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MSPP Abstracts

Abstracts: A digest of monthly news and events from the MSPP community


MSPP students and West Roxbury Academy students have teamed up to create a float for the annual Roslindale Day Parade, which is scheduled for Sunday, October 6th, 2013, stepping off at 1:00 pm. The theme of this year's Parade will be "Boston Strong." The float will celebrate the partnership between MSPP and the West Roxbury Education Complex. Don't miss this exciting, joyful event. For more information, visit

News about Faculty, Staff and Students


Dr. Edward De Vos will be presenting a session at Evaluation 2013: Evaluation Practice in the Early 21st Century, to be held in Washington, D.C., October 16-19. Dr. De Vos' session is entitled "Social-Environmental Determinants and Medical Pathways: A Framework for Developing and Evaluating Health and Mental Health Interventions". This is the 27th Annual Conference of the American Evaluation Association and will draw approximately 2,800 evaluators from across the U.S. and around the world to experience 875 sessions spanning the breadth and depth of the field.

Dr. Ed DeVos presents...

By invitation, Dr. De Vos is serving as a member of a three-person Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) on behalf of the Children's Bureau within HHS' Administration on Children, Youth and Families. Dr. De Vos is consulting to the Quality Improvement Center on Early Childhood (QIC-EC) in their second-level psychometric testing of the Caregivers Assessment of Protective Factors, an instrument initially developed for use by the QIC-EC grantees. The final results are scheduled for Spring 2014.

Kimberly LarsonKimberly Larson, JD, PhD, Core Faculty member in MSPP's MA in Forensic and Counseling Psychology Program, was recently accepted a re-appointment to the Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare Section of the Massachusetts Bar Association. She is delighted to join a group of highly esteemed colleagues to help lead attorneys practicing in this area in Massachusetts. The group's focus will be on abuse and neglect, delinquency, youthful offenders, and status offender cases. As part of this group, she will also participate in educating lawyers throughout the state about new and upcoming legislative and practice issues that impact children and families, as well as publishing articles and helping develop new juvenile justice related legislation. Learn more about the Section Council and its functions here:

As a member of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation's Models for Change Initiative, Larson has continued to provide technical assistance to states, including Michigan, for which she held a webinar to educate attorneys, clinicians, judges, and other practitioners about Michigan's new Juvenile Competence to Stand Trial Legislation. She is also working on her MacArthur Foundation-funded legacy project that continues her former work on juveniles' competence to stand trial and also offers targeted assistance to states through regional conferences.

Larson has also begun work on her National Institute of Justice-funded project that will investigate the understanding that both juveniles and adults have of youth's right to counsel. Along with MSPP student Summer Langley, Larson is also surveying all 50 states regarding their juvenile competence to stand trial remediation practices. She is hoping to involve other MSPP students in her ongoing research and welcomes students who are interested in gaining research experience to be in contact.

Gemima St. Louis, PhD, who came on board this summer as a new member of the clinical faculty, is an assistant professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine and the director of Mental Health Training and Research at the SPARK Center at Boston Medical Center. As a Clinical Psychologist at the SPARK Center, St. Louis provides counseling services to predominantly ethnic minority children, adolescents, and families. As the Director of Clinical Training and Research at the SPARK Center, Dr. St. Louis oversees the training and supervision of mental health interns; and conducts research on HIV/AIDS and trauma. She is the current president of the Boston-based Haitian Mental Health Network and the co-founder of HEART (Haiti Earthquake Aid and Relief Team). St. Louis has presented at national and international conferences on the topics of trauma, disaster mental health, HIV/AIDS, and mental health disparities among ethnic minority children and families. She is the recipient of the American Psychological Association's MUSE Award, the Chancellor's Distinguished Dissertation Award, and two Community Appreciation Awards.

Mari Carmen Bennasar, PsyD is named new director of the Latino Mental Health Program

Mari Carmen BennesarMari Carmen Bennasar, PsyD, MSPP's Associate Director of Field Education, is the new director of the Latino Mental Health Program (LMHP). Bennasar has been involved with the LMHP since its inception. Additionally, she has been a faculty member in the program and a member of the LMHP steering committee for the past two years. She is a leader in the field on multicultural psychology and a dynamic spokesperson for the program both within MSPP and the wider community. "She has the passion, skills, and network to help take the program to the next level for us," said Dr. Stacey Lambert, PsyD and Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs, in an email announcement the transition recently, adding that Bennasar will continue her role in Field Education as well.

Dr. Kaitlyn Peretti, PsyD appointed to Associate Chair of the Counseling Psychology Department at MSPP

Dear MSPP Community,

I am very pleased to announce that Dr. Kaitlyn (McDonald) Peretti has accepted the appointment as Associate Chair of the Counseling Psychology Department at MSPP. Her appointment is effective this month, August 2013. Kate has increasing assumed administrative duties in the Counseling Department in the past two years including coordination of Admissions for the department. In her new role, she will assume responsibilities in enrollment and accreditation functions as well as administrative oversight of one or more programs within the department. Kate has been a significant contributor to the success of the department and we are very pleased that her new position will further the mission of the department. For MSPP community members who do not know Kate well, I am including her biography below.

Stanley Berman, PhD
Vice President for Academic Affairs
Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology

Kaitlyn PerettiKaitlyn Peretti, PsyD, is a core faculty member in the MA in Forensic & Counseling Psychology Program. Dr. McDonald earned her degree in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology in Fresno, CA. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at Ancora Psychiatric Hospital and Ann Klein Forensic Center in New Jersey and completed a postdoctoral fellowship through Forensic Health Services and University of Massachusetts- Boston. She is a licensed psychologist in Massachusetts and currently works as a Supervising Psychologist at the Massachusetts Treatment Center, a Department of Correction facility. Her primary area of specialization is sex offender treatment and evaluation. Her clinical experience includes working in outpatient, inpatient, and correctional settings and her forensic experience includes working in the adult court system conducting competence to stand trial, aid to sentencing, civil commitment, and substance abuse evaluations. Other clinical interests include psychodynamic psychotherapy, group psychotherapy, and personality disorders.

Marsha VannicelliMarsha Vannicelli, PhD presents at annual Northeastern Society of Group Therapy conference Marsha Vannicelli, PhD, core faculty member in MSPP's Clinical PsyD program, presented a workshop in June at the annual conference of the Northeastern Society of Group Psychotherapy entitled, Streamlining Private Practice: Increasing the Gain and Decreasing the Pain , as well as a workshop at the American Group Psychotherapy Association in March entitled, Endings: the Bitter and the Sweet . She also has a book chapter about to come out, Managing Substance Issues in Groups Not Specifically for Substance Abusers. In: Motherwell L and Shay J, editors. Complex dilemmas in group psychotherapy. New York: Brunner-Routledge , an article in the NSGP Fall Newsletter, Double Bind: Managing the Boundaries in Substance Abuse Treatment Groups. Soon to appear in the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy , will also be an article, Supervising the Beginning Group Leader in Inpatient and Partial Hospital Settings

Erik GregoryErik Gregory, Director and Chair of the Organizational and Leadership Psychology Program, has been crisscrossing the globe speaking at conferences and promoting programming at MSPP. In November of last year, Erik was a keynote speaker at the International Convention on Children and Media. He spoke on the potential media have for informing and educating children and countered the notion that all media consumption is negative. The Turkish government invited him due to the widespread concern about the increased consumption of media by Turkey's youth and its impact on their culture.

In January, he contributed to a Leadership Summit organized in Rome; and this month was scheduled to present at the International Trends and issues Communication and Media Conference, in Dubia. En route to the United Arab Emirates, the state department issued a warning to US travelers to the Middle East which grounded him in London. The organizers of the presentation had US and Canadian participants instead present via satellite which he did on the topic of Technology and Leadership.

Erik has recently been contracted to write a text on "Positive Psychology: The Science of Happiness and Well-Being" for ABC-Clio press targeted at community college populations.

He also joined the San Francisco based NOBULLY.Com non-profit as a board member in February and will be working with national leaders to build an East Coast base for the organizations (which is underwritten by technology companies in Silicon Valley). NOBULLY's mission is to bring innovative, sustainable solutions to bullying and harassment in schools.

Wynn SchwartzThis October, Dr. Wynn Schwartz became President-Elect of The Society for Descriptive Psychology at its 35th Annual Meeting in Golden, Colorado where he also presented a paper, "Through-Lines: What Makes Something Descriptive Psychology?" As part of his role as president-elect, Dr. Schwartz will be responsible for organizing the 2014 conference presentations. In December, at the Yale Conference: Personhood Beyond the Human, Dr. Schwartz presented a paper, "A Paradigm Case Formulation of Persons". Also in December, Volume Ten of The Advances In Descriptive Psychology published his paper, "The Parameters of Empathy". Earlier this fall, Dr. Schwartz' blog, "Freedom, Liberation and Reaction: Lessons in Psychology" was syndicated by Social Justice Solutions where it has a very large readership.

Students and faculty in the Clinical Department Concentration on Children and Families of Adversity and Resilience joined each other at the home of Dr. Robin Deutsch for a wonderful fall get-together on September 21.2013 (photo below).


Counseling Department Hosts MAMFT Board

The Counseling Psychology Department recently hosted a meeting of Marriage and Family Therapy program directors followed by the Massachusetts Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (MAMFT) Board of Trustees meeting here at our MSPP campus. Jackie Gagliardi, Program Coordinator for the Counseling Psychology and Couples and Family Therapy program at MSPP, is a member of the Elections Committee of the MAMFT Board. Following the meetings, the MAMFT Board of Trustees met will all current students in MSPP's Counseling Psychology and Couples and Family Therapy Masters program to discuss career opportunities. Click here to read about the exciting career outlook for Marriage and Family Therapists.

Dr. Robert Kinscherff contributes to national discourse on violence

Robert KinscherffRobert Kinscherff, PhD, Esq. presented a plenary address on November 1st for the annual conference of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA) in Chicago. Dr. Kinscherff was an Expert Panel member and co-author on the recently released American Psychological Association research and policy monograph Gun Violence: Prevention, Prediction and Policy. Media interviews following release of the monograph included USA Today and Parade magazine. MSPP alumna Mathilde Pelaprat, Psy.D. was also an invited and acknowledged contributor to one of the chapters Dr. Kinscherff co-authored. Concurrently, Dr. Kinscherff is serving as Chair on the APA Gun Policy Review Task Force which is preparing a resolution to guide APA activities, advocacy and public education regarding gun violence. This document will be reviewed by the APA Board in anticipation of presentation to the APA Council of Representatives at its winter meeting. Dr. Steven Sparta of San Diego and Dr. Kinscherff also together authored The Assessment of Childhood Trauma: Clinical and Forensic Considerations in the fall 2013 publication of the National Register of Health Service Psychologists. MSPP student Stacey Goldstein-Dwyer was a significant contributor to this publication. In early December, Dr. Kinscherff offered an all-day workshop on Body, Mind and the Resolution of Values in Professional Practice at the Brattleboro Retreat in Vermont. He also contributed to a technical assistance webpage of the Collaborative for Change of the National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice to support policy and practice development in Juvenile Drug Courts to meet the needs of court-involved youth with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders.

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MSPP In the News

Dr. Stanley Berman, PhD, MSPP's VP for Academic Affairs, is featured in New England Psychologist. Read the article here.

Pamela Rutledge, PhD, MBA, of MSPP's Media Psychology program, comments on CNN in the story on "Why people share murder, rape on Facebook." See it here.

Dr. Nadja Reilly, MSPP faculty and Associate Director of the Freedman Center, was prominently featured in a recent article in the New England Psychologist on the use of APPs in psychology. Read it here.

Dr. Gemima St. Louis, core faculty in the Clinical PsyD program, and director of MSPP's PATHWAYS program, is featured with the PATHWAYS program, a partnership with the West Roxbury high schools, in a article. Read it here.

Dr. Robert Kinscherff, MSPP Associate VP for Community Engagement and the head of the APA's new committee on gun violence, was featured in an article in this month's New England Psychologist. Read it here.

Dr. Ethan Pollack and MSPP graduate, Dr. David Stein, were featured prominently in "A Look at the Profession Then and Now," the lead story in this month's New England Psychologist. Read it here.

Guidelines for Submission to Abstracts

  1. Items for the Abstracts should be sent by the last day of the month to Patti Jacobs at
  2. Submissions should be print-ready articles or short-write ups rather than brochures or other documents and they should be no more than 100 words, preferably shorter.
  3. To make them print-ready, please proof all submissions and make sure you include names, titles and degrees of the people mentioned in the articles.
  4. Also, please submit the entire link information. Embedded links do not transfer to the newsletter format.
  5. Finally, if you submit a photo, please include one-line captions identifying people in the photo and the event with them.
  6. The articles will be slightly edited, but will not go back to you for review.
  7. If you do not make the deadline, it is possible that your article will be bumped to the next month.

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Updated 4/14/14

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