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The Soldiers Project Southern California Mental Health Symposium

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American Legion

131 Marengo Avenue

Pasadena, CA 91101

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Join us for The Soldiers Project's annual mental health symposium!

The Soldiers Project will be hosting the Southern California Mental Health Symposium on Saturday, October 14th and 21st at the American Legion in Pasadena. This event is open to all mental health professionals looking to expand their knowledge of issues facing the veteran and military community and learn about evidence based practices to support healing these culturally specific issues. This is a two-day workshop for current and prospective volunteers with The Soldiers Project. Attendance will fulfill the requirements to become a therapist with The Soldiers Project.

Schedule of events:

Saturday, October 14

8:00AM – 8:20AM: Icebreaker and Introductions

8:30AM – 9:15AM: Introduction to The Soldiers Project

9:30AM – 11:00AM: Military Sexual Trauma, presented by Kristen Zaleski, Psy.D (1.5 CE credits)
Workshop attendees will be able to:

  • Summarize the history of military sexual trauma and describe the current legal climate.
  • List the various forms of sexual trauma.
  • Assess the contrast between military sexual trauma and combat trauma as well as civilian sexual trauma.
  • Discuss legal implications of reporting sexual trauma and educate about the legal system’s approach to responding to reported trauma.
  • Demonstrate opportunities for clinicians to understand how they can utilize their professional practice to help clients reclaim their lives as trauma survivors.

11:00AM – 12:00PM: LUNCH

12:00AM – 12:30PM: Perspectives: Living in a Military Family, presented by Deborah Mendelsohn, Military & Veteran Affairs/AQMD Deputy

12:30PM – 1:45PM: Compassion Fatigue, presented by Mark Mitchell, MFT (1 CE credit)

  • Discuss components of compassion fatigue
  • Define similarities & difference between stress, compassion fatigue & work burn out
  • Identify symptoms of compassion fatigue
  • Describe prevention techniques for compassion fatigue
  • Develop a plan for individual resiliency.

1:45PM – 2:00PM: Wrap up and dismissal

Saturday, October 21

8:00AM – 8:15AM: Introductions

8:15AM – 10:15AM: Treating Suicide in the Military, presented by Sharon Birman, Psy.D, Center for Deployment Psychology (2 CE credits)

  • Discuss the prevalence of suicide in the civilian and military population.
  • Identify warning signs, risk factors, and protective factors for suicidal behavior.
  • Describe theoretical underpinnings of suicidal behavior.
  • Outline an empirically-supported therapy for treating military clients displaying suicidal behaviors.

10:15AM – 10:30AM: Break

10:30AM – 11:30AM: Families OverComing Under Stress (FOCUS) presented by Angel Barrios, MFT, UCLA Nathanson Family Resilience Center (1 CE credit)

  • Identify common life events and challenges experienced by military families
  • Identify the mechanisms of both risk and resilience used by military families
  • Discuss the FOCUS model and its effectiveness in increasing military family resilience
  • Explain tools used by the FOCUS model and their purpose of reinforcing family skills surrounding family communication, resilience, and problem solving.

11:30AM – 12:30PM: LUNCH

12:30PM – 1:45PM: Military Culture, presented by Nathan Graeser, MSW, MDiv, USC Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans & Military Families

1:45PM - 2:00PM: Wrap up and dismissal


Food will be provided. Direct questions to Beth Olson, Community Engagement and Volunteer Coordinator, at bolson@thesoldiersproject.org.

Free tickets are available only to current TSP therapists and applicants.


Stand InBalance is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Stand InBalance maintains responsibility for this program and its content. This program and its instructors do not have any commercial support or relationship that could reasonably be construed as a conflict of interest.
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Date and Time

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American Legion

131 Marengo Avenue

Pasadena, CA 91101

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Refund Policy

Refunds up to 7 days before event

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