Essential Requirements Conference: Diversity, Ethics and Supervision

March 8, 2019


Location: Sheraton College Park North Hotel, Beltsville MD (Directions) 

Onsite registration will open at 8:00 am

Networking Breakfast: 8:00 am - 8:50 am 
Join us for light refreshments and coffee before the workshops begin.

Morning Workshops: 9:00 am - 12:15 pm
Choose one of the four (3 CE) workshops for the morning session.

Lunch: 12:15 pm - 1:30 pm 
This informal event provides an inviting way to get to know colleagues in our ethnically and culturally diverse community of Maryland psychologists. It is also designed to enhance communication among psychologists who have an interest in collegial support and the treatment of underserved populations. Sponsored by MPA's Diversity Committee. All are welcome. 

Afternoon Workshop: 1:30 pm - 4:45 pm


There is no potential conflict of interest and/or commercial support for these programs or their presenters.

Networking Lunch

The Maryland Psychological Association and its Diversity Committee is once again delighted to announce a unique networking opportunity for conference attendees, colleagues, and graduate students. Held in conjunction with the Essential Requirement Conference, this informal event provides an inviting way to get to know colleagues in our ethnically and culturally diverse community of Maryland psychologists. It is also designed to enhance communication among psychologists who have an interest in collegial support and the treatment of underserved populations.

With support from MPA friends interested in providing networking opportunities such as this, MPA is proud to continue this new tradition that began in 2011 at a Banneker Center event honoring the role of several African American psychologists in Maryland. We hope that you find your participation at this lunch a rewarding enhancement to your multicultural professional education experience.

Morning Workshops

AM1 - Diversity and Relationship Building

This workshop meets the MD Licensing Requirement for Cultural Diversity

Linda Berg-Cross, Ph.D.

Workshop Instructional Level: Intermediate

In this workshop, we will begin by reviewing recent cultural paradigms on race.  We will then spend most of the session working on 5 transcultural competencies that can enhance the therapeutic relationship as well as the real-world relationships of our clients. The competencies and their academic origin are as follows:  the culture mindset (developmental and sociocultural psychology); cultural engagement and individuation (Bowian model); privilege and resiliency (positive psychology); ostracism and inclusion (social psychology); and positive ways of responding to micro-aggressions (communication studies).  The research supporting each transcultural competency will be reviewed, we will do a related exercise, and we will discuss how the competency can be used in the therapeutic hour.  All of the translational techniques are viewed as emerging practices and reflect, to a large degree, the interpretation of the presenter. 

This workshop is designed to help you:

  • List five transcultural competencies that build more respectful and intimate relationships;
  • Be able to apply the five transcultural competencies to their own lives and their work with clients;
  • Critique the limitations in our current toolbox to building a therapeutic alliance with clients different than ourselves.

Linda Berg-Cross, Ph.D., is a Professor of Psychology at Howard University in Washington, DC and board certified in clinical psychology (ABPP) and behavioral sleep medicine (AASM).  She is the author of two classic textbooks and over 50 scholarly articles.  She has developed many new intervention program and techniques including the Cornerstone Method of Couple Counseling, the Therapeutic Dialogue technique, the Person-in-Culture Interview and the Preventative Sleep Program for New Parents. Dr. Berg-Cross currently serves on the Board of Examiners of Psychologists in the state of Maryland.


AM2 - Redefining Aging: Successful Aging and Compassionate Caregiving

This workshop meets the MD Licensing Requirement for Cultural Diversity

Ann Kaiser Stearns, Ph.D.

Workshop Instructional Level: All Levels

Please note Dr. Stearns will be referring to her published books. 

A rich body of research describes the stereotype threat of ageism, challenging each of us to examine the explicit and implicit ageist messages that we unconsciously adopt. We truly can bring about the self-fulfilling prophecy of feeling, acting, and appearing to others as “old” before our time! What is worse, we often interact with older adults from places of misinformation, perpetuating ageist stereotypes among our colleagues and patients. Of particular interest are the findings of Becca Levy’s longitudinal studies at Yale University’s School of Public Health, including the link between positive age stereotypes, longevity and complete recovery from disability. Levy and her associates also report a “Hearing Decline Predicted by Elders’ Stereotypes,” (2006) and “A Culture-Brain Link: Negative Age Stereotypes Predict Alzheimer’s Disease” (2016). Fifty years ago, it was geriatrician Robert Butler, M.D., who coined the term “ageism,” seeing it as “a form of bigotry that is a very serious national problem.”

Most mental deterioration before age 80 reflects disease, not the normal aging process. We can reduce our risk factors for various forms of dementia and live longer, happier, fuller lives. Brain volume can increase as we age in response to a healthy and active lifestyle, as evidenced in the work of neurologist K. I. Erickson: “Physical Activity Predicts Gray Matter Volume in Late Adulthood: the Cardiovascular Health Study,” (2010).  The old adage of life after 70 being “all downhill from here” is simply not true, writes Winnie Hu in “Too Old for Sex? Not at This Nursing Home,” (New York Times, 2016) and Columbia University School of Medicine Professor Henry S. Lodge (Younger Next Year: the New Science of Aging,  PBS special, 2011).

This workshop will also focus on myth-busting knowledge, empowering insights, and practical skills for working with cognitively and/or physically impaired older adult patients and their family caregivers. The work of Laura Wayman will be presented (A Loving Approach to Dementia Care) along with caregiving strategies from prolific researchers/university professors Linda Teri (Managing and Understanding Behavioral Problems in Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders) and Susan M. McCurry (When A Family Member Has Dementia and Treating Dementia in Context). Of emphasis will be effective ways to intervene or entirely avoid “the catastrophic situation.” Additionally, we will address caregiver stress, including what helps and what usually doesn’t, and examine ways to make life easier for those who someday will take care of us. 

 This workshop is designed to help you:

  • Identify and describe the “stereotype threat” of ageism; 
  • List 4 risk factors that double the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease and 4 potential protective factors;
  • Discuss myth-busting insights and problem-solving skills for creatively working with cognitively and/or physically impaired older adults or supporting their family members and caregivers.
  • Describe the fulfilling life experiences still possible for family members or caregivers and the care recipient, despite the sadness of the elder person’s decline or the fatigue and stress of caregiving. 

 Ann Kaiser Stearns, Ph.D., a Professor of Behavioral Science at the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC), has received awards for “Excellence in Teaching” from Loyola University Maryland, Johns Hopkins University, and the Maryland Psychological Association. She is the bestselling author of Living Through Personal Crisis (published in seven languages), various articles, a chapter in the textbook Pastoral Counseling, and three other books, including Redefining Aging – A Caregiver’s Guide to Living Your Best Life (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2017). Dr. Stearns has appeared on CNN, PBS, NPR, and more than 200 additional radio and television programs nationwide. The Maryland General Assembly has twice recognized her for outstanding public service. In the January 2018 edition of The Maryland Psychologist, Dr. Stearns’ most recent article appeared, “Stereotype Threat: What Kind of an ‘Old Person’ Will I / Will You Become?”


AM3 - Ethical Interventions with Immigrant, Refugee, and Asylee Clients

This workshop meets the MD Licensing Requirement for Cultural Diversity.

Rachel Singer, Ph.D., Sombo Pujeh, Dr.PH., Akua G. Asare M.D.

Workshop Instructional Level: All Levels. 

This interactive workshop will provide an overview of ethical considerations for working  with immigrants, refugees, and asylees. Presenters will focus both on specific factors related to African immigrants’ experiences, as well as more broad applications of conceptualization and mental health treatment for immigrants overall.

Among the rapidly growing population of immigrants in the United States (Pew Research Center, 2015), refugee and asylum seekers represent a particularly unique and vulnerable population (APA, 2012). According to the United States Census, the number of immigrants in the U.S. who were specifically born in Africa doubled between 2000 and 2010 (American Immigration Council, 2012). A majority of the immigrants (70%) hail from Western and Eastern African countries. The greater metropolitan area of Washington D.C. includes approximately 161,000 individuals who were born in Africa (Wilson, 2010).

Previous research has found that greater levels of psychological stress among African immigrants relates to more negative attitudes about help-seeking behavior (Obasi & Leong, 2009). Further, higher levels of African acculturation relate to lower likelihood of receiving mental health supports. Barriers to accessing mental health care may include high rates of instability from the country of origin, fear of “black magic”, low awareness of available services, self-medication with khat, mistrust of mental health practitioners, or financial constraints (Pujeh-Fiakpo, 2018).

While specific reasons for migration may diverge depending upon country of origin and individual factors, refugees and asylum seeker population share a history of persecution, fear, and the potential for profound psychological distress (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, 2015). Engaging in culturally competent interventions with this population necessitates a foundation in evidence-based interventions, careful application of the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct, as well as an integration of the APA’s Multicultural Guidelines.   

Discussion content of this workshop will address evidence-based interventions for mental health treatment with this population, factors that might impact the therapeutic relationship, and secondary burnout for clinicians. Participants will practice applying the APA ethical codes, multicultural guidelines, a comprehensive cultural sensitivity approach, and evidence-based interventions with cases during the workshop.

This workshop is designed to help you:

  • Identify factors that impede and contribute to culturally competent care for immigrants;
  • Describe the difference between immigrants, asylum seekers, and refugees;
  • Apply APA’s guidelines for multicultural competence to case conceptualizations immigrants.


Rachel Singer, Ph.D., is a practicing clinician at the Center for Anxiety and Behavioral Change, and a faculty member at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology DC campus, Clinical Psy.D. Department. She completed her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Boston College, and a postdoctoral fellowship at the Kennedy Krieger Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She has authored book chapters and peer-reviewed journal articles on working with immigrant, refugee, and aslyee populations. Dr. Singer is a mental health consultant for the African Affairs Advisory Group, engaging in community outreach to increase access to mental health interventions.  

AM4 - The Interface of the Professional and the Personal: Personal Reactivity and Countertransference in Supervision

This workshop meets the MD Licensing Requirement for Supervision.

Sandor (Alex) Szollos, Ph.D.

Workshop Instructional Level: All Levels.

This workshop will examine the supervisor-supervisee relationship with a focus on the exploration and management of the supervisee’s personal reactivity or countertransference. Supervisors bear the responsibility of ensuring that services provided to clients under their supervision uphold client welfare.  It is clinically and ethically important to examine the personal factors of the therapist, including attitudes, beliefs, values, biases, conflicts, and problems—in fact all personal experiences— that may at times interfere with the supervisee’s understanding and relating to his or her client and the conduct of treatment.

Historically we can distinguish between two fundamental and radically different orientations to supervision. In the psychodynamic tradition supervision, with a focus on the intersubjective process and akin to personal therapy, has been an integral part of therapist training. In contrast,  cognitive-behavioral (CBT) supervision have been focusing on teaching skills of relationship building, conceptualization, implementation of therapeutic interventions and (lately) adherence to evidence-based manuals and protocols. In the psychodynamic supervisory orientation, the examination of the supervisee’s countertransference reactions have great importance, whereas CBT supervision have addressed personal reactivity only tangentially until recently. However, most current approaches to psychotherapy, including CBT, have been increasingly integrating the management of personal reactivity as an essential skill to be developed in clinical supervision. Using selected current models of psychotherapy supervision, this workshop will present the following:   

  1. Current conceptualizations and clinical implementation of the exploration and management of countertransference reactions and personal reactivity within selected therapeutic approaches.
  2. How to build the supervisory alliance, especially the supervisor-supervisee bond, which will allow the exploration of countertransference issues in supervision within one’s preferred therapeutic approach. 
  3. Guidelines for the identification of critical markers and therapeutic processes that may indicate the potential presence of countertransference issues in the supervisee-client relationship.
  4. How personal reactivity and countertransference reactions may manifest themselves in the supervisor-supervisee relationship, at times parallel with the supervisee-client relationship.  

The presentation will include concrete examples of clinical vignettes and practice examples.  At the end, time will be set aside for the audience to present questions and examples from their own professional experience.

This workshop is designed to help you:

  • Explain the clinical and ethical importance of addressing countertransference and personal reactivity in psychotherapy supervision;
  • Describe the process of building the supervisory alliance and the exploration of the supervisee’s personal reactivity;
  • Discuss and analyze potential incidents and markers of countertransference reactions in the supervisee-client relationship;
  • Assess and analyze the potential presence of countertransference reactions in the supervisor-supervisee relationship. 

Sandor (Alex) Szollos, Ph.D., received his initial psychology training and worked for several years as a psychologist at the Lund University Medical School in Sweden. He received his doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Connecticut in 1984 and completed his internship at the Brown University Medical School, specializing in child and adolescent disorders. Dr. Szollos was a full-time faculty member at the Department of Psychology, Millersville University of PA for 30 years; since his retirement from teaching in 2011 he devotes his time to clinical work, research and writing. His primary research interests include emotional processing in anxiety disorders, chronic time pressure and the psychology of money.   

 Dr. Szollos has been a clinician since 1976; he established his private practice, the Human Development Center, in 1989. His clinical expertise includes problems of early childhood, ADHD, anxiety, depression, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and marital problems.

For more information about Dr. Szollos’ work, visit his Website at

Afternoon Workshop

PM - Risky Business: Ethical Practice in a Complex World

This workshop meets the MD Licensing Requirement for Laws/Ethics or Risk Management

Workshop Instructional Level: All levels.

Presented by members of the MPA Ethics Committee:Jack Roth, Ph.D., Chair; Ethan Bliss, Ph.D.; Richard Bloch, Esq.; Mary Colleen Byrne, Ph.D.; Cindy Ward Sandler, Ph.D.; Teresa Trabue, Psy.D.; and Beth Warner, Ph.D. (presenter bios)

The members of the MPA Ethics Committee will present a workshop focusing on applying ethical principles and APA guidelines to situations relevant to the practicing psychologist. The Committee members will present an ethical decision-making model and demonstrate its application in a vignette presented to the total group. The attendees will break into small groups led by committee members that will examine vignettes portraying situations similar to inquiries received by the Committee but with details changed to protect confidentiality. The small groups will focus on utilizing ethical principles and decision-making to address and anticipate potential dilemmas and conflicts. The content of the vignettes will include ethical dilemmas in providing services to diverse populations, transitioning between practices/termination, risky adolescent behavior, and privacy/confidentiality.  

This workshop is designed to help you:

  • Apply general ethical principles such as informed consent, documentation, record keeping, conflict of interest, termination, supervision, confidentiality, service delivery through organizations, and multiple roles;
  • Demonstrate the CLEAR lens model;Apply ethical reasoning to situations frequently encountered in a psychologist’s professional life;
  • Appreciate the overlap and integration of ethical, legal, clinical, and moral practice issues in risk management;
  • Discuss when to consult with other psychologists, lawyers, state psychology ethics committees, state licensure boards, and liability insurance carriers, regarding ethical quandaries. 


Registration Fees


All Day Registration
Morning Workshop Afternoon Workshop 
Lunch included

 Half Day Registration with Lunch
Morning Workshop OR Afternoon Workshop 
Half Day Registration
Morning Workshop OR Afternoon Workshop 

MPA/MSPA Member Price  $195  $120 $90
Non Member Price  $295  $170 $140


For information regarding group rates for organizations, please contact the MPA office.