Our Speakers

Keynote Speakers

Benjamin E. Caldwell, Psy. D., LMFT

Dr. Benjamin Caldwell is the author of five books, including Basics of California Law for LMFTs, LPCCs, and LCSWs, which is now on its fourth edition, and Saving Psychotherapy, which has been the focus of several invited conference presentations. He serves as adjunct faculty for California State University Northridge and The Wright Institute in Berkeley, CA. In his role as Chair of the Legislative and Advocacy Committee for the California Division of AAMFT, he has been directly involved in California’s first-in-the-nation ban on reparative therapy for minors, and he drove the change in title from “intern” to “associate” for prelicensed MFTs and PCCs. For his advocacy work, he was awarded the AAMFT Division Contribution Award in 2013. He is a California licensed marriage and family therapist (#42723) and maintains a private practice in Los Angeles, specializing in working with couples.


Paul Gilmartin

From 1995 to 2011 Paul Gilmartin co-hosted TBS’ Dinner and a Movie and has been a stand-up comedian since 1987. His credits include Comedy Central Presents: Paul Gilmartin, numerous Bob and Tom albums, comedy festivals and the Late Show with Craig Ferguson.

Paul is a recovering alcoholic/addict and has been sober since 2003.  He is also an incest survivor and has been in treatment for depression since 1999.  He is a big believer in therapy and support groups.

Paul hosts a weekly audio podcast, The Mental Illness Happy Hour, consisting of interviews with artists, friends, listeners and the occasional mental health professional about all the battles in our heads; from medically diagnosed conditions, past traumas and sexual dysfunction to everyday compulsive, negative thinking.   It gets about 600,000 downloads per month, has a 5/5 iTunes rating where it frequently occupies the top spot in Self-Help, was chosen by Esquire as one of the best podcasts of 2016 and is featured in the 2013 PBS Documentary “A New State of Mind.”

You can learn more about Paul and The Mental Illness Happy Hour podcast here: www.mentalpod.com.


Curt Widhalm, LMFT

Curt Widhalm is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in private practice in the Los Angeles area. He is a Board Member at Large for the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, a Subject Matter Expert for the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, Adjunct Faculty at Pepperdine University, and a loving husband and father. He is 1/2 great person, 1/2 provocateur, and 1/2 geek, in that order. He dabbles in the dark art of making “dad jokes” and usually has a half-empty cup of coffee somewhere nearby. Learn more about Curt at www.curtwidhalm.com.


Katie Vernoy, LMFT

Katie Vernoy is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, coach, and consultant. As a helping professional for two decades, she’s navigated the ups and downs of our unique line of work. She’s run her own solo therapy practice, designed innovative clinical programs, built and managed large, thriving teams of service providers, and consulted hundreds of helping professionals on how to build meaningful AND sustainable practices. In her spare time, Katie is secretly siphoning off Curt’s youthful energy, so that she can take over the world. Learn more about Katie at www.katievernoy.com.

 


Kelly Higdon, LMFT

Kelly Higdon, LMFT is a psychotherapist in virtual practice and the co-founder of Business School Bootcamp for Therapists. She is passionate about helping therapists build private practices without the burnout. She believes that private practices that are viable and successful is one of the important ways to combat mental health stigma in our communities.

 

 


Miranda Palmer, LMFT

Miranda Palmer, LMFT has been coaching and consulting with therapists for 10 years and has helped thousands of therapists tap into the full potential of a career in the mental health field. She is co-creator of the Business School Bootcamp for Therapists that is helping therapists build, rebuild, and streamline private practice from the ground up to create more ease, more happiness, and spend more of their time working with awesome clients. Go and take over 10 hours of free trainings at https://www.zynnyme.com

 

 


Ernesto Segisumdo Jr. M.S. LMFT

Ernesto Segismundo Jr. M.S. LMFT, of Fylmit.com. Ernesto wears many hats in the mental health community: Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Adjunct Professor at Hope International University, Adjunct Professor at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Owner of FYLMIT.com, and Owner of CAV Family Therapy Inc. In talking with Ernesto, it is so clear that he loves supporting psychotherapists in creating an online presence effectively, as well as legally and ethically. Ernesto is paving the way for clearer guidelines on what we can do to get more visibility online without getting in trouble with our licensing boards (or becoming clinically ineffective)!


Breakout Speakers

Maelisa Hall, Psy.D.

Maelisa Hall, Psy.D. specializes in teaching therapists how to connect with their paperwork so it’s more simple and more meaningful. The result? Rock solid documentation every therapist can be proud of! Check out her free online Private Practice Paperwork Crash Course, and get tips on improving your documentation today. Learn more at www.qaprep.com.


Perry Rosenbloom

Perry Rosenbloom is the CEO & Founder of Brighter Vision, the worldwide leader in custom therapist website design. His connection to therapy and therapists runs deep: His mother-in-law owns a private practice in Jacksonville, FL, his father-in-law is in recovery and just received his 30 year chip, his Uncle (who he never met) died at a very young age due to drug use, and the heroin epidemic has hit his hometown very hard. With so many connections to therapy and therapists, he is immensely proud to be able to help support them in their work and enable them to be successful business owners.


Elizabeth Irias and Robert Scholz

Elizabeth Irias is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist with specializations in Utilization Review and clinical best practice, and also the founder of Clearly Clinical, an online behavioral health Continuing Education program.  As a consultant and trainer, Beth works closely with clinical teams across the country to improve their quality of care, documentation practices, and utilization review outcomes. A Graduate Psychology adjunct faculty member at Pepperdine University, Beth is a regular presenter at seminars and conferences.  She is intensively trained in the implementation of Feedback Informed Treatment, and assists agencies and therapists in delivering empirically-based care to their clients to improve treatment results.  She operates a private practice in Westlake Village, CA, where she provides therapy to adolescent/young adult clients, members of the LGBT population, and those with addictive disorders.

Robert Scholz is a licensed as a Professional Clinical Counselor and Marriage and Family Therapist. Robert has extensive experience and expertise in the fields of addictive behavior, college mental health, sports psychology, marital therapy, family violence and men’s issues. Robert has served in many leadership roles over his twenty plus years in field, including most recently as the Chief Clinical Officer and Clinical Director at Engage in Westlake Village. Currently, he is focusing on his specialized private practice, training and consultation services.

Robert is a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT) and has provided in-depth training on the topic of MI for a variety of audiences. He has also participated in extensive clinical and “trainer training” in the area of Feedback Informed Treatment (FIT). He co-authored the book Engaging Resistance and has authored several publications on the topics of men in therapy and motivational interviewing.


Maureen Werrbach

Maureen is a therapist in Chicago, a group practice owner, and a group practice coach. As a therapist, she helps adults with trauma histories, individuals who want to improve their relationships personally and professionally, and entrepreneurs/professionals learn to manage the stresses of leadership. She started a group practice (Urban Wellness) in 2012 and it has grown to a multi-location, 20+ staff that provide counseling, psychological testing and medication management. Her mission is to provide care to as many people in my community as possible. As a group practice coach (The Group Practice Exchange), she loves helping solo practice owners start and grow their group practices, as well as helping established group practice owners scale their group practice. She loves talking about marketing, organizational structuring, scaling, leadership, and everything in between. You can find more about Maureen and find tons of resources on starting and scaling a group practice at www.thegrouppracticeexchange.com and within her Group Practice Exchange Facebook Group.

Amber Hawley

Amber Hawley is a licensed marriage and family therapist who works with high performing couples. She is the owner of a group therapy practice in the Bay Area, wife, mom of three kids, avid coffee drinker and co-host of the My Biz Bestie podcast. Amber originally worked in the tech industry but her love for people led her to pursue a career where meaningful relationships are at the center of everything she does.

Ashley Graber

After 15 years working in Commercial Real Estate in New York City, Ashley Graber changed the direction of her life to the worlds of Psychology and Meditation & Mindfulness. Ashley came to these practices after getting sober and in the decade plus since, she now runs a busy mindfulness based psychotherapy practice at Yale Street Therapy (www.YaleStreetTherapy.com) in Santa Monica, CA. Ashley is the Director of Curriculum for the next generation meditation app & mindfulness company, Evenflow. Ashley received her clinical degree from Antioch University and has trained extensively in Meditation & Mindfulness practices, earning her certificate in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) through The Center for Mindfulness at UC San Diego. She has also trained in Mindful Schools (teaching mindfulness and meditation to children), Trauma Resiliency Model (TRM), and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). Ashley was recently on Good Morning LaLa Land, spoke on Resilience at this year’s renowned Wisdom. 2.0 Mindfulness & Technology conference, and is putting her psychotherapy and Meditation & Mindfulness skills into print with a “how to” book for families.  Learn more at www.AshleyGraberTherapy.com.


Thought Bubble Speakers

The Profession

 Benjamin Caldwell, Psy.D., LMFT

Dr. Benjamin Caldwell is the author of five books, including Basics of California Law for LMFTs, LPCCs, and LCSWs, which is now on its fourth edition, and Saving Psychotherapy, which has been the focus of several invited conference presentations. He serves as adjunct faculty for California State University Northridge and The Wright Institute in Berkeley, CA. In his role as Chair of the Legislative and Advocacy Committee for the California Division of AAMFT, he has been directly involved in California’s first-in-the-nation ban on reparative therapy for minors, and he drove the change in title from “intern” to “associate” for prelicensed MFTs and PCCs. For his advocacy work, he was awarded the AAMFT Division Contribution Award in 2013. He is a California licensed marriage and family therapist (#42723) and maintains a private practice in Los Angeles, specializing in working with couples.


Robin Andersen

Robin Andersen is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT 100070), the Founder of Prelicensed, the Business Development Manager for TrackYourHours and TrackYourCEUs, and the President of the San Diego North County Chapter of CAMFT. She is passionate about supporting prelicensed MFTs and enjoys focusing on numerous aspects of the MFT field, including entrepreneurship, leadership, and advocacy. Robin strives to create resources that serve the MFT community and move the profession forward. You can learn more about her current and upcoming projects (including the Psychotherapy Forums) by visiting her website.


Heather Walker Janz

Heather Janz, LMFT, has established a private practice in California’s central valley serving teens and young adults referred through the Juvenile Justice Center, hospitals, and county mental health crisis centers. Heather inspires her clients and fellow mental health professionals by modeling assertiveness and positive communication through activism and advocacy. She is the current president of her local chapter of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CSJV-CAMFT) and has also been involved in several movements including The Women’s March, Families Belong Together, and March For Our Lives. You can learn more about Heather at www.heatherjanz.com.


John Sovec

John Sovec is a therapist in Pasadena CA who specializes in working with the LGBTQ population with his work featured on The Riki Lake Show, OWN, FOX, Bravo, The Advocate, YHTV, LA Talk Radio, Broad Topics and regular columns for Huffington Post and Good Therapy. John is a highly respected speaker in the educational, corporate, and non-profit arenas who motivates his audience to discover their own strengths and experience their life. John is Clinical Consultant for The Life Group LA as well as adjunct faculty at Phillips Graduate University where he teaches a year long program in the business of therapy.


Patrice Douglas

Patrice N. Douglas is a licensed therapist and Certified Anger Management Specialist in California and Texas. She is currently a doctoral candidate at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in Los Angeles. She is the owner of Empire Counseling & Consultation located in CA, NY, and TX where she specializes in anger management, men’s issues, and minority mental health. Patrice is passionate about decreasing stigmas in minority communities by curating initiatives such a t-campaign that spreads awareness about mental health as well as uses the profits to pay for therapy for those who cant afford it as well as low cost workshops.


The Business

 

Perry Rosenbloom

Perry Rosenbloom is the CEO & Founder of Brighter Vision, the worldwide leader in custom therapist website design. His connection to therapy and therapists runs deep: His mother-in-law owns a private practice in Jacksonville, FL, his father-in-law is in recovery and just received his 30 year chip, his Uncle (who he never met) died at a very young age due to drug use, and the heroin epidemic has hit his hometown very hard. With so many connections to therapy and therapists, he is immensely proud to be able to help support them in their work and enable them to be successful business owners.


Nicol Stolar-Peterson

Nicol Stolar-Peterson, LCSW, BCD with over 20 years of experience. She worked for Child Protective Services for over 11 years as a child abuse investigator, forensic interviewer and adoptions social worker. Nicol was licensed in 2009 and began her work as a child custody evaluator shortly after. Nicol became a Board Certified Diplomat of Clinical Social Work in 2015. Nicol is also contracted as an expert to BBS. Nicol’s practice is located in Murrieta, CA. Nicol is also the founder and director of Kids Court & Counseling Center a non-profit that helps children prepare for court testimony and appearances if they are victims of crimes, witnesses to crimes, in foster care and/or going through a litigious custody battle where testimony occurs.


Eboni Harris

Eboni Harris is a licensed relationship therapist, co-founder of Melanin and Mental Health™, Founder of Room for Relations and host of Room for Relations: Sex and Relationship Podcast. Through her education she has learned the skills and techniques to help individuals and couples love better, stronger and longer. Through life she has learned that taking care of yourself is the best thing you can do for you and the ones you love. Her goal is to help adults communicate with clarity and honesty, love with passion and intention and teach their little ones the value of boundaries, compassion and trust.


Marquita Johnson

Marquita Johnson graduate from Mercer University with a Master of Science in Community Counseling and Master of Divinity. She is a licensed professional counselor and a nationally certified counselor. Her specialties include women issues, career, dating, divorce, step-families, and grief counseling. Marquita offers coaching services to help millennials who are dating and has embraced the call as Atlanta’s “Millennial Dating Coach.” Marquita has completed training in distance credentialed counseling to provide telemental health internet based and phone based counseling.

Marquita believes in counseling the “whole” person. Integrating the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of her clients while taking into account the life paths and showing how they intersect and connect. Marquita is currently pursuing her doctoral degree in Counselor Education and Supervision with a specialization in Trauma and Crisis. Marquita is owner of HOPE (Helping Overcome Problems Everyday) Counseling.


Zeahlot Lopez

Zeahlot Lopez is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a Licensed Cosmetologist helping humans rebuild their spirit. Guided by her intuition, clinical training, life experience, and some luck she currently helps individuals and families lead a happier life! Aside from providing therapy to better the lives of her clients, she enjoys coaching entrepreneurs and those looking to increase their emotional intelligence. She also is a Keynote speaker passionate about educating others about the importance of mental health and empowering women. She enjoys comedy, singing in her shower, and cooking new dishes. Recently, she was featured on Univision speaking on mental health.


The Person

Ernesto Segisumdo Jr. M.S. LMFT

Ernesto Segismundo Jr. M.S. LMFT, of Fylmit.com. Ernesto wears many hats in the mental health community: Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Adjunct Professor at Hope International University, Adjunct Professor at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Owner of FYLMIT.com, and Owner of CAV Family Therapy Inc. In talking with Ernesto, it is so clear that he loves supporting psychotherapists in creating an online presence effectively, as well as legally and ethically. Ernesto is paving the way for clearer guidelines on what we can do to get more visibility online without getting in trouble with our licensing boards (or becoming clinically ineffective)!


Julia Alperovich

Julia is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT104657) and a Certified Professional Coach (CCA754487). She completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in Clinical Psychology at Florida State University, and her Master’s of Science degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at Seton Hall University with a specialization in the neurophysiology of addiction. She is trained and certified in several trauma-focused evidence-based therapeutic practices and has more than ten years of experience in various mental health settings. Currently, she is in private practice and provides clinical services at several residential addiction treatment facilities as a contractor. She has been a strong proponent for therapist professional development and has offered numerous resources including articles, podcasts, blogs, and talks to the mental healthcare community. In her free time, she is an avid chef and enjoys volunteering for various animal and human rights organizations.


Mercedes Samudio, LCSW

Mercedes Samudio, LCSW is a parent coach, speaker, and bestselling author who helps parents and children communicate with each other, manage emotional trauma, navigate social media and technology together, and develop healthy parent-child relationships. Mercedes started the #EndParentShaming movement as well as coined the term Shame-Proof Parenting – using both to bring awareness to ending parent shame. You can read more about her parenting expertise at http://shameproofparenting.com.

 


Douglas Green

Douglas Green is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a private practice in West Los Angeles and Woodland Hills where he specializes in helping kids and teens build lives they can be proud of.  He is an adjunct professor at Phillips Graduate University and the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, as well as a Registered Drama Therapist.  He is proudest, however, of his internationally-acclaimed book The Teachings of Shirelle: Life Lessons from a Divine Knucklehead, and the website AskShirelle.com, which offers advice based in the book’s wisdom, which he learned from his ridiculous dog.

 


Abigail Weissman Psy.D.

Abigail (“Abi”) Weissman is a California clinical psychologist, earning her doctorate in Clinical Psychology (PSY 27497) with a dissertation on helping psychologists to be supporting, respectful, and effective with their transgender Jewish clients. She holds a Master of Arts in Human Sexuality studies that focused on femme lesbian identity and completed a Certificate in Sex Education. She serves as a Member At Large – Professional Practice, of the Board of Directors of the San Diego Psychological Association. She is also the Chair of the LGBT Committee for the San Diego Psychological Association. A self-proclaimed “super queer” she loves to empower others, especially those who wish they could be their full queer, transgender, religious, liberal, activist, polyamorous, and/or kink selves, but hold themselves back because they are scared they will be unloved, unemployed, and rejected by their loved ones and communities. Abi provides individual and group therapy for LGBTQIQAP-identified clients as well as training for other professionals on how to be more LGBTQIQAP-affirming in clinical practice and in business. Her pronouns are she, her hers. You can learn more about Abi and her group practice Waves, A Psychological Corporation, at www.wavespsych.com.


MORE SPEAKERS ARE BEING ADDED ALL THE TIME! CHECK BACK SOON!!

 

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