brief therapy or single sessions. Kelsey’s special interests are couples and trauma work.

Laura Gutierrez Duarte, M.A., is a student currently enrolled in the Psy.D. Couples and Family program at Alliant International University. She has experience working with children and families.

  • Denise Lopez, Ph.D.: "Organizational Social Responsibility: What is and what should be business organizations’ response to disasters?"

Patricia Denise Lopez, Ph.D., is a Professor of Organizational Psychology at Alliant International University’s California School of Professional Psychology, Los Angeles campus.  Her research and teaching interests include cultural diversity in organizations, organizational change and development, globalization, and ethical and legal issues in organizational psychology and business.

  • Alba Nino, Ph.D.: "Person of the Therapist Work as a Form of Self-Care"

Alba Nino, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the Couple and Family Therapy Programs at Alliant International University (San Diego). Dr. Nino is a bilingual therapist (English-Spanish) with extensive experience working with individuals, couples, and families of diverse backgrounds, especially immigrant families from Latin America. Dr. Nino teaches courses on family therapy theories, trauma and crisis intervention, and person of the therapist training.

  • Alba Nino, Ph.D. and Megan Hawker, Psy.D.: "The Experience of Post-Traumatic Growth and its Therapeutic Possibilities with Veteran Populations"

Megan Hawker, Psy.D., is the Clinical Director at Interfaith Community Services in North County San Diego and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). An Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) Veteran, Megan has over 17 years of working with military and veteran populations. She earned her Doctorate of Psychology (PsyD) in Couples and Family Therapy from Alliant International University in San Diego, CA. Her areas of emphasis include Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) and Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR). She has conducted and published research on the topic of posttraumatic growth (PTG) in Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.

  • Dorothy O'Neill, Psy.D.: "Picking up the emotional pieces after a mass shooting; Working with traumatized families and victims, and understanding how to hold yourself together"

Dorothy O'Neill, Psy.D., works in private practice focused on couples, and military personnel. Her work includes PTSD, and relationship challenges. Dr. O’Neill is an advocate for better mental health care for the veteran community. Recently she was asked to go to Washington to meet with the overcite committee for the VA to speak on this topic. She has worked with the aftermath of mass shootings. Her work includes working with the relatives of the San Bernardino shooting and more recently the victims and their families of the Las Vegas shooting.

  • Janie Pinterits, Ph.D.: "Crisis, Trauma, and Fenceline Communities"

Janie Pinterits, Ph.D., Diversity & Inclusion professional. Dr. Pinterits focuses on promoting inclusive excellence and cultural responsiveness in professional training.  As a multiracial Filipinx American, her research includes the assessment of White privilege attitudes, systems of privilege and oppression, and social justice advocacy competence.  Her publications have appeared in The Journal of Counseling Psychology, Counselor Education and Supervision, PsycCRITIQUES, and The Oxford Handbook of Social Class in Counseling.  She earned APA’s Society of Counseling Psychology Section on Ethnic and Racial Diversity’s 2013 Outstanding Service to Diverse/Underserved Communities award.

  • Nicole Sabatini Gutierrez, Psy.D.: "Understanding the Risks and Potential Effects of Vicarious Traumatization When Treating Sexual Trauma"

Nicole Sabatini Gutierrez, Psy.D., is an Assistant Professor in the CFT program at Alliant International University, Irvine. She has conducted research and presented at conferences around the country on various topics such as: vicarious traumatization in therapists; addressing issues of multiculturalism and client-centered advocacy in clinical supervision; and cultural disparities in evidenced based treatment research. She also has a full private practice where she specializes in treating trauma, addiction, and other mental health and relational challenges.