TR 2020 Speakers

Our Keynote Speakers

Daryl Chow, MA, PhD (Psych)

Keynote Speaker – Friday

Daryl Chow, MA, PhD (Psych) is a practicing psychologist and trainer. He is a senior associate of the International Center for Clinical Excellence (ICCE). He devotes his time to workshops, consultations and researches the development of expertise and highly effective psychotherapists, helping practitioners to achieve better results. Daryl is the author of The First Kiss: Undoing the Intake Model and Igniting First Sessions in Psychotherapy. His work has also appeared in edited books, peer-reviewed journal articles, and he is a co-editor of The Write to Recovery: Personal Stories & Lessons about Recovery from Mental Health Concerns. Daryl’s blog, Frontiers of Psychotherapist Development is aimed at inspiring and sustaining practitioners’ individualized professional development. His highly personalized in-depth online course for supervisors, Reigniting Clinical Supervision, serves as a leading light to help raise the bar of effectiveness in psychotherapy. Currently, Daryl maintains a private practice with a vibrant team at Henry Street Centre, Fremantle, and continues to serve as a senior psychologist at the Institute of Mental Health, Singapore.


Harry J. Aponte, PhD, h.c., MSW, LCSW, LMFT

Keynote Speaker – Saturday

Dr. Aponte has a private practice in Philadelphia. He also is a clinical associate professor in Drexel University’s Couple & Family Therapy Department.

He has publications on family therapy, training and supervision in therapy, working with disadvantaged families, and spirituality in therapy.

He has lectured and conducted workshops throughout the United States, as well as in Canada, Latin America, Europe and Asia.

He received postgraduate training at the Menninger Clinic, and worked there in a variety of capacities, including as a supervisor and teacher. From Topeka, he came to Philadelphia to work at the Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic of which he eventually became the director.

Dr. Aponte is a Fellow of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, and a Board Certified Diplomate in Clinical Social Work.

Among other honors, he received the award for Distinguished Contribution to Family Therapy and Practice from the American Family Therapy Academy in 1992, and the award for Outstanding Contribution to the Field of Marriage and Family Therapy from the Association for Marriage and Family Therapy in 2001. He also received the I. Arthur Marshall Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Menninger Clinic in 1997.

Dr. Aponte received the Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters (honoris causa) from Drexel University in 2004, and the Degree of Doctor of Public Service (honoris causa) from the University of Maryland in 2006.


Our Lunch Time Speakers

Kiaundra Jackson, LMFT

Lunchtime Speaker – Friday

Kiaundra Jackson is known as America’s #1 Relationship Therapist. She has been seen on OWN’s new hit TV Show, Love Goals and as a reoccurring expert on The Doctors. She has been recently featured in Oprah’s Magazine, Essence, The New York Times, FOX, The CW, BET, Vice and The Huffington Post as one of the ‘10 Black Female Therapists You Should Know.’ She is an award-winning speaker, best-selling author, TV Personality and a trusted Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist that gets results. She is a noted expert on healthy relationships and mental health. Kiaundra is the visionary of KW Couples Therapy and the Co-Founder of Black Speakers Rock.
Through her early work, she discovered the importance of having healthy relationships. From that point on, she chose to specialize in helping couples strengthen and repair their relationships. She helps to improve intimacy with couples by increasing effective two-way communication. She is dedicated to helping couples increase sexual, physical, emotional, and spiritual intimacy. Kiaundra specializes in working with couples who truly desire to maintain a healthy, long-lasting relationship and uncover their true potential.
Kiaundra’s vision is to help ONE MILLION couples heal their relationships, prevent divorce, and keep families together.


Katie Vernoy, LMFT

Lunchtime Speaker – Saturday

Katie Vernoy is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, with a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from California State University, Fullerton and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Theater from Occidental College in Los Angeles, California. Katie has always loved leadership and began stepping into management positions soon after gaining her license in 2005. Katie’s experience spans many leadership and management roles in the mental health field: program coordinator, director, clinical supervisor, hiring manager, recruiter, and now President of her state professional organization. In one of her management roles, Katie was able to transform a struggling mental health program – engaging the team in implementing solutions that improved clinical outcomes, increased clinician productivity (and billing), and won awards from Los Angeles County for innovation and best practices. Now, in business for herself, Katie provides consultation and business strategy to support leaders, visionaries, and helping professionals in pursuing their mission to help others.


Our Plenary Speakers

Travis Heath, PsyD

Plenary Speaker – Saturday

Travis Heath is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Metropolitan State University of Denver. He has worked in Los Angeles, California and is currently a licensed psychologist practicing in Denver, Colorado. The work he has been focused on includes shifting from a multicultural approach to counseling to one of cultural democracy that invites people to heal in mediums that are culturally near. Writing he has contributed to has focused on the use of rap music in narrative therapy, working with persons entangled in the criminal justice system in ways that maintain their dignity, narrative practice stories as pedagogy, a co-created questioning practice called reunion questions, and community healing strategies. He is currently co-authoring the first book on Contemporary Narrative Therapy with David Epston. His practice has been apprenticed by David Epston, substantially influenced by the work of Makungu Akinyela, and inspired by collaborators such as marcela polanco, Tom Carlson, Sasha Pilkington, and Kay Ingamells. He has been fortunate enough to run workshops and speak about his work in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Hong Kong, India, New Zealand, Norway, United Kingdom, and the United States. He is scheduled to teach at multiple sites throughout Denmark in June 2020, and in Sweden in August 2020.


Some of Our Other Fabulous Speakers

Dr. Emily Anhalt, PsyD

Dr. Emily Anhalt is a psychologist, emotional fitness consultant, and the co-founder and Chief Clinical Officer of Coa, a gym for the mind that is destigmatizing and demystifying quality, depth-oriented emotional fitness. She studied psychology at the University of Michigan and attained Master’s and doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychology in Berkeley, California. For the past ten years, Dr. Anhalt has been working clinically with executives, founders, and tech employees. Her deepest passion is empowering leaders to work toward empathy and self-awareness and she has collaborated with some of the fastest-growing technology companies and VC firms in the world including Google, Asana, TEDx, Github, NASDAQ, Unilever, and True Ventures. Dr. Anhalt has matched over 300 people into therapy and is working to change the narrative of depth-oriented therapy in our society.


Lindsay Bryan-Podvin, LMSW

Lindsay Bryan-Podvin, owner and founder of Mind Money Balance, is a financial therapist who started her career in the field of mental health treatment and advocacy. As the first financial therapist in Michigan, she combines financial literacy with the emotional and psychological side of money. She always had an interest in mental health and found an even greater love working at the intersection of mental health and money, especially when it comes to romantic relationships. In addition to being a published author of the book “The Financial Anxiety Solution,” she has a degree in sociology from Michigan State University, and her Master’s in Social Work from the

University of Michigan. She lives with her husband and their dog in Ann Arbor, Michigan.


Beck Gee-Cohen MA CADC-II

Director of LGBTQ+ Programming

Beck is a master’s level clinician with an undergraduate degree in Sociology with an emphasis on Gender & Sexuality and a master’s degree in Addiction Counseling. Beck has worked in the mental health & substance use field for over 10 years in various capacities. The main focus of his work has been invested in the LGBTQ+ community, adolescents, and families. Over this decade, Beck has trained numerous facilities on LGBTQ+ best practices, has been a keynote and presenter at many conferences, and has facilitated workshops about LGBTQ+, trauma, adolescents, gender and sexuality.

Beck is the Director of LGBTQ+ Programming at Visions Adolescent Treatment Center. This program is for young people at Visions who identify in the community, those who are questioning, and their families. It includes process groups, psychoeducation, and family programming with professionals specifically trained and experienced in the LGBTQ+ population and best practices. Alongside the already dynamic team at Visions Mental Health and Wellness Center in Los Angeles, young LGBTQ+ people and their families will find a space that serves their specific needs in regards to healing and thriving.


James Guay, LMFT

James Guay is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (#39252) inspired by seeing his clients transform from being perfectionistic, constantly on the go, feeling empty despite their successes to a place where they can finally truly relax and pursue excellence from a greater place of self-compassion.

He’s also a social justice activist with a mission to help bring more compassion into the world — especially for oppressed minorities. To advance this cause, he’s testified against conversion therapy at California’s State Capital, appeared on Lisa Ling’s Our America show, appeared on various documentaries including VICE, and has been interviewed and/or written articles for Time, NY Times, LA Times, Huffington Post, Rage Magazine and the Advocate.


Dr. Maelisa Hall

Dr. Maelisa Hall is a licensed psychologist, nail design enthusiast, and multi-passionate entrepreneur. As the owner of two online businesses, My Digital Maven and QA Prep, she empowers other therapists by creating websites, consulting on SEO and online marketing, and providing continuing education courses on clinical documentation. Whether it’s websites or paperwork, Maelisa focuses on the “why” behind the usual recommendations and encourages clinicians to think outside the box, while also keeping their ethics intact.



Kelly Higdon, LMFT

Kelly Higdon, LMFT believes that private practice is one of the solutions to increasing access to quality mental health in our communities. Her passion lies in empowering private practice owners to serve at their highest and best, improving clinical outcomes through their business planning and to break the statistic that mental health clinicians are the worst paid Masters’ degree. She has helped thousands through training, education and coaching.




Dr. Sonya Lott

Dr. Sonya Lott is the founder and CEO of CEMPSYCH, LLC, which offers continuing education in multicultural competence and is approved as a sponsor by the APA to provide continuing education to psychologists. The vision of CEMPSYCH, LLC is to transform the way that mental health professionals conceptualize, seek, and provide training in multicultural competence, as well as to be a catalyst for others to become more heart-centered, connected, and aware that we are all emanations of the same Source.

She is also the host of the Reflections on Multicultural Competence podcast.

She earned a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Temple University and has been licensed as a psychologist in PA since 1991 and more recently in Florida for online psychotherapy. She has advanced training in Complicated Grief Therapy (CGT) from the Center at Columbia University, where she remains an associate. Sonya also maintains a private clinical practice in Philadelphia, PA, specializing in CGT.

Currently she serves on the advisory board of Whites Confronting Racism, an organization based in Philadelphia that facilitates workshops for White people throughout the United States “who want to challenge the racism around them — and in their own heads and hearts.”


Dana McNeil, LMFT

Dana McNeil is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and is the founder of a group practice called The Relationship Place located in San Diego, California. Dana’s practice specializes in couples’ therapy and utilizes an evidence-based type of couples’ therapy which is known as the Gottman Method. Dana is a certified Gottman Method therapist and Bringing Home Baby instructor. Dana’s practice works with all types of relationship issues from pre-marital counseling, dealing with the aftermath of extra marital affairs, partners working through addiction recovery, military deployed families, parents of special needs children, LGBTQ, and polyamorous clients. Dana has been featured on many relationship podcasts and in publications such as the Business Insider, Authority Magazine, Eat This-Not That, Parade, Oprah Living, Martha Stewart Living, Ladders, AARP, and is the resident relationship expert on the Cox Communications show “I Do.”

You can connect with Dana on her group website, her personal site, or on social media at


Shira Myrow, LMFT

Shira Myrow is a licensed marriage and family therapist, mindfulness educator and founder of the mindfulness based Yale St. Therapy Group based in Santa Monica, CA where she works in private practice.

With advanced training in Emotionally Focused Therapy and the Gottman Method, Shira specializes in treating couples with a focus on rebuilding attunement, repairing attachment, and creating emotional literacy. Shira also has a special focus on treating attachment injuries in adult children of severely mentally ill parents (parents with borderline personality disorder, bi-polar and schizophrenia).

Shira is a contributing writer for publications including Goop, Thrive Global and Mind Body Green. In addition to a TED x talk, Shira has been featured as a guest on multiple outlets and podcasts. She has presented at the TED Women Leadership Conference, The Claremont Mckenna Wellness Conference and Therapy Reimagined, created curriculum, workshops and meditation content for Evenflow Meditation.


Miranda Palmer, LMFT

Miranda Palmer, LMFT loves helping therapists bridge the gap between what it takes to be a great therapist who gets great clinical outcomes and what it takes to run a successful therapy practice. She has helped thousands of therapists from around the world make the mindset shifts that allow a more effortless application of marketing strategies that grow a private practice that is not just financially sustainable, but that gets great clinical outcomes.




Susan Pease Gadoua, LCSW

Susan Pease Gadoua, L.C.S.W., is the author of San Francisco best-seller, Contemplating Divorce, A Step-by-Step Guide to Deciding Whether to Stay or Go (August 2008), and Stronger Day by Day: Reflections for Healing and Rebuilding After Divorce (July 2010). She is also the co-author with journalist, Vicki Larson, of The New I Do, Reshaping Marriage for Skeptics, Realists and Rebels, (Seal Press, September 2014). In addition, Susan authored The Parenting Marriage Workbook: A Beginner’s Guide to Transitioning from a Traditional Marriage to a Parenting Marriage (2017) as well as an eBook entitled, The Top Ten Misguided Reasons to Stay in a Bad Marriage (2011).

Susan is a licensed therapist based in the northern San Francisco Bay Area with an expertise in marriage and divorce. She counsels clients via phone or Skype all over the world as well as running workshops and retreats in northern California. Susan is a sought-out speaker on marriage and divorce. She has appeared on television, radio and print, including The CBS Early Show and publications such as The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Washington Post, Thrive Global, Huffington Post, Psychology Today, and Divorce Magazine.


Dr. Paul R. Puri

Dr. Puri is a board certified psychiatrist, in private practice in Los Angeles. He practices multiple forms of psychotherapy, including hypnosis, in addition to managing medications. He attended medical school at University of Rochester, and specialty training in psychiatry at UC San Diego. He is currently a clinical Assistant Professor at UCLA, and the President of the Psychiatric Clinical Faculty Association at UCLA.

In his non-clinical time he consults and writes for TV, and is the Chief Medical Officer for an online mental health hub, OOTify —


Katie Read, LMFT

Katie Read, LMFT takes lessons from her nearly-20 successful years in the field to help clinicians grow…then OUTgrow…their practices.

Immediately upon licensure Katie was made Director of a large Transitional Aged Youth program in Oakland, CA. Later she was recruited to Direct one of Sacramento’s largest Wraparound Programs, and from there she moved into the role of Director of Clinical Supervision, personally supervising 40+ interns towards licensure.

Concurrently, Katie had private practices in multiple cities, taught graduate psychology students, and wrote and created therapist training materials.

Now Katie focuses on helping clinicians grow their practices and their LIVES by serving as a top-shelf online marketing consultant.

Her flagship course, Clinician to Coach, gives therapists a complete website and marketing funnel to launch their Coaching, Consulting, or Course businesses to massive success!

Katie is also a special needs mom and loves helping other moms tune into their own intuition and lead their best-possible lives by taking the sometimes-scary leap into following what’s best for them, deep down.


Joe Sanok

Joe Sanok is a keynote and TEDx speaker, business consultant, and podcaster. Joe has the #1 podcast for counselors, The Practice of the Practice Podcast that gets over 100k listens per month. With interviews with Jamie Masters, Pat Flynn, Lori Gottleib, Dr. Julie Schwartz Gottman, and Lewis Howes, Joe is a rising star in the speaking world!

Joe built a multi-six figure private pay group practice until he sold it in 2019. He dynamically teaches clinicians how to grow income, innovation, influence, and impact, while still staying true to their values.

Joe is the founder of Podcast Launch School, a training for helping professionals to take their message to the world through podcasting, building e-courses, and membership communities.

Joe is a writer for PsychCentral, has been featured on the Huffington Post, Forbes, GOOD Magazine, Reader’s Digest, Entrepreneur on Fire, and Yahoo News. He is author of five books and has been named the Therapist Resource top podcast, consultant, and blogger.


Nicol Stolar-Peterson, LCSW, BCD

Nicol Stolar-Peterson, LCSW, BCD has over 20 years of experience working with children and families. She worked for Child Protective Services for over 11.5 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 there after. Nicol became a Board Certified Diplomat of Clinical Social Work in 2015. Nicol is an expert witness and her areas of expertise includes child abuse, sexual abuse, child protective services and child custody. Nicol is retained as an expert witness in California, Washington, Oregon, Arizona and Missouri.

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.

Nicol coaches her fellow colleagues all over the United States on court related matters and consults with attorneys on a regular basis. Nicol loves giving presentations and trainings. She speaks on multiple topics. One of her favorite topics is CYA, Cover Your Assets. Nicol feels strongly that the work that therapists do is important and must be protected. That is why Nicol created A site that therapists could go to and get help implementing a copy/paste court policy, learn what to write and what not to write in a court related letter and learn what they need to do, in order to have a kick ass day in court if they have to go.


Jessica Tappana

Jessica Tappana believes in the power of therapy to transform lives and has spent her professional career trying to offer high quality counseling services and spread the word that counseling works. She stated a private practice in 2017. When her practice evolved into a group practice, Jessica taught herself search engine optimization to market her practice. Now, her self pay group practice includes seven clinicians and part time two administrative team members and a more than steady stream of referrals.

In 2018, Jessica began helping friends with their websites and that transitioned into a second business. Simplified SEO Consulting now helps therapists around the world get their website ranking well on Google. Jessica is passionate about helping therapists create websites that not only rank well on Google but also provide useful information to clients.

Jessica balances being a therapist, group practice owner, SEO consultant for mental health professionals, wife and fully present mom to two young children. She has been quoted in numerous media articles including NBC news, Bustle, Live Strong, and many more. In addition, she’s appeared on various podcasts including Practice of the Practice, The Practice of Therapy & The Therapist Experience.


Curt Widhalm, LMFT

Pre-Conference Speaker

Curt Widhalm is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist with a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage & Family Therapy from Pepperdine University, a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice with an emphasis in Behavior Analysis from Saint Joseph’s University and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Montana State University. He has clinical experience with clients from a variety of different backgrounds, ages, experiences, and reasons for seeking help. Curt earned his Marriage & Family Therapist License in 2009. During the process of earning his license, he has worked in clinical, school, and community mental health settings. Curt’s background work includes work with children, adults, couples, families, and groups. Curt is also the co-founder of CANDDI, a clinic specializing in assessing and providing psychotherapy to individuals affected by special needs. He has been working in private practice since 2010. Curt is a CAMFT Certified Supervisor, and he has received numerous awards for his work within the therapeutic community at both the local and state levels.


Current Continuing Education Information:

SimplePractice is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. SimplePractice maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Courses that do not qualify for CE for Psychologists are clearly marked.


SimplePractice is approved by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists to sponsor continuing education for LMFTs, LPCCs, LCSWs, and LEPs (CAMFT CEPA provider #145276). SimplePractice maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Courses meet the qualifications for the listed hours of continuing education credit for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.


Most licenses accept APA CEs for approvals. If you do not see your approval body here, please check your licensure board to ensure that you are covered for APA CEs. If they do not, please contact Curt at

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